Barbara:Welcome Nancy to my blog. I am very excited to have you here, since you were my content editor for my upcoming YA novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, and I have great admiration for you.:) You were my content editor and it was a really great experience working with you.
Barbara:Your new book, Laurel’s Miracle is also YA . Please tell our readers a little about yourself:
Working as an editor allows me the great priviledge of interacting with talented authors and sharing in their creative processes. I enjoy all the authors I work with very much.
Barbara:1. Why did you decide to use the name, Emily Pikkasso?
Nancy:I use Emily Pikkasso when I write genres other than MG/YA or Sweet Romance. I needed an alter ego. Emily is my horse's stable name and Pik Kasso is her father's name. Her registered name is Pik Kasso Premiere, I know there really shouldn't be an "e" at the end but I liked the way it looked. There you have it: Emily Pikkasso. My YA release is under my given name, Nancy M Bell. I added the M in the middle because there is at least one other Nancy Bell who is an author and I wanted to make it easier for people to find me.
Barbara:2. How did you come to the idea for Laurel’s Miracle?
Nancy: Laurel's Miracle grew out of my research on spiritual places in England and my interest in dowsing and earth energies. I have always been fascinated by Glastonbury Tor but never had time to read and learn as much as I would have liked. In 2005 I had a wreck with my horse and ended up spending months with very limited movement. Going from full tilt to full stop in matter of seconds is quite frustrating, let me tell you. Suddenly, I had tons of time to fill and I used it to pursue my research into the magic and mysteries of English legends. I was aware of the idea of ley lines and earth energies, but only in a very superficial way. I read hundreds of books, scoured the internet and contacted people to ask questions. I have met some wonderful people from all over the world, who have become friends. Once I had a good grounding in the subject I sat down and Laurel flowed from my fingers. This is the only manuscript I have ever worked on which I didn't write in sequence so it was a bit of a challenge sometimes. I wrote the last chapter in one six hour stint, I just couldn't let it go. Often, I would wake up in the middle of the night and have to get up and put the words down on paper since they wouldn't let me sleep. It took over a year to write the story, longer than that to research it. I have to be honest and say I didn't come up with the idea for Laurel's Miracle, it found me and demanded I write it. The title is interesting, we owned a Fell Pony/Thoroughbred cross named Laura's Miracle. She came to us as a three week old orphan and we raised her and kept her until her death at 19. Lamorna, the Fell Pony in the story is Laura. I wanted to use names from the Celtic Tree Ogham for my characters, so Laura became Laurel. There is more information on how I chose the names of the characters on my website if anyone is interested in that.
Barbara:3. Please tell our readers how long it took for you to get this published?
Nancy: A long time
Nancy: Usually, I am a pantser. A character or a situation presents itself and pokes me until I sit down and release them unto paper. There have been many times when I call my writing partner Lynne and say "You're never gonna guess what (character name here) did now!" My protagonists constantly surprise me with their originality, or in some cases their perverse stupidity. LOL It all works itself out in the plot.
Laurel's Miracle is the exception to this, as she has been many times before. I had to have a map and a plan. Her quest takes her across SW England, from Lands End Cornwall to Glastonbury Somerset. Somehow I had to figure out where she would get the clues to her riddle and then where the clue would take her. I also created an involved, intertwined cast of supplementary characters which I needed to keep straight. There was some pantsing though, a couple of creatures showed up to help drive the plot along which I wasn't expecting or planning on. Belerion, the fire salamander with his bright blue eyes and Morgawr the sea monster who apparently can also fly should he so wish. It was quite an enlightening experience working on this novel, and very magical.
Nancy:Tons of research, most of which didn't make it into the novel. However, the knowledge gave me a deeper understanding of what was behind things Laurel was experiencing in the novel and it made it easier to persent the situations in the correct context. Research is invaluable and for me anyway, very enriching t my own life and world view.
Barbara: 10. Do you have any WIP’s you are getting ready to publish? Would you please tell us about them?
Barbara: 11. Since Laurel’s Miracle is an ebook, how are you planning to promote it? Do you have any book signings planned?