I’d like to introduce you to my publisher today. She’s a busy woman running a publishing company who also has written several books. Plus she recently retired from a full-time job! With that said, I have to say Nancy is always there for her authors. Emails are answered within hours. She hangs in there with you until any problem is solved. She gives good advice or steers you in the right direction.
When I submitted my first book to Melange, Nancy was in the middle of creating the young adult imprint- Fire & Ice. Luckily, she liked my series and Waiting for Dusk was published in November, 2012.
The company is growing and she’s added another imprint, Satin Romance, where you’ll find her book. She has released her romance novel, Bait Shop Blues. Nancy has taken time off from her busy schedule to answer a few questions…as an author and a publisher.
1. Tell us a little about yourself. Did you always want to be a writer?
**I’ve been married to the same man (do you believe?) since 1975. We have four grown children and seven young grandchildren. We are a very busy family. Luckily, I was able to retire late 2013 so now can devote all of my time to Melange Books, which I started up in Jan. 2011. I’ve been writing, seriously, since 1983. Published for the first time in 2003, my Scottish Historical romance, The MacAulay Bride. I have written 6 full length novels, some under the pseudonym, Nancy Pirri, and erotica under Natasha Perry. I’ve also written several short stories published at various publishing houses.
As for wanting to be a writer? No, truth be told. While raising our four children, I had become an avid romance reader and decided after awhile that I would try my hand at a romance, though I always enjoyed writing in school. So, essentially, I was a late bloomer!
2. Bait Shop Blues takes place in northern Minnesota. Familiar territory?
Absolutely. The specific area is Crane Lake, a spit away from the Canadian border.
3. What inspired you to write the book?
**My family has vacationed up north, very near the Canadian border every year since 1982 and there is a ‘bait shop’ similar to Paradise to Gateway, as depicted in the book, and the cover art design.
4. How long did it take to write the book?
5. Cassandra has been described as a Marilyn Monroe look alike. She wants men to see her for more than her physical looks. Tell us what she’d want people to know about her.
**She’d want people to know she is a competent, savy businesswoman. She has made some major strides in her life, starting her own company and making it a success. She’d like people to know that she’s an independent woman, but vulnerable, lonely and needs people, but is afraid of forming a relationship with a man. She’s been stood up twice at the altar so who can blame her?
6. Leif challenges Cassandra to a boundary-waters canoe trip. Are you an outdoors woman who would gladly go on this kind of trip? Or did you do a lot of research?
**My outdoorsmanship leans toward gardening and hanging my wet laundry on clotheslines. I do enjoy sitting on the beach, reading, of course. But I also grew up fishing, first with my dad, and then with my husband who is an avid fisherman. And, living in Minnesota, it seems to ‘go with the territory-fishing’. I have done my share of fishing, canoeing and hiking.
7. Bait Shop Blues was once with another publisher. You regained the rights to the book. How did you decide now was the right time to rerelease it?
**I worked the past year, in bits and pieces, re-editing it. And because my first responsibility to Melange and my great authors, it was a slow procedure. I have the rights back for all of my books and hope to publish one a year over time.
8. You have a lot on your plate being a publisher and an author. How do you juggle it all?
**I worked a full-time job during the past 3 years while developing and managing Melange. I didn’t get much sleep but then I’ve never required a lot of it—or so I thought—until I retired December 2013. So now, with all of my days and nights being available to grow and work at Melange, I’ve also managed to catch up on sleep. I realize now I’ve been sleep-deprived since having my first child in 1981! As for being an author, I haven’t written anything new in 3 years but hope to do a bit this year.
9. Wearing your publisher’s hat, what advice would you give aspiring authors?
**An author must have discipline, drive and passion for writing in order to finish a story or novel. The most successful authors I know do not have college degrees in English or Creative Writing—some don’t have a college degree at all, but over the years have been avid readers. Some of them, from their joy of reading, decide over time that maybe they have a story to tell. The author that succeeds is one who will keep at it until they can type ‘The End’. The most talented wordmaster will not be successful if he/she is not disciplined.
10. As an author, would the advice still be the same?
11. What’s your favorite genre to read? Write in?
**I’ve recently learned to appreciate reading fantasy and some science fiction, but mostly I love women’s fiction and romance. I will always love writing romance and erotica and while I can appreciate reading other genres I just don’t have the desire to write anything else.
12. What else are you working on? Is there a sequel in the works for Leif and Cassandra?
**Nope. No sequels. I hope to re-publish my first novel, The MacAulay Bride before 2015.
Thanks for the interview, Nancy!
***Don’t miss out on this great giveaway!***
2-$15 Amazon Gift Cards
2-Ebook Copies of Bait Shop Blues
Bait Shop Blues by Nancy Pirri
Finding love shouldn’t be so hard…
What does a successful businesswoman born and bred in Chicago want with half-ownership of a quaint bait shop in northern Minnesota, willed to her by her grandfather? And how will the reclusive half-owner of the shop convince the woman to sell out her half to him? For Cassandra Thompson, a Marilyn Monroe look-alike who’s recently been dumped by her second fiancé in two years, it could mean a well-needed change in life. For Leif Halverson, a handsome man of Ojibwa extraction, and co-owner of the shop, it could mean disaster—like falling in love. Leif is far from happy about this city woman invading his territory so he challenges her to a wilderness survival contest where the winner takes all.
Melange Books: Satin Romance: http://www.satinromance.com/authors/nancypirri/bsb.html
About the Author
Nancy Schumacher is the owner-publisher of Melange Books, LLC, writing under the pseudonyms, Nancy Pirri and Natasha Perry. Nancy started writing eighteen years ago while raising four children. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. She is also one of the founders of the Minnesota RWA chapter, Northern Lights Writers (NLW).
Nancy’s debut historical romance, THE MACAULAY BRIDE, set in late 19th century Scotland, was published in 2003. The debut book received several contest wins and received a TOP PICK award from Romantic Times Book Club publication in Oct. 2004. BAIT SHOP BLUES is her second full-length novel. She has written five full-length novels, and many stories included in anthologies with Melange Books, LLC.
Get in Touch With Nancy: