A visit with Nan O’Berry

oberry_road_to_redemption200300 (1)dHow did you get started writing?

I began writing, for my own enjoyment, in high school. It amused me to create characters and situations and find the endings. I saved all the stories in beautiful notebooks. Then, life happened, marriage, babies, getting my own degree from college and writing slipped away. Once my children began middle school, I got back to my writing. I found a wonderful group of people and one of them suggested I get in touch with my local RWA (Romance Writers of America) and I began writing with a goal in mind – publication.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I love writing historical novels as well as contemporary romance. Being a history major, my heart belongs to the past. There is something so magical when it comes to the American West and the cowboy. I just can’t get enough.

Tell us about your current series.

Currently, I’m involved in writing for Debra Holland’s Montana Skies series. My story, Road to Redemption, is about a U. S. Marshal who lost his good friends when a gang of killers rescues one of their own before he can get him to the state penitentiary. Now, he is on the road to revenge. But he runs across a widow, who’s quiet devotion brings about a change.

What move best describes your life?  Why?

My life is one of constant motion. There is always something to be done on the farm, gathering eggs, feeding the animals, cleaning up after them or my family. There is plenty of laughter to round out the rough time. I can’t think of doing anything else.

What inspired your latest book?

I’m not quite sure, what inspires me. When reading Debra’s Book, Beneath Montana’s Skies, I felt so totally relaxed and knew I wanted to be part of this series. So I began thinking what kind of hero would I need to look for in this time frame? The idea of a U.S. Marshal popped into my head and the story was born.

What is your favorite part of writing?

My favorite part is dreaming up the story. Matching hero to heroine, their flaws, their positive attributes are always exciting. I like to begin with the premise, sometimes, that will turn into my blurb and I build on that. My trusty notebook is always at hand. I really don’t go anywhere without it. I take it to work and pull it out during my lunch break and mess around jotting down notes that come to me while I’m working.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

My least favorite part of writing is finding covers.  My mind sees them but it’s so hard to find what my imagination dreams up. Writing is work, there are edits, rewriting, grammar and spell checks, proof reading, and prayer that you have it all done. It can be hard work, but without the struggle none of the wonderful stories you see for sale would exist. That would be sad.

What is your next project and when will it be released?

I’m working on two other projects at the moment, both under my alias. The historical stories will involve Texas Rangers, the contemporary stories will involve modern day cowboys and babies. I’m looking forward to writing them. I am also entertaining a second story in the Montana Skies series. It will be a historical set around one of the ranches. I have the title, “Angel in my Pocket”. I hope the readers will enjoy it.

What is your typical day like?

Typical… I’m not sure I’ve ever had a typical day. :oP But, I normally rise about 5:45 a.m. to the trumpet of five unruly roosters. Tossing on my jeans, I’ll head out to feed the biddies, let the chickens out and make sure they and the ducks have plenty of water. Then about 6:30 a.m. we let out the dogs. Two Louisiana coon dogs and a Virginia Fox hound. My son named these dogs, Ellie Mae, Jezebel, and Chance. Lord help me. Then its feeding the horses and the cow. By about 7:30, I’m fixing breakfast and getting ready to head to work. When I get home, I try and make sure all heads are scratched and then its loading twitter accounts, checking facebook, answering emails.

Feeding up in reverse orders, making supper and then off to the writing world until around 11p.m. Then lights out and a bit of shut eye before the wild rumpus begins again.

How much time do you spend promoting your books?  What works best for you?

I am just learning this new language of promotions. I try to settle on a book a week and hit some  groups on line, Facebook, and twitter. I love Facebook and twitter because I feel I really connect to the reader. I have not been on Goodreads. I’ve heard good and bad about it and I’m not ready to put my toes in that water.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

I have self published a few shorts. It seems to be a lot more pressure. I find wanted to be a perfectionist and can’t leave it alone. Friends finally tell me enough is enough.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

I get my ideas from history, the news, or just a wild hair that comes from conversations with good friends. Inspiration strikes at the oddest times too. I keep that little idea notebook beside my bed for when dreams become very vivid.

Blurb for Road to Redemption
U.S. Marshal Colby Grainger needs to avenge the death of his three friends, but his mentor, Marshal Dewey refuses his request to ride after the Jones gang and bring them to justice. Tossing his badge at is feet, Colby sets off alone to bring these killers to justice either with the laws help or without it.
Willow Richardson grapples with the loss of her husband in the mining town of Morgan’s Crossing. Left alone in her solitude, she goes through the motions of life in fog until she comes across an ill man on the side of the road. Being a righteous woman, bringing him back to the farm seems like the only solutions. When he offers to work on her farm to repay for her care, Willow finds herself falling in love.
Can a man with a mysterious past prove to be the key that unlocks her heart, or will his thirst for revenge blind him to life’s possibilities on the Road of Redemption?
“Are you sure you are all right?”
He gave her a reassuring smile. “I have never been better, darlin’.”
Moving to the other side, he climbed up to the seat beside her and picked up the reins. Colby paused. “There’s lots to talk about when we get back.”
She nodded.
He looked down at the leather reins in his hand. “I’m not an elegant man, Willow. I’m rough and tumble. My words may not be enough to ease your fears.”
She rewarded him with a tender smile. “If you speak from the heart, the words will be elegant enough.” To make sure he understood, she slipped over to him and tucked her hand beneath the crook of his arm. “Let’s go home, Colby. Let’s go home.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he agreed.
She placed her head on his shoulder as he made the wide arch with the wagon. The sun sparkled and Colby thought his heart would burst with joy. Pulling past the Saddlery, Stardust picked up her pace just as two riders spilled into the path, causing the horse to whinny, and draw up on her hind legs.
“Whoa!” Colby cried, shortening his reins, he stood in the wagon well and settled the horse down. Once her feet were back on the ground, he turned his wrath to the men sitting before him. “Who do you think you are?” He demanded. Yet, even as he spoke, he knew. The hard knot of fear threatened to cut off his air as the dark hat lifted and he looked directly at Wade Jones.
“Well, well, well.” Came the ominous drawl. “If it ain’t Lazarus rising from the dead.”
Colby slipped the reins into one hand, and reached for his weapon. Fingers outstretched, only to find his hip bare. His weapon still hung on the peg at Willow’s door.
“Surprised to find you here in Montana, Grainger.” Wade continued, “A long way from Texas.”
“Yeah, a long way,” L.J. Owens echoed.
Colby drew a correlation between Owens stare and Willow. He slipped closer to Willow to placed his body in front of her, as a shield. “Wade Jones, I am placing you under arrest for the murder of Brett Davidson, Carl Felton, and Big Joe Montgomery.”
The outlaw before him tilted his head back and let loose a horrendous roar of laughter. When it died away, the glint in his eyes was murderous. “You got no jurisdiction in Montana, Marshal.” The sneer lifted his lips. “So, I’m the one that’s gonna tell you what is going to happen.” He shifted on his mount. “You’re going to ride out of here by noon tomorrow. Forget you ever saw us. Cause if I see you, I’m gonna kill you and ain’t nobody gonna care.”
Nan Oberry authorBio

Home is where the heart lies. Nan O’Berry grew up listening to stories at her grandparents’ feet. So it’s not surprising that her love of a good story pushed her to begin writing her own tales for enjoyment. As these grew she shared her historical perspectives about the heroes of her imagination, cowboys, lumberjacks, and the country they founded.

Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Degree from Old Dominion University, Mrs. O’Berry loves finding those interesting facts that might lead to a good story. So pull up a chair and grab that glass of sweet tea and enjoy.

8 thoughts on “A visit with Nan O’Berry

    • Thanks Louella. I hope you’ll like it. Adventure leaves so much room for fun. I think everyday in some respect is an adventure. We may have a blue print, but it doesn’t always happen like we picture it.


  1. I loved your interview! I love reading about the old west, cowboys, etc. I’m knew to you and your books and I will check them out because this book sound just what I like to read.

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