by Marion Ueckermann
Today it’s my privilege to interview author, avid reader and shameless hero addict, Nancy Kimball. Nancy loves history, great books with strong heroes, and doesn't understand the point of white crayons.
Thank you, Marion, and ICFW, for having me. I’m so excited to connect with readers beyond borders.
|Award-winning Author, Nancy Kimball|
Next week is an exciting time for you, isn’t it, with your debut novel, Chasing the Lion, releasing 1 June? Readers, tomorrow I’ll be posting a book review on this awesome novel…don’t miss it!
It really is. With Lion we did a soft-release in late April, to give early readers and influencers a chance to get their reviews posted. June 1st is our launch date for actively sharing this story and we thank ICFW for their help in getting this story into the hands and hearts of new readers.
Nancy, here at International Christian Fiction Writers, we’re all about writing fiction with a foreign flair, for His glory. Chasing the Lion fits these requirements perfectly because of its setting, doesn’t it?
It does indeed. This First Century gladiator historical will treat readers to historical views of several cities in Campania, the southern region of the Italian peninsula, including Rome itself. Northern Africa, Britannia, and Germania are either visited in the story or have characters hailing from those regions. Jonathan’s story is comprised of many people from different backgrounds and parts of the world, much like the body of Christ. Seeing that on the page was part of making my hero’s journey from brokenness to divine destiny so fulfilling for me as the author.
As someone who was fairly vocal in 2010 about never, ever self-publishing, at the end of 2013 something happened that made you start to consider going Indie. Can you tell us a little about that?
Certainly. I was blessed to get “the call” every author dreams of on July 23, 2013. Chasing the Lion had sold to a wonderful ACFW approved small press. Over the next few months, the publisher and I found we had different expectations for bringing this story to the readers. My publisher wanted to do what was best for both of us, and graciously released me and the story to pursue another path which would fairly quickly become self-publishing.
So why did you choose to self-publish?
Readers had been waiting three years for Jonathan’s story. I couldn’t break their hearts again. It was also time to be honest with myself. At that point, so deep into the production process, the only reason to hold out for another contract offer was for the prestige and affirmation of being traditionally published. But I’d started writing fiction in the first place for the pure love of story, and sharing it with others. That was my dream. The other desires like contracts, agents and advances had crept in along the way. God had already assembled an amazing team that loved me and this story, and together we pooled our time, talents, and financial contributions to this project in faith that God would do a loaves and fishes with everything to make this story all it could be. And the Lord did, and continues to do that, in amazing ways.
You did not create him. He is telling you who he is. This was a note thumb-tacked to your cork board with a photo (at the time) of your hero, Jonathan. Three years later you went on what seemed like an impossible search to find the right Jonathan for your book cover. You had six God-moments that brought one doubting author and one incredible young man together to bring Jonathan to life. Briefly tell us about God-moments one, two, three and six (we’re going to save God-moments four and five for the interview that will post Friday on Beauty for Ashes. But please, don’t skip out on the part about Daniel and the Lions.
Marion you have clearly stalked me online! I’m flattered though, truly. As with everything on this book, God had a plan beyond my plan. (#1) We were on the hunt for a model, and a clerk at the costume shop we visited mentioned she might know someone. (#2) I didn’t think he was right for the part, but she gave him my contact info anyway. He reached out to me and fought pretty hard for the part. (#3) It was undeniable that “some One” had thrown him in my path. In the middle of having to make a decision I heard a message at my church about God putting people in your path. That sometimes God has a bigger purpose in store and you may not always be privileged to know that greater plan, but you do need to be obedient to it. So I was. (#6) It turned out that this young man was beyond perfect for my hero Jonathan, once he and I got to know more about each other. Biggest of all was the fact that his family had raised African lions and toured the country reenacting Daniel and the Lion’s Den as a ministry. I can’t even make stuff like that up.
I love that story! Nancy, you’ve clearly done your homework in writing Chasing the Lion. Tell us about some of the research you undertook (books, movies, field trips?)
No fieldtrips, but lots of non-fiction works, documentaries, and copious note taking. It wasn’t burdensome because I love this time period. A highlight was communicating with Dr. Kathleen Coleman, one of only two scholars in the world recognized by most as the authorities on gladiatorial history. Dr. Coleman was born in Zimbabwe and studied at University of Cape Town (BA 1973), the University of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) (BA Hons 1975), and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (DPhil 1979). She then joined the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1998, and is currently on sabbatical in Germany. Dr. Coleman provided me requested off-prints of all her research and articles I asked for, which proved invaluable to me. She was also an advisor to director Ridley Scott in the film Gladiator starring Russell Crowe, which is how I first discovered her.
August 10th will be yet another exciting day for you. Without going into any details, because we’re going to save those details for the Beauty for Ashes blog on Friday, tell us why.
God just continues to outdo Himself with His good gifts to this project, and on August 10th, Chasing the Lion's audiobook is coming.
I can’t wait. And readers can now watch your awesome book trailer, too. Moving on to some trivia questions… What is your favorite "hero" movie?
Gladiator, of course, though Jonathan’s story is very different from Maximus’ tale.
When you’re in full-on writer mode, what’s the ambiance in your 'zone'?
In my head it’s a full scale battle being waged to just get the words and ideas down in what I like to call “first draft ugly.” In the office it is one of scented candles, inspiring music, and scriptures surrounding me while I work.
Nancy, you’re an inspiration and such an interesting person with an amazing journey. There were so many questions I wanted to pose to you today, but space constraints just don’t allow it (I think I’ve already overstepped the rules, but I’m sure the readers will agree with me that it’s been totally worth it.)
Fortunately, I’m hosting another author interview with you Friday on the Beauty for Ashes blog where readers will be able to learn more about you (plus stand another chance to win a print and ebook copy of Chasing the Lion).
Before we go, please tell our readers where they can find you, and where can they purchase Chasing the Lion?
I’m not often allowed to emerge from the writer cave by my characters, most of whom carry swords. When I am given a day pass, I enjoy connecting with readers on Facebook. The paperback is available only through Amazon in the U.S. but the ebook is available for Kindle world-wide. Nook is also available, and soon the Audiobook which is planned to be distributed worldwide as well. Links to all the distribution channels are on the homepage of my official website.
Nancy, thank you for taking the time in your busy schedule to allow our readers to get to know you, and Chasing the Lion, a little more.
It was my pleasure. This story is very special to me, and I want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to share in it. Because in it is the shadow of a greater story—God’s great love for each and every son and daughter, throughout history, across every nation in His creation.
To stand a chance in the draw for an ebook of Chasing the Lion by Nancy Kimball, please leave a comment with your email address before 13 June. Winner will be announced in Sunday, 15 June edition.
"Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws."
All photographs and graphics used by permission of the author, Nancy Kimball.
Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter (Tyndale House Publishers), and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven. Her debut novelette, Helsinki Sunrise, releases 22 August 2014 by White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint, Passport to Romance series. Marion blogs for International Christian Fiction Writers and Beauty for Ashes. She belongs to Christian Writers of South Africa and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.