Finding Fran by Nancy Christie: Blog Tour & Giveaway

Monday, April 22, 2024
Finding Fran by Nancy Christie

We're back again with another blog tour! This time it's with author Nancy Christie and her novel, Finding Fran. This book is ideal for readers of all ages, but particularly people who want to read stories about women their age and older who are experiencing the challenges of midlife, and ultimately find their moxie and pursue their dreams. 

Join us as we celebrate the launch of her blog tour by interviewing this talented author and giving you a chance to win a copy of her book. 

But first, here's more about Finding Fran:

Once a best-selling romance novelist, 55-year-old Fran Carter is now dealing with a slow but steady drop in book sales and a major case of writer’s block, complicated by the knowledge that her lover, a professional photographer, has been on the wrong side of the camera (so to speak) with his models. (So much for her author brand, built on the premise that women in their fifties and beyond can still find love and happiness.) Her solution is to spend a week in isolation at a northern California bed-and-breakfast. There she hopes to resolve her professional and personal conflicts, and ultimately create a new and better future for herself by writing a new “story” for the Fran she wants to be!

ISBN-13: 979-8350942248
Print Length: 302 pages

Purchase a copy of Finding Fran on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and You can also add it to your GoodReads reading list.

Praise About Finding Fran

“I loved the premise of the romance writer floundering in a relationship herself and then finding her way. And I always enjoy reading about the lives of writers, even fictional ones. As a writer myself—and as a woman—I could so relate to Fran’s indecision, lack of confidence and self-doubt as well as be inspired by her pushing ahead despite it all.” ~ Dorothy Rosby, award-winning author and humor writer

“Nancy Christie is an author who has made a career of writing about women’s lives, and as a women’s fiction reader, I’m glad to have discovered her work. Christie’s strength is in her ability to thoroughly insert you into the life of her heroine, Fran. In Finding Fran, you learn about Fran’s floundering writing career and her relationship troubles. Fran is relatable, and I found myself rooting for her to pursue and earn the life she deserves.” ~ Monic Ductan, award-winning author

“With her Midlife Moxie series, author Nancy Christie has tapped into a long-overlooked, yet vital and thriving, world of women in mid-life. Sadly, so many books dealing in romance and achieving life goals only revolve around the younger woman, but Christie has wisely realized that ‘women of a certain age’—like her, like you, like me—have been dealing with heartbreak, pursuing true love, and achieving their wildest dreams from time immemorial. [In] Finding Fran, Christie delves into the shock and heartache of learning a so-called life partner has committed the ultimate betrayal that feels like a death, but leads to beauty, fulfillment, and self-awareness. Christie’s characters are complete studies of humans with all of their messy, imperfect vulnerabilities, who realize they are ultimately in control of their destinies—they just needed a little push.” ~ Jennifer Bowers Bahney, award-winning journalist and author

About the Author, Nancy Christie

Nancy Christie

Nancy Christie is the award-winning author of eight books—two novels: Reinventing Rita and Finding Fran; three short story collections: Mistletoe Magic and Other Holiday Tales, Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories and Peripheral Visions and Other Stories; two books for writers: Rut-Busting Book for Authors and Rut-Busting Book for Writers; and the inspirational book, The Gifts Of Change. Her short stories and essays have appeared in print and online publications, with several earning contest placement. The host of the Living the Writing Life podcast and the founder of the annual “Midlife Moxie” Day and “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day, Christie teaches writing workshops at conferences, libraries, and schools. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), the Florida Writers Association (FWA) and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA).

You can find her online:

-- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: First off, congratulations on your book, Finding Fran! What inspired you to write this book?

Nancy: Finding Fran has an interesting history. First of all, while it’s my second published novel, it’s actually the first one I had written. I had never planned on writing a novel—I was a confirmed short story writer. And when I began writing it, that’s what I thought it would be. But then it kept growing and by the end of 90 days, writing for 30 minutes a day every day without fail—I had a very rough draft of a 60,000-word story.

As for the topic, it was just one of those ideas that came out of nowhere. I don’t write romance novels—those bodice-rippers, as some people call them—because I just can’t relate to the women who are the main characters in those stories. Maybe it’s because I was a tomboy as a child, maybe because I have a very strong independent streak. But I knew how popular they were and how well they sell. So I thought it would be fun to write a story about a character who does write them yet is struggling with her own “Happily Ever After” story that isn’t so happy. One reviewer said it’s an “un-romance” story and I think that’s a great description!

And by making her in her mid-fifties, Finding Fran was a perfect fit for my Midlife Moxie Novel Series.

WOW: As a devoted short story writer myself, I love hearing that this novel began as a short! I have to say - I love your theme of writing books about women thriving mid-life. I think that's my favorite aspect of this book. What made you want to write about this type of character?

Nancy: You know that old saying: write what you know? Being in the midlife stage myself—well, on the far side of midlife!—I know a bit about the challenges of navigating through those decades.

Also, I am more than a little tired of how women of “a certain age” (i.e., middle age) have been portrayed on shows and advertisements. It seems like once a woman crossed into Menopause Land, she is viewed as someone who suffers from incontinence or incompetence—sometimes both! A woman who, once she hits 50, has nowhere to go and nothing to look forward to, and that just isn’t the case.

Many women at midlife are thriving, taking on new challenges and looking for new opportunities to find out who they can be and what they can accomplish. Midlife doesn’t have to be the end of life—it can be the beginning of a new life if you find your moxie and go after your dream. Life is full of possibilities no matter what age you are.

My goal is to write stories that show that the loss of a career, whether through age discrimination or retirement, doesn’t mean that all you have to look forward to are years spent staring at the same four walls while your brain cells atrophy. Or that the end of a relationship, whether through death or divorce, doesn’t mean a future spent all by yourself with no one to talk to but the cat. My novels are about women at midlife (50s and older) who are reinventing themselves, either by choice or necessity.

Fran is off on adventure that seems like a dream to me. 

"Many women at midlife are thriving, taking on new challenges and looking for new opportunities to find out who they can be and what they can accomplish. Midlife doesn’t have to be the end of life—it can be the beginning of a new life if you find your moxie and go after your dream." 

WOW: It does to me too! You did such a good job sweeping the reader in and making both Fran and the setting seem real. How did you manage to do that so well?

Nancy: While I had written a draft of Finding Fran about a romance novelist who lived near San Francisco, California, I needed the details to make it accurate. I traveled there and spent a week in Half Moon Bay, taking tons of pictures, talking to locals and just in general, getting a feel for the place.

Then last year, Mary Bisbee-Beek read through the manuscript and from her perspective living in that general area—northern CA—gave me some recommendations regarding locations that really improved the story. That being said, I have learned my lesson and unless I have a major travel budget, will stick to setting my fiction in places that I can visit frequently as I am writing!

WOW: I grew up in the Bay Area of California and adore that area. What characterization building tips can you share with our readers?

Nancy: Really think about who the character is: her struggles, her fears, weaknesses and strengths, her motivations and goals. Many writers build a character bio ahead of time, detailing as much information as they can about the character, from their past life to the present. I’m not one of those, sadly. It would probably make my writing time more efficient! But what I do is to keep track of details that come into the story organically, using a spreadsheet and endnotes within the document. That being said, the novel I’m working on now, Moving Maggie, has been a real challenge because I struggled to get a solid grasp of the character. I had to keep asking myself who she was before the inciting events, how those changed her perception of herself, and who and what helped her get back to the “Maggie with moxie” person she once was, only in a more balanced form. I’m finally there, and now I am engaged in doing major revisions to the novel, to make sure that everything is in line with that progression of events.

WOW: I can't wait to read it. You are an incredibly prolific and successful writer. How do you maintain the momentum to publish and release so many books?

Nancy: Well, to be honest, if we’re looking at my publishing career, I don’t really think of myself as all that prolific. My first book came out in 2004 when I was 50, and my next one in 2014—10 years later! I realized at that point that if I maintained that kind of schedule, I didn’t have all that many decades left for the books I wanted to write! This year, with the release of Finding Fran, I’m up to eight books, and two more will be released next year bringing me to a total of 10.

My goal—and I am a very goal-oriented person—is to release one new Midlife Moxie novel a year. In addition to the one I am working on for 2025, I have several more ideas for future novels.

But I am a prolific writer, especially when it comes to fiction. While I’ve had short stories published—both in collections and as individual stories in magazines—I have many, many, many more that are in various stages of completion sitting on my computer or, in some cases, in hard copy in my file drawer. I just can’t help myself. I hear a line of dialogue in my head and I’m off, making up a story!

WOW: I'm the same way! I have collections of untyped stories that need to see the light of day. I loved seeing that you teach writing workshops. How does teaching help your own writing?

Nancy: I learn a lot from those in my classes as well as from the members of my writing group, the Monday Night Writers. And not just about writing, but also about the challenges that come with being a writer. When I hold my writing workshops, I make them very interactive. They are designed to help attendees learn how to tap into their creativity on the fly, so to speak, and overcome the notion that you have to have everything in place and ready to go to be creative: the right music, the right candle, the right setting. But that’s not the case. While any of those can help, they are not required. What is required is the ability to shut off the outside world and go into the space where your characters or your ideas are waiting. Many times when I hold these workshops, I will do the exercises along with the class, and then share what I come up with. And sometimes it ends up being a piece I can develop into a full story!

WOW: That's amazing. What type of problems do you commonly see in student writing?

Nancy: Sometimes it’s a lack of “think-through”—thinking through the story after it’s drafted to see if what the characters do makes sense and follows the theme. Other times, it’s just a lack of knowledge about the basic rules about grammar, spelling and punctuation. It matters—it really does. But I think the main issue is that students are often afraid to get solid feedback. They don’t want to hear anything negative about their work. But that’s how we learn to improve. I started my writing career working for a small local newspaper and I had an editor who would mercilessly point out everything I did wrong. But he also told me what I did right. My goal was to have less of the first and more of the second, and by paying attention to what he said were my errors, I got better. And I still rely on editors and beta readers for input on my work. As writers, we should always try to get better, write better.

WOW: That's a wonderful balance. You manage to be all over on social media! I'm so impressed. How do you handle it all?

Nancy: I have a schedule that I do my best to follow. But it’s not easy, especially because I am a full-time copywriter besides writing and marketing my books. I try to learn all I can from other writers, even though often I feel like I am behind. And I’m not very good at interacting on social media—the “social” part. I don’t have that much time to do it, even though I wish I did. I do what I can, and when I have extra time, try to do more.

WOW: That's fair. What advice do you have about being on social media as an author?

Nancy: Always remember that being an author is a profession, and how you present yourself reflects on you as a professional. Personally, I’m very cautious about posting anything negative or controversial. My views about politics, religion, etc., are private. What I post on social media is about my books, books by and interviews with other writers, and other aspects of the writing life. But then, that is my choice. Other authors are more outspoken and I admire them for it. It’s just not me.

WOW: That's a great approach. And you run a podcast too. How do you handle everything that's on your plate?

Nancy: Again, it all comes back to having a schedule and being disciplined. I use my Outlook calendar and a paper-based datebook, and plan things out as far in advance as I can. I learned that when I was working two jobs and had young kids. There’s always going to be something unexpected that occurs so take advantage of every minute and get stuff “in the can,” so to speak, so you aren’t scrambling.

WOW: You are so organized. I love it! What advice do you have for authors who want to reach their readers?

Nancy: I’d love to give you a surefire way to find your readers and connect with them but that is something I struggle with myself. One thing I know about me is that I am better in person than on social media when it comes to connecting with people. I hold actual conversations with people at my book events, talking to them about their lives and their struggles. Also, from a purely practical, marketing side, I always carry bookmarks with me to hand out whenever it seems appropriate and make sure everyone knows that I’m an author. And I have a newsletter I send out and a website I update monthly.

WOW: That's a great idea! What advice do you have for writers who want to create characters that reflect where they are at in their own life? Or maybe characters that aren't represented too well?

Nancy: Don’t engage in too much navel-gazing—writing solely from the perspective of your own life and your own experiences. If you do that, every character will sound like you. Your life can serve as a springboard but make sure the characters are fully formed and distinct from who you are. If you want to write about characters who aren’t well represented, do your homework and make sure you understand them first. Don’t do it just because the market is hot for certain types of people in terms of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or whatever. You’ll end up having stock characters or stereotypes that don’t ring true.

WOW: Excellent point! What is your writing routine like?

Nancy: I write every day. Sometimes it’s my own work—novels or short stories—and sometimes it’s a mix of client work and my work. But every day I write. I start by 5 or 6 in the morning, and, depending on what is happening and how productive I am, may go until after dinner. But every day I write. (I know I said that already, but it bears repeating! That’s how I keep my writing engine running smoothly!)

WOW: How amazing that is. What are you working on now that you can tell us about?

Nancy: Moving Maggie, the next in my Midlife Moxie novel series. And I’m also playing with a short story idea that is too unformed to even talk about! And planning my launch for Finding Fran, which includes a road trip to North Carolina. All my events are listed on my website at so people can find me. If there’s anyone around those areas when I’m there, drop by and say hi!

WOW: That's so exciting! I can't wait to see what you come out with next. Thank you for joining us!

Finding Fran by Nancy Christie WOW Blog Tour

--- Blog Tour Calendar

April 22nd @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of her book.

April 25th @ The Faerie Review
Visit Lily's blog for a spotlight of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie. 

April 26th @ StoreyBook Reviews
Visit Leslie's blog for her spotlight of an excerpt in Finding Fran by Nancy Christie. 

April 26th @ Bookplaces
Visit Kay's blog for her review of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie. She'll also be interviewing the author as well! 

April 29th @ Just Katherine
Join Katherine to check out her review of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 1st @ Affinito Lit
Join Stephanie for a feature of Finding Fran and a chance to win an eBook.

May 4th @ A Wonderful World of Books
Visit Joy's blog for her spotlight of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 5th @ Bring on Lemons
Join Crystal for a review of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 7th @ A Storybook World
Visit Deirdra's blog for her spotlight of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 9th @ Knotty Needle
Join Judy's blog for a review of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 10th @ Beverley A. Baird
Visit Beverley's blog for her review of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 15th @ Writer Advice
B. Lynn Goodwin will be interviewing Nancy Christie about her book Finding Fran. 

May 17th @ Sarandipity's Designs
Join Sara for her interview with author Nancy Christie. You'll also have the chance to win a copy of the eBook.

May 20th @ World of My Imagination
Join Nicole for her review of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 21st @ Sara Trimble's blog
Visit Sara's blog for her review of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 22nd @ Create Write Now
Mari L. McCarthy will be spotlighting Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 24th @ Word Magic
Visit Fiona's blog for a spotlight of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

May 26th @ Boys' Mom Reads
Visit Karen's blog for her review of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie.

***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

Enter to win a copy of Finding Fran by Nancy Christie! Fill out the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win. The giveaway ends May 5th at 11:59 PM CT. We will randomly draw a winner and announce in the Rafflecopter widget as well as follow up via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Nancy Christie said...

Thanks so much for having me here and letting me share some details about FINDING FRAN and my writing life! This is a great kick-off to the book launch!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Wonderful interview! I absolutely love the premise of Finding Fran and I'm looking forward to reading it. :) Your routine of writing for 30 minutes a day is inspirational. I also loved hearing about when you first and second books came out, and that gives me hope. Congratulations on your book launch and good luck on your tour! :)

Nancy Christie said...

So glad you found my 30-in-30 strategy helpful. Sometimes that is all we need to get back into the routine and overcome our fears! And no one should worry about when they started writing or publishing. All they should care about is doing it! I hope you enjoy Finding Fran and I look forward to your thoughts about the book!

Laurie said...

I love WOW even more than before now that I've discovered you, FINDING FRAN and your Midlife Moxie Novel Series! I retired (not willingly) in 2020 after 30 years as a grant writer, and am still getting my bearings. The interview, and your advice really hit home (especially about character development) and inspired me to go back and finish the novel I started several years ago. I think that will make a nice 70th birthday gift for myself this year.

Nancy Christie said...

Welcome to your 70th decade! I made it this year just a few months ago and it's been interesting.
What I've learned from interviewing so many older writers (some younger than me, some a decade older) is that it is never too late to explore your creativity. And we bring so much to the table now that is a product of our life experiences. I hope you take inspiration from FINDING FRAN and I'd love to know what you thought of the story!

Heather Swanson said...

A must for my reading list.

Nancy Christie said...

Hope you enjoy it!

Nancy P said...

Who inspired you to write?

AshleyS said...

Putting on my Must Read list.

Nancy Christie said...

I'm not sure I can point to any one person who inspired me to write. From an early age, it was just a natural form of expression for me, an outgrowth of playing "Let's Pretend" as a child. And I was always a reader. I could and did spend hours reading books as a child. So maybe that was what led me into this career.

kywave said...

I love this! A heroine the same age as me. We need more of this

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your interview and want to read this book!

Nancy Christie said...

I decided to write about women 50+ because I was tired of us being the secondary characters. We are the heroines of our story and we have so much we can do!

Nancy Christie said...

(Ok I am trying to respond to each comment individually but it won't let me...)
I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. (I can be such a talker sometimes!) I hope you read FINDING FRAN and if you do, I'd be so grateful if you'd post a review!

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