Welcome to my new blog

Hello, my dear friends,

I’ve decided to write a Blog! It’s going to be an intimate glimpse into my life as a woman writer. Sometimes it will include short stories or articles that are too long for my newsletter or Facebook posts. It won’t be in any special order, because the mind of a writer is an effervescent chaos of ideas. It won’t always be the same length. Sometimes there will be lots of photos. I hope you enjoy them!

Love, Nancy

AN ACT OF LOVE

I had a really good idea for a novel. What if a lovely divorced woman with a little girl marries a lovely divorced man with a little boy, and everyone’s happy until the children become teenagers. (I accidentally typed teenangers, which is sort of relevant.)

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What if the girl accuses the boy of a terrible deed and the boy denies doing it? Who does the woman believe, her daughter or her stepson? Who does the man believe, his son or his stepdaughter? How does the family manage to stay together—or does it?

Phyllis Levy of Good Housekeeping, said about An Act of Love, “I just couldn’t put it down. It has the pull of a good suspense story; you really care about the characters. I couldn’t guess who was telling the truth.”

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Writing this book was more difficult than I had dreamed it would be. I think I look sad in my cover photo.  I was sad.  When I write a novel, I’m living in that fictional world, and it can tie my stomach in knots. I admire the writers—Chris Bojalian, Jodie Picoult, Kristen Hannah, for example–who deal with the tough subjects and help us deal with the tough subjects.

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BETWEEN HUSBANDS & FRIENDS

 

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In Between Husbands and Friends, I explored the secrets we tell our husbands, our friends, and ourselves.

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Nantucket summers, so sensual, sunny, and carefree, inspired this book, just as a certain Nantucket summer inspired Lucy West to make a delicious mistake that leads to a multitude of complications.  Secrets like this take place in every country, so it seems.

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I wonder: have you ever had secrets you tell your husband but wouldn’t tell your best friend?

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Have you ever had secrets you tell your best friend but won’t tell your husband?

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The ereader cover of this book looks so mild, so domestic.  But what does it mean that there are 3 pitchers there, instead of 4?

 

MY SECOND HOME EVERYWHERE

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I think it takes a while for anyone who moves to a strange new town to feel as if they belong.

For me, my moment came when I joined the Board of Trustees of our island library, the Nantucket Atheneum. No matter where I travel, when I walk into a library, I smile with pleasure: I’m home. This is where I belong.

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In my novel Belonging, Joanna Jones moves to Nantucket because she’s running away from her life in New York City, and she’s pregnant with a married man’s child. I had fun with this novel. I gave Joanna an old sea captain’s home where treasure was rumored to be buried in the ground beneath it. And treasure is rumored to be buried somewhere beneath a Nantucket house.

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I was thrilled with the article our newspaper, the Inquirer-Mirror did on my book signing at Mitchell’s Book Corner.

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The Weezie Library for Children

It was an honor to be included in the Commemorative Review published for the dedication of the restored Atheneum. Most of all, I was profoundly happy to be part of the organization that made my second home become a second home for everyone.

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The cover of the ereader of Belonging

 

 

 

AND THEN I LOST CONTROL. . .

“Could she just accept her child? Or should she, must she, remain on guard, forever nudging and nagging her daughter toward safety?”   page 336, Family Secrets

            My darling son and daughter became teenagers, and suddenly they were full of secrets. Gone were the children I could cuddle and tickle. In their place were two strangers who thought Charley and I were insignificant and irritating.

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At the same time, my darling widowed mother got married again. She was seventy, she’d been widowed for five years, but my sister and I went bananas. Oh, we pretended to be thrilled for mother, but we were insulted for our father’s sake, and amazed at how our mother changed, wearing make-up, flying to London for her honeymoon, dining at the Savoy. Now, really.

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My father had brought back a cigarette case when he returned from WWII. It was silver, with the enclave where his battalion had been based made from the brass from the bullet taken from his leg.

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I had romantic visions of my father and mother as young adults. (When I was a teenager, my parents seemed insignificant and irritating.)     From all of this change and all of the memories, I conjured up the women in Family Secrets: Diane, caught between her wayward mother Jean and her endangered daughter Julia.

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I’ve always loved the cover of the book, the way the artist caught the revealing light coming through the window, and the Persian rug with its many intricacies and connections, like those in a family. I like the cover of the ereader, too, with those two keys for opening the doors into the secrets kept in families. I wish I’d had keys back then. . .or maybe it’s best that I didn’t!

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