Nancy recently celebrated the release of her most recent novel, Pigsty Princess.
In a country where Elemental Sensitivities determine a person's place in society, Mariana, fourth child of King Jonathan and Queen Alexandria, was born an Insensitive. She is given the made up title of Progenna, because she can't be in line for the throne and therefore, can't be a Princess. All her life, she is reminded that she isn't quite good enough. When her father decides she is to marry Pir Leo Valentine, an eighty-four year old man with a scar across his face that took his eye and only one hand, she runs away from the palace.
Orlando of Talla is a pig farmer and former soldier who served the King until he watched his Sovereign burn an entire harbor town rather than lose a battle. Now he tries to live a quiet life while leading a band of rebels who steal from the nobility to bring prisoners home from that war.
Orlando is also the bastard son of a nobleman, and therefore, he has a Sensitivity, one of Blood that allows him to feel the Sensitivities of others.
He finds the injured Progenna in the forest and immediately realizes that the stories about Mariana aren't true. Rather than being an Insensitive, Mariana may be the most powerful Sensitive in Valborough.
1. Have you ever encountered people who seem unable / unwilling to comprehend that writing is something you are driven to do?
For years, before I was published, my mother couldn't understand my writing at all. I think she feared I would end up living on the streets, starving, unable to earn any money. She pushed me to become a teacher, which was something she could understand. When we visited her for one holiday, we had some down time and my husband pointed out that I could be using the time to write, and she said she thought it would work better if I waited until I was "inspired." I think she also thought he was bossing me around. AFTER my first book came out, she became my biggest fan, buying copies from stores, selling them to her friends and giving me the money! I finally told her if she wanted to do that, at least let me use my author discount so she wasn't basically giving me both the royalty AND the book price.
2. If you were not a writer, can you imagine what else you might do to express the creativity within you?
In another life, I would have become a fashion designer. As it is, I do lots of different kinds of needlework when I'm not writing. I have to make sure I get my word quota done before I pick up my latest cross stitch project or I'll use all my creative energy of the day stitching!
3. Give us at least one example of someone who has contacted you and expressed how much your writing meant to them.
One early in my career was not directly told to me, but I was part of a group of women who met online because we were all followers of a home organization website, but the group evolved into a diverse group of friends. They sponsored my first book signing for my first book, an inspirational romance called Fabric of Faith which is with Wings ePress. Months later, through email, I found out that one of the women had stopped attending church and wasn't sure what she thought about God, but after reading Fabric, she'd gone back to church. More recently, one of my daughter's friends told me, while we were helping my daughter pick out a wedding dress, that she loved Pigsty Princess so much she was going to stalk my author's page on Facebook until the sequel comes out. Whenever I write hints about what I wrote on the book that day, she responds with excitement and reassurance that she's still waiting.
4. In the interviews & blog questions you've handled over the years, what is one writing question which you've WISHED had been asked of you ... but never has been asked?
Interesting question. No one has really ever asked where I got the idea for whatever story I'm talking about. I get questions like, "Did your kidney transplant influence your writing?" or "What writers have influenced you?" but never where I get my ideas.
5. What's your answer to # 4 above?
I subscribe to an idea service that sends out ideas every week. LOL. Of course every book is different, but Pigsty Princess started out as a very different story. When Steve and I were writing Sword & Illusion, I created a sister for the hero who was only interested in clothes, parties, and boys. I enjoyed writing her and wondered what would happen if a King were so fed up with his daughter spending all the treasury money on frivolous pursuits that he married her to a poor pig farmer to teach her a lesson. Eventually, the story morphed as I couldn't figure out how a man who loved his daughter would do such a thing, and in the figuring that all out, Pigsty Princess was born.
Nancy S. Brandt is a stay-at-home mother of two children, a daughter, 25, who is an appointment's clerk at an orthopedic clinic and an editor and book reviewer; and a son, 12, who studies karate, and wants to be either an historian or an artist. Nancy's husband, Steven, is also an author and an adjunct professor of computer science at Louisiana State University.
In about sixth grade, an English teacher gave an assignment to write a descriptive essay. Nancy's was all about a wonderful cave filled with diamonds, emeralds and other precious gems. From that experience, she walked into every English class hoping to get to write something, and she learned three things:
1. The difference between stalactite and stalagmite,
2. That fantasy was probably the genre she should concentrate on, and
3. Never end a story with "It was all a dream."
Nancy is a kidney transplant recipient (her husband was her living donor), a thyroid cancer survivor, and an Army veteran. She is currently working on the sequel to Pigsty Princess, called Questionable Queen.
Social Media Links:
Amazon - http://amzn.com/B00RUYRAB6
Barnes & Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pigsty-princess-nancy-s-brandt/1121192304