Title: Love Unfeigned
Author: Nadine C. Keels
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date Published: February 27, 2013
Pages/Word Count: 126 pages/34,340 words
Love to the chords of a classic jazz band… From the first time Lorraine, a plucky and competitive girl, contends on the playground against Isaiah, an impish boy whose smile gleams in more ways than one, the two of them can’t help knowing each other. Neither can they avoid passions and misfortunes lining the path to young adulthood, and when the breakup of Isaiah’s family disrupts the haven he’s shared with Lorraine, their natural relationship is eventually threatened by jealousy, grave trauma, and abandonment. As one year follows another, and another, what might it take to reunite these two companions in love: love undeniably real and unbounded by time? “Everything didn’t have to turn out perfect. I just wanted you there.”
Interview with Nadine C. Keels
1. What got you started on this path as an author?
I’ve been a bookworm all my life, and my love of writing stemmed from the many books I read as a child, from authors like Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. Hence, I’ve been writing stories since I was seven or eight years old. Then, during the few days of a horrific experience I had when I was thirteen, a novel saved my life: John Nielson Had a Daughter by Ruth Livingston Hill. That whole experience is a long story, but my purpose for writing books (beyond writing for my own pleasure) was first awakened there. I now write to help people: to bring hope, to change minds, to expand imagination, to provide entertainment, and to save lives, all of which other authors’ books have done for me.
2. Was there a specific inspiration for this book?
Firstly, on a major note, I was inspired by my conviction that imperfect people can, should, and do experience perfect love. Secondly, on a minor note, I was driven by my years of longing to one day publish a book with a lot of RED on the cover, red being my favorite color for the passion it represents. For the first time, I designed a book cover before I had a story or plot to go along with it. I only had a title, ideas for the cover, and a desire to write about love. Once I finished designing the cover, the story began to take form, drawn from over twelve chronicled dreams, unrelated story bits with plots too incomplete to even be called “short stories,” and little nuggets from my personal history. What I weaved together from all of that became Love Unfeigned.
3. Is there any specific place you like to write?
I prefer a quiet room indoors, sitting at my laptop. If it’s sunny outside, I like to sit where fresh air and lots of sunlight can come in, but I don’t necessarily want to go outside while I’m writing. Too many pleasant distractions out there.
4. Do you have any interesting quirks while you’re writing?
I have a tendency to physically play out some of the scenes in my fiction, either to get a feel for the way I’d like to write them, or to make sure I’ve written them the way I see them playing out in my head. I’ll take on the role of a character or two: standing in their positions, quoting their lines in my best renditions of their voices, doing my best to make their facial expressions and to use their body language, whispering, yelling, crying (sort-of)–whatever gives me the best sense of the scenes. Songs I know or musical scores I’ve made up accompany most of my fiction, and if it’s the scene for it, I’ll hum the music in the background if none of the characters are talking. I’ve a list of classic jazz songs that inspired me while writing about Isaiah and Lorraine in Love Unfeigned, including (of course) “Sweet Lorraine.” http://prismaticprospects.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/love-unfeigned-extras/
5. You have quite a few books out. I know authors love all their babies, but does any one particular book stand out for you?
Each of my books stand out in different ways, to me. Yella’s Prayers stands out because, although it’s not the first book I published, it’s the first one I ever wrote and finished, my first novel, and to this day, it’s still the longest book I’ve ever written. I wrote it when I was seventeen. I must mention that The Movement of Crowns stands out to me as well, since it’s the kind of epic story I’ve always wanted to write, and the idea for the particular story came to me at the same time Yella’s Prayers did, back when I was in high school, though it would be some years before I’d grow enough as a writer and as a person to be able to write Crowns the way I wanted.
6. What authors/books have influenced you?
Besides Ruth Livingston Hill and John Nielson Had a Daughter, which first inspired me to help people with my writing, I’m also heavily influenced by Henry James for his command of language and by L.M. Montgomery for her beautiful descriptions and timeless characters. James and Montgomery may be the two writers who influence me the most outside of myself; the writer I will be someday ultimately inspires me the most, pushing me to keep on writing. I don’t wish to be the next James or the next Montgomery, but I do wish to be the best me.
7. Are you reading anything now worth sharing?
I’ve started Her Grace in Disgrace by independent author Claudia Harbaugh. It’s funny, while many readers, quite logically, use book covers, blurbs, reviews, and sample chapters to determine which books they want to read, I usually just have a sense of when I want a book. I didn’t read Her Grace’s book blurb or customer reviews or sample any of the story; I don’t think I’d even seen the book cover yet when I first heard Harbaugh mention her novel and I told myself, “I want that book.” Book titles are great too, though I’m prone to procure and enjoy books with corny, hard-to-market, or even forgettable titles as much as I do books with “good” titles. I decided I wanted Harbaugh’s book, and when she ran a contest to name her then nameless blog, offering a copy of Her Grace in Disgrace as a prize for the best blog name, I put my oar in with “Tipping Back the Hourglass” and won the copy of her book.
8. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
In addition to being a bookworm, I’m quite a film lover. It stems right from my love of fiction, of storytelling. I don’t watch much television at all, but I do watch a few television shows and a good deal of films on DVD. I thoroughly enjoy going out and seeing plays when I’m not immersed in literature and films, which I usually am, and I won’t be surprised if going to hear symphonies or going to the opera or the ballet become pastimes for me in the future.
9. How do you like to connect with your fans?
The foremost way I wish to connect with the people who read my books is through my writing itself. This could be the product of my favoring many books by either long-deceased authors or really famous ones I don’t have a way of talking to. Literature speaks, and souls and society respond to the written word, which is a vital and lasting connection that outlives any author. With that said, any form of communication with my readers suits me just fine, whether it’s through my blog or social media, talking with them face to face, or what have you.
10. What can we expect next?
My first attempt at writing Chick Lit longer than a short story and the beginnings of another tale in the world I built in The Movement of Crowns are both in the works. I’ve written some self-help and poetry, and even released a spoken word album last year, but I’m pretty sure what I put out next is either going to be Chick Lit or Epic Fiction.
Thanks, Nadine, for sharing with us today! I loved your comment, “I don’t wish to be the next James or the next Montgomery, but I do wish to be the best me.” I agree wholeheartedly that we shouldn’t try to measure ourselves up against each other, but against who we have the potential to be ourselves.” ~ Alison
About the Author ~ Nadine C. Keels
Nadine. A French name, meaning, “hope.”
Spreading hope to her readers and listening audiences, author, editor, and speaker Nadine C. Keels of Seattle, Washington is well-known for The Song of Nadine, the powerful lyrical poetry seen in four of her several books and found on her spoken word album, Hope. Lyricized. Drawing from her lifelong passion for highly enjoyable and transformational fiction, Nadine has written a number of novels and novellas, including Love Unfeigned and The Movement of Crowns Series. In response to inquiries from other aspiring authors, Nadine put together a simple reference entitled Write Your Genius, Genius! A Rather Quick Guide to Book Writing. Being the founder of Prismatic Prospects, a communication company based in Seattle, Nadine has served as editor and co-editor for a number of titles, and it is her aim to be a proven wellspring of inspiration for creativity and innovation in the marketplace.
Author Website: http://prismaticprospects.wordpress.com