Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Today I am going to introduce you to yet another brilliant author – Nancy Grossman. Her debut novel – A World Away, which received The Best Books of the Year 2012 award – is bound to take you through a very fascinating teenage ride on an Amish vehicle and will leave you craving for more.
So here I welcome Ms. Grossman. *Round of Applause*
Hi Nancy, tell us something about yourself.
I earned BSW and MSW degrees from the University of Illinois and began my career as a social worker, but discovered that I was not very good at it. So I went back to school to earn an MA in the Teaching of Writing from Columbia College. I’ve been teaching at DePaul University in Chicago since 1987 and currently hold the position of Associate Director of the University Honors Program. I love my work advising Honors students, overseeing student-life programming, and managing Honors admissions. I also teach an Honors Senior Seminar on Community Service Studies and several courses for the English Department, including Writing for Young Adults, Introduction to Creative Writing, and Reading and Writing Young Adult Literature.
I live in a Chicago suburb with my husband, Ken Fishbain, a hospital administrator. My daughter, Maggie, now a college student, grew up with the manuscript, and I have some early drafts with her notes in the margins. My son, Kevin, now a sports journalist, helped me with a later draft by telling me what really happened at those homecoming parties.
You were a Social Worker earlier, I'm curious to know how writing happened.
I was not happy in Social Work, and sought to find some creative outlets. On a whim I signed up for a Fiction Writing course at a nearby college and I was hooked. I went on to complete a combined MA degree in teaching and writing and leave social work for a new career in teaching at DePaul University in Chicago.
Did you write your début novel about the Amish because you too believe that they’re really interesting and traditional people?
I enjoyed teaching, but didn't have much time for my own writing. And I didn't have any ideas for a subject. Then, during a vacation with two girlfriends, I visited an Amish community and had dinner with an Amish family. There I met an Amish teen and was filled with curiosity about her life and speculation about what it would be like for her to see our world. That's how my novel got started. I had always been interested in the Amish, and how they've managed to maintain their traditions while everything around them changes. I enjoyed the research I did to learn more about their world and try to make my book as accurate as possible.
What are you working on at present; give us an insight on your upcoming book (s).
I've recently finished a middle grade book about a family that takes in a Syrian war orphan as a foster child. The book is currently in search of a publisher and I walk around all day with crossed fingers! I have some ideas for a new YA book about a teen who discovers shocking news about the mother who abandoned her ten years earlier. But that's in early stages.
This might be a little off question, but have you ever visited my country – India? If yes, which place and anything you’d like to tell; If No, any such plans?
No, I've never had the opportunity to travel to India, but my close friend, a travel writer, just returned from your country and regaled me with the pictures and stories.
Where can we find more about you and your lovely work?
To conclude, Please share a message for the readers.
My message for readers’ is to find your own voice, and don't be afraid to reinvent yourself. Adult life is a winding road, so start walking it!
Thank you once again for sparing your precious time for this interview and enlightening us with your wise words. We wish you tons of good luck and success in all your future endeavors.