Today I'm featuring a touching and personal interview with Nancy Naigle, USA Today Bestselling Author of The Shell Collector. Plus, there's a fantastic giveaway, see below! ** See more details and fun games at Nancy's website.
About the Book:
Two years after her husband’s death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved.
Paul Grant is a relative newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he’s convinced he’s not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning—alone—through his work and role in the community. Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised on Whelk’s Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move.
Together, these three souls find encouragement in the most mysterious places and discover a love that’s bigger than their pain, healing their wounded hearts in ways none of them could have hoped for or expected.
An Interview with Nancy Naigle:
What inspired The Shell Collector?
I was inspired by a story my cousin shared with me about a friend of our family who walked the beach near her home in the Outer Banks of North Carolina every day. With something heavy on her heart, one day she kicked up a shell that had something written inside it. A scripture, and it was the perfect message to lift her spirits. Over a period of time she found four shells with messages. She never knew where they came from. That story stuck with me after I lost my husband, and just five weeks later my cousin who had told me that story. I could’ve used a bucket of those shells to get through that year. I didn’t find any shells, but I did discover this story in my heart. I hope you love it, and that it helps many people find peace through difficult times.
What was your favorite part of the story and why?
When Maeve and Amanda go to Charleston together. It was such a simple thing that Maeve had dreamed of. People sometimes want to experience things that they feel are out of reach, but can be simple with a little help.
If you had to live in this setting, which place would you choose as yours?
I grew up in Virginia Beach so I spent lots of days on the beach, and I love walking in the wet sand where the water just laps over my feet. If I lived in Whelks Island, I’d have a little bungalow like Amanda’s within walking distance to the diner and church. I’d paint it a pretty turquoise with shutters the color of driftwood. Of course, I’d create a set of windchimes from the pretty shells I collected. Soft colors. Clear of clutter. It would be like living at a spa.
What do you want readers to know about your characters?
Amanda and Maeve are generations apart, but they build the most wonderful friendship and help each other in such different ways. I hope everyone finds a Maeve in their lifetime. Paul was Amanda’s best friend, and their friendship is put to the test. I love the multiple friendships and history of these characters.
How much of your own life inspired the story?
This story is much more personal than anything I’ve ever written. Being a widow is hard, and I wanted to write a special story about coming through grief that would not only be a heartfelt read, but something you’d want to share with a friend. The loss of my husband, finding peace on the ocean and collecting seashells as in the book, those are part of who I am. The character of Maeve came to me so clearly. She was a joy to write.
What were The hardest and easiest parts of writing this book?
This was a story I was really driven to write following the loss of my husband in 2014. It took me a long time to be able to write about that grief. None of it was easy, but I found so much joy writing the scenes with Amanda’s children at the beach. Being a native of Virginia Beach, I was able to pull from my memories of my brother and I as children. That was so much fun.
What kind of work did you do before writing this book?
How it prepared you (or didnt!?) for writing this and other books. Oh gosh. THE SHELL COLLECTOR is my 32nd published novel. Before I was published, I was a senior vice president with Bank of America in Technology and Audit. My career has really helped me as an author. I’m used to working to deadlines, and tracking progress. I also use all of my project management and relationship skills, and being tech-savvy is sure a blessing in this line of work.
WHAT REMAINS TRUE comes out in May 2022. It is set in the same small town of Antler Creek in my novel, CHRISTMAS ANGELS. It was so fun to go back to Antler Creek and meet up again with the locals there and meet some newcomers to the area. I hope everyone who hasn’t yet read CHRISTMAS ANGELS will order it today and read it over the holidays, and then mark the date for the new book. Psst—it’s already available for preorder.
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
You know, grief is hard. Everyone in this world will go through it, and yet it remains one of the hardest things we are ever faced with. I hope this story comforts those who have faced that type of loss, but for those who have not yet… I pray that this story settles in their heart and somewhere tucked in the back of their mind so that when they are faced with grief this story comes to mind and helps them traverse those choppy waters with grace and comfort.
You'll Love This Heartfelt Story!
A fantastic book that takes you into the lives of people touching the lives of others. It's a fast read you'll devour in one or two sittings. It has great background, charming characters, and a wonderful setting. I pretty much guessed what would happen but that didn't stop me from reading, sometimes with a clenched throat and tears. A touching story of change, loss, love and hope. Loved it!
Some Fun Freebies:
Giveaway! Get an autographed copy of the book, beach bag and hand painted shell with a quote from the book. See https://woorise.com/thebookreviewcrew/the-shell-collector or enter below.