March 23, 2010

Virtual Book Tour Guest-Nancy Famolari

This month's guest for the virtual book tour is Nancy Famolari to tell us about her book, Unwelcome Guest at Fair Hill Farm. Nancy, please tell us what this book is about.

When fifteen-year-old Meg discovers that a beautiful Swedish student with designs on her boyfriend has come to spend a year on her beloved horse farm, she decides to act. None of her plans to force Katrina to leave work. During foaling season, disaster strikes. Will the girls cooperate to save the mare and foal?

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live on a farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. We have dogs, cats and horses. I must admit horses are my favorites. They're kind, gentle, and loving. At times, they seem almost able to read your mind. We've had horses for almost 25 years. I don't know what I'd do without their friendly presence. I love watching them in the field, and of course, riding and carriage driving.

What inspired you to write this story?

When we lived in New Jersey, we raised Standardbred racehorses commercially. Both my husband and I worked full time, so it was important to have help. A Swedish couple owned the farm adjoining ours. For a few months each year, they hosted girls and boys from the Scandinavian countries to work on the farm and get to visit the U.S. One year, she had an extra girl, one who was interested in the breeding aspects of the Standardbred business, rather than the racing. She asked us if we would host the girl for a few months. We were delighted, and Malin became part of our family. She was excellent with the horses, and it gave the boys a sister. When I decided to write a young adult book about horse breeding, the interesting aspect of having a foreign visitor living on the farm seemed perfect. For several years, we had hosted exchange students from Europe and Japan in the summer. Meg's reaction to having someone new living in the house is the same reaction some of the boys had the first time we hosted a foreign student. In the end, it worked very well for everyone. The boys learned a great deal about several foreign countries and made friends.

Do you have a favorite character, if so tell us why?

That's a hard question. Both Meg and Katrina are wonderful characters. I can't say either is my favorite. Meg is a typical teenager, and Katrina is such a basically nice person. There is one other character in story that I, and everyone who's read the book, love, Nicky. His character is based on my Morgan gelding, also named Nicky, and in many respects, he's the favorite.

Tell us a little about your writing schedule. What do you find most difficult, easiest?

I try to write 2000 words a day when I'm doing a first draft. When the draft is finished I put it away for months, then send it to my critique group and finally, do revisions. The hardest part for me is after the book is published, trying to promote it.

What are your future writing plans?

I plan to write two more books in this series about Meg and Katrina. In the second book, the girls go to Arizona for two weeks on a dude ranch. In the third book, it's horse show season and Meg hates watching Cindy, her major rival, drive Nicky in the shows.

To find out more about nancy, please visit her blog at

Thanks for stopping by Nancy and for giving us an opportunity to get to know you. Best of luck to you in your writing career.

March 4, 2010

Dr Seuss Makes an Appearance

I attended a Read Aloud Jamboree on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun and the kids were great. I went into about nine classrooms armed with my rhymer, If I Could Be Anything for the younger grades and The Sister Exchange for the older grades. It was very entertaining for everyone involved, I think... I didn’t see any bored faces anyway, so I guess that’s a good sign.

Most of the kids at this school were already familiar with my books and had been told that I would be visiting. But the day of my visit also coincided with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, which the students had been informed of as well

When the teacher asked one class if they knew who I was, one student answered, “Dr. Seuss!”

Not quite, but it’s still pretty nice to be compared to him. But from now on I’ll have to check the calendar first before I schedule any future school visits.