I’m pleased to welcome Nancy Morse back to my blog. She’s a fellow Love Historicals author who is always a pleasure to work with.
Anna, Thank you so much for having me and allowing me to share a little bit of myself with you.
Where were you born, Nancy?
I’m a New York girl through and through, born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, and worked for many years in Manhattan. My husband and I moved to Florida 24 years ago. We live in a quiet, adult community that is conducive to easy, peaceful living. I will admit, however, that at times all this peace and quiet drives me crazy. I miss the frenetic atmosphere and energy of the big city and try to get back there whenever I can. For me, it’s a case of “you can take the girl out of NY, but you can’t take the NY out of the girl”.
Neat! What’s your favorite season?
My favorite season is autumn. I love that low, slanting light. Living in South Florida the seasons are not that dramatic, and often not even noticeable. Except for autumn. I could wake up from a Rumpelstiltskin-like sleep and know in an instant that it’s autumn just by the way the shadows stretch across the land.
I love autumn too. Do you have any personal heroes?
There are lots of people I admire for one quality or another, but if I had to choose an all-round personal hero, it would have to be my Alaskan Malamute, Indio. He has all the qualities of a true romance hero. He’s loyal, devoted, would defend me to his last breath, loves me when I’m at my worst, and is excited to see me even when I’ve been gone only 5 minutes. He doesn’t judge me, he’s forgiving, and he’s one handsome guy. Beneath that rugged, alpha exterior beats a tender, loving heart.
Love it! What is your feeling about social media?
I wouldn’t say I love it, so for me, it’s more of a like-hate relationship. Ever since I jumped ship from traditional publishing to self-publishing, social media has become a necessary evil. For years I resisted Facebook. You couldn’t get me to go near it. A friend finally talked me into it, but I find it to be a terrible time-suck. Same with Twitter. I try to limit myself to an hour a day on social media. Mostly I’ll tweet and share other people’s books, sometimes my own. Except for an occasional recipe, I rarely post anything to my blog that is non-writing related. For one thing, I’m much too private a person to let the world into my personal life, and for another, my personal life really isn’t all that interesting.
Tell us something you are really proud of.
That would have to be my marriage. I’ve been married for 48 years to my childhood sweetheart. When we got married, we agreed to give it three years, and if it worked out, we’d re-up for another three. Well, we’ve been re-upping all this time, so we’re doing something right. I attribute this to 3 things. 1) A sense of humor. If we didn’t see the funny side of things, we never would have made it through those first 3 years. 2) Hard work. Not just once in a while, but every day. It’s like having a day job, only you don’t quit at 5:00 and there are no weekends off. Whoever said marriage is easy has never been married. And 3) He was my boyfriend before we got married, and I still think of him as my boyfriend.
Wise words. Can you confide something you’re not good at?
I love gardening. I find all that digging and pruning to be therapeutic, and while I’m pretty good with most plants, I’m a dismal failure when it comes to orchids. I can’t get one to last no matter what I do. They don’t call me the orchid-killer for nothing. I can just hear all those orchids in the nursery screaming for mercy when they see me coming.
Do you like animals?
I’ve been an animal-lover for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to have a dog, so I plucked a snail off some foliage and made it my pet. Another time it was a mouse, but when my dad found out, he flushed the poor thing down the toilet. The first thing I acquired when I got married (aside from my husband) was a dog, and we’ve had dogs ever since. I would have a cat, too, except that Indio would probably eye it and think, yum, cat food. Dogs bring something into my life that humans don’t. There’s a quote by Anatole France that says it all. “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
How do you deal with writer’s block?
When I was traditionally published and had contractual deadlines, I couldn’t afford the luxury of writer’s block. Now that I’m self-published, whenever I hit a block, I don’t panic. I use it as a way to regroup. Since most of what I read when I’m writing is for research, a block gives me an opportunity to catch up on my pleasure reading. Often, however, I work on two books at once, so that if I do run into a block on one, I can switch to the other. I also don’t believe in the Muse. If I waited for her to appear, I’d never get any writing done.
To what do you attribute your success as a writer?
I’m not afraid of failure. It’s the not trying that scares the you-know-what out of me. If I don’t try, I’ll never know what’s possible. So I’d have to say that my success as a writer comes from trying, trying, and more trying. I came across this limerick years ago. I have no idea where it came from, and it’s silly, I know, but it sums it up for me.
There was a young maid who said,
Why can’t I look in my ear with my eye?
If I put my mind to it,
I’m sure I can do it.
I never will know till I try.
Where do you find your inspiration for your stories?
Anywhere and everywhere. The stories for SEA MISTRESS, SACRED PLACES, and BENEATH AN IRON SKY, were inspired by the titles. Many of my books are about the Lakota, so my love of Lakota history and culture provides the inspiration for those. Like the popular TV show that claims its stories are ripped from the headlines, THIS CHILD IS MINE came from the headline of a small Native American tabloid about a custody battle between a white woman and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe over an adopted Sioux child.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release, BENEATH AN IRON SKY, is my current homage to the Lakota people. In 1880 eleven-year-old Philadelphia (Del) Stratton meets fifteen-year-old Crow Eagle, a rebellious Lakota boy, at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania where her father is an instructor. Wrenched from his people on the reservation and brought to Carlisle to become Americanized, the reluctant but deep bond the belligerent boy forms with the idealistic girl is severed when he returns to his people. Nine years later they are reunited when Del’s fight for women’s suffrage takes her to Dakota Territory on the verge of statehood. There, Crow Eagle, now a strong warrior, is waging battle to retain his people’s way of life and keep their hope alive through the Ghost Dance. And the friendship that began years earlier blossoms into a forbidden love that will not be denied.
Is it part of a series?
This book is not part of a series. However, I recently began work on RESTLESS WIND, Book 3 in my Native American Wild Wind Series. It follows WHERE THE WILD WIND BLOWS and WINTER WIND, Books 1 and 2, and tells the ongoing story of Katie McCabe, daughter of an Indian trader, and Black Moon, an Oglala warrior. I am enjoying writing this series because I love the characters and the subject matter, After that, I’m planning a five-part western novella series about the Kincaid brothers. Then it’s on to Book 3 in my historical paranormal Soul Searchers series. I was hoping to get them all done and released in 2016, but who am I kidding?
The buy links for BENEATH AN IRON SKY
In print: https://www.createspace.com/5933011
Nancy’s Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/nancymorse
Here’s a brief excerpt from BENEATH AN IRON SKY:
“I want you to come with me,” he said flatly.
It was not what she expected. Her heart gave an involuntary flutter. Was this his way of telling her that he loved her?
“I need someone to speak to the white men for us. Someone who is not afraid.”
Del stared back at him with a frozen expression, overcome with the disappointment of knowing that this was the only reason he wanted her to go with him. Flooded with sudden pain, she exclaimed, “I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“You must come,” he said. “You must see what is happening to my people. You must speak to the white men.”
She swung her slender legs from the bed and went quickly to light a lamp, turning the wick up to its fullest. The passionate spell woven in the dreamy moonlight was broken by the harsh light that spilled into the room. “You think you can seduce me into doing your bidding?”
“Seduce? What is this seduce?”
“It means you used my body to get what you wanted from me.”
He smiled grimly. “Did you not use my body, too?”
Del felt the scalding shame of his words. “You are insufferable,” she snapped.
“I do not know this word,” he said. “But I think I do not like it.”
“You came here for one reason,” Del said accusingly. “To get me to speak to the white men. I presume you mean the commissioners.”
“Yes. But I also wanted—”
“I will not do it,” she said adamantly, cutting him off. She marched across the room to the window, swiping her blouse from the chair and hastily shrugging back into it, her fingers shaking as she buttoned it. Nodding angrily toward the window, she said, “You can leave the way you came in.”
Crow Eagle stood without moving. His face wore an expression she’d never seen before, black and scowling, cold and set. His stare unnerved her, and for the first time in her life she was afraid of him.
Despite the fury she saw building in his eyes, she stood her ground. “I will not go with you.”
He came toward her with alarming suddenness, causing the flame in the lamp to leap, sending shadows dancing over the walls. Seizing her arm in a ferocious grip, he said threateningly, “You will come.”
Before Del could voice another objection, he circled her waist with one strong arm, cutting off her breath as his other hand clamped down over her mouth. Hauling her up off her feet, he threw one leg over the sill and climbed through the window with the struggling woman trapped in his arms.
She kicked and thrashed about so much that it took some doing getting her onto his pony’s back, but when she was finally planted firmly in front of him, he gave a sharp kick to his pony’s flanks and tore out of Buffalo Gulch at a gallop.