Nancy Naigle is a USA Today bestselling author whose many contemporary romance novels include The Shell Collector and the Adams Grove Series, Boot Creek Series, and Christmas in Evergreen Series. Several of her novels have been adapted to the television screen, airing on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, including the popular Christmas Joy and The Secret Ingredient.
In this interview, Nancy talks with us about her latest novel, What Remains True.
FF: What inspired you to write your latest novel, What Remains True?
I’ve been a long-time rodeo fan, so the idea of a cowboy solely focused on making it to the finals and winning the PBR was exciting to me. Those guys are so focused, I knew it would take a lot to grab his attention. His dreams get bucked off in this story, sorry Adam, but his new life is going to be gold buckle worthy. I incorporated several things I love, like the barn quilts that I fell in love with when I first wrote about Antler Creek in Christmas Angels, horseback riding, rodeo, small town shops and friendship, so it was more of a daydream through a field of daisies than some of the more heavily plotted books I’ve written. I had so much fun with What Remains True, and I hope readers feel that as they turn the pages.
FF: What Remains True explores the concepts of both biological family and found family. How did each of these help develop your characters? Who in your own life would you consider your found family?
I think the older we get the more we appreciate those truly special people in our lives, and are quicker to pull them into the fold of our family. In Merry Anna’s case, Tara was such a guiding light with her strength and confidence, and Krissy is the sister we’d all love to have, right? For me, I have been so blessed with wonderful people coming into my life at just the right time. Anyone who follows me has heard me talk about my best friend, Pam. She’s most definitely found family. Even my momma considers Pam my sister, and a treasure too. I think sometimes people get so hung up on labels and blood-family, they miss the opportunity for a real connection that can make a difference that is right there in front of them. Family is what we make it, and we’re all God’s children…so there’s that!
FF: The book also explores second chances and second careers, which you’ve personally experienced. Can you tell us more about that?
I have experienced so many second chance which I like to call blessings, and my second career–writing novels–was an unexpected one. I’d never set out to be a writer. I knew from a young age that I wanted a corporate career. I was hungry for it, and I climbed that ladder like there was no tomorrow. I made my way to Senior Vice President with Bank of America. I was and am very proud of my accomplishments, even winning the Award of Excellence. However, that same job that I made the number one priority in my life, missing celebrations and vacations along the way, was what tipped me in the direction of writing. I’d always been a voracious reader. Books got me through heartache, hard days, bad bosses and so much more. It was the year I turned 40 that my position at the bank required me to offshore jobs. Now, at the time it was absolutely the right thing to do for the company. I just had no idea how it was personally going to impact me. My heart really broke for the jobs that I took from people, good hard-working people, to send them offshore for the bottom line. I began searching for something good to do to make myself feel better because of it. Out of that situation I decided that if I could write one book, to help one woman through one lousy day…that would be a real gift and something I could be proud of. It took me ten years to get that first book published, and I still didn’t think writing would be my career. Well, you see that it did become my career. I took early retirement in 2014 to write full time, and have never looked back.
FF: Who was your favorite character to write? Which character did you resonate with the most?
That’s so hard, because I am fully invested in every single character. I’m going to say that I resonated most with Merry Anna though. I’ve lived that corporate grind. I’ve lost myself in relationships to the point I didn’t know what I liked anymore. I understood her journey. I’m on it now, and honestly I hope mine ends as well as hers did. I think she and Adam have something pretty special.
FF: What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
A hunger for another book? Readers are asking me to write a sequel to this one. Let me know what you think!
What Remains True
Genres: Contemporary, Divorce Fiction
Release Date: May 3, 2022
Working at a little shop on Main Street in a small town is exactly the break that executive Merry Anna Foster needs following her divorce. She’s made a bet with her ex-husband that she can live on the amount of money she’s giving him in alimony. If she can do it, then Kevin will have to stop complaining and leave her alone. But after three months of this new life, will she even want to leave Antler Creek?
Adam Locklear, bull rider and owner of the local feedstore, is having the best year of his rodeo career. He’s also a bit distracted by the pretty new neighbor living in his old bunkhouse. But Adam has no time for matters of the heart. He’s got his future all mapped out, and that future doesn’t involve a woman just yet. It doesn’t involve parenting a little girl either. However, Carly Fowler still suddenly leaves five-year-old Zan—the daughter Adam didn’t know he had—in his care.
Is it possible that the future holds a life even better than what Merry Anna and Adam had each dreamed of? One that includes both tenderness and even love—not just for each other but for Zan too.
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