I am at the delightful age to not worry about the things I can’t change and I enjoy the people who matter the most in my life.
Where are you from
I’m from the United States. To be more precise, Iowa, the best kept secret in the world.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have travelled around the United States and lived in other states, but always came home to Iowa. I went to the University of Northern Iowa. After I went to college I spent many years in the Agricultural industry. I trained and ran a sales team for many years in the Ag Industry and in the Financial Services Arena.
When my parents reached their “Golden Years” they needed more help and I became an active caregiver in their lives. I’ve been in the caregiver role for over fifteen years. Caregiving can be stressful and I had to learn how to deal with the life threatening stress. I was burning out. I came back from a dark period in my life filled with depression and poor health. I decided I needed to put my experiences into words to help others who were going through the same thing. My first book was born, Surviving the STRESS of Your Parents’ Old Age.
I have learned to appreciate the people and blessings in my life. My most prized blessings are my husband, my three adult children, and my beloved two grandchildren. They are my heaven on earth.
My husband and I share our home with three of the most adorable rescued dogs. We always intend to be a one dog family but dogs seem to find their way into our lives. I have been an animal lover all my life and I can’t imagine not sharing my home with them.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have some very exciting news! I have a middle grade action/adventure/quest novel out this month, February 2015, called Saving Mim. It is for ages ten on up to adult. It’s about a 12 year old boy, Charlie Kadabra, who was abandoned as a baby in a world without magic. Charlie doesn’t know he is the last of a breed of Magicians who were the guardians of the land of magic named Mim. All the Magicians were killed by the evil Dr. Pi who wants to destroy Mim and all the magic. When Mim dies, all the magic in all the universes will perish with her. Charlie and his magical friends are on a fast paced, edge-of-your-seat quest to save Mim. Charlie, against all odds, must find all the jewels of power for the Magician’s staff his father left him before Mim and all her magical creatures are destroyed.
My beta readers from children all the way up to adults have enjoyed reading Saving Mim. Charlie is a very relatable character. Whether you are age ten or eighty five, the response has been positive. People enjoy spending time with this set of characters in the land of Mim.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have a familiar story. I wrote stories as a child but I never finished them. I would get to a certain spot and be completely stuck. At that point I would bail on the story and it would eventually be thrown away.
When I became an adult, I wrote and edited newsletters. I also wrote motivational and educational emails to sales teams. I enjoyed writing and self-improvement so I began a self-improvement blog. Writing was a stress reliever for me. I actively expanded that blog for a few years as I was immersed in caregiving for my parents, my in-laws, and two aged friends whose children had passed on before them and they didn’t have anyone to care for them.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started to consider myself a writer when I actively wrote my blogs. Before that, I didn’t even consider what I was doing as being a “writer”.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I faced some serious health issues relating to the stress of caring for my parents. I survived the stress only because I changed how I looked at my life, among many other life-altering things. When I was going through it, I found out that over 50% of caregivers suffer from stress related illnesses and many pass on before their care receiver. To me, that was shocking statistic, but I was living it. I have always enjoyed helping people and I thought if I could help one person as they go through a stressful caregiving situation it would be worth the time and effort to write the book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My nonfiction writing style is as if I was speaking to a friend. My fiction style is more about the character’s voice. In my newest book, it is in the voice of a twelve year old boy who lacks self-confidence, but has a very important job to do.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
With my first book, I wanted everyone to know as soon as they read the title what the book would help them with.
In my second book, Mim is a main character even though she is a world. It was my working title and it has always felt right to use it as the finished title. When I decided to branch out to fiction, I knew I needed a whole new skill set then what I had previously used. I began to take fiction writing lessons. The idea for this book, Mim, Charlie, and Fen were born in those writing classes. It began as a stand-alone book, but my beta readers are insistent that they want other Charlie books. When I was writing the book I fell in love with the characters and I want to write more about them too.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are many messages in the tome of Charlie. I believe many children live with a lack of self-confidence like Charlie. It can be from bullying, abandonment issues, or many other childhood challenges. It comes from being a kid. Many times, in our culture today, we don’t teach children or reward them for learning to deal with their “own stuff”. We, as a society, tend to foster the “victim mentality”. The well-meaning helping hand can turn into a lifestyle of dependence and victimization. For instance, bullying should be reported to the adults in a child’s life. But, we can’t only focus on the behaviors of the bully without nurturing the self-confidence of the child. Everyone wants to feel special. Children want someone to believe and nurture them and teach them tools to cope. Often times, children don’t feel special and have never developed skills to cope with life’s challenges. Insecure children without those skills can grow up to be unhappy adults who always feel like others take advantage of them.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I believe the things Charlie learns on his quest are very realistic, but it takes place in the land of magic. It is a fantasy.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There is a lot of myself in the leading characters. Having said that, they aren’t based on fact.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I enjoy paranormal, horror, and fantasy books. One of my heroes is Harry Dresden. He is a character from the series of books by Jim Butcher. He is flawed but powerful in his own way. He finds solutions to his problems. I also enjoy the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne. Atticus’ dog, Oberon, delights me! I have many favorite authors, those are just at the top of my hit parade.
As far as a mentor in my life. I have been fortunate to have several. The one who has affected my life the most is my grandmother Bea. She was a teacher for many years and she instilled the love of reading in my life. As a young woman, she wrote stories which were never published. I have those stories but they were written with pen, which is fading away. She was a progressive loving woman. She was a strong, nurturing female figure in my life who loved me unconditionally.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Yesterday, I finished a short novella by Kelley Armstrong called Visions. I haven’t started another one yet. I have been doing a lot of reading about marketing. I have many books calling my name on my Kindle but I haven’t heeded their call yet.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I have been reading Martin Crosbie and I find his ideas and writing style a good fit for me.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on the next Charlie book. It is a mystery.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Hmm…outside my family members. Good question. My family keeps me centered. I would have to say, my friends have been very supportive of my writing career. My beta readers have also been very helpful and supportive. I can’t forget my friend, who is also my publicist. She’s has to do a little tough love with me occasionally and I respect her opinion.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
For me, writing is my career of choice. It is also a business. As a business owner, I need to grow and learn to become more effective. Writing is something I enjoy. Marketing is a challenge to master. Both are important elements to being a successful writer.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t have any thoughts on that yet. I think when I’m more involved in Charlie’s second book I will be able to answer this question.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I don’t really know when it started. I was very young. The kids in the neighborhood used to put on plays and it was a marvelous project to occupy our time. But I can’t really pinpoint an origination point.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It’s at the simmering stage and is too early to say.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Keeping my creative muscle juiced up and ready for the next challenge. It seems to either be on full force and things flow or it goes down to a small trickle. I need to learn how to keep the tap of my creativity open and flowing. For me, writing lessons help me open the creation valve.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite so far is Jim Butcher and his Harry Dresdan series. His writing is creative, action packed, and solution oriented. His books can suck me into the story and I lose all track of time.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet. Who knows where it will take me.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Saving Mim’s cover was designed by Chuck Bickel of Charles Bickel Studios. He is now a friend and he is a very talented artist.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Prioritizing my writing time. I have many distractions and they are called life.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have learned too much to even put down on paper. My first book was a very educational experience. My second book continues to provide me with opportunities to learn more about writing and a lot more about myself.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Follow your passion. Treat writing like a business. Learn something about your chosen craft every day. Either writing or marketing. The biggest advice is DO IT! Then we can talk about how wonderful it is etc. Most people would love to write a book if it were easy. People tell me “I’m going to write a book someday.”, but they never get one of those round-to-its. Someone I know once gave me a round wooden coin with the words “round-to-it”. Now my excuses are gone because I have gotten one. (audible chuckle) If someone wants to write, do it. Block out your naysayers and do it. Put it out there and don’t wait for the 100th rejection letter to come. Just do it! After all, the people who are important are the readers. They deserve to see your story.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would like to say thank you. Without readers there would be no reason to publish. They make the difference. A happy reader who shares their enjoyment of what they have read with others is the biggest treasure a writer can have. Happy readers make me feel like a bunny in tall clover. Getting a positive review is the clover with the four leaves. I press those in my book of happiness to be looked at over and over again. My desire is to earn many happy readers.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Besides Dick and Jane? Yes, I am that old. The one I remember the best was Loretta Mason Potts by Mary Chase. Loretta was very naughty. Her family hid her like a bad secret. They have re-released the book after many years of being out of print and I purchased a copy. I haven’t had a chance to read it again. I have mixed feelings about reading it. I might not enjoy it as adult. I won’t know until I read it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Comedy makes me laugh. My husband makes me laugh. My three year old grandson cracks me up! I love to laugh and the person who does the silliest things is me. I’ve been known to blow my own mind with my antics. My Dad set the example of learning how to laugh at myself. He always had funny stories to tell about the stuff he did. What makes me cry? Sad movies (which I avoid). Cruelty to animals and children. I recently lost my Dad. He was 93 years old. I miss him.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would like to meet Rick Riordan the author of the Percy Jackson novels. He has done what I would like to do which is have a large number of very good novels for children. He has thousands of 4 and 5 star reviews for each of his books. I would love to pick his brain about his success and how he achieved it. And, of course, Jim Butcher. He’s a Midwestern guy who has done well and he has a huge fan following. I would like to get his tips on achieving what he has done.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Here lies the body of a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Her spirit is not here. She is off having adventures in heaven. She looks forward to seeing you again.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I enjoy lake and water related activities. We have a second place at the Lake of the Ozarks and we have a pontoon boat. I get the most of my writing done there, but not on the pontoon. Time on the pontoon is strictly relaxation time. I enjoy reading, animals, in-home gardening, and I have been known to wile away a few hours playing Plants vs. Zombies (which is my time wasting folly).
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy television (which is another time wasting folly) but it’s relaxing after a busy day. I enjoy shows like Castle, Supernatural, Scorpion, and the Walking Dead (there’s those darn time wasting zombies again). I recently saw the movie “The Giver” and I enjoyed it. When we want to watch a movie we usually fire up the Netflix. I enjoy action films, suspense thrillers, and horror. I go a little light on the horror late at night.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Sadly, I have a sweet tooth. Anything sweet usually makes me smile. My favorite color is red. I love all kinds of music; classical, blues, classic rock (heck it was new rock when I first heard it), new age, reggae, some light jazz, some bluegrass, some hip hop. The only music I haven’t grown a taste for is rap music, but I haven’t pursued it either. My Pandora is very full.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I have had many varied experiences and positions in business. To be truthful, I can’t think of anything I would rather do than write.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My author website is: http://www.nanmcadam.net
My self-improvement blog: http://www.selfimprovementinformation.com
My elder care blog: http://www.caring4youragingseniorcitizen.com
Link to Surviving the STRESS of Your Parents’ Old Age: http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-STRESS-Your-Parents-Old/dp/0989774422/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1423521773&sr=8-2&keywords=Nan+McAdam
Link to Saving Mim: Charlie Kadabra Last of the Magicians: http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Mim-Charlie-Kadabra-Magicians-ebook/dp/B00T9U2NJ8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423521773&sr=8-1&keywords=Nan+McAdam