Nancy Thayer is the author of thirty-one novels, including Summer House, The Hot Flash Club, Beachcombers, Island Girls, The Guest Cottage, The Island House, and Secrets in Summer. Her books concern the mysteries and romance of families and relationships: marriage and friendships, divorce and love, custody and step parenting, family secrets and private self-affirmation, the quest for independence and the normal human hunger for personal connections. Nancy was recently feature in the December issue of Welcome Home and generously answered a few questions about becoming a writer and what’s next for her!
1. Why did you become a writer?
My parents and grandparents read to me when I was small, and I loved books and stories. When I learned that people wrote these wonderful things called books, I knew I wanted to be a writer, and even though I grew up in Kansas, the fact that Jo in Little Women got published made me believe I could, too. I wanted to write about what we call “ordinary” life, and “ordinary” women. The Kansas state motto is Ad Astra per Aspera, which means “To the stars with difficulty,” so I believed I could be a writer, even though it wouldn’t be easy. And it wasn’t easy. My first novel was published when I was thirty-five. That was thirty-two books ago!
2. What inspired you to write LET IT SNOW?
Our house is only a few streets from the harbor, and I love to walk up and down the wharves, looking at the boats and the ducks and the small shops in the old fishermen’s sheds. One shop was called The Toy Boat. It sold wooden replicas of our ferries and lighthouses, and also mermaid dolls, pirate books, and all sorts of
unique gifts. The shop has closed, but that was the inspiration for Christina’s Toy Shop. When December comes to the island, bringing darkness and cold, our small town becomes a close community with all sorts of events to celebrate Christmas. It is magical here then, and I wanted to capture that magic in LET IT SNOW!
3. What’s next for you?
My new novel, Girls in Summer, comes out next May. It’s set on Nantucket, of course, and it involves a divorced woman who falls in love with a younger man, and how her grown children react to that, and how the man’s grown daughter reacts to that, and how families can fuss and complain in one moment and in the next moment, understand, forgive and love.