Nancy J Farrier is an award winning author who lives in Southern California in the Mojave Desert. She loves the Southwest and interesting historical past. Nancy and her husband have five children. When Nancy isn’t writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Karen Ball of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website: nancyjfarrier.com.
Nancy is giving away a copy of her new release, Immigrant Bride Series and a tote bag for all of your favorite books! Leave a comment and tell us some crazy thing you've done to be entered in the drawing.
At this very moment I’m sitting on the couch in the living room, laptop on my lap and my legs curled up under me. I’m wearing exercise capris and a comfy t-shirt. My hair is pulled back with a scrunchie, and I am saying, “Thank you, thank you,” that this isn’t a video chat. LOL
What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
The inspiration for my book, An Ostrich a Day, came when I accompanied my daughters on a field trip to an ostrich ranch. I was fascinated and called the owner later to ask if I could come and interview her to research a book. She was so much fun. We spent an afternoon together and she shared many stories about raising ostriches, some that happened to her and her husband, and some that others experienced. I included parts of those stories in my book, or used them for reference for my characters. (Before the book released, I took the manuscript to her to read and check for errors. She loved the story and I thanked her in my dedication.)
One of the stories she related had to do with the younger male ostriches – the teenagers so to speak. The adolescent males can be very rambunctious. A person can go in a pen of female ostriches safely, but you have to be careful of those rowdy boys.
She told of one man who wouldn’t listen to those who cautioned him. He wanted to show off and went into the ostrich pen. The male ostriches became very excited and surrounded him so he couldn’t exit the pen. By the time they were able to get him out, he was still alive, but lost every stitch of his clothing. A hard lesson learned. I used this scene in my book, but the character in the book did not lose all of his clothes, just part of them. Even now, thinking about that scene makes me smile.
What is something that very few people know about you?
I grew up going to church with my family, but didn’t know I needed to ask Jesus to be my Savior. When I was sixteen, I questioned everything my parents taught, and didn’t find any good answers. So, I turned away from my parents, from the church and from God.
The next several years were miserable, I acted like life was wonderful, but inside I had a heart filled with pain. I hated everyone, because I hated myself. At 18, I became pregnant and my fiancé and I married. Over the next six years I miscarried three times, and felt worthless as a woman. When I became pregnant for the 4th time, I didn’t think I would be able to live if I lost another child, even contemplating suicide. I cried out to God and told Him I would believe in Him if He let me have this baby.
I gave birth to a healthy baby boy and told God I believed in Him now, but my life, which had become difficult didn’t change. What I didn’t know is that “even the demons believe and tremble.” (James 2:19 NKJV) By this time my marriage was a shambles, and I didn’t know what to do, or where to turn.
Our son was 20 months old when my husband died in a car accident. I didn’t think life could get any worse. I felt responsible because of all the trouble we’d been having. But, God was there, working on my hardened heart. Almost a year after my husband died, I knelt on my living room floor and begged Jesus to forgive me and to become my Lord and Savior. What felt like a physical weight lifted from my shoulders, and I became a changed person.
Since that day, life hasn’t always been easy. I lost my home in a flood, and had another home destroyed in a sink hole. Yet, through everything God has given me strength, peace and joy. He’s given me a wonderful husband and five children. I wouldn’t trade my life with Jesus Christ for anything. He is my life.
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
I am surrounded by wonderful material possessions that may not be valuable to most people, but are treasured by me. That’s because of the memories associated with each item – something one of my kids gave me, something that belonged to my mom, etc. I have a very special book given to me this past Mother’s Day, which is handwritten and illustrated by my grandson. I can’t even express how much that means to me.
One of my new favorite possessions is my iPad. I didn’t think I would become so attached when I got this, but it’s so easy to carry in my purse and so useful. I have my Bible on it, books on the Kindle app, a list maker for my shopping, a camera to take pictures, internet access, and on and on. One of my favorite apps and the reason I first got the iPad is OnSong. This is an app for people who do worship in their church. As Worship Leader in my church this in invaluable resource for me.
Yes, I know I could give up the iPad, but I wouldn’t find it fun. Lol
If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future, when and where would that be and why?
While I write historical fiction and love studying the time periods and how people live, I deal in the fictionalized reality, not the way things actually were. When I think what people faced living in those times, I don’t want to go back there.
I feel God placed me in this time, right now, for a purpose. I’m content to be here – mostly, lol – without any desire for time travel one direction or the other.
That said, if I could go to a time when people could travel on hover boards like they had in the Scott Westerfeld’s, Uglies, books, that would be fun. I loved the hover boards and the fact they had the bracelet that kept them from hitting the ground if they fell off. What fun. So maybe I would go to an alternate reality, not forward or backward.
If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
Free to Laugh – Trusting God with every aspect of my life has given me the freedom to laugh and enjoy the life He’s given me. Yes, there are down times, times of hurt or discouragement, but overall I love to laugh and find joy in life.
What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story?
From the time I first learned to read, I devoured books. I would go to the library and bring home a pile of books to read each week. The library was one of my favorite places.
I wasn’t always crazy about the assigned reading books in school, but in 10th grade my English teacher assigned The Hobbit. I’d never read any fantasy books before and didn’t even realize there was such a genre outside of fairy tale type of books. I will never forget the fascination I had for Tolkien’s story. We were to take a few weeks to read and discuss The Hobbit. I think I finished it in a couple of days. I don’t know how many times I reread it during that time. I loved the adventure and in reading, was drawn into the story like I had never been before.
I still love fantasy stories, but most of all I love stories where I connect with the characters. I read fiction to become part of the story, and to learn something to. In reading The Hobbit, I learned about bravery, honesty and loyalty, plus many other lessons. Yep, I just love books and reading.
Okay, so this is something I kept secret for years, but I did confess to my mother a couple of years before she passed away. My big, terrible secret.
Until I was nine-years-old, we lived in a small Indiana community. Our neighbors were wonderful and it was a great place to grow up. The house we lived in had a huge front porch, which strangely shrank to a very normal sized porch when I went back to look at the house as an adult. LOL
When I was around five or six-years-old, we had a bird, our only pet. Sometimes Mom would let the bird out to fly around the room. I loved that bird, but was fascinated after hearing stories about cats catching birds and killing them. I couldn’t imagine how any cat could catch a winged creature that flitted so high and so fast.
One day I was alone in the living room. The bird flew about, going from one side of the room to the cage to the curtains on the other side of the room. I loved to watch him fly. This was a spring day, so the front storm door was open, leaving the only the screen door between the living room and outdoors. I heard a noise and looked over to see the neighbor’s cat at our door watching the bright-colored bird flit around the room.
Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat this time, but the bird didn’t fare so well. As soon as I cracked the door open that cat moved with light speed into the room, leaped into the air, grabbed the bird mid-flight, was out the door and gone before I had time to process what had happened. I’d never seen an animal move so fast.
Now, I knew I would be in huge trouble, so I pretended I had no idea what happened to our little parakeet. For many years I kept quiet about what really happened. The funny thing was when I finally “fessed” up to Mom, she said, “Oh, I figured that’s what happened.” I did learn a valuable lesson that day – at the cost of that poor bird.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I think most of us do some very crazy things when we’re young and don’t understand the full consequences we might face. Sometimes, tragedy happens because of this and sometimes we survive by the grace of God.
I loved horses and I used to go riding a lot with a friend of mine. He was as crazy as I was. Once when we were riding, we decided we wanted to cross the main highway to visit someone. This was a very busy north-south road in Indiana with a lot of traffic. We wanted to cross outside of town, so the cars and semis would be travelling about 65mph. That made it hard to get across safely on horseback.
One of us had the bright idea to cross over on the railroad bridge. Yep, there was a railroad bridge across this busy highway that was in just the right place. We figured we could ride our sometimes skittish horses over a road with big trucks traveling at high speeds and without knowing the train schedule. At that time trains came through town frequently.
We started out, and I remember looking down at those vehicles racing below and being afraid, but I couldn’t back down. I have to say there was no fence or anything at the edge of the railroad bridge. It dropped off with no guard rail at all.
If I remember right, my friend’s horse balked about half way across and we ended up turning around and going back. I was terrified that a train would come along and can still remember the utter relief I felt when we were back on safe ground. This is also something I didn’t tell my parents about. I would have been grounded and locked in my room for the next thirty years with good cause. That’s probably the most dangerous thing I ever did. Sometimes when I hear about teenagers doing something dangerous and getting hurt, I remember that time and understand. I am so grateful nothing horrible happened to either of us.
Join nine young women who leave their homelands to pursue the American dream! Spanning the years 1775 to 1906, this can't-put-down collection of historical romances includes Capucine: Home to My Heart; Freedom's Cry; The Golden Cord; I Take Thee, a Stranger; Blessed Land; Promises Kept; The Blessing Basket; The Angel of Nuremburg; and Prairie Schoolmarm. Nancy's novella is Blessed Land, the story of a young girl in 1854, Tucson, Arizona, right after the Gadsden Purchase made that area part of the United States of America.