Thursday, August 13, 2015 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Nancy C. Weeks Dumps the Excuses and Dives into Writing

The Write Way Café welcomes Nancy Weeks, who advises writers to dive into their own world and get the book written, no excuses.

Tell us a little about your Shadows and Light series.
     First of all, I’m so thrilled to be back on The Write Way Café. Thank you for hosting me.
     The seed that spouted Shadows and Light: The Complete Series came from a common, but powerful adage: love conquers all. From In the Shadow of Greed to In the Shadow of Vengeance, I engulf my heroes and heroines in one conflict after another and demand they learn to trust each other and love follows.
     As law enforcement officers, my five brothers’ lives constantly intersect with the worst that mankind has to offer. While each brother feels his world is too dangerous to share with that one special woman, fate butts in and gives an extra hard push. But falling in love for any one of the McNeil brothers isn’t your typical fall-in-love. It changes their understanding of the world. I have also surrounded them with a large family of secondary characters who give their all to help my couples reach their well deserved happy-ever-after.
     After reading one of my books, readers might come to the conclusion that I just love to blow things up. Well, that’s true, but what I really loved about this series was writing my hero and heroine’s love story. The romance that begins in chapter one and follows my characters through to the last page is such a joy to write. The external dangers and evil surrounding them will keep readers turning the page, but it’s their internal emotions that will tug at the heart strings.

If In the Shadow of Vengeance was made into a movie, who would play your main characters, and why?
     What a wonderful thought!  As I was writing Vengeance, I envisioned Elizabeth Merlot as a combination between Julie Gonzalo and Stana Katic. They portray such strong, spirited women.  For my villain, I have a little confession. I use to be an avid General Hospital fan and my favorite character was Sonny Corinthos. When I started writing my first novel, In the Shadow of Evil, I used the darkest side of Sonny for my inspiration for Elías Mendoza. So Maurice Benard would be my choice. He knows how to be charming one minute, and on a dime, completely ruthless. As for Noah McNeil, I’ve haven’t found an actor that I can say, “He’s a perfect Noah.”  Maybe your readers can give me some suggestions.
     If your readers are interested in other inspirations I used for the series, I have created story boards for each book. You can find it here: Nancy on Pinterest

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
     I have had some amazing people who have supported me in my writing journey. First on the list has to be my mom. She used to constantly ask when was I going to write my book. She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. Sadly, she passed away before I had the courage to take that first step. As for that first step, my wonderful sister, Mary gave me that shove. When she decided to quit smoking, I told her I was her sponsor of sorts and would do anything to support her. She challenged me to send her the first ten pages of my first chapter. I started In the Shadow of Evil and she loved it. After a year, I had a finished novel and she was smoke free for 365 days. Awesome moment for both of us.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?  What’s your best writing advice for others?
     The most profound advice I have received came from one of my favorite authors, Heather Graham. I met her at a conference in 2013. She told me to never allow anyone to tell me what to write. Write the story I want to write and then write the next one.
     My advice for new writers is dump all the excuses why you shouldn’t be writing in the trash and set your butt in the chair, hands on the keys, and dive into your own world. If you decide it just isn’t for you—if it isn’t giving you pleasure, then move on and find your passion. It’s out there waiting for you. But if you find you love writing, give it the time it needs to grow. Learn everything you can about how to write in your genre. It takes an incredible amount of self-devotion. Allow yourself the time and commitment to write. And don’t ever let anyone ever tell you you’re not good enough … because someone will.

If you could be a character in any book you’ve read (or written), which character would you be and why?
     You have to promise not to laugh…but I would love to be a main character in the Harry Potter books. I
love the supernatural and even use it my Shadow series.

What book do you wish you could have written?
     The Harry Potter Series. The whole world fell in love with these amazing books by J.K. Rowling. She had the ability to entice young children and adults, who seldom picked up a book, to read! That is a true gift. My own kids would read them in almost one sitting and begged for more.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
     The roughest criticism I’ve received came from automatic rejection letters before I sold my first book. I knew the editor or agent didn’t even read my query letter and never opened the chapters they requested. I think their slush piles become so overwhelming, they let them all go. To new writers that are going through this, just keep submitting. Your day will come.
     On a more positive note, the best compliments I have received have come from my readers through amazing reviews and heartwarming emails. People who know who I am stop me in places like the grocery store and say the nicest things.  One in particular stands out. A woman from my church stood up right before Easter Mass and shouted across the church, “Nancy Weeks, I love your books. When is the next one coming out?” I was shocked she even knew my name.
     My readers fuel me on to be the best writer I can be. From my heart, THANK-YOU!

We’re adding books to our Café menu.  Would your book be a drink, an appetizer, an entrée or a dessert?  What would you call it?
     Shadow and Light: The Complete Series is definitely rich, creamy chocolate like a thick multi-layered chocolate cake covered in rich fudge icing. I would call it Sinfully Indulgent.J

What is your favorite social media?  Why?
     I have thoroughly enjoyed my blog. I started blogging at the same time I published my author website just to get my name out there. It has become a place I can share this amazing dream I’m on as well as a venue to help promote other wonderful dreamers. There is more to me than just an author. This is a place readers can meet me. In the very near future, I will publish a closed Facebook page for readers who would enjoy having a more one-on-one relationship. If anyone would like to be included in this new group, you can keep up with me by subscribing to my newsletter.  I post news there first. Please know that I will never—ever abuse their email address.

Do you have any compulsions you must do for no particular reason?
     I go a little crazy around creepy-crawlers. I spend a lot of time writing outside on my deck in the summer. I have tried to talk to the bug population about invading my small space. I don’t like to smash or hurt them, but when spiders drop in my hair or a beetle flies down my cleavage, I’m not responsible for how I behave.

Tell us about the book in your closet.
     I’m taking this question as the books I want to write that I keep hidden in a closet or in a secret file on my desktop. I don’t have a stockpile of unfinished stories but there is one story I want very much to write. It’s a spiritual woman fiction about a young mother who dies when her child is only five-years-old. She is so angry to be taken from her child’s life, she yells at Saint Peter, “Who is going to be there for my child and teach him how to deal with life if not me?” Saint Peter grants her a special wish. I’ve titled it, What She Didn’t Say. This story is about the deep connection between a mother and child and faith. After the series I’m working on is complete, I will write this story because it lives in my head and heart.

And now for the fun stuff!  

If you were a punctuation mark, what would you be?
     Exclamation mark! According to Google, an exclamation mark is a punctuation mark that indicates strong feelings. I over use them because I think if I place a few!!! on the page,  people will listen to me. Sadly, it doesn’t work.

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full personality?
     I have always lived by the glass-half-full model. I’m the first to admit that I explore my world with rose-colored glasses. I know the ugliness is out there, but I focus on the beauty that surrounds us instead.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? 
     When I’m right in the middle of a scene and become stuck, the one thing that always de-clogs my brain is brushing my teeth. I have no idea why that simple, mindless act works, but by the time I write The End, I have very clean teeth.

What is something you do that people would be surprised at?
     My super power is I’m a super-baker. If we can have an Ant Man, then surely Superbaker is a thing. I make great cakes and cookies that everyone seems to love. I also ship them all over the country, mostly to my kids and their friends.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of love?
     Let me just say up front that this isn’t a cop-out answer. I’ve been married almost 34 years to the best man ever. Marriage isn’t easy. So what’s the craziest thing I have ever done in the name of love - I’ve worked like crazy to keep my marriage strong, passionate and alive. I also ask for help from the man upstairs that if He will just keep us together, I will keep us together. That sentence makes sense if you think about it.

Meet five Irish brothers, all sworn to protect and serve - and the smart women who help them take down the terrorists gunning for their family. Lock up your heart: when it comes to love, the sexy McNeils know how to walk this beat.

In the Shadow of Greed: Brilliant cryptologist Dr. Sarah Tu races against time to block the most dangerous Internet malware ever created - and it's up to FBI agent Jason McNeil to make sure she stays alive long enough to do it.
In the Shadow of Evil: After ten years with Maryland's Special Crime Unit, very little rattles Jared McNeil. Then his nemesis resurfaces, with his sights set on the woman Jared is honor bound to protect.
In the Shadow of Malice: Adam Blake, ex-CIA operative, has gone to great lengths to keep his identity a secret, but his cover's blown when he ends up on the run with waitress Calista Martin to protect his little girl.
In the Shadow of Pride: When Lexie Trevena's matchmaking friends accidentally place her smack in the path of a terrorist who intends to use her as his pawn, the only person who can help her is Special Agent-in-Charge Luke "Mac" McNeil - the man she holds responsible for her husband's death.
In the Shadow of Vengeance: Elizabeth Merlot can't afford to let handsome Detective Noah McNeil discover her secret past. But when trouble finds her son, Noah may be the only one who can save their lives.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

About Nancy:  Nancy C. Weeks lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she loves spending her days on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company.

I love to interact with readers. Please keep up with what’s going on here:
Website         Blog          Facebook          Twitter: @NancyCWeeks
Goodreads          Pinterest          Amazon

To get a little tease of my stories, free chapters from SHADOWS AND LIGHT: THE COMPLETE SERIES can be found here: BOOK PREVIEWS


Becky Lower said...

Nice interview, Nancy. I especially liked the part about you and your sister challenging each other. I have a bond like that with my sister. We have fun together. I'm reading the first book in your bundle right now.

Lynn said...

Love your post, Nancy! Love your brain and your heart.

Stephanie Bisby said...

I love this series, and the fact that your interviews give such honest insights into your life as an author. Thank you!

Nancy C. Weeks said...

Hi Becky! Thank you for stopping by. I have three sisters and we are all very close. No one knows me better. They are my biggest fans, but also my toughest critics. I hope you enjoy In the Shadow of Greed. That was one fun book to write.

Nancy C. Weeks said...

Hi Lynn! Thank you! That was a very sweet thing to say.

Nancy C. Weeks said...

Stephanie, thanks so much for stopping by. I'm so glad you have enjoyed my McNeil brothers. Don't be surprise to see a couple of them pop into a scene or two in my next series. Yup...I just can't let them go completely. :)

Angela Adams said...

Enjoyed your post, Nancy, and all best wishes to you!

HiDee said...

Enjoyed your interview, Nancy. Thanks for being with us today!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed this interview very much. Nancy, you continue to inspire me. Much success with this awesome series!