Interview with Nancy Runstedler, author of Beautiful Goodbye

Interview with Nancy Runstedler, author of Beautiful Goodbye thumbnail

Interview with Nancy Runstedler, author of Beautiful Goodbye

Posted on July 11 by Nancy Runstedler
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Today we have an interview with Nancy Runstedler, author of the very new release Beautiful Goodbye. Nancy grew up in Wellesley, Ontario. She has worked in both public and school libraries. Though her home library is overflowing with books, she intends to keep collecting. She lives with her daughter in Paris, Ontario. Today Nancy tells us about her new book, her idea writing environment, what she's currently reading, and what she's working on next!

Caitlyn: How did you come up with the idea for this work?

Nancy: Like many teenagers of my generation; and no I’m not telling how old I am, I had an experience at a slumber party with a Ouija board. To this day, I’m still not sure exactly what happened. But it must have been someone cheating, right? It’s just a game after all. Yet when I spoke to some teen girls a few years ago, none of them even knew what Ouija boards were. They seem to have disappeared. I thought this was a shame. I believed it was a unique and thrilling idea to build a story around and something that I didn’t want today’s teens to miss out on completely. I’ve also always had a very intense fear of death; so much so that I rarely spoke about it. I figured I couldn’t be the only one and felt that perhaps writing about it might help others to explore their feelings on the subject. Little did I know that I would lose a parent of my own, between the time I wrote this book and the time it will be released in stores. I still don’t know if I am any wiser on the subject, but feel far more in tune with the myriad of emotions one experiences when grieving for a loved one. I also needed more than one time period to fit the story together and chose World War I as it appeared to be written about far less than World War II. It interested me to find out more. Add these three things together… and Beautiful Goodbye started taking shape.

Caitlyn: Describe your ideal writing environment.

Nancy: While ideas will pop up for me at the strangest times and places, I’m one of those writers that needs complete concentration and as few distractions and unwanted noise as possible when I actually sit down to write. I don’t necessarily need to be chained to a desk or computer, and have written long hand on occasion, but either a very quiet environment or one with music playing that inspires the type of scene I’m writing, works best for me. This isn’t always possible but hoped for. The internet, social media, email, and cell phones can be huge distractions so I try to avoid them during specific writing periods. It’s far too tempting. I also have to be wearing comfortable clothes and not feeling overly tired or I can’t focus well. I tend to keep snacks and drinks handy as well. Especially chocolate…lots of chocolate.

Caitlyn: What's the best advice you've ever received as a writer?

Nancy: I’ve received a lot of advice from other well-meaning authors over the years. It still amazes me how supportive writers are of each other. A lot of the tips of the trade have been technical things, but the words that I remember the best and find most valuable, are usually the simpler ones that just need repeating and reinforcing. So if there is one thing I could pass on, without sounding patronizing, it’s “Never Give Up.” The road to publication and success can be a long and lonely one. You need to work hard, be persistent, and believe in what you do. Network as much as possible as people will also be a great source of cheerleading when your spirits are low or you become doubtful of yourself. There will be rejections and roadblocks along the way but they are part of the journey and make you stronger and your work better. Learn as much as you can about the craft, by all means, but talent and skill will only get you so far. It’s the ones who never give up that will make it in the end.

Caitlyn: What are you reading right now?

Nancy: I read everything I can get my hands on in print book form (though I love the technology of e-readers for others, I still like to hold my paper books) – all ages, genres, styles, and lengths and often have a few things on the go at once. Some recent favourites include “Me Before You” – Jojo Moyes – adult fiction, “The Agency” trilogy – Y.S. Lee – teen fiction, “The Grave Robber’s Apprentice” – Allan Stratton – children’s fiction, and “On Writing” – Stephen King – nonfiction. My “to be read” pile is getting seriously out of control though so I must carve out more reading time soon.

Caitlyn: What is your new project?

Nancy: Next up for me is a photographic nonfiction book for kids and teens called, “Pay It Forward Kids: Small Acts, Big Change”, being released in October 2013. I think adults will enjoy that one as well. I have a couple of picture book manuscripts I am rewriting and looking for homes for, then it will definitely be back to working on novels. I guess you could say I have my hands in several different pots right now and trying a bit of everything.

Nancy Runstedler

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
Nancy Runstedler photo

Nancy Runstedler

Nancy Runstedler grew up in Wellesley, Ontario. She has worked in both public and school libraries. Though her home library is overflowing with books, she intends to keep collecting. She lives with her daughter in Paris, Ontario.