Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy - Nancy Bell

Amber:  Welcome Nancy Bell, young adult fantasy author and horsewoman.
Nancy:  I’m excited to be here, thank you for inviting me.

Amber: What type of Fantasy do you write?
Nancy:  Well, Amber, most of the time I write what my Muse tells me to. I have a Young Adult Fantasy novel coming out in September 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing and I'm waiting to see if I get a contract offer for A Step Sideways which features the same characters as Laurel's Miracle. Laurel's Miracle is a novel which deals with some social issues like bullying and dealing with an ill parent. A Step Sideways has a little bit of everything, time travel, first love, horses of course and lots of adventure. Both books are full of magic and mythical beings. Most of my writing is set in The World As We Know It, the fantasy comes in when magical beings manifest in our world and lead the characters off on an adventure, or help them in their quest.  I haven’t created any new worlds yet!

Amber: Tell me about how your love of horses fits in with writing fantasy for young adults."
Nancy:  Great question! Horses are so much a part of my life I don't think I ever write without having horses in the mix. Horses have a universal appeal to people, especially young people. It is always fun to have a smart alec horse as one of the characters, they lend themselves to very humourous situations. Whether it is a young girl's wish for a horse of her own or a boy's dream of being a cowboy, horses capture the imagination of my reader and allow them to interact with my storyline. Most young girl's I know have wished for a pony or a horse at some point in their life.

Horses, like dogs are the best friend in the world, they offer unconditional love and acceptance. They don't care what you wear or how you look, they only care about the person you are inside which is reflected in how you treat them. Horses are also the most forgiving of souls and will never repeat anything you tell them.

Without a horse a man is just a man, but even without a man a horse is still a horse. (Nancy would be grateful to any reader who can identify the author of this quote. Leave a comment if you can help.)

A man on a horse is spiritually as well as physically bigger than a man on foot.  ~John Steinbeck

 Amber:  What challenges do you face in writing Fantasy that will interest the Young Adult readers? 
 Nancy:  I really have to remind myself to stay in the character’s point of view.  It’s been a few decades since I was a young adult.   However, it allows me to live out wild adventures and let my characters have fun doing things that their mother’s would rather not know about.   

Amber: In your experience, why do readers love the Fantasy genre so much?
 Nancy: Fantasy provides a great escape from the everyday world. Anything is possible and the impossible is considered normal.   I think that people miss magic in their lives and reading Fantasy is a way of bringing the idea of the existence of magic into The World As We Know It.  For a little while, anyone can allow their inner child to believe in fairies and the bogey man again.

Amber: Nancy, if no one read Fantasy, would you still write it?
Nancy: Absolutely, Amber.  I love writing for the magic I bring to life by putting words on paper.  It’s something that I do for myself as much as for my readers.

Amber: That’s all the time we have for today. I want to thank you again, for dropping in today. Best of luck with your career.
Nancy: Thanks so much for inviting me, Amber. It was a pleasure.

Nancy Bell is proud Albertan, horsewoman, wife, mother and grandmother. She lives on a farm near Balzac, Alberta with her husband, two horses, two ponies, various dogs, cats and whatever else happens to wander into the yard. Nancy had her first poems and short stories published while still in grade school. She is a regular contributor to Earthsongs ezine.  

Her YA Fantasy novel Laurel's Miracle will be released September, 2011 by MuseItUp Publishing. Lots of horses in this one. :~) 

A Step Sideways, not yet contracted,  features the same characters as Laurel's Miracle. Laurel's Miracle deals with social issues such as bullying and an ill parent while A Step Sideways has a little bit of everything: time travel, first love, horses of course and lots of adventure. Both books are full of magic and mythical beings.

Nancy enjoys writing poetry and stories, both long and short.  She welcomes feedback from her readers and can be contacted by email

And Look for her book on Facebook


  1. Great interview, Nancy. Horses are beautiful. And they don't repeat what you tell them, lol! Best wishes with your writing.

  2. What would a fantasy be without plenty of horses? I can understand your reasoning so well.
    Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

  3. How empty would our lives be without our horses? What a great interview!

  4. Hi Nancy!

    I took a year of western riding lessons as an adult after we returned from a vacation to a working dude ranch in Utah -- wonderful memories. Horses do inspire us!


  5. Wonderful interview. I also love horses and read just about anything that has them in it. Great job. I write Tween and YA so I hope to see a lot more of you! Just had "A Horse Called Trouble" accepted by MuseItUp myself.

  6. Hi Nancy,
    An interesting and enjoyable post. I'm in the midst of writing a western and know nada about horses. I know who to touch base with if I have a question. *kidding*--I think.
    Your novel sounds lovely, and I do like fantasy. Good luck with your writing.

  7. Great interview Nancy. As I read your quote of "without a horse a man is just a man..." and it made me think of something John Wayne would have said in one of his western movies. Man, I loved that guy.
    Looking forward to reading your fantasy novels.
    Kay Dee

  8. Nancy it was wonderful to get to know you better! This last June I had the opportunity to visit a friend in Wyoming who has 8 horses, and though it has been 25 some years since I've been on a horse, she let me ride 2 of the horses. It was fabulous, and I got to brush them and everything! Horses are such majestic creatures, and these two were so sweet and gentle. I look forward to reading your stories! Thanks for sharing!


  9. Just saw this post and I agree about the horses. I have two myself, and usually manage to slip a horse into my stories. Although I live in the UK I ride Western,as it is such a relaxed (anbd comfortable) way of going. The bay horse you're riding reminds me of my first horse Flikka, who went over the Rainbow Bridge a few years ago, aged 35!

    Thanks for sharing.