Saturday, November 1, 2014

Author Spotlight - Award Winning Author, Nancy Stewart

Nancy Stewart on her award winning title Katrina and Winter:  Partners in Courage and
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?  Although I've written academic papers for my entire career, I've been writing children's books for eight years.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN WRITING?  I taught Children's and Young Adult Literature in my career as a university professor.  During that time, I thought of writing for kids.  It was only after my first grandchild was born that I began my new career in earnest, and I have never looked back.  Writing for children has become my life. 

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?  Katrina Simpkins and Winter, the dolphin are the very definition of courage.  As the two of them have become fast friends, the title really named itself.  Girl and dolphin are truly partners in courage.

IS THIS YOUR FIRST BOOK?  No, this is my fifth book. I have written the Bella and Britt series of books for children as well.  


DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?  I have written my first YA novel, A Life of Lies, about a young teen who goes into Witness Protection with her dad and concerns the events that change her life forever.  This book has not been sold as of yet.

The fourth Bella and Britt book, Mystery at Manatee Key, will be will be released by Guardian Angel Publishing in 2014.  This is a true Bella and Britt mystery, where Britt must save the day.  It will be available at:  and

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF:  I’ve been an elementary school teacher and a professor of education where I taught, among other courses, Children’s and Young Adult Literature.  I lived in London for ten years and was a consultant to the University of Cambridge.  I have three sons, all of whom gather in Clearwater Beach, Florida with their families at our beach condo. That very beach is where the inspiration came for the Bella and Britt books.  I am a frequent presenter at the annual Illinois Reading Council Conference, where I’ll present again in March, 2014.  I speak at SCBWI conferences and in June, 2012 was on the faculty of the SCBWI Orlando Mid-Year Workshop, where I co-taught an intensive workshop on non-fiction.
TELL US SOMETHING INTERESTING THAT OUR READERS MIGHT FIND FASCINATING ABOUT YOU:  I took a Cordon Bleu cooking course while living in London.  I am a total foodie and love cooking, particularly French recipes.

WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME?  I love to visit with friends, and that almost always involves lunch or dinner!  I enjoy walking Louie, our year old Bichon/Shih Tsu puppy.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?  My favorite movie is Remains of the Day.  Having lived in London, I am partial to all things English.

WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE AS AN AUTHOR?  One challenge for me is to always stay fresh with a new and relevant story.  I always worry about basically writing the same story.  I want my books to shine with originality well rounded characters.  That takes a lot of thought and energy and research.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER ASPIRING AUTHORS?  Keep writing!  Try to make time to write every day.  More than anything else, this exercise will hone your craft.   Don't write in a vacuum!  Join a critique group where like minded writers support each other, and there are always those all important fresh eyes.  When the rejections begin, and they will, do not be discouraged.  It is a major part of the publication process, so treat them that way.  Learn, and move on.

CAN YOU OFFER ANY TIPS ON GETTING PUBLISHED?  Be true to your passion.  By that I mean, don't try to write what you think is hot right now, but it really is not what you love.  Passion in your writing must show through in an inspired manuscript.  If you can pull that off, you'll be published!

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?  I would like to say thank you for reading about my books.  I so appreciate it.  And for those of you out there that are longing to write, keep working at it.  Success in this profession comes to those who persevere. 
Nancy Stewart  
Website:  Blog:
Member:  (Published and Listed) 
One Pelican at a Time: A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill, 18 weeks on Amazon Bestseller in Children's Books, Amazon Hot New Releases, Amazon Most Wished for in Children's Books, The Literary Classics Silver Award, 2012, Literary Classics Seal of Approval, Global eBook Award Nominee, Readers Favorite 5 Star Award (Guardian Angel Publishing, 2011)
Sea Turtle Summer: Amazon Bestseller in Children's Books, The Literary Classics Gold Award, 2012, Literary Classics Seal of Approval, 2011 (Guardian Angel Publishing, December, 2011)
Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage: Amazon Bestseller in Children’s Books (Guardian Angel Publishing, May, 2012)
Bella Saves the Beach: (Guardian Angel Publishing, March, 2013)
Mystery at Manatee Key: (Guardian Angel Publishing, October, 2014)

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval

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