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1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
JN: I think, somehow, I’ve always known(?) – in the back of my mind, anyway. I am a voracious
reader and have always become the designated written communicator on every job in my life. I
knew I had a novel in me, but it took awhile for it to bubble up and show up on paper.
2. How long does it take to write your book(s)?
JN: Novels? Depends. My first one took approximately a year and a half (along with working full
time and doing music as I am also a symphony violinist and voice teacher). The second one took
three years, but I was my husband’s full time caregiver during his time as a brain cancer patient;
and I studied physics for two years as part of the research. The third one – once I actually got
started! – took maybe a year and a half.
3. What is your work schedule like when writing a book?
JN: I prefer to write late morning through the afternoon, but . . .life.
Like most, I write “around” my life of family, friends, music, etc. However, I’m continually
writing in my head. When I wrote “The Big Smile”, I literally lived on a restored Spanish War
Galleon in my brain. Ha!
4. Where do you get your ideas or information for your book?
JN: I have an enormously active imagination. I love people. I love life. I am a people watcher at
heart, which is where I get ideas to form characters. I love to read and interview people, so those
two activities make up much of my research. Add an interesting setting and some sort of issue,
5. When did you write your first book?
6. What do you do when you’re not writing?
JN: Read, teach voice. spend time with family and friends. Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in
Pastoral Psychology. So . . .tons of reading and studying.
7. What does your family think of your writing?
JN: They appreciate it.
8. What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?
JN: How much I enjoyed reading about Physics! Astounding!
9. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
JN: Three novels so far (working on a series in the genre of espionage at the moment – may take a
minute!). I have a handful of short stories (called “Holiday Shorts”) available on Amazon as
I don’t know which is my favorite. I love all of my “babies”. I suppose if I had to pick just one, it
would be “The Big Smile” – my first.
10. Any tips/suggestions on getting started?
JN: Sit down and write! It’s something one can do anywhere! Even if it’s for fifteen minutes. Every
day. You’ll be surprised at how much you get done that way! You can start by journaling. Write
in your “journal” every day. I guarantee that in about a year, you’ll have a book! OK, so there’s
the little things left to do like editing, publishing, marketing, but still . . .
11. What do you think makes a good story?
JN: Really good characters! A variety, built out throughout the book. Also, well researched places,
history or science (if applicable) and things. The plot can go all over the place if you know how
to utilize that technique. But nothing beats an interesting / funny / smart / crazy character!
12. As a child, What did you want to do when you grew up?
JN: A nurse, a violinist, and a vocalist.
And I wanted to be a guest on The Late Show. Ha!
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