Here’s the situation… Nanette Buchanan began her literary journey when she put pen to pad, writing poems and children stories while attending Rutgers University. As she began to write poems for prayer cards, birthdays and special occasions, I Pen Designs was formed. Taking her writing to another level, Buchanan made gift baskets with personalized thoughts from the heart, as well as programs and invitations. Open mics began a path she has also enjoyed to travel. In December 2007, I Pen Designs began its publishing division with Buchanan’s debut release. Since then, she has published a total of eight novels, and one poetry collaboration. Her novels have a “what if” twist, and topics with questions that readers may have about everyday living.
The Situation Room with Michelle Cuttino had the pleasure to catch up with Nanette to discuss her novels, and what else we can look forward to from her in the future.
Michelle: Please tell us a little about yourself.
Nanette: I’m a wife, mother and grandmother who loves to write and travel. I’ve got four years left before retiring, and I’m looking forward to writing and publishing full time.
Michelle: As a New Jersey Corrections Sergeant, do you ever incorporate any of your real-life experiences in your fiction?
Nanette: As an author, real-life experiences are a part of all that one writes. However, you won’t find any of my stories telling the behind the wall tales that I’m sure you’re asking about. Maybe once I retire, but not now.
Michelle: What projects did you work on under I Pen Designs?
Nanette: I Pen Designs began as a company doing gifts that coupled with my writing. We do event planning and other personal gifts as well. My poetry is used in programs, invitations, and other personalized gifts.
Michelle: How did I Pen Books come to fruition?
Nanette: My husband prodded me into writing my first novel. I wrote poetry and children books and shelved them. We had a personal situation that rapidly developed, and my husband couldn’t believe the outcome. Putting his questions into a suspenseful twist became my creativity on the pages of Family Secrets, Lies and Alibi’s.
Michelle: Scattered Pieces has such an emotion-filled theme behind it. Please tell us what the book is about.
Nanette: Scattered Pieces is about the emotional edge that taunts us at one time or another. Janet (the main character) is like many women who depend solely on love and the perfect marriage to see them through. Learning to survive after her husband leaves brings on stress, aggravation, embarrassment, and guilt. The prelude to depression and suicidal ideation…..or maybe not. How often do we want the world to stop momentarily while we get a moment to think things through? She takes her PM meds and finds she no longer has instant relief, after another dose and another……. She’s taken to the hospital and her world as unstable as it was begins to unravel. Janet, like most who are weakened by life’s blows, has to get it together before she loses her children, her home and her faith in a higher power. Strength, determination, faith and clarity become her daily mission.
Michelle: Where did you draw inspiration from for the characters?
Nanette: As you asked earlier, life’s experiences; seeing others and at times myself give in to the sadness of losing love and thinking that there is nothing left to do but give in or give up. Knowing there’s another way, today, I can say I want to help others step back from the edge and fly.
Michelle: The Stranger Within is your latest release and it deals with the subject of abuse. Why did you choose this topic to write about?
Nanette: There are people who are bruised mentally and emotionally. Most of the attention is on the abuser. The questions of Why, What was wrong with them, How could they? Yet, when a child is abused they cuddle and nurture them gently and never question the possibilities of the hurt lingering on. Are they healed? On never questions, never invades, and it leaves the child seeking love in the wrong places or withdrawal from those that are supporters. Society has accepted this and hidden the truth. It’s permanent damage to the victim and The Stranger Within, I hope, alerts someone that the victim hurts a lifetime without help.
Michelle: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Nanette: I don’t know that I would write about sexual predators or Sci-Fi.
Michelle: How do you choose the names for your characters?
Nanette: The alphabet, if I’m stuck for a name. I want the name to fit the character for the most part.
Michelle: You will be releasing The Perfect Side Piece soon. Tell us what the book is about and when it will be available for purchase.
Nanette: I’m hoping to release the book by November or the beginning of December. I’m excited about it. It will be my first true series. I love a good mystery book or movie. I love the detectives and their journey as they attempt to solve the crime. The Perfect Side Piece is about a woman who has been scorned. She’s never been the only woman in the relationship and it was never her choice to be number two. Frustration and anger has her so enraged that she begins a killing spree. Her targets are men that cheat.
Michelle: The Perfect Side Piece is part of the Damien Tyson, The Cold Case Series. How many parts will there be to this series?
Nanette: The Perfect Side Piece is the first. I’ve got three others lined up so far for this character.
Michelle: Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Nanette: A list too long to mention for all who have touched me in one way or another. Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, Walter Mosley, J.C. Cooper, Mary Higgins Clark, James Patterson, Toni Morrison… Independent authors include Trice Hickman, Donna Hill, Rodney Lofton, ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray.
Michelle: What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Nanette: Don’t be discouraged. Set time, research, learn the business and write. Write a good story and your audience will grow. They will be a part of your marketing and promotion. Don’t get caught up worrying about reviews and sales. If you are to become that bestselling author, you’ve got to learn to pen consistently.
Michelle: What is your least favorite part of the publishing /writing process?
Nanette: The unpredictable sales; the events and venues that promise sales but are not promoted well enough to get the readers to support them.
Michelle: What else can we look forward to from Nanette M. Buchanan in the future?
Nanette: I’m looking forward to taking on publishing for myself and others full time. I am currently promoting my third title Bruised Love in a monologue with a fellow author. We’re hoping that will begin to travel and find its way in a theatre. My first novel Family Secrets Lies and Alibis has been written for a screenplay adaptation. I would love to see it on the big screen. Meanwhile, I’m looking into it becoming a web series. It’s a project in the beginning stages.
Michelle: How can readers contact and/or follow you?
Nanette: My website is www.ipendesigns.net, Facebook: Nanette.Buchanan, and Twitter @NanetteBuchanan. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Perfect Side Piece (Damien Tyson – The Cold Case Series)
Mona has been hurt and has vowed to get revenge on any man who’s looking for the perfect side piece. With her beauty, charisma and self-sufficient attitude, she traps any man who has roving eyes. Making certain they have a wife, fiancée, or are in a committed relationship, she treats them better than any other woman would. Her methods are like those of the Black Widow…..love them and…..
Her friend and confidant, Kendra is scared Mona is no longer in control of her emotions. After Mona meets Kendra’s cousin and soon falls in love, Kendra is worried about her cousin’s fate, but dares not tell Mona they are related. Mona questions Damien only to find he is single. Not trusting his motives or sincerity about loving her, she tells Kendra of her new relationship and admits her devious past. Kendra questions her motive for her new relationship, and is worried Damien will be her next victim. Determined to change what is inevitable, Kendra steps in only to find she is now the one caught in the Black Widow’s web.