Nancy Famolari lives with her husband, five horses, two dogs and five white cats on a farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Her stories and poems have appeared in Long Story Short, Flash Shot, Fiction Flyer, Lyrica, Alienskin Magazine Clockwise Cat, and Matters of the Heart from the Museitup Press. She received an award from Fiction Flyer for one of her flash fiction stories.
Unwelcome Guest at Fair Hill Farm is Nancy's newest book. It is based on Nancy Famolari's fourteen years of experience in the harness racing industry: breeding, training and racing Standardbreds.
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.
Nancy, Thank you for joining us today at Writers in Business. You can learn more about Nancy and her writing by visiting Nancy Famolari.