Friday, September 15, 2017

Please welcome author Nancy M. Bell

I am very pleased to introduce author Nancy M. Bell to you this month. Nancy, a fellow Books We Love author, is also a proud Albertan and Canadian and lives near Balzac, Alberta, with her husband and a bunch of four-legged friends. 

Nancy has a long list of achievements and writing credits under her belt. The most recent, and one I enjoyed very much, was at the Didsbury Municipal Library's Artwrite event. 

The authors and artists were randomly paired, the author providing a poem or short story inspired by the artists work, and the artist producing a piece inspired by the author's work. 
The results will be published in a hardcover, coffee-table type book.

So without further ado, let's get to knowing more about Nancy M. Bell.

1.     When and why did you start writing? What is it about writing that satisfies you the most?
I have been writing as long as I can remember. In fact, I still have some really awful stuff I wrote in grade school. There is one, though, that I might work on as an MG book. About a horse, a pine tree and an old cowboy. I don’t know if ‘satisfy’ is the correct word. I just can’t NOT write. Stories are always running through my head and lines of poems pop up at the weirdest time. Just a few days ago I was walking the dog and this came home with me:
Sometimes I go sorrowing down the wind
For the days that used to be
For the days that might have been
My voice raised with the Wild Hunt
Crying down the skies of yesterday and never
Scarlet ribbons across the moon amid scattered tears of star light

2.     Have you had a defining moment in your writing life that changed everything for you?
I guess the first time my short story appeared in the local newspaper. I was in Grade 9, so 13 at the time. And then when I signed my first contract with a publishing house.

3.     How did you feel when you held your first book in your hands?
It was an amazing feeling. A real ‘aha’ moment.

4.     If you weren’t a writer, what would you be and why?
I have been a lot of things in my life, but always a writer. Writing is a constant ribbon through my life so I don’t think I could ever be anything else but a writer. Every other experience has been grist for my mill.

5.     Do you work with critique partners? If so, what do you most like about the process? If not, is this an avenue you would consider in the future and if not, why not?
I don’t as a rule. For me anyway, it seemed like it was more about the critiquer’s ego than my work. But maybe I’m just touchy, or I haven’t found a good critique group or partner? I’ve always been a solitary person, and not a joiner so that’s probably part of the problem. More my problem than the critique group perhaps.

6.     Have you ever judged any writing competitions? If you have, what about the process surprised you the most?
I have done evaluations for the Writers Union of Canada Danuta Gleed Literary Award as a second round evaluator. It is always interesting to read other writers work and see how they approach a subject. As a rule, the writing has been quite good.


1.     What have you always wanted? Did you ever get it?
I longed for a horse when I was a kid. Poured over the Sears catalogue when they still sold saddles, bridles and grooming equipment. I got my first horse when I was 17. Best day of my life.

2.     What is the best or most memorable compliment you ever received?
I did a Blue Pencil with Jack Whyte at Surrey International Writers Conference in 2011 and he said he liked my work and couldn't find anything to criticize except he changed the phrase “like a disjointed puppet” to “like a disarticulated puppet”. I had just had King Arthur run King March through with his sword during a fight. 

3.     What keys on a keyboard do you not use?
All the weird ones in pale green. No idea how to access them. LOL 

4.     If you were marooned on a desert island and could only have one book, which book would that be and why?
The Little Country by Charles de Lint

SPEED QUESTIONS: Straight YES/NO answers, unless you want to add a few words to qualify the answer. Have you ever:

1.     Lied about your age?   No
2.     Danced naked in the rain?  Yes
3.     Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick?  Sadly, yes
4.     Won a contest?  Yes
5.     Eaten ice cream straight from the carton?  Yes
6.     Locked yourself out of your house? No
7.     Ridden a motorcycle?  No
8.     Taken an enormous risk?  Not sure
9.     Gotten lost in a strange city? Yup
10.  Eaten a whole packet of cookies?  No
11.  Watched the stars at night?  Yes

12.  Worn odd socks?  No

Thank you for answering my questions, Nancy. I hope you will all join me again tomorrow for information on a few of Nancy's titles. 


  1. Enjoyed learning more about Nancy and her stories.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Janet. I love finding out more about my author guests.

    2. Hi Janet, thanks for coming for a visit!

  2. I really wanted a horse badly too but never got one. Boohoo. Guess that's why I write about unicorns.

    1. And that's why there is usually a horse somewhere in all my books. Thanks for coming for a visit Suzanne. Keep those unicorns coming.

    2. And the same for me! Plus, as I write historical, there has to be horses in my books or people would never get around.

  3. Hi Vicki! Thanks for hosting me on your wonderful blog. Spending time with Vicki, Mahrie Reid and Jude Pittman at the Didsbury Library last Saturday during the Mountainview Arts Festival was a blast. So much fun and a great audience.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting and your FB share. It's much appreciated.

  5. Enjoyed the interview! Writers are such interesting people with so many varied life experiences. Keep the guest blogs coming, Vicki!

    1. Glad you are enjoying them and thanks for dropping in.

  6. Thanks again, Victoria for hosting me, and thanks to everyone who came by to visit. Happy Fall Reading!