Welcome, Nancy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t attempt to write myself into my characters, but it’s inevitable that it happens. I think it would be impossible for my main characters, in whose heads I spend so much time, to not share at least some of my traits. At the very least, they tend to have my world view and, hopefully, some of my sense of humor.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t know if it’s particularly quirky, but when I was in college, I sang in a number of bands. These days, my singing is restricted to church and community choirs.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
The first time I considered I might be was when an eighth-grade teacher, after reading a short story assignment, told me he could see me one day living in a Paris garret, writing novels! I spent many years employed as an engineer, however, before finally having an opportunity to pursue that dream of becoming an author. Although not in
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My taste has always run toward books set in the past, so perhaps the range is pretty limited. I love historical mysteries as well as richly detailed historical fiction. I also enjoy reading the classics and am always seeking a new voice in historical Christian fiction.
I hope you’ll try some of mine. Yours is near the top of my to-be-read list. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I am fortunate to have a husband who can share so much of the burden of running a household with two high school aged children. But when I need to clear my head, I turn to a variety of methods: exercise, singing, reading a good book, getting together with friends and, of course, prayer.
I, too, am blessed to have that kind of husband. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I’m certain I use techniques many historical writers use, primarily utilizing census records and old city directories. Lately, though, I’ve taken to using the last names of friends and acquaintances. I think some folks will be surprised to find their names in my current WIP.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Although getting published has been a dream I have pursued for more than a decade, raising two wonderful children has been the greatest accomplishment of my life.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A cat, I suppose. Maybe I envy their independent attitude or their cleverness.
What is your favorite food?
What a difficult question! Prime rib? My mother’s sauerbraten? Sushi? Biscuits and gravy? I can hardly choose, since I love to eat just about anything, as long as it’s well prepared.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock this past year has been dealing with serious health issues (I have breast cancer). I had to let myself slow down and not always write at the pace I would like. Any other approach was simply too stressful and didn’t help. I think if we writers give ourselves a chance to step back, once in awhile, it’s more conducive to getting the creative juices to flow rather than forcing ourselves to forge ahead.
I will pray for your recovery, and so will many of my readers. Tell us about the featured book.
Here is the blurb I have on my bookmarks, which should give you a good idea:
London is rich with promise. And fraught with
Rachel Dunne has always been a healer...until she’s accused of causing the death of an ill child. Acquitted but shunned, she flees
in search of a new life. So long as no one learns of her disgrace, or forces
her to ever sit at another sickbed, she’ll be fine. Ireland
Physician James Edmunds has endured the loss of too many patients, the death of his wife the greatest blow of all. He decides to abandon his practice and run his family’s small farm. Alone. When he’s drawn to the intriguing Irish woman who’s recently joined his household, though, he begins to reconsider his well-laid plans.
Then cholera sweeps through
and the life of James’s young daughter hangs in the balance. Can Rachel and
James face their darkest fears? Or is it too late to learn that trust and love
just might heal both their hearts? London
Sounds like a book I’ll love. Please give us the first page.
“My name is Rachel Dunne.
I am not a murderer.”
Rachel tightened her grip on the ship’s wooden rail, as if she might choke into silence the echo of her own voice. Better to focus on the receding sight of
blue-green hills, seek to memorize every bounding stream, every wisp of misty
fog, every rubble-walled farmer’s field, than to remember. For who knew how
long—if ever—it would be before she saw her beloved homeland again?
“Oh, Mother,” she murmured over the slap of the paddle wheels and the hiss of the steam, the scree of persistent seagulls skimming the boat’s wake. “How did it come to this?”
This parting, this going. Deoraíocht. This exile.
Mother was not there to answer Rachel’s question; they could only afford ship’s passage for one, and Rachel was the one who had to leave. Mother and the rest had stayed behind in Carlow to mend the damage Rachel had never meant to cause. Restore the honor of the Dunne name in a town already prone to mislike them for their English ways. Once Rachel had been a healer, but she could not heal the scar upon her family. No more than she’d been able to heal poor Mary Ferguson, who had died so quickly and so quietly even Rachel had been at a loss to explain the how and the why.
I would never harm the ill. I am a banaltradh . . .
A healer. If the thought didn’t hurt so much, Rachel might laugh. She had vowed never to let herself be a healer again.
How can readers find you on the Internet?My website is www.nancyherriman.com . You can also ‘friend’ me on Facebook or ‘like’ my author page Nancy Herriman, Author. Also, I tweet at Nancy_Herriman.
Thank you, Nancy, for the interesting interview.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Irish Healer - paperback
The Irish Healer: A Novel - Kindle
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