Friday, July 29, 2022

Nan Fischer Interview - Some of It Was Real


Photo Content from Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer is the author of Some Of It Was Real (July 2022, Berkley Publishing), and the young adult novels, When Elephants Fly and The Speed of Falling Objects. Additional author credits include Junior Jedi Knights, a middle grade Star Wars trilogy for LucasFilm, and co-authored sport autobiographies for elite athletes including #1 ranked tennis superstar Monica Seles, Triple Crown race winning jockey Julie Krone, Olympic gold medal speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi, and Olympic gold medal gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Shannon Miller. Honors include:

  • Two-time Oregon Book Award Finalist
  • Parade Top 20 Most Anticipated Books
  • #1 on Bookstr’s Top 15 Unputdownable YA Reads
  • The Culturalist Top Ten Most Anticipated YA Books
  • Hypable Books You Can’t Afford to Miss!
  • Bookstr 10 Amazing New YA Books Adults Will Love, Too
  • Missouri Gateway Reader Award Nominee
  • Hypable 15 Best YA Novels of 2019
  • Buzzfeed Most Anticipated Contemporary YA New Releases
A graduate of Cornell University and former Traveling Writer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Senior Campaign Writer for The University of California, San Francisco, Nan’s articles have appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, The Huffington Post, Powell’s Book Blog, YA Books Central, Germ Magazine, Hypable, and School Library Journal.

Nan lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Henry, and sometimes vorpal, but always lovable, Vizsla, Boone. When she’s not conjuring a story or reading, Nan can be found hiking, biking, kitesurfing, skiing or planning her family’s next adventure.
        
  

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
By far the most rewarding experience of being published is being published!! But since then, it has been finding the courage to do live interviews and to speak with book groups. I never imagined talking in front of people could be fun, but it is! Being a part of the book community is fascinating, exciting, and incredibly rewarding.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received from another author is to avoid reading your reviews. The adage that it’s none of your business what other people think of you is so true! All we can do, as authors, is to write a story we hope is compelling, do the best job possible and then release it into the world. That said, sometimes I do break my own rule as I love writing to readers who post lovely reviews to thank themJ.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book?
Every author says that choosing one novel is impossible and it’s so true! So I’ll pick three books that had a huge impact on me. The Stand by Stephen King. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, and A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I’m currently writing another novel with Berkley Publishing and my editor Kerry Donovan – lucky me!! It’s about a young woman named Constance who always says yes, even when the boyfriend she’s unsure of proposes. While researching the antique engagement ring he gave her, Constance discovers it was designed by a long-dead man who once wrote letters home from WWI that were compiled into a book. She leaves a letter expressing her uncertainty about her fiancĂ© in that book, and the long-dead man writes back…

Tell us about SOME OF IT WAS REAL!
A psychic on the verge of stardom who isn’t sure she believes in herself and a cynical journalist with one last chance at redemption are brought together by secrets from the past that also threaten to tear them apart.

Psychic-medium Sylvie Young starts every show with her origin story, telling the audience how she discovered her abilities. But she leaves out a lot—the plane crash that killed her parents, an estranged adoptive family who tend orchards in rainy Oregon, panic attacks, and the fact that her agent insists she research some clients to ensure success.

After a catastrophic reporting error, Thomas Holmes’s next story at the L.A. Times may be his last, but he’s got a great personal pitch. “Grief vampires” like Sylvie who prey upon the loved ones of the deceased have bankrupted his mother. He’s dead set on using his last-chance article to expose Sylvie as a conniving fraud and resurrect his career.

When Sylvie and Thomas collide, a game of cat and mouse ensues, but the secrets they’re keeping from each other are nothing compared to the mysteries and lies they unearth about Sylvie’s past. Searching for the truth might destroy them both—but it’s the only way to find out what’s real.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
My hope is that they’ll be carried away by the story! But beyond that, I hope readers will think about both their own experiences with imposter syndrome (we all have it!) and about how all of our origin stories – the stories we tell from childhood that have shaped who we are – are based on old and sometimes faulty memories. It’s up to each of us to decide what to accept or discard from our origin stories and to decide who we ultimately want to be in life.

What part of Sylvie and Thomas did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing their game of cat and mouse as they navigate the mystery of Sylvie’s past and discover their true selves. And the moment when the truth comes out was incredibly difficult to write but so fulfilling!

What was your unforgettable moment while writing SOME OF IT WAS REAL?
I loved researching psychics and even had my own readings, some of which were incredibly cool. But the most unforgettable moment was when I figured out the true mystery of Sylvie’s childhood and a way to tell that part of the story in the most compelling way possible.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d love to introduce Sylvie to my new character, Constance. I think they’d help each other navigate difficulties and become best friends. And, I think Constance would believe in Sylvie’s abilities!

TEN REASONS TO READ SOME OF IT WAS REAL
  • 1. There’s a psychic-medium in the story and she can (maybe) talk to the dead!
  • 2. At the heart of the story there’s a compelling mystery to solve and clues along the way that help.
  • 3. It’s a page-turner!!!!
  • 4. There is an imposing but sweet Great Dane named Moose and a loveable old cat named Christopher Robins.
  • 5. The story tackles imposter syndrome, which helps readers realize that they’re not alone – we all go through it (especially authors!).
  • 6. There’s a cat and mouse game between the protagonists that leads to some steamy scenes!!!!
  • 7. The question of origin stories and how they impact all of us might help someone view their own life in a different way.
  • 8. The story tackles whether or not it matters if psychics are real.
  • 9. Did I mention the romance? There’s romance!!
  • 10. The number one reason to read SOME OF IT WAS REAL is that if you like a story with complex characters that asks questions but doesn’t provide simple answers and has a compelling plot that keeps you turning the pages, this fits the bill!!
Your Favorite Quotes/Scenes from SOME OF IT WAS REAL
“My gift appeared when I was 18, living in San Francisco, and had just worked a double waitressing shift, food stains on my T-shirt, the smell of fried food in my hair. On the long walk back to a basement apartment, I stopped in the funky Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to rest on a bench… A few feet away, outside a magic shop named Abracadabra, a young guy read tarot at a rickety metal table. He was flying by the seat of his pants, but he had a gift for weaving stories. After a funny reading, I giggled. The tarot reader laughed, too, we chatted for a bit then he scribbled a sign that read: PSYCHIC $5 on a folded piece of cardboard and dared me to sit in the chair beside him. I took the seat, assumed no one would waste money on me.

“My first customers were sisters. The pregnant one was Bethany. I guessed she was almost nine months along–it wasn’t a psychic thing, it was obvious that she hadn’t seen her feet in awhile.” I wait for knowing laughter to subside then went on.

“Am I having a boy or a girl? Bethany asked.

I rested my hands on the swell beneath the cool silk of her dress. The baby kicked and I jumped, laughed, and the mom-to-be did, too. To give Bethany a good show, I closed my eyes. An instant whooshing sound enveloped me, followed by a river of warmth that flowed around my limbs. The warm water cradled me and I felt my body slowly roll… but then something tugged, stopped me… The next thing I knew, the tarot reader was shaking me really hard. When I opened my eyes Bethany was on her feet, arms wrapped protectively around her belly.”

The audience is quiet, caught in the story’s web. “Why would you scare her like that? Bethany’s sister demanded.

Confused, I followed her pointed finger. Scribbled across the inside of my right forearm were the words: I can’t breathe. I turned to the tarot reader. Did you do that? But his black marker was gripped in my hand and the writing was mine.” Whispers float through the audience. “By then Bethany was crying… I should’ve apologized. But when I was little and in trouble, always with my mom, Dad would say that there was a plant that grew inside my belly called a contrary tree. Instead of backpedaling, I said, She can’t breathe.”


A psychic on the verge of stardom who isn’t sure she believes in herself and a cynical journalist with one last chance at redemption are brought together by secrets from the past that also threaten to tear them apart.

Psychic-medium Sylvie Young starts every show with her origin story, telling the audience how she discovered her abilities. But she leaves out a lot—the plane crash that killed her parents, an estranged adoptive family who tend orchards in rainy Oregon, panic attacks, and the fact that her agent insists she research some clients to ensure success.

After a catastrophic reporting error, Thomas Holmes’s next story at the L.A. Times may be his last, but he’s got a great personal pitch. “Grief vampires” like Sylvie who prey upon the loved ones of the deceased have bankrupted his mother. He’s dead set on using his last-chance article to expose Sylvie as a conniving fraud and resurrect his career.

When Sylvie and Thomas collide, a game of cat and mouse ensues, but the secrets they’re keeping from each other are nothing compared to the mysteries and lies they unearth about Sylvie’s past. Searching for the truth might destroy them both—but it’s the only way to find out what’s real.

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