First, a bit about Nancy:
Nancy M Bell is a proud Albertan and lives near Balzac, Alberta with her husband and various critters. She has publishing credits in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Nancy has presented at the Surrey International Writers Conference and the Writers Guild of Alberta Conference. She is currently working on Book 3 of her series The Cornwall Adventures.
Why did you pick to write books for YA?
When I wrote Laurel’s Quest and A Step Beyond, the first two books in The Cornwall Adventures series, the characters presented themselves and compelled me to tell their stories. They were teenagers and so I just sort of fell into the YA genre. I personally like reading the genre so that probably had something to do with it too.
What types of books do you like to read?
Honestly, I’m pretty eclectic. I love fantasy, Charles de Lint, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, and Jonathan Stroud, but I also have all of Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country series, as well as Jack Whyte and Diana Gabaldon. A further inspection of my crowded bookshelf reveals a ton of research books on ley lines, earth energy, megaliths, Irish legends, horse books, a Zane Grey collection…the list goes on.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I enjoy spending time with my horses and dogs, taking a drive into the mountains, and visiting my grandkids. I’m trying to teach myself to play the tin whistle, without much success I might add, but it’s fun. I love to read and browse through used books stores and antique stores.
Tell us about A Step Beyond and how the story came to be.
A Step Beyond is the second book in The Cornwall Adventures series and is really about a young teenager coming to grips with his past and gaining confidence in himself and others. Gort's—main character—name comes from the Celtic Tree Ogham and is associated with Ivy which represents the search for self. This is exactly what Gort is doing. A secondary character in Laurel’s Quest, I really felt he needed his own story told. I also had quite a few requests from readers who wanted to know what happened to him after Laurel’s Quest ended, so I wrote his story. It involves time travel which the first book did not, but it works for his journey. Gort goes from being a skinny shy kid to Sir Gawain, one of King Arthur’s trusted knights. He learns he has only to look inside to find the courage he needs to face the demons in his present life. I’ll leave it at that, but I do hope you will seek A Step Beyond out and follow Gort on his journey.
Here's a peek at A Step Beyond:
Legend says that land once stretched from Lands End in Cornwall as far as the Isles of Scillies, thirty miles out in the Atlantic. It is to this mythical land that 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.
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
Laurel’s Quest is the first book in The Cornwall Adventures series. That’s the only other book in this genre so far. Some of my other works include No Absolution, a unique retelling of Jack the Ripper's story, and Storm's Refuge, a romance set in the Alberta prairie.
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
Yes! I am half way through a prequel to Laurel’s Quest which tells the story of Laurel’s Gramma Bella and how she came to Canada and southern Alberta. The working title is Arabella’s Secret. It delves a bit deeper into the relationship between some of the older secondary characters in Laurel. Something that readers have asked for as well. There is a fourth book as well in the works, actually the third in the Cornwall series. Laurel returns to Cornwall. Its title is Coming Home.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Keep writing, no matter how discouraged you might get, or how busy life becomes. Nobody can tell your stories but you.
Anything else you want readers to know?
I hope you enjoy my stories, and I’d love it if you let me know what you like, or didn’t like.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Cheryl, and congratulations on your own writing successes. I enjoy reading your stories.
Where can readers find you and your books?
You can links to find my books at http://bookswelove.net/authors/bell-nancy/
I’m on Twitter @emilypikkasso
Facebook Author Nancy M Bell
I also post on the Books We Love Blog on the 18th of every month.