Nancy Farrier’s interview

» Posted on Jun 11, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Nancy Farrier’s interview

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1. What made you start writing?
I always loved stories, reading them and writing them. In high school, I wrote everything from poetry and stories to songs. In my early twenties, I started several books, but never tried to publish anything. When I became a Christian, I gave up everything associated with my former life, including writing. I wanted to live only for Jesus. I thought that meant giving up my writing too.

About thirteen years ago, I began to have a growing desire to write again. Since I still associated this with my former self, I fought the desire. It came to the point where I would wake up crying in the night. I was a mess. I prayed that God would take this from me, but he didn’t. It was hard having all those characters running around in my head, having conversations and I couldn’t seem to get rid of them.

Finally, I prayed that if this was God’s will that I write for Him, He would show me by allowing me to have something accepted for publication that year. I submitted three short articles that whole year. On December 11th, I received payment for a children’s devotional. I knew then that God was calling me to write; that this wasn’t a selfish desire.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I started writing seriously in 1995. My first book was published in 2000. My first book was for Heartsong Presents published by Barbour. I sent them the proposal. When I got my manila return envelope in the mail, I almost didn’t open it, because I was sure it was a rejection. In fact, I think I left it sitting for a couple of days. When I did open the envelope, I found a request for a complete manuscript. I was thrilled. I still laugh about that wondering what would have happened if I’d never had the courage to open that envelope.

3. How do you handle rejections?
I eat something chocolate and feel sorry for myself for a few minutes. ☺ Then, I ask God what He wants me to do next. Feeling sorry for myself doesn’t get me anywhere. I try to figure out why the story was rejected by looking at it through the editor’s eyes. Was the time period wrong? Are there others coming out like mine? You never know for sure, but you can try to understand and learn from that.

I had one book that I loved and was thrilled when a publisher requested the completed manuscript. I thought for sure they would accept it, because the story fit so well with their line. When I received the rejection, I was very disappointed. Almost a year later I read one of their new releases that started out very similar to mine. I realized then that, while the stories were different the similar openings might be what kept them from using my book. You can’t control that, and you can’t take it personally. You have to move on.

4. Why do you write?
I write because I’m called by God to do this. I write because God called me to be faithful. That doesn’t mean I’ll be successful by worldly standards. There are many authors who are much more successful than I am, but that’s okay. I’m being faithful, and doing what I have to do.

If I don’t write, I don’t sleep. That’s true. I have to keep writing to get those characters out of my head or it gets too crowded up there. ☺ That may sound silly, but if an idea takes hold, I can’t ignore it. The story won’t go away without me putting it down on paper.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
I would be reading. Ha! I always have a pile of books and not enough time to read. If I wasn’t writing, I’d love to read. Of course, there are other things I love, like spending time with my family, knitting, crocheting, hiking and playing piano.

6. What are you working on right now?
I have a historical book I’m writing now. I love writing historical fiction, although I haven’t done so for awhile. The research is fascinating and the book seems to write itself. History is so full of exciting stories that I never heard in school. I’m always amazed to find that people are the same deep down, no matter the time period.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
Yes, I think my characters have a piece of me in them – some more than others. Many of them, though, are more what I would like to be, not how I really am. I do get involved with my characters and learn to care about them as I write their story.

Also, the spiritual struggle my characters face is often something I have struggled with in my life. That’s the way I can keep it real. Sometimes I use a spiritual problem another person close to me has gone through, but I have to see it from a personal view to make it real.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
My latest book, coming out this month, June 2008, is Picture This. This story ties together two previous books I wrote, An Ostrich a Day and Picture Imperfect. Picture This takes place in Southern Arizona, where I used to live. It’s the story of a young woman, who struggles with an impure past, and her worthiness for God and for marriage. I loved writing about the Sonoran Desert. I miss living there and writing this book brought fond memories.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. If God has called you to write, or you feel this is what you should do, then do it. Even if you never get published, be faithful to write. Keep learning and practicing.

10. How important is faith in your books?
I can’t separate my life and my faith because they are one. Likewise, I can’t take faith out of my books. It’s impossible for me to write without considering where God comes into the story. I can’t get through a day without turning to God many times, yet I remember the time when I lived without Him. Because of this, I want to show a character with a living faith, but I also have characters that are without God. Although I dream of a world where everyone loves God, it hasn’t happened yet, so I try not to have that in my books.

11. What themes do you like to write about?
Salvation, forgiveness, mercy and grace are my favorites. Of course, they all go hand in hand. I have been forgiven so much, and God has taught me a lot about forgiving others that I like to share that theme in my books. God’s grace and mercy are incomparable. He is always eager to forgive no matter what we do. It saddens me to see His people when they have unforgiving hearts. I think that’s why I continue to share that theme over and over.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
This is the hardest question yet. I’m not sure I could pick a favorite. When I write a story it’s because I truly believe it is worth writing. There is something about that tale that attracts me, drawing me in as I learn and write. I loved doing An Ostrich a Day because I learned so much about ostriches. Also, the Sonoran series that was put in the anthology, Tucson, was fun because of learning the history of the area. Each book has been a fun adventure.

13. What is your writing schedule like?
I sometimes have trouble with a writing schedule. I’m very good when I have a goal, such as a contract and deadline, but when I don’t then I’m not as diligent. The ideal, during the school year, is for me to write in the afternoon say from 2pm to 4pm after the school day is over. Because I homeschool, it is a challenge to find the time. If the girls need extra help, I don’t always get the time away. I do get most Saturday mornings away at my office to have writing time.

When I began to write, I promised God that I would always put my family first, and I have. I believe that since I’ve kept my word, God has always helped me to meet my deadlines, even when it didn’t look like it would work out. He is so good.