Interview with author Nancy I. Sanders
Even though you may never have met Nancy I. Sanders face to face, many of you already know and love her as the author of our WriteShop Primary series. Eager to introduce you to this warm, wise, and wonderful woman, I first interviewed Nancy when we were preparing to release WriteShop Primary Book A.
With WriteShop Primary Book B recently published in July, and Book C slated for release in just two weeks, I have that opportunity once again. This time, however, In Our Write Minds is honored to be a featured stop on Nancy’s virtual book tour, as she has just released her latest winner: Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career.
This jam-packed book with the long title is just as long on practical, simple, time-tested strategies anyone can use to become a published children’s author. The most exciting part? By following Nancy’s tried-and-true method, you will learn how to sign a contract with a publisher before your book is even written! Join me as we learn more about Nancy and Yes! You Can.
Q: Nancy, you’ve written over 75 books for both children and adults. Do you have a favorite genre?
A: I love variety! Right now I’m enjoying writing picture books, but I always love to work on different manuscripts and write for different markets. Some of my favorites include beginning readers and Bible stories. And I love writing board books for babies.
I also love to teach others how to write—from young children to adult. That’s why I especially enjoyed writing the WriteShop Primary books and am eager to write the upcoming WriteShop Junior program as well.
Q: I’m curious—what motivated you to create a “how-to” book for children’s writers?
A: Since I’ve led various critique groups for over 15 years, I’m always trying to help the writers in my group—as well as writers I connect with—to meet their personal goals and experience a measure of success. On my blog, I frequently write posts to answer questions writers send my way or to encourage writers each step of the way. One day a publisher contacted me, said she had been reading my blog, and offered me a book contract for the material based on my blog! Thus, my new book, Yes! You Can, was born.
Q: I know you have a heart to come alongside others to help and encourage them. Who, in particular, should read your new book?
A: I wrote my book for the very beginning writer who just has a spark of the dream to write. I also wrote it for people who have been writing for years but just can’t seem to make the jump to the next level of their career. Plus I wrote it for everyone in between. I have a tip at the end of each section for beginning writers and also for professionals to help each level apply the strategies I recommend to build a successful career. For my Writer’s Pyramid approach to time management and focus, I offer strategies for writers who can spend just one hour a day and also strategies for writers who can write 40 hours a week. I geared this book to speak directly to each writer at the exact stage each person is in her career.
Q: Could this be a resource for the homeschool market? How might your new book benefit homeschooling families?
A: It’s amazing how many famous authors wanted to be writers as kids. Because Yes! You Can is geared toward beginning writers, it’s a great resource to give to teens who have that interest or desire to write. They’ll find out about the real world of a writer and will also be encouraged to start following their dreams. Plus, because the book is jam-packed with key information about the industry of writing, they’ll have a handy reference to follow if they want to actually start submitting manuscripts to publishers. There are so many practical step-by-step methods included within the various chapters that it’s also a great teaching resource for a “Writing to Get Published” program. In fact, various universities are starting to consider using it for their writing classes, and one already is!
Yes! You Can is also a perfect resource for homeschooling moms and dads who want to write a book. There are so many adults who have a great book idea but don’t have the faintest idea what to do about it. This book shows them where to start and what direction to go.
Q: Although Yes! You Can has only been available for a few months, do have any success stories to share yet?
A: The strategies in my book are tried and true in that they have worked for me over the years. But not only have they worked for me, these are the strategies that many of the members in my critique groups use. There are so many success stories I could share—from how one member of my critique group landed her very first book contract with the very first publisher she contacted. Other members have gone from not having anything published for years to now writing for top magazines or getting published regularly and actually getting paid for it. One gal followed the advice on my blog and signed her first book contract this summer. And recently, someone I do not know posted the following comment on my blog—it’s probably the best success story I’ve heard of yet!
I’m on Chapter 11 of your book. I love it! You have changed my whole approach to writing for children. By the end of Chapter 2, I started to try your methods. I landed a book contract that same week using your strategies! My whole critique group is buying your book now. I think you may be pioneering a new era. Thank you so much. -Jennifer
How encouraging—and what a testimony to Nancy’s desire to help others write their own success stories. Editors and authors alike are acclaiming Nancy’s new book—so much so that she often sells out whenever she speaks! You can find her WriteShop Primary books in the WriteShop store.