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  • Writer's pictureNancy K. Napier

BEYOND THE PAGE: Embracing the Challenges of Fiction Writing

I suspect I’ll be a “fiction-writer-in-training” forever, although I wish I could find some ways to make it a little easier. 


Beyond The Page

After decades of writing nonfiction, including academic articles whose titles would put you to sleep and nine business-oriented books that range in topics from “Managing Relationships in Transitional Economies” (not a best seller, to be fair) to a lighter collection of short books on leadership that even busy CEOs read, I’ve turned my focus to learning how to write novels. 


So many people say they want to write a novel. I’d love a show of hands of people who make it through the process. The oh-so-maybe-reliable internet claims that 80% of Americans say they want to write a book. Out of those who start, 3% complete it. Less than 1% see it in print. 


OUCH! 


But I did manage to pass the first hurdle and have one book out, a medical/legal thriller based on a real case out of Australia: A Case of Too Many Deaths. It’s lovely to see it on my shelf, but, goodness, was it an ordeal. 


Now,  I'm in the middle of trying to write a second fiction book. I don’t need to remind myself of how hard this is, but I do need to remember what it felt like to be done. 


Up to the last minute of submission, the book didn’t feel “ready,” but I was working with some marvelous marketing mavens who gently forced me to finish it and get it off my desk.


I recall being nearly paralyzed when the book hit the public—on Amazon, hardcover, and ebook. It was OUT, and I felt naked, exposed, and scared of the reaction of anyone who might read it. The book came out while I was traveling in Asia, so I felt apart from it. However, nothing is far when you have Wi-Fi. 


After a few weeks, some people said they liked the book, and others wrote kind reviews. A book group invited me to be their guest author. The Australian case that I used as the starting point came back into the public consciousness just as the book came out, so that lucky coincidence intrigued people. I breathed again. 


The book has been out for six months now, and I am happier every day that I did it. 


If I can just get the next one finished…wish me luck. 


Nancy K. Napier

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