She's an author, avid reader, and shameless hero addict. She loves books, Ancient Rome and all things gladiator. She makes her home in Houston, Texas with her husband, stepsons, and one very spoiled pitbull mix named Eric T. She is a 2015 Grace Award recipient, a two-time ACFW Genesis finalist, and a Romance Writers of America Lonestar finalist in the Inspirational Category. Though she still doesn't understand the point of white crayons, she is passionate about writing unforgettable stories with real characters that rise from brokenness to victory.
Please help me welcome Nancy Kimball!!! (Cue the applause :-) )
Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
My parents. Mom and Dad read to me when I was little and my flannel board Bible stories in Sunday School sparked my love of story. As a tween and young adult, I wore out the library and we lived in a very rural area without neighbor kids so books were my friends.
How does your upcoming release, Unseen Love, relate to your faith journey?
When I wrote it in 2010, it was earmarked as the “get me published” story because it held more mass-market appeal than its predecessor, Chasing the Lion, which I was still trying to find a publisher for at the time. It was finished, edited and complete since 2012, but I feared inciting my loyal Chasing the Lion following to riot if I released anything that wasn’t the sequel to that book. The fear of that backlash kept Unseen Love in storage until this summer my writing partners and my husband became the catalyst to overcoming those fears. Through their love and support and some repenting, I got honest about whose approval I was really seeking. The Lord’s or my readers. Now my priorities are back in order and the book is coming as soon as the cover is finished and the formatting is done.
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
The honesty in my work and with my characters. They have real fears, frustrations, questions, struggles, triumphs, bad decisions, regrets, who question God and shake their fist at Him at times, doubt His goodness at others, and through it all are stronger and better for it at the end. By the time a reader has finished one of my novels, they know my characters almost as intimately as I do and seen shades of their own lives within them, and that’s what makes them so unforgettable.
Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured in Unseen Love?
Oh, GREAT question. A main character with a disability and a new Christian struggling with sexual temptation. I don’t find characters with disabilities, especially main characters, often enough for my tastes in Christian fiction. The Disney film Love Leads the Way about the first guide dog in the United States, and Touch the Top of the World, the autobiography of Eric Weihenmayer, a blind athlete, mountain climber, and motivational speaker who has summited Mt. Everest and every other peak on every continent on the globe, changed my life forever. It gave me such a respect for the abilities of the blind it remained close to my heart and came out when I wrote this novel.
So did something a lot of male readers will be able to relate to. Sexual temptation. This isn’t a facet of a man’s character that magically disappears when he comes to faith in Christ. This is another thing I find underrepresented in Christian fiction, especially romance, that “the struggle is real” and is especially tough on men like my hero who are recent converts and didn’t grow up True Love Waits. They have pasts and sometimes those pasts bring relationships and entanglements that continue in day to day life as they seek to embrace an abstinent lifestyle. Drusus, the hero in Unseen Love, perfectly captures this as he presses on to live honorably in his faith while working out his humanity with its sexual attraction, sketchy past, and at times a very honest temper. He also has a hidden talent that’s REALLY COOL that I hope male and female readers alike enjoy learning about.
What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about blindness, that isn't so?
People who are blind do not use footstep count to gauge distance. But we see that in movies all the time and it’s wrong! They do not think “it is six steps to the door from my bed” because when a person is tired, or carrying something, their stride shortens. Though I am not blind I put all my effort and abilities into researching and representing well the challenges and uniqueness of living with blindness and pray I did it justice representing it in the ancient world.
I'm sure you've done a memorable job. Tell us...Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
Part-time and while I’m tempted to blame that for the years between releases, it really isn’t. I haven’t developed the discipline to write when I’m not inspired to and when I’m not burning with passion for the characters and their stories. But I’m working on that. So I am a work in progress as much as my own work in progress.
What are some ways in which you promote your work?
After I released Chasing the Lion, I didn’t do much promoting. It is in an uncrowded (relatively speaking) sub-genre of Christian fiction so it’s selling in ebook on Amazon and audiobook on Audible on searches and hits, together with strength of cover and reviews. Which is really rewarding almost three years later, and I’m hoping to see the same with Unseen Love. My amazing subscriber email list will help me get it launched and get initial reviews up, but after that it’s up to the story and reader word of mouth to get the new novel out there into more reader hands. I’m going right back to working on my next book.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I’m pleading the fifth. I announced on my website recently the highly anticipated sequel to Chasing the Lion is on hold indefinitely. I’m still maintaining that position but can share that I am working on two projects right now and whichever one is finished first will be my next release. I learned the hard way not to overpromise, so I’ll just say I fully expect to have Unseen Love out by Thanksgiving and a new release sometime in 2017. God willing and I continue to cultivate more discipline in my writing.
I completely understand, Nancy. Even the Bible teaches us to say, "Lord willing." Thanks so much for sharing with us today.
Everyone, I hope you've all enjoyed Nancy's visit as much as I have, but in case you think the fun is over... Nancy had offered to giveaway an ebook copy of CHASING THE LION to one of this post's participants. ( Winner to be announced in the Monday Weekly Wind-up post.)
So let's talk... Nancy mentioned unforgettable characters. What is one of the most unforgettable characters you still carry with you? What about them was most rememberable?
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