Nancy Famolari lives with her husband, five horses, two dogs and five white cats on a farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Her stories and poems have appeared in Long Story Short, Flash Shot, Fiction Flyer, Lyrica, Alienskin Magazine Clockwise Cat, and Matters of the Heart from the Museitup Press. She received an award from Fiction Flyer for one of her flash fiction stories. Her novel, Summer’s Story, is available from Red Rose Press. Her mystery, Murder in Montbleu, will be available sometime in 2009.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania with my husband, five horses, two dogs and five white cats. My favorite hobby is trail riding. My horse, Ambrosa de la Pluma is a registered Paso Fino. The breed came to the new world from Spain. Paso Finos have a unique four beat gait that is very smooth. They can go for hours on the trail. They are smart and friendly and make wonderful companions. My husband and I try to ride at least four times a week. We feel so luck to live in an area with lots of space for riding.
What inspired you to write this story?
Summer’s Story takes place in the fast paced world of harness racing. For fourteen years, my husband and I had a small Standardbred breeding farm in New Jersey. We raised and raced these marvelous horses. Harness racing is very exciting. There are many heart warming stories about an owner or trainer believing in their horse and against the odds getting the horse to win a big race. This is what happens in Summer’s Story. There are also people who take advantage of both horses and people for personal gain, not caring the least about how the horse is affected. I believed these elements would make a good novel. I hope people agree.
Do you have a favorite character?
Summer Langston is my favorite character. She’s a very determined lady who cares about her horse, Meadow, and overcomes severe personal and professional obstacles to get her horse to the winner’s circle. In the process, she learns something about herself and how to give and receive love. I like the fact that she’s gutsy and doesn’t give up easily.
Tell us a little about your writing schedule.
I try to write everyday for two hours. Obviously this isn’t easy with farm chores and other activities. During Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) I can almost always keep to the schedule because the incentive is to have a novel at the end of the month. I find the first draft fun and relatively easy to do. Editing is the part that gives me trouble. Summer’s Story which will soon be available from Red Rose Publishing, I was extremely lucky in my editor. She made useful comments pointing out where I wasn’t make my characters come across and, of course, how to improve my writing skills.
What are your future writing plans?
I have a second book under contract to Red Rose Publishing. This novel is a murder mystery, Murder in Montbleu. The setting is a small town in Pennsylvania similar to the one I live in. I’ve become very friendly with the characters in this novel and have two other novels that use the same setting, Lake House and Buttermilk Falls Murder. I’m still in the process of editing them, but hope to find a home for them.
What do you most enjoy about writing?
What I love most about writing is feeling the characters come alive. When I write a novel, I know where I want to end up, but I let the characters take me there by talking to each other. Their actions move the story forward. It’s such a rush to be able to interact with your characters. They become friends. I actually miss them when I’ve finished the novel. It’s better than reading because you get to know new people in an in-depth way.
How do you advertise your books?
Since my two book are ebooks, I advertise primarily on the web. Being part of a virtual book tour, like this one, is a good way to tell prospective readers about my book and to let them get to know me. I also have been on blog talk radio. That was great fun. If my book comes out in paper eventually, I will have several opportunities. The library wants to feature me at a local author’s luncheon and the local Barnes and Noble wants to invite me to a local authors day. I have business cards with my book cover and information on where to purchase it. Since the book isn’t available yet, I will be looking to see what avenues work best for sales.
What is the best tip you can give someone who wants to write?
The best tip I can think of is apply your seat to the chair and write. Courses are great, so are critique groups, but the sad fact is that you have to put in the hours developing your voice and learning to use all the things you’ve discovered in courses. Critique groups are a double edged sword. You can get valuable information, but you have to have enough self-confidence to decide what to accept and what to reject. It is, after all, your work. It has to please you.
Thanks for being a guest on my blog, Nancy, and good luck with your book!