An Interview with Nancy Di Fabbio: Author & Entrepreneur
Sylvia: Welcome Nancy. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Nancy: Hey Sylvia. My worst nightmare would be to wake up and realize that I had nothing to do. Luckily, I can always find something old or new to inspire me and keep me busy. When people first get to know me, I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought I had a serious, undiagnosed case of ADD, but I’m convinced I don’t. It’s easy for me to stay focused and I’m extremely goal-driven—as long as I’m convinced the task is worthy of pursuing—but I have to be working on some project every waking moment.
I’ve always loved wedding gowns and horses; I also enjoy collecting antiques, drooling over estate jewelry, trying my hand at cake decorating, jewelry-making, interior design, reading, drawing . . . (See where the ADD comes into play?)
Even though I still dabble in some of these other pastimes, wedding gowns and horses have always been, and remain, my primary passions. I could have been like Elizabeth Taylor and married repeatedly to satisfy my bridal lust, but instead, I started my own custom bridal business. What fun it was creating gorgeous gowns for hundreds of brides! During those years I also managed to collect, ride, and care for five horses, four children, a house, and a husband.
Eventually thirty years of bridal angst and physical stress on my hands forced me to close my business. Did I revel in this free time? No, of course not! Within weeks, I’d traded in my sewing machine for my computer and a whole new passion and career was born. My first book, “Quest for the Dress: Finding your Dream Gown without Losing your Sanity, Friends, or Groom” was released in April 2011, based—quite obviously—on my experiences as a bridal couturier. I also began writing a newspaper column featuring the exploits of my horses. ‘Tales from the NEIGH-borhood” is currently running in three local papers—with the book version underway.
By September 2011, my second book and first work of fiction, “Midnight Magic – Be Careful What You Wish For,” was released and is quickly gaining popularity. This spooky thriller is perfect for the middle grade reader, but can be enjoyed by mystery lovers of all ages.
You can usually find me at home in Connecticut, either at my computer or with my horses.
Nancy: Quest for the Dress was born out of my love for weddings and a desire to help women find their perfect wedding gown. One of my horses is a Morgan, and although I love the rest of my herd, he has definitely wormed his way into the softest spot in my heart—and head. My fascination with this breed and empathy for all young horse-lovers inspired me to write Midnight Magic.
In addition to being entertaining, Midnight Magic has several messages for its readers: set a goal and then work to achieve it, never “judge a book by its cover”, and remember that there are always consequences for our actions.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Nancy: I would encourage writers to be true to themselves. Write about what you know and love; find your own style; and don’t follow trends in the hopes of publishing a hit.
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Nancy: Social networking definitely helps. Focus your marketing efforts where you’re mostly likely to reach your target audience.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Nancy: I believe that all forms of entertainment should be exactly that: entertaining. I don’t want to see films or read books that scare, depress, or make me sad, and I certainly don’t want our children to lose their innocence or feel unsafe. Since Midnight Magic is devoid of objectionable language, violence, drug use, sex, or adult situations, it’s suitable for readers as young as nine, but the plot is intriguing enough to capture the interest of adults, as well.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Nancy: I love to write in my former sewing room which is bright, sunny, and familiar. Of course I can also look out the window or glance up at the TV while I’m working—I like distractions.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Nancy: I’m editing three books: a comprehensive how-to for the budding equestrian, a handbook for bridesmaids, and the book version of my “Tales”. Of course, I’m always writing new columns, as well.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Nancy: My power word is CREATE. I love working with my hands and learning to use new mediums to translate an idea into a reality. Many people ask how I come up with my ideas and if I ever get tired. I’m blessed with an active brain that comes up with the ideas all on its own and I find that I have incredible stamina as long as I’m doing something I love. I get tired quickly if I start pulling weeds or raking leaves since I DON’T like to garden.
Sylvia: Share a little about your love for horses?
Nancy: Although many people think horses want and need to be ridden daily, they don’t. They do need the freedom to roam around and throw in a buck or two as the spirit moves them, but humans are the ones who came up with the idea of saddling them up.
Of course I enjoy riding them, but only when the weather is mild. During my riding season, it is essential to keep them in some form of training so that they don’t forget their manners. Once the temperature dips and the days get shorter, I put on their blankets and let them revert to just being horses.
As large and powerful as they are, horses are really quite fragile and need expert, expensive, and arduous daily care to keep them happy and healthy.
I feed them grain, hay and water every morning in their stalls and then turn them out in their paddocks with another “flake” (serving) of hay for lunch. Sometime between breakfast and dinner, I clean out their stalls, washing their water buckets, replenishing them with fresh water. Between 3 and 4PM, weather permitting, I bring them back into the barn and serve dinner: grain and more hay. Before retiring to my own bed, I make a final barn check to make sure everyone’s safe and sound, dole out additional hay, fill water buckets, hand out a treat and ask for a goodnight kiss. Yes, I say, “Give mommy a kiss.” and each one will obediently duck their head so that I can kiss them.
Every six weeks, I administer a de-worming medication to keep the intestinal parasites at bay and arrange for the blacksmith to trim or re-shoe them. Twice a year the vet administers vaccinations and once a year the equine dentist comes to take care of their teeth.
Ideally, I also wedge in time to give them a good brushing—even if they’re not being ridden. Technically, their feet should be picked out every day to keep them healthy. Grooming allows an owner to detect ticks, injuries, or any medical problems that need to be addressed.
Sylvia: Wow, sound like a lot of work caring for them… but when you have a special love in your heart, its like taking care of your children. I commend you for that!
Well, thank you Nancy for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. Please share your contact information:
Nancy: You are welcome. My information is below: