Author Interview: May Nicole Abbey

Hello beautiful readers!

Today I have the absolute pleasure to introduce to you the sister-author team writing under the name May Nicole Abbey. (I'll address them by their first initials in the interview.) I was approached by another sister of theirs (who is also my cousin's wife) to ask if I would read and review their book, THE DREAMER, which has just been released through River Valley Publishing.

First of all, I want to thank you for being so willing and excited to interview! After reading THE DREAMER, all I can say is: Wow. I read the entire book in less than 24 hours. And though I am a fast reader, I couldn't believe how easily I was sucked into the story. Where did you first get the idea for this tale?

We are so glad you enjoyed it! Yay. And thank you for asking us to interview. We ARE excited to share our experience on your blog!

The story took years to develop actually. But it all started in 1997. We used to spend our summers in Utah with our cousins. In the summer of '97, I was home alone and the sentence 'I had a dream once that I flew' possessed me. I knew that I had to hold onto that sentence and not let my mind continue its narrative until I had a means of recording it because I was certain that once it was out of my head, my mind would not be able to recall exactly what had been there. So I ran around frantic for a pen, pencil, crayon, for goodness sakes, but found nothing. 

Finally I jumped on the computer and wrote, 'I had a dream once that I flew. While I flew nowhere of note, or for any significant duration, I did fly and that is what started this whole story...' The narrative continued for the first few pages. After writing this down I printed it out, then held onto it for years and years.

Here enters C, {my sister}. Through these years that passed, we had grown in our friendship to such a degree that I pulled out these old worn papers and read them to her. Thus the story began to unfold. C saw so clearly who Rachel was. She recognized an incomplete, sincere, but badly misguided woman and we did one of the things that we truly love to do; we developed a story. It came out piece by piece; the awful crew, Captain Tuckers inability to socialize, his tragic past, the treasure. But it started on that summer day in 1997.

Wow. Rachel definitely encompasses all of those things. And, I have to be honest, I may have a little fiction-crush on Captain Tucker. *swoon*

All of the characters have very distinct voices. How did you go about developing before you felt you'd nailed them?

It really is funny how different C and I are in what we see in a story as well as in characters. It is as if we are both sitting, side by side, looking at a piece of art. I come away from the experience with impressions of women in dresses, sun umbrella's, a sunny day. I feel the heat and the breeze. I want to swim in the water. C on the other hand, sees the expressions on their faces, and who's holding whose hand. She sees the business man in the suit and wonders why he isn't working and she even see's beyond the picture at what everyone is looking at. 

That is why we work so well together. Even in developing characters, I see an overarching personality and story line  while C understands how a person will react in relation to their past and experiences. We write differently. She knows beforehand how a character will act, or react, she truly GETS them, whereas I, when I write, feel my way through. I won't understand why a character will act a certain way, but I know that they will. It is the funnest thing for me, after writing one of my scenes, to have C analyze our characters reactions and explain to ME why they acted a certain way.

That is incredible. It makes me want to collaborate some day. When did the two of you actually begin work, and what was the most difficult part of the process?

Collaborating with the right person is so fun. C actually wrote a brief article about it that is being featured on Romance Diva's this month. Shameless plug :)  

I had to look back at my older versions of THE DREAMER to be certain of the date we really got down to writing the story. We would talk about Rachel and Captain Tucker, but we didn't really start writing about them until around 2007. Probably the hardest part of the process was the simple act of learning to write, while giving our time and effort to our family, which should be our priority. So, we had to learn to juggle and prioritize, and put first thing first. (Which means we worked late at night when our families didn't need us.)

We also had to learn HOW to write and how to tell a story. Writing is a tough talent to develop because in order to grow, you have to put something very dear to you in someone else's hands to critique and point out places that need changed or developed.

It was all a very long process and a continuing process. But we love it, even the hardships.

I've heard this before, but it never ceases to relieve me that I'm not the only one to lose sleep over the desire to write.

And your time was certainly well spent. The story is incredibly well-written. What were some resources you used, that helped you most in the learning process?

Thank you. It means a lot to hear you say so, for a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into the process of writing this book. What resources did we use? Probably the largest resource was our writing group named ANWA (America's Night Writers Association) - see there it is again, proof that most writers do it at night ;-P. There is a chapter near my home and we meet once a month where we are taught lessons on writing and then are able to share our work and have it critiqued. The women are amazing and have added to my knowledge from writing, story telling, marketing, publishing, as well as how to continue to grow. They have been and will continue to be invaluable. 

Since we live in the same area, I'm definitely going to have to look up this group. It sounds amazing.

Lastly, it's been asked many times, of many writers, but I'll ask it again. What advice would you give to writers who have yet to see their work in print?

I feel inadequate answering such a question because we are such newbies ourselves. Over the years, the advice given to us, that has served us well, is to join a good critique group, write write write, enter contests to gain experience and exposure, and last but probably most important is to never give up. We finally found a publisher who believes in us. But we had to endure many and many rejections before this. We both felt compelled to continue writing despite the discouragement and we never gave up. We were almost done with book #2 when we finally got the amazing news that we were going to get published. I believe action is required of us. We must move in order to grow.  

Ladies, I'm so very impressed with the work you've done on this novel. I hope I can learn and grow to create something as polished and engaging as you have here.

Thank you for such a delightful interview! It has been so fun.

And now for my amazing, wonderful, loyal readers, on Wednesday I will be having a giveaway! One lucky winner of a random drawing will receive THE DREAMER on E Book for the Kindle. I promise you want this - it is AMAZING! If you don't own a Kindle, just make sure you can get the Kindle app on your computer or smartphone. So come on back then to enter!

If you're too impatient and want it NOW, go check it out on Amazon!
(Here's my review of the book. If you're interested.)

See ya Wednesday!


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