Nancy LiPetri is my guest on Reade and Write today. She is the author of The Wooded Path, a work of contemporary women’s fiction that has garnered some wonderful words of praise on review sites (especially Amazon).
Tell me about your new book.
Since October marks the first anniversary of “The Wooded Path” getting published by Oak Tree Press, I’ll answer with facts readers may not have already discovered. For example, although the setting is the real town of Mooresville on Lake Norman, and many true-to-life facts such as street names are used for characters’ names, the McClelland house is modeled after a home I admired that overlooked the DuPage river back in Chicagoland. And although the mystery of the story was inspired by an actual bunco boat ride in which I noticed a depth finder was not working, and although there is an actual wooded path I used to walk to get to horses, the proximity of the path and its farm, to the water, is fictionalized, as are all the characters and events.
Who is the audience for the book?
I felt I was writing it for women who might appreciate realistic characters daring to share what most of us don’t share in polite company, those thoughts we wonder if other “normal” women have. It turns out male readers are enjoying the story, too. They tell me they are entertained by accurate descriptions of the lake and boating, and by what their wives might be secretly thinking about marriage and the various stages of life and love.
Tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?
Every day on Lake Norman I feel fortunate to live in such a friendly community and so close to nature, so I was compelled to share my passion for the area. You could say the lake is a central character in the story, its many moods and mysteries key. Research involved reading news articles about past disappearances on Lake Norman, talking with boating experts at marinas and with a Power Squadron connection as well as online research of facts and figures.
What was the hardest thing about writing the book?
It was frightening to go public with a major creative project, my first novel, because I knew some readers might find the moral debate, some of the women’s fantasies/temptations/confusion to be too edgy.
If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?
If you’ve seen the Simon Baker ads for Longines with the horse, you see how I picture Peter Simon. (Sometimes my character names are a clue.) I saw Samantha (Kim Cattrall) from Sex and the City, for Stacia. And Laine (pronounced Lane, by the way) would have to have satiny dark red hair–Stana Katic would be amazing.
Have you written any other books?
I am working on the sequel, working title “Across The Lake” in which the character you least expect to return is back, taking you to the other side of the lake to experience life a whole new way. She’s pushing boundaries. Not worried about fitting in. She gets more than she bargains for, and in the process, can’t believe what she discovers.
Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?
I think you can easily spend too much time in groups when you should be focused on lone writing, but I do make time for online writer’s groups for sharing and feedback. The first two are closed groups and my favorites: Women’s Writers, Women’s Books…and Word Surge. I also value the group of Oak Tree Press authors. Beyond those, on LinkedIn: Book Writer…Freelance Copywriters…Copywriters International…Affiliated Authors.
Do you write every day?
Oh yes. I write catalog ads for a living, and write my fiction every chance I get. If I don’t at least jot notes for the fiction, I’m thinking about them, stringing together real life inspirations with lucid dreaming and imagination. It’s a happy compulsion.
When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?
I’ve always been a fan of John Irving because he is so thought-provoking while making me gasp and laugh. I’ve also enjoyed many crime thrillers, but would say my favoritegenre is contemporary fiction, the category “The Wooded Path” belongs in because it combines mystery and romance but is not purely either one. Loved “Gone Girl.”
Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?
I’d rather have you visit my Pinterest travel board to see so many of my favorite places. Am in heaven snorkeling in Negril, Jamaica, for one. Am happiest in nature.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write your passion. If you don’t “feel it,” your readers won’t either. Don’t write to please anyone but yourself. And step outside your comfort zone for promotion.
What is your favorite movie and why?
So many favorites. For one that still makes me laugh, “BIG” with Tom Hanks because it’s refreshingly original and makes a fantasy believable.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Never assume you have it all figured out, and rest assured that nobody else does.
Describe yourself in three words.
Spreading the love.
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you wanted me to?
Just to stop blabbing already 😉
Where can readers connect with you?
Where can readers find your books?
OakTreeBooks.com, anywhere they can order with an ISBN number, and Amazon: http://viewbook.at/TheWoodedPath
Thanks so much for visiting, Nancy!
Until next week,