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.


Magdalena Ball said...

Good interview Nancy. I like the way life finds its way into your art.

Helena Harper said...

Your new book sounds like it would appeal to a very wide audience, Nancy, and coming from Europe myself, it's nice that you have included a European aspect to the story! I wish you the best of success with it. I should think all kinds of riding associations and shops would be very interested in it!


Nancy Famolari said...

Thanks for inviting me today, Kevin. Great comments, Magdalena and Helena. It is interesting how life inspires art. The family had great fun with our European guest. I hope other people enjoy learning more about horse breeding and, of course,how Meg and Katrina learn to respect and like each other.

Martha said...

The book sounds just delightful. I agree with you that promoting is the hardest part of being an author.
Martha Swirzinski

Karen Cioffi said...

Wonderful interview.

Every time I read about where Nancy lives it amazes me.

And, I agree with Helena, your type of story involving horse will definitely appeal to a majority.

MuseItUp Publishing said...

Oh, Nancy, BIG congrats and kudos on the new book. And about the promoting one's book...yep, need nerves of steel and that determination factor to push forward.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Lots of girls love horses so this book should appeal to plenty of readers who will enjoy it.

Dana Donovan said...

I love that you already have books 2&3 simmering on the back burner. I imagine that knowing they were there afforded you great opportunity to "seed" this book for events what will transpire in the upcoming volumes. They say write what you know. You certainly are doing that. Good job, Nancy, and thanks Kevin for brining it to us!

Nancy Famolari said...

Thanks everyone for visiting. It's a confidence booster to have such great comments!!

Kevin McNamee said...

Thanks for stopping by Nancy and for being such a great guest. Best of luck in all your writing pursuits.

Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

There is something wonderful about the connection between people (especially girls) and their horses. It's an amazing bond I enjoy reading about.

Dallas said...

2,000 words a day -- wow, that's wonderful! You sound very dedicated and insightful about the writing life. Keep up the great work!