Author Interview - Nancy Thorne
This week's interview is with Author Nancy Thorne.
Thank you, Nancy, for sharing a little about your writing and personal life
1. When did you first realize you wanted to write?
I first realized in grade school that I wanted to write. To be honest, I already had it in my mind that I was a writer. I remember sitting in front of my vanity’s mirror reading aloud what I’d written about the happenings in my neighborhood. But, being shy, I didn’t overtly divulge to anyone that I was an author. I waited for my parents or teachers to pick up on this passion of mine as if they were mind readers. My dream remained surreptitious.
2. Who are your favourite authors?
I have to say that one of my favorite authors is Ernest Hemingway because the first adult book I read was, The Old Man and the Sea. It had the ability to bring my emotions to the forefront. Over the years I’ve fallen in love with Anton Chekhov. My husband doesn’t seem too concerned. I also enjoy the works of John Cheever, Tobias Wolff and Margaret Laurence. The list goes on from there.
3. Where do your ideas come from?
At times ideas come to me when I’m in bed trying to fall asleep, forcing me to grab the pen and paper off my bedside table. Other ideas come from past experiences, from when I was a teenager. This is my passion; I love to write in the Young Adult genre. Still, others arrive from simply being aware of my surroundings and the way people speak and act – whether nuanced or gregarious.
4. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?
Oh my gosh, I love this question. I’d jump inside the memoir, A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway. What could be better than to visit Paris in the 1920s and spend a day with the famous author along with Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald?
5. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
The characters I write normally comprise at least small measures of people I know, or have known.
6. How do you come up with titles for your books?
The title, Victorian Town, seemed natural for my book - organic to the story as some might say, although it was mentioned to me that perhaps it was too short. After trying different ways to extend the title I still decided on the simple, Victorian Town.
7. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?
The book I’m working on now is also a Young Adult novel. Set in the 1970s, it tells the story of two poor teenage girls, one of whom will do anything to pull the two of them out of poverty. Along their hope-filled journey across the country to supposed riches, an unforeseen near-disaster threatens to destroy their scheme and their relationship.
8. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?
Recently while participating in a book signing at a popular bookstore, a middle-aged woman came up to me and enquired about my novel. I started out by answering that my book was a Young Adult novel, and before I could continue speaking, she turned away in a huff. I realized then that she felt I was telling her she was too old to read my book. Since then I have never started a conversation with a mention of my book’s Young Adult category.
9. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?
A short non-fiction piece of mine published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, is a story of my situation shortly after my husband at the time and I separated. The story is called, Our Guardian Angels, and I titled it this way because it seemed to me that the universe aspired to help my two young sons and I in many ways during those difficult days. And I attribute the comfort and assistance I received to something quite inexplicable, although ethereal love is my presumption.
10. What makes you happy?
It may sound commonplace, but the truth is that my family makes me happy. I have a wonderful husband, two amazing sons and two exuberant four-legged creatures, a lab and a corgi. All of them bring smiles to my face. Of course, writing makes me happy as well even though it can be quite difficult. I feel very fortunate to have had my short stories and novel published. It’s been a dream come true. Now, if only I could spend a day visiting Paris in the 1920s with Ernest, Scott and Gertrude!
Nancy Thorne’s short fiction has appeared in The First Line Literary Journal, Canadian Tales of the Mysterious, Canadian Tales of the Heart, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Christmas and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Canadian Acts of Kindness. Her debut novel, VICTORIAN TOWN, was released in 2018. She lives just outside of Toronto in the town of Whitby.