Monday, June 3, 2013

Meet YA Fantasy author Nancy Bell


I want to welcome Nancy Bell to Carpinello's Writing Pages. Like me, Nancy is published by MuseItUp Publishing, and she is also an editor at Muse. Today she shares with us A Step Sideways, the second book in her Cornwall Adventure Series


First a bit about Nancy:



Nancy Marie Bell lives near Balzac, Alberta with her husband and various critters.  She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada and the Writers Guild of Alberta. She enjoys writing poetry and fiction and non-fiction. A Step Sideways was a finalist in the 2012 OKRWA YA Novel category.





Why did you pick to write books for YA?

The stories pick me, I’m afraid. I think at heart we are all still children, and I like to let my inner child voice her opinion on a variety of topics. This is a wonderful outlet for coming to terms with things from my own experiences and, hopefully, as well as entertaining young readers. I can also let them know the things they are going through as they mature are a natural part of growing up. I love the fresh way young people view the world.

What types of books do you like to read?

I love fantasy with lots of magic. Anything that has horses or dogs in it is a winner as well. I love Charles de Lint’s urban fantasies, he brings to life those things we see from the corner of our eye and then dismiss as our imagination. I am also studying Celtic myths and legends.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I read—a lot. Seems I’m always doing research of one sort or another. I also spend time with my horses and dogs and there’s nothing like a good scrounge through an antique mall or sale to perk me up. 

Tell us about A Step Sideways and how the story came to be.

A Step Sideways is the second book in the Cornwall Adventures Series. It picks up the story of one of the secondary characters from Laurel’s Miracle. It has its origins in the last few pages of Laurel’s Miracle when the character meets his heart friend or anam cara. His heart friend happens to be a huge Crystal Stallion who has his home under the Tor at Glastonbury. The book is set in Cornwall and is full of the magic and mystery that surrounds the megalithic structures that abound on the Penwith Penninsula.


A brief peek at A Step Sideways:

Legend says that land once stretched from Lands End in Cornwall as far as the Scillies Islands thirty miles out in the Atlantic. To this mythical land Gort Treliving escapes when his Uncle Daniel beats him senseless. He steps away from his corporeal body and walks into the mist of oblivion, seeking only to escape the pain. To Gort’s surprise he finds he is Sir Gawain, one of King Arthur’s knights. He is also the partner of a wonderful grey war stallion who can telepathically speak to him.

While he is caught up in a wild chase across the countryside to rescue King Arthur’s kidnapped queen and her lady, Gort as Gawain, tries to puzzle out the strange visions of another life that assail him at the most inopportune times.

There is intrigue, mystery, sword play and a dash of romance. A Step Sideways is a rollicking romp of an adventure that borrows inspiration from the Arthurian legends with a decidedly quirky cast of supporting characters.

After the last page the characters will linger in your mind and you’ll wonder what happened next.



Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.



Laurel’s Miracle is the first book in the Cornwall Adventures Series and is the story of a young Alberta girl who finds herself in the southwest of England with a riddle to solve that may help cure her mom from the disease she is battling. There is tons of magic and mystery involved and more than a few surprises. The response has been very positive, and I’m very pleased. The cover art is amazing.


Here's a surprise peek at Laurel's Miracle:

Have you ever wondered how you would handle it if your mom was terminally ill? What if you were sent to stay with people you didn't even know in another country because your father was at the hospital all day and night?

Laurel is faced with both of these realities; what she really wants is a miracle. She wants her mom to be cured of cancer.

Join Laurel as she searches for her miracle amidst the magic of the Cornish countryside. She is aided by her new friends Coll, Gort, and Aisling and helped along in her quest by the creatures of legend and myth. Vear Du, the Selkie, Gwin Scawen, the Cornish Piskie, Belerion the fire salamander, Morgawr the flying sea serpent who does Vear Du a favour, and Cormoran, the last giant of Cornwall. They must battle the odds in the form of bullies and confusing clues. Will they emerge victorious?  Will Laurel have the courage to solve the riddle and make her miracle a reality?


What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I’m currently working on the third book in the series, tentatively titled Go Gently. I’m also in the middle of a sort of prequel to Laurel’s Miracle which tells the story of Laurel’s Gramma Bella and her grandfather. It explains how a lot of relationships which we find in Laurel’s Miracle were set in motion years ago.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Keep writing and follow your heart. The best thing you can do is heed the advice of your editor when you are lucky enough to get one. They look at your work with fresh eyes and assist you to polish in ways you could never achieve on your own.
 
Where can readers find you and your books?

A Step Sideways is available from MuseItUp Publishing in ebook format.  The buy link is http://tinyurl.com/86ubqdz 

Laurel’s Miracle is also available form MuseItUp Publishing as both an ebook and a print book.  The buy link is http://tinyurl.com/c5alx7p      

My author page at MuseItUp is found at http://tinyurl.com/3sbn7sn


My webpage:  http://www.nancymbell.ca

Facebook: http://facebook.com/NancyMBell

Follow on twitter: @emilypikkasso

Anything else you want readers to know?

Please drop by my webpage to find out more about how the names of the characters in the series were chosen. Most of them have their origin in the Celtic Tree Ogham. The main character in A Step Sideways is called Gort which is the name given the Ivy in the Tree Ogham. Its meaning is ‘search for self’ which is exactly what my Gort is embarked on. His Crystal Stallion is GogMagog which are the names of the ancient oak trees that stand at the foot of Glastonbury Tor. He is also called Ailim for part of the story which means Silver Fir which signifies ‘high views and long sight’ which also implies great wisdom. There is some very interesting information on the earth energy lines that play a big part in the plot of Laurel’s Miracle, as well as other background insights into the stories. I hope you will drop by.

32 comments:

  1. Enjoyed your interview, Nancy. Your books sound like page turners.

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  2. Hi Nancy and Cheryl. A most enjoyable interview. A Step Sideways sounds great. I did like young Gort in Laurel's Miracle and worried about his uncle's treatment of him. It's good to hear he has his own story with the magnificent stallion.

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  3. Your books are for the kid in all of us Nancy.

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  4. Loved this intervew, Nancy. I loved the old Arthurian legends as a child - and I still do! A Step Sideways sounds a wonderful read

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    1. I'm with you, Helena. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Great interview. Nancy your books sound delightful! I'll be adding them to my TBR pile for sure!

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  6. Morning ladies. Wonderful interview. I have read Laurel's Miracle and loved it, so of course, I'm excited to check out A Step Sideways!

    Congrats, Nancy!

    PS - I ALWAYS heed the advice of my wonderful editor!!

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    1. So glad you could stop by, Penny. I haven't had the pleasure of having Nancy as my editor yet. Looking forward to it.

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  7. Nancy is my favorite content editor. I also enjoy her books. I hope she's enjoyed reading mine (over and over and over).

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  8. Hi Everyone! Thank you so much for coming by and visiting with me. While I was writing Laurel's Miracle I knew I had to continue Gort's story in his own book. Ailim, the stallion took on a distinct personality of his own as the story progressed. One my favorite lines of his is when he is eyeing the little chestnut mare and Gort/Gawain asks him what about Rose, the other mare he has been lusting after and the stallion replies "She is there and I am here." I love it when the characters take on a life of their own and write there own lines.
    I have read your books and I am honoured to work with such talented authors. Thank you for dropping by, there's cheesecake over by the door and some snicker doodles. Enjoy Hugs Nancy

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  9. These books look really amazing! I see that they're considered YA - would they be appropriate for an 11-year-old?

    Nicole @ Best Kids' Reads

    P.S. I found your blog via the Kid Lit Blog Hop and I'm now following via GFC!

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    1. Hi Nicole,
      Laurel's Miracle is fine for any age. A Step Sideways has a tiny bit of violence when Gort gets beaten by his uncle, so depending on your 11 yr old you may want to skim through first and see if it would upset them or not.

      Cheers
      Nancy

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    2. Hi Nicole,

      If you will email me at emilypikkasso AT gmail DOT com I'll send you your copy of Laurel's Miracle. Congrats on winning the random draw.

      Nancy

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  10. LOL Marva, I love your stories! Hugs!

    Nancy

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  11. I want to thank Nancy for stopping by and sharing her books with us. A lover of Arthurian Legend myself, I'm definitely going to be reading the entire series!

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  12. I love magic in my stories too! Your books sound like fun, Nancy! Welcome to the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Great to have you hosting yet again, Cheryl :)

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  13. Stopping by on the Kid Lit Blog Hop. The books sound great, kind of bummed they are YA but I guess that means I just have to read them... I'll have my daughter wait a bit. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Cool Mom/Christine M
    Tech Support for Stanley & Katrina

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  14. Oh my goodness, I forgot to say the most important thing: Thank you for hosting, Cheryl!

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  15. Another great interview Cheryl. It was so wonderful hearing about Nancy's books. They sound so fantastic. Now Nancy will not remember but a few moons ago I participated in a pitch contest. She critiqued my pitch and gave me some great ideas which inevitably became the back cover book blurb for my first book. I don't think I was ever able to thank Nancy for her input, so there you go, a big thanks to Nancy and congrats on your fabulous books. Cheers Julie Grasso

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    1. Hi Julie,

      You are so welcome, I'm glad I was able to help out. The pitch contest was a great opportunity to meet so many wonderful authors.

      Best of luck with your writing career.

      Cheers
      Nancy

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  16. Cheryl, thank you so much for hosting me. I had a wonderful time. I do love all things Arthurian. I had the most wonderful opportunity when I was fine tuning A Step Sideways. There was a place where I referred to Arthur's Excalibur as 'his famous sword' and my editor thought I should just say Excalibur. I attended the Surrey International Writers Conference that year for the first time and had the distinct pleasure of doing a Blue Pencil session with Jack Whyte (who is an EXPERT on all things Arthurian, not to mention a mega best selling author). Jack looked at the section in question and I almost fainted when he said he really liked it and it was spot on. I was so excited I went to call my husband and dialed my best friend instead and left my husband a message on her phone. LOL I didn't even register that it wasn't our answering machine I was talking to. BTW, registration just opened for the Surrey conference (Oct of this year), if you get the chance it is a terrific experience. I will be there again this year taking pitches for MuseItUp and having a blast.
    Thank you again for hosting me Cheryl, it was so much fun.

    Hugs
    Nancy

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  17. Great interview Cheryl. The books sound fantastic. I thought I knew everything about geography with regards to Western Canada, but I must admit that I don't know where Balzac is (or if I've been there!) I'll have to google that one. Nice to meet you Nancy. Thanks for hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop Cheryl! :)

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    1. LOL Renee,

      Balzac is between Calgary and Airdrie Alberta. We are just north of the Calgary city limits and the Calgary airport.

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  18. Congratulations to Julie Grasso and Nicole Hewitt! Julie has won a copy of A Step Sideways and Nicole a copy of Laurel's Miracle!

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  19. Very slowly making my way through the Kid Lit Blog Hop... and duly punished for my tardiness by missing my chance to enter for this very interesting-sounding book. Thanks for hosting and for this fun interview!

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