Win BIG! And…Meet Bestselling Author Nancy Rue

Thank you for joining us on the Unexpected Dismounts blog hop with Nancy Rue. Nancy’s publisher, David C. Cook is sponsoring the blog hop with an opportunity to win some great prizes, including a $200.00 gift card for American Express.

To participate:

  1. Read this fascinating interview with award-winning novelist, Nancy Rue.
  2. Be sure to comment on this post to let Nancy know you’re participating in the blog hop.
  3. Click here to Register to win.
  4. Follow this link to RSVP for the facebook party.

If you are interested in hearing more from Nancy, you can visit her website, subscribe to her blog: The Nudge, join her on Facebook, and/or follow her on twitter.

Tomorrow Nancy will be with author Travis Thrasher, The Journey is Everything. See you there!

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JC: Nancy, you are highly respected as a powerhouse in the publishing world. With more than 100 books under your belt (WOW!), how do you continue to find fresh ideas and keep your works relative to even the youngest generation? Also, how in the world do you manage to be so productive?

NR: First of all, thank you for that, Julie. I don’t feel so much like a powerhouse as a goblet. The water has to be carried in something, right? So maybe I’m the carrier for the living water God wants passed around. God just keeps giving me ideas and I keep scheduling and re-scheduling so I can bring them all to fruition. I also hang out a lot with people from my various audiences; it helps to be an extrovert!

JC: You spent many years teaching writing and theater to high school students, and you’ve been recognized repeatedly for your incredible teaching skills as you speak to school groups and writers. What are three things you wish every writing teacher would understand about inspiring students to write?

NR: What a great question. I think those three things are:

  1. Recognize that everyone has a story to tell, but not everyone is going to tell that story the same way; help students find their own voices.
  2. Do that before you ever start talking about structure and (shudder) correct grammar; nobody frames a house without a blueprint and a rendering of what they want it to be in the end, yet we look at people’s first drafts as if we’re expecting the sheetrock to be on already!
  3. Teach audience and purpose. Give people a reason to write and a particular group of readers to write for.

And may I add that if the process isn’t fun, what, pray tell, is the point?

JC: Some of the strongest narrative structures “read like a play.” How does your theater background help you sculpt a story that readers “see” as they read?

NR: I do see the story in scenes, and I “block” them the way I used to block scenes before I went to rehearsal, so I could say, “You stand here and when she says this, you turn that way.” It helps me to see where everybody is and what they’re doing.

I also think of the overall plot structure in three acts, which I think a lot of novelists do. That helps me to think things like, “Is the audience going to be ready for a break soon? Is this too much dialogue – is the audience getting squirmy here?”

The fact that I did mostly children’s theatre helps me with the pacing, for sure!

JC: It must be difficult to choose a favorite from the stories you’ve written, but what three titles would you suggest for readers who aren’t familiar with your work yet?

NR: That’s almost like deciding which of your children you like best! In terms of my adult fiction, I would say The Reluctant Prophet, Unexpected Dismounts, and Healing Stones.

JC: Tell us a bit about your newest release, Unexpected Dismounts.

NR: Unexpected Dismounts is the second in The Reluctant Prophet trilogy, so you’ll see Allison moving further along in her journey as, well, a reluctant prophet. She continues to follow the Nudge of God, even when it takes her into deeper, darker territory.

She still rides her Harley, still works with the prostitutes who have come off of West King Street to Sacrament House, still struggles with her attraction to Chief, and continues to try to get full legal custody of Desmond, the mulatto orphan. There’s romance, mystery, action, relationship, and faith questions – all the things I like to read in a book myself.

The middle book in a trilogy is always the hardest to write, because there’s a lot of bridging that has to happen and as an author I’m not always sure it’s as dramatic as the first one. My editor assures me there is plenty of drama!

JC: You are an award-winning, bestselling Christian writer. Yet, you break many stereotypes people may have about Christian women. You ride a Harley. You opened a children’s theater troupe. You write to encourage women to feel empowered and confident. Discuss some of the stereotypes you’ve had to face as a Christian writer and how you’ve managed to reach broad audiences with your books.

NR: This is hard to answer without sounding as if I’m putting down some of my Christian sisters, so let me just say first of all that each of us is unique, and if we are all authentic, then we are ALL breaking down stereotypes, which are never a good idea in the first place. So as I answer this, I hope I also inspire women to seek out what is genuine in them and go ahead and be that, no matter what is expected generically.

With non-conservative audiences and readers, I always have to follow, “I write Christian fiction,” with, “but it’s probably not what you’re thinking.” Many people think all books written for the CBA are Amish romance or contemporary stories with black-and-white answers. While many, many of those books are lovely, it seems like my job is to say, “There is also something else that may move you.”

One false impression of Christianity that I’ve always tried to dispel is the idea that we think we have all the answers. In my experience, spiritually healthy people have more questions than answers, and that keeps us going to God for clarity. How dependent would we be on our Father if we had it all figured out?

JC: Sometimes people get the wrong impression of Christians. What do you want people to understand about your faith?

NR: I want people to get that not all Christians are alike, that we don’t all worship the same way, and we don’t all vote the same way. I want them to see that being a Christian means following Christ, not following a set of rules. When people are with me, I want them to see the love of Christ reflected; I don’t want them to feel like they’ve been spiritually mugged.

JC: Tell us a funny story that has happened to you as an author, perhaps while at a booksigning, conference, etc.

NR: I was once speaking at a conference for young girls, delivering my message of “Be who you truly are,” with all the passion I could muster. But then when I was signing one of those mini-women’s books afterwards, one of my fake fingernails went flying off. Very authentic. I haven’t worn press-on nails since!

JC: In ten words or less, what’s the main thing you want people to know about you. In other words, who is Nancy Rue?

NR: Basically, nobody can say I don’t try. Every single day. (And that may be the first time I’ve ever come in at word count!)

JC: And finally, since we’re approaching the season of giving and you’ve got some fabulous gifts in store for readers who enter your contest, what’s the best gift you ever received? And the best you’ve ever given?

NR: Last January, my daughter gave birth to a precious baby girl, and at the same time gave me the gift of being a grandmother. I thank God for little Maeryn several times a day. Surely the best gift I’ve ever given anyone was raising my daughter to discover who she is and to live authentically. I feel God’s smile over both.

JC: Thank you Nancy. I have long admired your talent and it’s been a true honor to interview you today. I’m thrilled to be included on your blog hop and I am certain my readers will enjoy your Reluctant Prophet series as much as I have.

NR: Thank you, Julie. This was delightful, just like you.

50 thoughts on “Win BIG! And…Meet Bestselling Author Nancy Rue

  1. Nancy Rue = goblet !!! Love that. And so true. Having been in your company a few times and in a class, I can say “It’s working.” I did feel Christ’s love reflected. Thank you, Nancy and Julie for this enjoyable chat.

    Blessings, sisters,
    Mary Kay

  2. Great interview. :) Thanks for sharing this with us, Julie. I’d love to hear Nancy teach. I have a background in teaching children’s theater–but I DON’T ride a Harley–so I relate to her.

    • Thanks, Dena… I guess it’s never too late to learn to ride a Harley, right? Nancy may inspire us all to extend our comfort zone a bit :) Feel free to retweat, share, or blog about today’s contest…great prizes to be won! So glad you dropped in!

  3. Wow.
    I am so glad that I read every single word of that interview.
    I was encouraged as a woman, as a believer, as a writer … truly.
    (I’m still wearing my acrylic nails, though, Nancy. Sorry.)
    So many takeaways. Bottom line, I appreciate Nancy’s honesty and her statement that “being a Christian means following Christ, not following a set of rules.”

    • Great comments, Beth. Thanks so much. I think you’ve just summed up the message of Nancy’s books…grace is good. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you win a big prize. Be sure to share, tweet, and encourage others to check out Nancy’s blog hop. These books are really great and we’d love folks to know about them! Cheers, j

    • Thanks for swinging by, Erin. Good luck and hope you win! I agree, Nancy gives us all a lot to think about and talk about. For one…how do you ride a Harley with Lee Press-on Nails???? Cheers, j

  4. Nancy, your books have always been a part of our home library. When we check books out from the church library, one of yours is usually included. I appreciate the thrill in your stories. Thank you for you ministry to the literary fie.d

    • Thanks for the very sweet post, Mary. I’m sure Nancy will appreciate your kind words and be thrilled to hear you read her books from your church library. Best of luck with the contest, and I’m happy to welcome you here to my blog…glad you joined the fun!

    • Thanks for joining the conversation, Chris…always great to hear from you. How’s your writing??? I look forward to inteviewing you someday and introducing you as a bestselling, award-winning author, like Nancy Rue! It would be my honor. j

  5. How can you, in the midst of an interview of all things, still challenge me? Even there you are making me think! Here’s what got to me today:
    “In my experience, spiritually healthy people have more questions than answers, and that keeps us going to God for clarity. How dependent would we be on our Father if we had it all figured out?” (this is the kind of statement that makes you want to cry with relief, that it’s ok to just be yourself, to not know everything or have everything figured out)
    “So maybe I’m the carrier for the living water God wants passed around. God just keeps giving me ideas and I keep scheduling and re-scheduling so I can bring them all to fruition. ”
    (I liked that description! I’m gonna use it!)

  6. Wow, 100 books! That’s quite an accomplishment! I particularly like your words of wisdom on teaching writing, as I have taught writing for a while now. Very good tips. And the scene blocking tool is a valuable one. Your story synopsis for Unexpected Dismounts sounds like fun–and adventure. I will check it out!

    • That’s right, Catherine…100 books…it’s something to respect for sure! I’m excited to hear you’re a writing teacher and hope your students will look to Nancy for encouragement that YES….it can be done :) Thanks for dropping by my little blogsite and good luck with the contest! j

  7. Wow–a great interview, and I really appreciate both your honesty and gentleness when it comes to discussing the different missions of Christian novels.

    Your books sound fascinating. I will have to check them out!

    • Thanks, Rosslyn. I think Nancy made some very important points about the damage of stereotypes. We’re all just on our own little personal journey, and thank heavens we aren’t in it alone :) Thanks for dropping by and hope you win a great prize! j

  8. Thanks for the interview, Julie and Nancy. I enjoyed Nancy’s answers to Julie’s great questions.

    I like that Nancy teaches young women and “mini-women” about the importance of authenticity. What an important message. My husband and I have tried to instill that concept in our daughter.

    I think it’s cool that Nancy rides a Harley. Our pastor rides a motorcycle and is another believer in authenticity. Such people model their messages, showing the rest of us that there’s more to living the Christian life than adhering to the status quo.

  9. Nancy and Julie, Thank you for such a wonderful interview. It is amazing how each of the blog-hop sessions with Nancy has been so different and yet very, very informative. I especially love Nancy’s description of herself as trying her best every day (paraphrase). That seems to me to be the one thing ALL of us can do, no matter what circumstances, personality or gifts we have been given by God. Thank you, Nancy, for reminding me of that. God can only use us if we are putting ourselves out there and are willing to be used. God bless you both for being out there.

  10. Oh, Julie, and everyone — I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. I truly feel like I’m among kindred spirits. Thank you, my new and old friends. Thanks you.
    Blessings,
    Nancy Rue

    • Hi Nancy, I’m so glad you’re getting a chance to read everyone’s sweet comments. We’ve had fun being a part of your bloghop. Thanks for giving me this wonderful opportunity. It’s been a true honor!

  11. I loved your answer to the question about the Christian stereotype. I am also glad to see another woman just trying to be “what God made you to be”. I think thats all we can strive for.

    Kellie

    • Thanks for joining the conversation, Sarah Frances. Hard to imagine writing 100+ books, isn’t it?!? It’s certainly something to admire! Glad you enjoyed Nancy’s inspirational interview and hope you’ll enjoy her new release. Cheers, j

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