Thank you so much for being here, Nancy Bell
1: Let’s start with the usual question, what genre do you write?
I write YA and some light romance.
2: I love romance, so how long have you been writing?
I can’t remember when I wasn’t writing. I have some very bad poetry and short stories I wrote in grade four and five. The words come and I have to capture them on paper.
3: So tell us what do you like the most and least about writing?
I like the magic the most, that instant when everything comes together and the plot is laid out and shiny and pretty in front of me. The mystery of how words on paper can evoke strong emotions from people I have never met. Magic.
I hate promotions the most. I don’t think I am very interesting so it is hard to imagine people will care where I wrote the Great Canadian Novel, LOL. I am very good at promoting others, just not so much when it comes to myself.
4: I’m with you on both of those. And what do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
I garden and work with my horses, although my mind is always working. Gardening leads me to think about the symbiotic relationship between plant, earth, water and sun. Horses teach me about courage and greatness of heart and generosity. Each second that passes is one which will never happen quite that way again and I try to capture the essence of it so I can portray it in words. Times goes on forever, it is only the fleeting seconds which never come again.
5: Which authors do you like to read?
I love Charles de Lint and have most of his books, Jack Whyte, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Diana Gabaldon
6: Tell us what’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
I believe we are all one family and together we can make a difference. I am not speaking just of the human race, but of all things which exist in our universe. Hmmm, now most people will think I’m spacey, LOL
7: Not spacey, sweet. Tell us about your current novel, where we can find it?
My YA, Laurel’s Miracle came out on September 30, 2011. you can find it a MuseItUp Publishing.https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=217&category_id=124&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1
Laurel’s Miracle is the story of a southern Alberta girl who ends up in Cornwall. The southwest of England is full of magic and mystery. Laurel’s mom is very sick and all Laurel wants is for her to get better. She doesn’t want to be in Cornwall. One day soon after she arrives she wanders down the pasture of the place she is staying at and meets a White Lady. The White Lady is the spirit of the sacred spring Laurel finds. The Lady comforts Laurel and offers her a proposition. If Laurel can solve a riddle, which will come to her a bit at a time, she may be able to save her mother. The story unfolds as Laurel and her three new Cornish friends follow the clues across the landscape. The journey takes them along the earth energy line known as The Michael Line. For more information on the earth energy line read The Sun and The Serpent by Hamish Miller and Paul Broadbent. Her journey ends in a confrontation with Gywnn ap Nudd (Gwin ap Neeth) who is reputed to lead the Wild Hunt each Hallow’en night and gathers in the souls of the newly dead. There is mystery and magic and humour as well as some educational information woven into the tale. Laurel enlists the help of a Cornish Piskie, a Fire Elemental, a sea monster, a Selkie and inadvertently, Cormoran, the last of the Cornish giants. I won’t tell you anymore because it will ruin the end of the story.
8: Sounds great. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Keep writing, follow your heart. Ask tons of questions and be willing to follow the advice you are given.
9: Great advice. Now a question I get asked often, do you base your characters on real-life people?
No, not really. All my characters have components of real life people of course. As writers we draw from our own experiences and interactions with others. Although, the horse in Laurel’s Miracle called Lamorna is based on a horse I knew whose name was Laura’s Miracle, so the name of the book came from her. The names of the characters in Laurel’s Miracle as based on the Celtic Tree Oghams. Coll is hazel and means wisdom, Laurel is the rowan tree, Gort is ivy and the search for self, when you read the book you will see how well that suits him. Aisling is an Irish name I love and she presented herself to me complete with name as I wrote.
10: I love the names. How did you come up with the idea for this book?
I honestly don’t know.
I had a bad accident and ended up with tons of time on my hands.
I started researching some things I never had time to get at before and the
story grew out of the research.
11: It’s amazing where some of our stories come from. So, what are you currently working on?
I am working on Arabella’s Secret which is the story of Laurel’s grandmother and will provide some answers for a few things which were secondary in Laurel’s Miracle. There is also another book in the series coming out in December 2011 called A Step Sideways and features Gort.
12. Wow, you’ve been busy. I love the titles of your books. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I love animals and $1.00 from each copy of Laurel’s Miracle is being donated to the Dare to Dream Horse Rescue in Dalemead, Alberta. Please check them out and if you feel so moved please consider a donation to them. Be sure to mention the Laurel’s Miracle Initiative.
13. That’s commendable. Where can we find you? Website? Blog?
I am at www.nancymbell.ca, I have an author page at MuseItUp Publishing
Nancy Bell is proud Albertan, horsewoman, wife, mother and grandmother. She lives on a farm near Balzac, Alberta with her husband, two horses, a pony, various dogs, cats and whatever else happens to wander into the yard. Nancy had her first poems and short stories published while still in grade school. She is a regular contributor to Earthsongs ezine. She enjoys writing poetry and stories, both long and short. Nancy is a Senior Content Editor with MuseItUp Publishing Inc.
Please visit her webpage http://www.nancymbell.ca
You can find her on Facebook at http://facebook.com/NancyMBell
Follow on twitter: @emilypikkasso
My trailer: http://youtu.be/Fy3nNKHdQYk
Laurel sat on Lamorna and gazed across the moor as it ran toward the sea. It was so much like her beloved Alberta prairie, except the prairie ran to the mountains. Like the sea, the mountains had a power and life of their own; they were, after all, the bones of the earth. The pony lowered her nose to the grass and took advantage of her rider’s preoccupation with the country before her. This is Arthur’s land, she remembered Sarie telling her, echoing what Coll said earlier in the day, but it belonged to itself long before Arthur was born.
Laurel liked the idea of that. The country stretching before her seemed to shimmer with a life force which had nothing to do with what humans did or did not do to it. She tugged gently on the reins and pulled the pony’s head out of grass. The wind coming across the moor from the sea carried music with it. It wasn’t a familiar music, but she seemed to follow the notes all the same. It was a mixture of old cowboy songs sung around the campfire to keep the night at bay. It carried the shiver of mystery from the ancient stone works dotting the Cornish peninsula. There was fiddle and harp and drum and guitar and harmonica. The music called up bird song, the voice of the sea, and the bass voice of the rock itself that held up the land. She could hear the reverberating sound of the bells in the lost land of Lyonnesse out past Land’s End. She could hear words that were somehow inside her head and also part of the wind. The sound vibrated through the pony’s hooves and into Laurel.
“The land lies dreaming under the sun,
So much different it is,
So much the same it is.
All things are one when the day is won.”
“Come and get some grub!” Coll’s voice broke through her reverie.
Laurel slid down from Lamorna’s broad back and led her over to the other ponies. She removed Lamorna’s bridle, slipped on her head collar and left her with the other ponies to graze. She dropped down onto the grassy turf and took a ham sandwich from the pile Aisling set out. Everyone was silent while they devoured the sandwiches and cookies, which they washed down with sweet tea.
Once they were full, Laurel pulled the little book about the dragon line out of the waistband of her jeans. She handed it to Coll, who looked at it in surprise.
“Where did you find this?”
“Ash and I found it yesterday on Sarie’s book shelf. I read it last night, and I think it confirms what you said about the dragon line cutting across Cornwall. See what you think.”
Coll skimmed through the pages and whistled softly between his teeth. He handed the book to Gort who took it eagerly.
“It does seem to agree with what we found out yesterday,” Gort said.
“I think so, too,” Coll said.
The group was silent for a time; each following their own line of thinking with regard to the book and the dragon line.
Finally, Coll got to his feet and stretched. “We should get a move on if we want to be back before dark.” He moved over to the ponies to bridle Arthur.
The girls collected the bits of litter and the remains of their lunch, stuffing them back into the saddlebags. In just a few minutes, they were all headed down the track back toward home. The sun was warm on Laurel’s back making her sleepy.
“Let’s trot!” She set off at a brisk pace with the wind at her back. The others followed suit, and soon Laurel forgot about riddles and her mom’s cancer. She soaked in the feel of Lamorna underneath her and the sound of all the ponies’ hooves drumming the soft earth. The wind lifted her hair and tossed it forward over her face. The ponies’ tails and manes were black streamers ribboning in the shifting currents.
She laughed in exhilaration. All the ponies quickened their pace until they were cantering down the track two abreast. In no time at all, they were at Sarie’s gate and turning down her lane. Sarie came out of the cottage to meet them as they trooped past the kitchen.
“I was starting to worry you wouldn’t get home before full dark,” Sarie said as she opened the gate to the pony field for them.
Laurel glanced at the dusky sky. “We went a little further than we planned.”