Pump Up Chats with Nancy Carty Lepri
Nancy Carty Lepri, a North Carolina transplant, was born and raised in Massachusetts. She, along with husband, Art and daughter, Danielle, have also lived in FL and LA. While in MA, Nancy worked as an editorial assistant for a publisher and continued her studies, earning an AA degree from Cape Cod Community College and a BA from Western New England College. In 2006, she became a certified editor through Cape Fear Community College in NC. Nancy freelanced writing for several local newspapers, local, national and international trade magazines, taught online writing and art courses, illustrated children’s books, and started four mainstream novels. A senior editor for a national publisher, Nancy edited and wrote press releases for more than twenty novels, as well as copy editing and reviewing for “Affaire de Coeur” magazine. Currently, Nancy edits and critiques manuscripts, reviews for ReaderToReader.com and New York Journal of Books. She just completed her sequel to Tiny Angel, her children’s chapter book, published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. in November 2009.
Visit Nancy online at http://nancycl.webs.com.
Thank you for this interview, Nancy. Do you remember writing stories as a child or did the writing bug come later? Do you remember your first published piece?
As a child, I was more apt to read than write and always had my nose in a book. I did dream up stories though I didn’t actually start writing until I was in school completing English assignments. I was first published as a freelance reporter writing articles for a freebie newspaper called “The Tightwad Times” advising readers on how to save money.
What do you consider as the most frustrating side of becoming a published author and what has been the most rewarding?
I think the most frustrating aspect of being a published writer is the marketing and promotion. I am NOT a salesperson and find it very difficult selling myself. The most rewarding aspect is seeing my name in print and the hope that my story has an impact on others.
Are you married or single and how do you combine the writing life with home life? Do you have support?
I am very much married, having just celebrated my thirty-ninth anniversary! My husband sometimes leaves me alone while I’m working, but he likes to “check up” on me to make sure I’m okay, or just come into my office to talk, which at times I must to admit, drives me crazy and ruins my concentration. However, if I nicely (or sometimes not so nicely!) ask him to leave me alone, he will. I think there are times he would like to throw my computer out the window, but I admit I spend too much time on it. <G>
Can you tell us about your latest book and why you wrote it?
I started writing Tiny Angel in 1995, before I moved to North Carolina. I was working full time and taking college courses, tackling as many writing courses as I could. One day out of the blue, the subject of bullying came up, which was something I endured as a child. Because I was very shy and wore glasses, I was constantly taunted, being called “Four-eyes” and “Teacher’s Pet”. I felt alone and as though I never fit in. I took that situation and decided to write about it, not only to purge my unhappiness at what I went through, but also to share it with other children, so they would not feel alone and apart from their peers. Kids often think their problems are insurmountable and do not realize everyone has some kind of problem, so if my story gets through to just one child to let them know they can overcome shyness, bullies, and adversity, then this book will have done its job.
Can you share an excerpt?
This is from the first chapter…
A thwack to the back of her head reminded her that her misery was endless. She grabbed the runaway pencil from her lap and held it up.
Kenny reached and snatched it from her. Macy blinked hard to keep the tears away. Please don’t let me cry in front of the other kids.
“Hey, I think Macy forgot her pencil. She’s trying to steal mine.” He leaned in with a nasty smirk and whispered, “Hey, chubbo, do you get a royalty every time someone up-sizes their burgers at Wendy’s?”
Choking with anger, Macy balled up her fist, but before she could give Kenny the pounding he deserved, a blazing ball of bright, pink light blasted through the room. It passed between them, looking like a tiny comet zinging around Kenny’s head.
“What the…?” He swatted at it, his eyes nearly bulging out of his head. The little pink fireball dodged at him again. Kenny lost his balance, and his butt hit the floor—hard.
Macy blinked and her mouth flew open. What the heck was that? It sounded like an insect, but was much bigger than any bug she’d ever seen. It was almost as if one of those fireworks she’d seen at Greenwood Park with her parents last summer had come to life and was waging war on Kenny.
She didn’t want to smile, but just then, Macy couldn’t think of a good reason not to.
“What did you do, you little dweeb?” Kenny hissed.
Everyone in the class was either laughing or whispering and pointing at him. He got up from the floor and brushed the dust off his pants.
“What’s the matter, Kenny,” Joey Martin mocked. “You let a girl push you?”
“Didn’t you see that?” Kenny’s freckles popped out like raisins all over his nose.
“See what?” Joey asked.
“You…you didn’t see that light buzz through here?”
The other kids laughed harder.
Macy refused to say anything. Let them think Kenny was seeing things. She didn’t know what had happened—what that little fireball was—but she couldn’t keep from grinning, picturing Kenny sprawled on the floor.
God had not only answered her prayers, but kept her from punching Kenny out and getting suspended. It was like a dream come true. Something finally put Kenny in his place.
Where’s your favorite place to write at home?
I have a wonderful wall-unit office system that consists of bookshelves, a lateral file cabinet, a CPU cabinet and large writing desk, which I have set up in my third bedroom. My reference books and music are all within reach and have plenty of space to spread out and work to my heart’s content. Also, the room has a door that I can close if I want privacy. <G>
What is one thing about your book that makes it different from other books on the market?
The fact that I wrote it! Ha ha… I’m kidding, of course. I guess it is different because most of the story comes straight from my heart and my history. I am also a huge believer in guardian angels—in fact, I truly believe my own angel, Jody, which is the name of my main character’s angel—is constantly watching over me and guiding me, giving me great comfort. I felt using my situation and an angel would give children hope as well as a bit of fantasy.
Tables are turned…what is one thing you’d like to say to your audience who might buy your book one day?
First of all, thank you! I realize finances are tough now and I can’t expect people to rush out and buy my book on my say so. But I hope those who do buy it don’t feel they’ve wasted their hard-earned money. My wish is that they enjoy my story and find they can either relate to it or know of a child who is hurting who could benefit from reading it. It was not only written to teach children lessons in faith and confidence, but to offer a chance for them to escape into someone else’s life and learn they are not alone.
Thank you for this interview, Nancy. Good luck on your virtual book tour!
Thank you! It has been a pleasure and I hope those who do read my book get in touch with me to give me their feedback. I’m always eager to hear what others think about my story.