After a successful career spent on the cutting edge of technology in the banking industry, Naigle and her husband of 15 years moved inland to the quiet of Southampton County. They now live in a log-sided home on a working goat farm with their two labs and more “kids” than they can count, where Naigle spends her time writing the kind of stories she likes to read.
In SWEET TEA AND SECRETS, Adams Grove is mourning the loss of Pearl Clemmons, known for her award-winning chocolate pecan pie and the best unsolicited advice in the county.
When Jill returns to settle her grandmother’s estate, she’s greeted by a Clydesdale-sized guardian dog who doesn’t seem to be earning his stripes (although he drools on them pretty well), and Garrett Malloy, the ex-fiancé she left behind a year ago.
Jill insists on staying at Pearl’s amidst a string of break-ins that have sleepy Adams Grove wide awake and locking its doors. Jill’s past with Garrett becomes the least of her worries when she learns that their lives are in danger. She is the only person standing between a desperate conman and a secret from Pearl’s past.
First, what prompted you to make the big leap from a career in banking to writing short stories and novels?
I feel completely out of balance if I’m not exercising both my right and left brain. Writing is a wonderful creative outlet, while my day job as a Quality Engineer satisfies the left brain side of me. I’ve dreamed of being a novelist for many years. Finally, about five years ago, I figured if I was going to achieve that goal, I’d better get busy. That’s when I joined writer groups and started finishing all those half-told stories that were piling up.
With a background in banking technology, I have expected to see a big banking techno thriller debut. Instead, you’ve chosen to write in the romantic suspense genre. What pulled you in that direction?
Oh goodness, I don’t think I see any banking stories in my future. I spend enough time in that world in my real life. My books are an escape from that hectic day-to-day. One of my goals is to give gals like me, who are exhausted from multi-tasking in this microwavin’, drive-thru- paced world, a break. I want to take the reader away from all that for just a little while.
Characters and setting are two important aspects of Romantic Suspense. Which came first for you? Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
Setting. All of my stories have small town settings. There is something wonderful about the back-to-basics feeling you get meandering down Main Street USA, or driving down a narrow country road where the crops are as high as your car. That was the feeling I wanted my books to share with readers.
You use the same setting in at least one of your upcoming releases (OUT OF FOCUS, November 2011). Did you model Adam’s Grove after a real place or is it totally fictional?
There is an Adams Grove in Virginia. However, there’s not a thing there. No stoplight. Not even a post office! I have maps drawn up of my fictionalized version of Adams Grove. It’s a wonderful place, full of colorful characters.
With a small town setting, what are the major attributes you imbue in your characters?
The characters in SWEET TEA AND SECRETS could be you, me, your best friend or grandma. I hope my characters feel familiar and remind you of someone you know. I want to tickle fond memories of old friends and places that make you smile. Some of my characters might drive you batty, but then we all know some of those folks, right?
The suspense theme in romantic suspense novels really varies from author to author. What type of fear do you hope your novels invoke in your readers?
I think the fear invoked in my stories is more around the “Could this happen to me?” kind of fear. I’m a glass half full kind of gal if you hadn’t noticed that yet. There’s plenty to fear along the journey in SWEET TEA AND SECRETS, but, at the end of the day, I hope to invoke faith in the community, friends and family we all rely on as a support system.
SWEET TEA AND SECRETS is published by Turquoise Morning Press, a smaller publisher. I noticed that your book will be released first in eBook format, then in trade paperback. For people interested in your books, are they available at all bookstores, or is there a better way to order them?
Since my books are distributed through Ingram, any bookseller can order them. SWEET TEA AND SECRETS is also available through all your favorite e-tailers (Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, smashwords.com etc) You can also check out my website for any promotional discounts that might be going on.
Naigle has an active social media presence and has scheduled a Blog Tour to promote her novel. For more information on tour dates, her books and on Naigle, please visit her author website at: www.NancyNaigle.com.