Thursday, June 19, 2014

1 Interview with Nadine C. Keels


1. Tell us about your novella, Love Unfeigned. 

Love Unfeigned is a story for those who believe (or would like to believe again) that imperfect people can, should, and do experience perfect love. It's drawn from over twelve chronicled dreams of mine, unrelated story bits I wrote with plots too incomplete to even be called "short stories," and little nuggets from my personal history. It sounds disjointed, I know, but it actually came together rather smoothly, like a story poised and ready to be realized.

2. You've written several novels, nonfiction books, and poetry. What is your writing process like?

My writing process tends to vary from book to book, depending on where I am emotionally, how much time I have in my schedule, etc. However, in general, when an idea for a book hits me, I start my writing by doing a mental self-check or by reading my journal. Sometimes I may construct an outline, but when it comes to fiction, I'll likely run straight to a manuscript with my ideas, taking down notes as my thoughts develop along the way. My tendency lately has been to design a book cover before writing a single word of the corresponding manuscript, though.

3. Who inspires you professionally and personally?

The relative handful of people I know personally inspire me on a personal level (go figure, right?), in ways big and small, oftentimes without knowing they're doing it. Professionally, I'm most inspired by other authors, living and deceased, who've written books that have impacted my life in one positive way or another, whether their stories have given me principles I can live by, their writing styles have challenged me to improve my craft, or their books have given me an unforgettably entertaining experience.

4. In your biography, you write that you "aim to be a proven wellspring of inspiration for creativity and innovation in the marketplace." Why is this important to you?

As a lover of literature and whatnot, the marketplace is where I am. I aim to be a wellspring of inspiration here because that is what others, especially authors, have been for me. I've been telling people for a while now that during a horrific experience I had when I was thirteen, a novel saved my life: John Nielson Had a Daughter by Ruth Livingston Hill (Ruth Munce.) Recounting that experience would take a whole separate interview, but suffice it to say that my purpose for helping people with my writing, as Munce helped me, was awakened there. I wrote my first novel and the first work I seriously planned on publishing, Yella's Prayers, when I was seventeen, with the hope of saving someone else. Then, only recently, I learned that Munce, who lived to be 103, lived all the way until I started that first manuscript of mine. Munce passed away just days after I started writing Yella's Prayers, back in May of 2001. I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to go around proclaiming it to be a passing of the baton, since I never met Ruth Munce and there was pretty much no way she could've known I existed, but it goes to show that no one ever knows when or how his/her work might impact someone else's life.

5. What advice do you give to aspiring authors?

My main piece of advice that I repeat for any writer is simple: know the specific reason(s) why you, the individual, write, so that you're writing (and living) on purpose. Be able to clearly articulate your purpose for writing to yourself and to other people. Whenever you experience discouragement anywhere in your writing, publishing, or book business process, you can revisit the reason(s) why you write, which will motivate you to keep on doing what you're doing, and to do it well. For instance, my purpose for writing is to help people: to bring hope, to change minds, to expand imagination, to provide entertainment, and to save lives, all of which other authors have done for me.



Blurb: Love to the chords of a classic jazz band...
From the first time Lorraine, a plucky and competitive girl, contends on the playground against Isaiah, an impish boy whose smile gleams in more ways than one, the two of them can't help knowing each other. Neither can they avoid passions and misfortunes lining the path to young adulthood, and when the breakup of Isaiah's family disrupts the haven he's shared with Lorraine, their natural relationship is eventually threatened by jealousy, grave trauma, and abandonment. As one year follows another, and another, what might it take to reunite these two companions in love: love undeniably real and unbounded by time? "Everything didn't have to turn out perfect. I just wanted you there."

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