Nancy Robie, Flash Fiction Runner Up, Draws From Her Family

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Welcome to Nancy Robie, runner up in the Winter 2014 Flash Fiction Contest, for her entry, "Night at the Bar." You can read the winning story here. (If you are interested in flash fiction contests, enter our summer contest before 8/31 by going to this link.)

Nancy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten-year-old Golden Retriever, Radar. She has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Her dream is to be a published author.
Nancy earned her bachelor's degree at age forty-four with a degree in sociology and chemical dependency. She has worked at many professions over the years—waitress, retail sales associate, health care associate, educational paraprofessional, and insurance agent. Each occupation has offered great fodder for Nancy’s stories. Nancy’s passion is her daughters and eleven grandchildren. Family is important to Nancy and weaves its way into each of her stories. She is currently seeking an agent for her novel Escaping the Rage, which deals with a young mother attempting to escape an abusive marriage. Nancy’s underlying themes in all her stories are how the strength of women emerges when faced with extraordinary situations.

WOW: Congratulations on being a runner-up in the WOW! flash fiction contest. Where did you get the idea for "Night at the Bar"?

Nancy: When I was 9 years old, my father stopped at a bar and left me in the truck. I’m not sure how long I was alone but I do remember the fear I experienced at the thought of him not coming back.

WOW: In your bio, you state that you like to write stories about how the strength of women emerges when faced with extraordinary situations. How does that theme play into this story?

Nancy: I was angry with my mother for leaving me alone with my father. I wasn't old enough to understand the incredible courage it took for a woman in 1964 to walk into an Alanon meeting and admit to a room full of strangers she was married to a drunk. Times were different then. My mother was an extremely shy woman, and looking back now, I can appreciate how difficult it was for her to seek the help she needed.

WOW: Thank you for sharing such a personal insight with us. "Night at the Bar" is a very difficult story to read due to the subject matter of a father's alcoholism. Why did you chose to tell it from the girl's point of view instead of the mother's?

Nancy: I chose the girl’s point of view because too often the children of dysfunctional homes are overlooked. Much attention goes to the addicts and their co-dependent partners. In this story, I wanted readers to feel the turmoil a young girl experiences when forced to suppress emotions and take on adult responsibilities long before she should have to.

WOW: Can you tell us a bit about your novel, Escaping the Rage?

Nancy: Escaping the Rage is the story of two women. Megan Martineau is running for her life from an abusive husband and Laura Prescott is the woman’s crisis counselor who tries to help.

Terrified of her violent husband, Megan flees Boston with her young son, Logan, and seeks out the place she had experienced happiness a dozen years earlier, Oakwood, New Hampshire. When Megan arrives in Oakwood, she is welcomed and nurtured by women in the community. Laura Prescott is particularly drawn to Megan. The uncanny resemblance of Megan to Laura’s sister forces an old secret to be revealed. As Laura struggles with her dissolving marriage and an alienated daughter, she bonds with Megan hoping to make up for a past mistake.

Weeks go by and Megan begins to believe she and Logan are safe. Confidence in her new life emerges until a single act of betrayal by someone she trusts, shatters her strength and catapults Megan into hiding. With Megan’s husband closing in, and feeling responsible for her disappearance, Laura embarks on a frantic search to rescue Megan and her son.

WOW: Sounds exciting and intriguing! We also read in your bio that a little bit of your large family plays a part in your writing--tell us how!

Nancy: Having a large family offers me insights to a myriad of personalities. Each relationship in our family is unique and ever-changing. The ebb and flow of these relationships keeps me on my toes and is a constant treasure chest of ideas for my characters.

WOW: This also means you will probably never run out of story ideas! What's next for you?

Nancy: I hope to find an agent willing to read my manuscript and work with me to better my story and strengthen my writing skills.

WOW: Thank you, Nancy!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--Thanks for doing this interview.

Nancy, I have a five-month old golden retriever named Radar. He is about to drive us crazy--at times--and at other times, he's a delight. (We have two senior goldens, who are definitely NOT interested in playing with the young whippersnapper.)

Give me some hope, please. Will both Radar and I survive his puppyhood? ;)

Oh, this blog is about writing and not dogs? Sorry.

Nancy--Congratulations on your bit of flash fiction. I agree. The perspective of a kid is too often ignored/dismissed. And good luck with your manuscript. It sounds like a compelling story...

NJHall said...

What I wouldn't give to have my Radar back to puppyhood! I know it is hard for you right now but before you know it your Radar will be gray around the eyes, moving slower and napping most of the day!
Thanks for your kind words about my flash fiction. Are you a writer, too?
Good luck with your Radar!!

Sioux Roslawski said...

Nancy--I am. At least I try...;)

Unknown said...

Great interview! Congrats!

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