Name Nancy LiPetri
If over the hill is 40, let’s just say I enjoyed the view awhile ago.
Where are you from?
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
A little about yourself ie your education, family life etc.
I have a BBA from Iowa State University where I majored in marketing and met my husband of 31 years. We have raised a son and daughter along with pets that at the busiest point were 2 cats, a dog, a horse and 2 goats (why I walked the inspiring wooded path to the horse farm).
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest is I’m working on my sequel, Across the Lake, and having so much fun with a new protagonist who reveals some crazy secrets on Lake Norman while discovering more about herself. I also have a Barnes & Noble signing for The Wooded Path at the end of the month.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always been compelled to write, for the creative outlet and because I have a fascination with the magic of reading. Began with journaling and typing stories on my mother’s typewriter, as a kid. I have made my living as a copywriter and, once I became an empty nester, put years of ideas for fiction into my first novel, which was picked up by a publisher in 2014.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I began getting paid for it, as a copywriter. And after being accepted by a publisher, happily added the title of author.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
An actual nighttime boat ride involving bunco friends and a depth finder that wasn’t working, led me to think What if? and inspired the mystery that ties the characters together, giving me a plot for all those relationship notes I had accumulated.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to give readers fast-paced realism, or as readers have said, stories about characters you feel you know, and topics you can relate to. It’s contemporary fiction with mysterious elements that keep you flipping pages to solve questions while exploring characters’ relationships, often with some romance that’s not graphic or saccharine but is sometimes forbidden or edgy. My style has been called sensual, psychological and unflinching.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
When walking back to my daughter’s horse, I thought about the analogy between the wooded path and marriage.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That even when we women wonder if we are normal, we have in common so many thoughts, struggles and dilemmas nobody is talking about in polite company. That you never know what kind of battle someone is hiding, and shouldn’t be too quick to judge.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think the entire story is realistic as far as could really happen, but none of it really did—it’s fiction based on everything from news stories about the lake to bits of overhead gossip.
Fiona: What books have influenced your life most? a mentor?
I’d say John Irving’s style and stories have influenced me for the longest time, the way he stretches the imagination with playful what-if’s and dark humor as well as provocative topics. Nikki Gemmell’s The Bride Stripped Bare, in which a wife shares secret thoughts about sex and fidelity, definitely influenced my writing in The Wooded Path.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Gillian Flynn really wowed me with Gone Girl. The way she ended chapters, so that you just couldn’t flip the page, was masterful. And she took edgy to the max. She would be a new favorite for me, but when I opt for calmer, more comforting reading, I’m loving Mitch Albom. Loved his Magic Strings of Frankie Presto.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
That’s easy: Oak Tree Press. Not only the publisher for believing in my work, but the entire group of authors there is incredibly supportive.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Copywriting, for sure. Fiction writing, not as long as I still have that day job. With the market so flooded by self-published books, it’s a full-time job for a novelist just to get a story noticed and generating enough profit to live on. Readers can help by posting reviews for us on Amazon.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would give Laine a different name that readers don’t wonder how to pronounce—I’ve had too many ask. It sounds like Lane.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As above, from being an avid reader, and journaling, in childhood.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My sequel-in-progress, Across the Lake, is the story of a character you probably wouldn’t expect to come back, now living on the other side of the lake to experience life a whole new way. She is surprised by what she finds out about some people’s scandalous pasts, as well as what she figures out about herself. New characters are introduced, and some old ones are further developed. Having so much fun writing it!
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I took notes for this sequel when at the NC Outer Banks, and have files from other places in case they end up in a future story 😀
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I worked with the publisher on finding just the right photo for The Wooded Path. I like to be involved in the art, and have idea photos lined up for Across the Lake, but the publisher gets the final say and I defer to her experience.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing the one that’s complete and released was, as a first-timer, being unsure of how readers would accept some of the provocative content. It’s frightening to go public with a creative work.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Learned so much, most of all was that I could do it if I dedicated myself to setting aside the time and finishing it. And after a publisher and readers liked and understood it, learned that I can have confidence.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Fun question. I envision Laine as a redhead like Stana Katic, Samantha like Kim Cattrall, Peter Simon like Simon Baker. In the sequel, the new protagonist I see like Jane Adams on her wildest-hair day, and her love interest like a younger Mike Rowe, ha.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Finish the manuscript before you worry about the rest. Write what you are passionate about, not to please some imagined public; there will be an audience for everything. And write without editing as you go along (I’m working on getting better at that last one, myself!).
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! And please spread the word if you enjoy. Join me on social media 😀
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Just finished The Pot Thief Who Studied Billy the Kid. Brainy humor!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember reading Phyllis Whitney mysteries with my mother.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Easier to answer would be what doesn’t. Love the quote: a day without laughter is a day wasted. My grandson, my kids, hubby, pets, bunco friends, all keep me laughing. Conversely, not as often, but sometimes you just need a good cry. Best of all, when you laugh until you cry!
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?
Ellen Degeneres springs to mind, speaking of laughing.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
No headstone, please, only happy memories after I’m scattered to the ocean.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Birding/nature photography, SUP (stand up paddle boarding), boating (and floating with a good read!), travel, exercise…
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
A couple current TV favorites are This Is Us, Sneaky Pete and The Tonight Show. Bummed that Good Girls Revolt is over. Last movie I enjoyed, Sully.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Sushi although I’m picky about where…seafood in general!… colors vary with mood and combination… same with music, classic rock to blues…
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I always wanted to be a veterinarian.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
And blog: http://nancylonlakenorman.blogspot.com/
Where can readers connect with you?