Monday, September 8, 2008

Meet Nancy Viau!

Break out the bubbly! Our featured debut author this week is Nancy Viau, Author of Samantha Hansen Has Rocks In Her Head …wait, what was that you said, Nancy? No, champagne? Ok, Nancy just informed us she prefers to celebrate with an ice-cold O’Cosmo—that’s a cosmo made with orange rum, people. Yum.

Kids…it’s orange Gatorade for you!

Let’s find out more about this debut author:

Nancy was the kid in school who always had a Nancy Drew book in her hand.

Her teachers claimed she was quiet and well-behaved; her brothers say the opposite. Growing up, she wanted to be an astronaut, but changed her mind when she found out how many years of math she’d have to take. In fact, on her Web site, there’s a picture of her report card that shows a Big Fat “D” in math!

Nancy’s had an assortment of jobs including elementary school teacher, counselor, and reading instructor, waitress, lifeguard, swim instructor, fitness club manager, and aerobics instructor. Yes, friends, it was the eighties. Bring on the silver spandex!

But once Nancy sent her youngest child off to preschool, she decided to embark on something new—writing. First, she wrote about community issues, parenting, and family life for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She eventually became a guest columnist, and got to write about her experiences living at the shore in the summer. “There’s nothing like writing about fireworks, silly town laws, crowded beaches, and ice cream to keep the creative juices flowing,” Nancy says. Many of Nancy’s essays were humorous, and she affectionately looks back on her time at the Inquirer as her Erma Bombeck years. Her essays were also published in anthologies like The Writing Group Book and Chicken Soup for the Soul, and magazines like Family Circle, FamilyFun, etc..

But Nancy’s first love has always been writing for children, and she’s sold stories, poems, and activities to most of the top children’s magazines. Highlights for Children is an all time favorite because she loves how the editors there challenge her. In 2006, she began writing longer fiction, and in July of 2007, that middle-grade novel, Samantha Hansen Has Rocks In Her Head, sold to Abrams Books for Young Readers/Amulet Books.

Samantha Hansen Has Rocks In Her Head

Sam is a ten-year-old mad scientist, but she doesn't blow up stuff or change kids into cats that bark. She just has a little trouble keeping a lid on her temper, and she “ab-so-lutely” loves science—especially rocks. But science isn’t all that helpful when it comes to the big questions like, why does she get into trouble, why is her sister so annoying, and why won’t anyone talk about her dad. When Sam’s mom announces a trip to the Grand Canyon, it’s a dream-come-true. But if Sam can’t get a grip on her emotions, she’s going to miss seeing her favorite rocks, and miss finding out the answers to some of her questions.

Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head is a hilarious and touching debut that introduces middle graders to an exuberant new character who studies the world around her as she discovers what is in her own heart.

Come back tomorrow to find out why Nancy thinks she’s a reluctant novelist.


Anonymous said...

Yay, Nancy! Congrats. Great intro.

daphne grab said...

yay nancy!! i just got my copy and it is beautiful! i can't wait to dig into it! oh, and i love the eighties hair- mine looked a lot like that back then.

Anonymous said...

"...dig into it."

TJ Brown said...

Congrats! And love the eighties pic! LOL!

PJ Hoover said...

Yay for your release, Nancy! So excited for you!

Jenny Meyerhoff said...

It's on my nightstand right now!
Can't wait, Nancy.

John/Fran said...

What an accomplishment.... Can't wait to read this book. We're excited for you

Barrie said...

Congrats, Nancy! Got your book for my 8 y.o. daughter!

I actually got to meet Nancy in person. And she is LOADS of fun! We found we had so much to talk about that we walked for miles and miles along the beach. Of course, then we had to walk back!

Go Nancy! Go Samantha!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, guys.

And yes, just for the record, Barrie MADE me walk that far. JK!
We DID have a blast that night, and I hardly remember WHERE we walked to and from.

Joan said...

Yay Nancy!! I've got my copy on order too.

And OMG, is NOBODY going to make snarky comments about that AWESOME spandex pic? How much does it rock!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you for the snark, dear Joan! That pic makes me crack up every time I look at it. How did I breath in all that spandex???

REACH one, two...


Anonymous said...

"I BREATH in all that spandex???"



Anonymous said...

Hey Nancy, I don't know which pic I love more, the spandex one or your adorable school pic. Were you Jamie Lee Curtis's body double in that movie Perfect? You look great! CONGRATS on your debut - I can't wait to meet Samantha - so looking forward to reading your book! :) deb