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27 February 2012

Interview with Clasher Nancy Kimball

*this clash hosted by April W Gardner

We’re talking "hooks" this week. Those composed of words, that is. Words that dig under your skin, embed themselves in your mind, and, like a drug, make you crave more.

Isn't that the kind of book we readers are always on the hunt for? The kind that hypnotize. Once we've found one, it’s hard to move on to reading anything less. At least, not until the “buzz” of the "Amazing One" has worn off!

The first 500 words of Nancy Kimball's novel, Chasing the Lion, hooked me in just such a way. I'm pleased to introduce her to you, today. If you missed her novel's excerpt, you can read it HERE.

Author Nancy Kimball

Nancy, thanks for being with us! Name a book you've read that immediately hooked your attention and held it until the end.
Karen Witemeyer's To Win Her Heart. I started it and then couldn't put it down. It was the first time I actually paid someone to cut my yard because daylight was fading fast on a Sunday and it was either another letter from the homeowner's association or find out if Eden would still love Levi when his skeletons found their way out of the closet.

Yep, I’d say that qualifies! LOL Karen is a great writer (and a COTT champ!), but I have yet to read “To Win Her Heart.” I look forward to it even more now! 
Win this novel!
See below
So tell us, Nancy, how many novels have you completed so far?
One, and there was no feeling in the world like those two beautiful words "The End." I'm looking forward to knowing it again very soon.

Congrats! May you experience the power of those two words many times over. Now that you’ve completed your dream and know it’s possible, how would you respond to someone who said, "I've got a novel in my head but would never be good enough to write it"?
Win this novel!
See below
You're not good enough to write it, but the moment you put the first sentence down, you become good enough. The novel in your head is really the story in your heart, and as you give it life beyond your own thoughts by putting it on a page, you will grow as the story grows.

Well said! No one is born a writer. Like any other skill, it takes many hours of practice to hone. 
Tell us about your novel. Who is the main character? What is his heart's desire and what is keeping him from accomplishing or obtaining it?
Chasing the Lion is the story of a young slave in first-century Rome who becomes a gladiator and fights to save the woman he loves while rediscovering the faith he abandoned as a child. His heart's desire is to understand and be at peace with who he is, which in the beginning and middle of his journey, Jonathan believes it's the suffering he endures over and over because of betrayal, slavery, and the harsh realities of gladiator life that keep him from finding the joy and peace he craves. Beneath his circumstances is a deeper pain that will never heal until Jonathan accepts that his worth and identity do not come from reclaiming his stolen life of noble privilege or becoming a legend without equal in the gladiator arena. Meanwhile, the God Jonathan turned from pours into him through the heart and hands of a young slave girl whose strong faith must carry the both of them, because God knows that one day soon the fate of the entire Roman Empire will be decided at the end of Jonathan's sword.

Wow! The entire Roman Empire? Sounds deliciously historical! Thanks for that bird’s eye view of your novel. It’s a setting we don’t see enough of these days!
Okay, now for a closer look into your life…name three things in your refrigerator that should not be there.
You've caught me on a really good week. No separated milk languishing in the jug, no pizza box with a few crusts in it, or empty ice trays in the freezer, which are the usual culprits.

Good girl! My fridge is having a pretty good week too—only one tub of unidentifiable green mush.
It being February, tell us about your most memorable (good or bad!) Valentine's Day.
That's easy! The first Valentine's Day after my husband and I were married, I cashed in our gift certificate for a single night stay at a local hotel and went shopping. Chocolate covered strawberries, a little something pretty for me, and even cocktail shrimp I washed and put on ice for him. That was extremely sacrificial on my part because I hate shrimp, especially the feel and smell of them, hehe. I drove to his office and put a teddy-bear holding the card with the room key inside it on the front seat of his car without anyone seeing. And then on the way back to the hotel to wait, I got pulled over but managed to talk my way out of the ticket. He told me later that when he opened the car and the room key fell out, he almost didn't even read the card. ;-)

LOL!! You got pulled over?! You must have been speeding to get to that hotel. Wink.
What is the message in your novel you hope readers come away with?
I believe what Jonathan learns along the way about trust, forgiveness, grief and steadfastness will speak differently to each reader as they experience Jonathan's journey through the filter of their own life experiences, unmet needs and unanswered questions. But if I had Jonathan's sword poised over my neck and were forced to give a straight answer or die, I would say the message is before you complain your suffering is a test like Job, be sure it isn't Sovereign God pursuing you with whatever it takes to accomplish His plan and break through your hardened heart. We all want to think we're Job when sometimes we're Jonah instead.

You must tell us more about being a crew member of an 1877 tall-ship! And for a whole summer? Sounds like quite the adventure. Do tell!
My year with the Elissa was one of the highlights of my life. The story of this amazing ship, from her christening in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1877 to her years as a trade ship and later as a smuggling ship are rich with history.
Elissa continues to sail, crewed by the many volunteers who earn sailing time by contributing to her year-round maintenance. You don't stand aloft on a foot-rope until you've tarred a few, and like the Captain said at orientation my first sail-training class, sailing Elissa is the only way to truly keep her preserved. I confess there was nothing quite as surreal as the first fist-full of line as I climbed up the standing rigging toward the main mast to step out on a yard for the first time. I didn't have a knife clenched in my teeth, or a wool cap on my head, but in that moment and the amazing memories that followed I was part of something bigger than myself, bigger than a rescued square-rigged ship nearly a century and a half old, and that something is why I write historical and if I may be so bold, why readers read them.
The past is still and will always be a part of who we are.

Sounds like you should be writing a sailing novel next! There are few who are more qualified, I’m quite certain! What an adventure.

Now, you’re having a different sort of adventure here at COTT and crossing swords with author William Ramirez who we will meet on Wednesday.

Thanks, Nancy, for being with us during this Clash!

WhiteFire Publishing is showing its support of Clash of the Titles by donating one of the above books (winner's choice!), both written by the amazing author, Roseanna M White. Readers, remember that even though voting is over, you can enter the drawing multiple times for one of the two books shown above—once for each comment! 
You start by answering Nancy’s question!
When looking for a historical read, do you have a preference for a time period or era or do you consider the story first when choosing?
To get to know Nancy better, visit her at her site: http://www.nancykimball.blogspot.com/
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Item Reviewed: Interview with Clasher Nancy Kimball Rating: 5 Reviewed By: April Gardner