Meet Nancy LiPetri!

The Wooded Path front cover- 300

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).

Welcome, Nancy!

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?, anywhere they can order with an ISBN number, and Amazon:


Thanks so much for visiting, Nancy!

Until next week,


This Blog’s Hopping!

This week I’m participating in the “My Writing Process” Blog Hop again. Many thanks to Annette Snyder for inviting me to join the fun.

If you’ve read Annette’s books, you know how good they are. If you haven’t, give them a try! Her book Intimate Flames was a 2011 EPIC Finalist, and her Travis Pass series is not to be missed. I am a big fan of her Fifty Authors from Fifty States, which highlights an author every Sunday that lives and writes in a different state. Annette’s website is and her blog can be found at

And now to the questions:
1. What am I working on?
Good news! This past Friday I emailed the manuscript of my second novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, to my editor at Kensington Publishing. Before long I’ll start the revisions on it. In the meantime, I am promoting my first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, and tomorrow I’ll start work on my third novel, which will be set in Hawaii. I can hardly wait.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My books have a strong sense of place, so hopefully my readers will want to visit the places I write about. The romance is sweet and the suspense is not gory or terribly violent.

3. Why do I write what I do?
I love to read romantic suspense, so that’s what I love to write, too.

4. How does my writing process work?
I make a thorough outline before I start writing. I have a notebook filled with sections for research, characters, chronology, and plotting, among others. I refer to the notebook constantly while I write. The entire notebook is handwritten, though when I finally start writing I do it on the computer. I write at all different times of the day, depending on what else I have happening on any given day.

Now that I’ve answered the four burning questions, I will tell you where “My Writing Process” is going next Monday.

The first hop is to author J. L. Greger. She took early retirement from being a biology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has now had three medical thriller/mysteries published – Coming Flu, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight, and Ignore the Pain. Her next novel, Malignancy, which is partially set in Cuba, should be out this fall. For more information on her novels, see her website ( and her blog (

The second hop is to Amy M. Bennett. Amy is the author of the Black Horse Campground mystery series, published by OAK TREE PRESS. Her debut novel, “End of the Road, published in July 2013, won the 2012 Dark Oak Mystery Contest and is the first book in the series. No Lifeguard on Duty, the second book in the series, was released April 2014. You can visit Amy on the web at and at

And last, but certainly not least, hop on over to Vanessa Coggshall. With two children and one on the way (very soon!), Vanessa seeks to balance the mom/writer lifestyle on a daily basis. She is currently working on a memoir which focuses on life with her three year old, Emmy, who was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome as a baby. Vanessa also just helped edit and publish an anthology written by parents, friends, and family members of children with Williams Syndrome. She blogs about her life experiences with her children and husband at Williams Syndrome Smile (

I urge you to visit these authors next Monday, when they post their own answers to the questions in the “My Writing Process” Blog Hop. They have very different interests and experiences, and their writing reflects these differences. They’re all fascinating, and I’m proud to call them colleagues.

Until next week,