Sunday, July 14, 2013

An Interview with the Fabulous Author Nanci Rainey


We have some very talented people in the South Jersey Writers Group. I'm trying to do interviews on all of them. I love this job! Why? Well, not only are our members talented, they are nice people. One of the talented people in our group is Author Nanci Rainey.

Let me introduce you without further delay to Nanci.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been blessed with four loving children, the center of my universe. There is nothing more treasured than the bonding of a mother and child. I enjoyed watching them grow, through the terrible two's and the rebellious teens, they always knew they were loved. Even now as adults, they all know where home is. And then there are the grandchildren, there is nothing in the world better than a grandchild. This is my chance to have fun with the children, enjoy every moment I am with them until they go home. But I worry, and I worry and I worry, for my children, for my grandchildren, for their health, for their jobs, for their safety. I never really had a good night's sleep once I crossed the threshold of motherhood. And suddenly in a flash my earth was shattered, my world shut down, I was slapped in the face with the most terrible fate. One of my cherished angels was taken from me, and my life as I knew it was forever gone. I was essentially a shell of a person going through robotic motions. It took me several years of grief groups and constant persuasion from my children to “get out of my black” and start living. Trouble erupted in the household and I realized my children not only lost a brother, but they were losing their mother as well. I had to shake this and stop living like a monk. Billy was so full of life and he would not want me to be acting this way. I picked myself up, shook off the dust, took off the black (gradually, as Italians do wear black for five years), eased into navy blue and went back to work. I was the breadwinner in the house at that time, so I had to return to corporate America.

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was in grade school and we were encouraged to keep daily journals. These journals were to record our daily activities by poems or short paragraphs.

What inspires you to write?

Watching children playing on the beach can stimulate memories, I write down what I see and remember and start writing from there. Or there are other landscapes that can inspire a story, a dream of traveling or being in an exotic place. I try to use my imagination. I try to people watch. I get the most fun and inspiration from watching the actions and reactions from others to get a feel for reality in stories.

What type of stories do you enjoy writing about?

Currently I am enjoying fictional writing. I enjoy writing about people in a different place in life.  My imagination can run wild and I can share a new life with another character or two.  With the proper research tools, I am able to travel to a city I’ve always wanted to visit without ever leaving home. It’s a wonderful way for me to see the world.

Tell us about your book.

JUST ONE MORE DAY IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT is a personal memoir of my son’s twenty-three month courageous journey as he battled a most rare form of cancer, DSRCT, which stands for Desmoplastic  Small Round Cell Tumor. At the time, there were only less than 100 published cases in the New England Journal  of Medicine of DSRCT. We were so very fortunate to have met the doctor who wrote the protocol for treatment of this disease, Dr. Kushner, from Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City. He worked closely together with our doctors at Jefferson on amounts of chemo, radiation and stem-cell transplant directives.


My story developed from a daily journal kept from my son’s treatment and hospital stay. There was so much information to absorb, that I started taking notes from day one and from that day forward, my notebook never left my side. If I had to leave the hospital for some reason, I left whoever was there with my Billy, in charge of taking notes should a doctor or someone enter the room and perform any diagnostic test or have any information to relate whatsoever; even as so minute as a blood pressure or a temperature. I kept note of all of them as well. I kept notes on m son’s moods, his wants, likes, dislikes and worst pains, etc. We had some very deep conversations, some of which were included, some so personal were only alluded to.

What inspired you to write this book?

My son originally wanted this book written to show how far he had progressed from the worst possible disease for a young teenager. He then whispered to his aunt when he was very sick that he wanted her to make sure I wrote the book for others to see how horrible this disease was. It took me so very long to do, as it broke my heart each time I began writing from my notes and reliving a portion of his life in the hospital.

Did you go traditional or self-publish?

I chose to go traditional publish. It was just a personal choice.

Are you planning on writing another book, soon?

Yes, I am working on a fictional piece at present.

A little birdie told me that you were a guest on a radio show. Please share the experience with us.

Yes, it is true. I was invited to be a guest speaker on the radio show, Cancer Corner Live, out of Pittsburgh, PA, on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. The radio show was a wonderful experience.  The host, Bob Grayson, is a motivational speaker and also a cancer survivor. He read my book and was very inspired by my words, as his cancer was similar, he shared most of the same types of chemotherapy drugs, had undergone the same stem cell replacement and was a year older than my son would have been. He said he remembered back to when he was 18 and the things he was doing and couldn’t believe how my son could do things he wanted to do while sick. He said he read my book five times and his wife read it a few times herself. His wife liked my book as well, as she related to it more, as a caregiver, like myself.
If anyone missed the interview, it can be heard from the link on my website:

What advice would you like to share with newcomers interested in writing.

I would tell any newcomers to enjoy their writing. It does not matter what you write. You don’t have to stay with one genre. I happened to publish my memoir first because it was something I felt had to be completed before I would even consider doing anything else because of my circumstances. But if you want to work on a book of poetry, then go for it. If you would rather start out writing articles for magazines or smaller news circulars then begin there. Wherever you are comfortable, there are no real rules for where you begin. I do believe joining a writers group for support and encouragement and information.  But again, I must emphasize, you have to enjoy what you are doing. Writing should be a joy not a chore!  Enjoy and good luck!

It was a pleasure having Nanci Rainey as a guest on the SJWG Blog and I'm hoping to interview her again when her next book is published.  Please go on her site and learn more about the always fabulous Nanci Rainey!!!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview, Marie. Nancy looks wonderful, as always. Thanks for this.


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