Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New interview with children's author Nancy Pennick

I’m happy to have author Nancy Pennick back again. This time we’re talking about her juvenile/children’s book Basketball Jones.

After a great career in teaching, Nancy found a second calling as a writer. Starting off as a young adult author, Nancy has expanded into children’s books and historical romance. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, she currently resides in Mentor, OH. Ohio is her home, but she loves to travel the U.S. Nancy is married and has one son.

Nancy, welcome back to Reviews and Interviews. Please tell us about your newest release.
Basketball Jones a heartwarming story of a young boy whose love of basketball changes his life in ways he never expected. Through this journey he gets an unexpected surprise, the life he always wanted.

What inspired you to write this book?
As a teacher and a mom, I experienced a lot of interactions between children. Bullying has not gone away or improved since I was in school, but has reached greater heights in this day and age of social media.

As a family, we participated in city offered sports, and I watched as the kids grew older, the ones with talent were favored. The others got little playing time which wasn’t fair.

The story grew from those experiences. I wanted to write about a boy who thought he wasn’t good at sports, never got his turn to play and finally got his chance. It’s not an easy road for him, his bully from elementary school continues to taunt him in middle school. But Teddy does not easily give up.

Sports is part of the central theme, but not the main one. Girls and boys alike can identify with the characters in the story.

What’s the next writing project?
I am currently working on a historical romance series, The Clan MacLaren. The first book, My Highlander Husband, was published in January. The second book, Donnach’s Daughter, will be released in November.

What is your biggest challenge when writing a new book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)
Getting to the end! Lol The biggest challenge is making sure to not be repetitive and keep the flow of the story moving. Did you ever read a book and say, “You said that already.” My personal challenge is descriptions-clothes, rooms, looks. I feel I always need to improve on that.

If your novels require research – please talk about the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while you’re writing, after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
I did a lot of basketball research for Basketball Jones before I started writing. I didn’t want to get too technical and wanted the basics. For example- Practice drills for beginners. Teddy joins an after school intramural program where all are welcome. This isn’t a book about varsity sports. I stop in the middle of writing to research, too. Sometimes, an hour of research turns into one sentence in the story, but I want to be as accurate as I can.

What’s your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about it.
I have a room off the kitchen that has been turned into office space. I shared the space with my son for years. Picture two computers desks, a printer stand and an ironing board in a bedroom-sized space! I like quiet when writing so it is a perfect place. I also have my favorite pictures hanging on the walls and characters on my desk – Tinkerbelle, Pooh and Jiminy Cricket Hallmark ornaments are small enough to place around it.

My son moved out of the room a few years ago which really helped free up space. I recently looked around and thought I should make this room my own. No matter if you write or read or craft, you deserve your own space. I am painting every mismatched piece of furniture white to make the room cohesive and more my own. Right now, it’s a work in progress.

What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
I love Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series. And from my early years, I fell in love with the children’s author, Beverly Cleary. I read all her books then read them to my second and third graders. Her writing is timeless. Most of my favorites are children’s authors for various reasons. Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an all-time favorite. The lessons in that book are priceless.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers today?
Whatever you chose to do in life, do not give up! That is the main focus of Basketball Jones. There was a saying on an old mug I wish I still had that said, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” I think that sums it up quite nicely.

Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for having me on your blog, Lisa! Much appreciated. Happy New Year to all!