Have you been writing for a long time?
More than half a century! I started writing short stories when I was eight and now I’m… well, never mind how old I am but it’s been a long time! But I didn’t start submitting fiction until more than 20-odd years ago—rather erratically, actually—and had my first piece published in 1996. But I never thought much about getting published. That wasn’t my goal. My goal was, and to some extent still is, just to write.
What inspired you to start a writing career?
I have to differentiate between the two types of writing I do to answer this question. Fiction isn’t so much a career for me as a passion, although I am more focused now on getting published than I had been before Traveling Left of Center was released.
But I also write professionally. I started writing for magazines and newspapers back in 1987, and went full-time in 1996. Now I do more copywriting for clients than I do magazine articles. That’s my income—chosen because I am terrible at retail and prefer to be in charge, even if the only person I boss around is me!
What is your favorite story in this collection, if you have any?
It would have to be “Annabelle.” It took decades to get it finished—a lot of starts and stops. But each time I worked on it, it was as if she was telling me a little more about her life. It’s hard for me to believe she isn’t a real person. Second place would be a tie between “The Shop on the Square” and “Skating on Thin Ice.”
What story was the most challenging to write?
“Waiting for Sara” was an emotionally difficult story for me as was “Alice in Wonderland.” The most fun? “Traveling Left of Center” —what I like to call my southern slut story!
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Focus first on the work—doing the best you can, getting good feedback from those who will be honest, then editing and revising and polishing it until it glitters. Honor the work and respect the craft. Don’t be in such a hurry to see your name on the book that you give it less than your absolute best. Then, once you’re ready to submit it, recognize that the writing business is a business. Learn all you can about it. Your story is a widget among a million other widgets out there for sale. You need to do all you can to attract the widget-buying market to yours!
About the Book
Author: Nancy Christie
Genre: Literary Fiction / Short Story Collection
There are some people who, whether by accident or design, find themselves traveling left of center. Unable or unwilling to seize control over their lives, they allow fate to dictate the path they take—often with disastrous results.
TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER AND OTHER STORIES details characters in life situations for which they are emotionally or mentally unprepared. Their methods of coping range from the passive (“The Healer”) and the aggressive (“The Clock”) to the humorous (“Traveling Left of Center”) and hopeful (“Skating on Thin Ice”).
The eighteen stories in TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER AND OTHER STORIES depict those types of situations, from the close calls to the disastrous. Not all the stories have happy endings—like life, sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.
In these stories, the characters’ choices—or non-choices—are their own. But the outcomes may not be what they anticipated or desired.
Will they have time to correct their course or will they crash?
About Nancy Christie
Her stories have been accepted by print and online publications such as St. Anthony Messenger, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, Talking River, Wild Violet, EWR: Short Stories, Hypertext, Full of Crow, Fiction365, Red Fez, and The Chaffin Journal.
She is also the author of The Gifts of Change (Atria/Beyond Words), an inspirational book that encourages readers to take a closer look at how they deal with the inevitability of change and ways in which they can use change to gain a new perspective, re-evaluate their goals and reconsider their options. Since its publication in 2004, The Gifts of Change has been released in three foreign editions.
Currently Christie is working on several book projects, including a second collection, a novel and a book for writers. The founder of “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day, and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and Short Fiction Writers Guild (SFWG), Christie hosts the monthly Monday Night Writers group in Canfield, OH.
Social media links:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NChristie_OH @NChristie_OH
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