Today I had the pleasure of talking with Bestselling Author Nancy Naigle author of over 25 books about her latest book The Shell Collector. The Blog Tour hits the road October 4th-10th, 2021. Be sure to check out the incredible give-a-way, details below.
About the Author
“The Shell Collector is a beautiful story full of love, loss, and second chances.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber
From USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle, The Shell Collector is a touching novel of a friendship that crosses generations, and learning how even the smallest gifts can change a life for good.
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.
352 pages Published 2021
How did you get the idea for The Shell Collector?
I lost my husband to a really short battle with cancer in January 2014. Just three months and my whole world changed. Five weeks later I lost a cousin to cancer too. Grief is an incredibly hard thing to navigate. My cousin had shared a story with me about a friend of our family who walked the beach every morning. One day with something particularly heavy on her heart she kicked up a shell in the surf. When she picked up the shell, she noticed a message written inside. Not any message, but a scripture and one that seemed to be written just for her and what she was worried about.
That story hung on my heart after losing my cousin, and as I navigated my own grief slowly a story of two widows, one an older woman who walks the beach every day, the other a young mother of two who has just moved to the beach town to get her life going again after losing her husband two years prior. They help each other through, and the cross-generational friendship is so beautiful. I still tear up just talking about it. It’s about navigating grief to hope and happiness, and I promise there’s a lot of happiness in this story too. The setting is fictional, but imagine a small town on the North Carolina shore where the community pulls together and the off-season is precious. I grew up in Virginia Beach. Mom and I walked the beach all the time, and my younger brother and I played there. Reliving those playful memories through the two young children in this story was a joy.
#1 New York Times Best Selling Author Debbie Macomber wrote “The Shell Collector is a beautiful story full of love, loss and second chances.” What does it mean to you to be applauded by your peers?
Oh, my goodness! I’m such a fan girl, and I am so humbled and grateful to have had the chance to meet most all of my favorite authors. To have them endorse my book is still a “pinch-me” moment. I’m tearing up just thinking about the lovely quotes that were offered for The Shell Collector. This book came out of a very special place in my heart so the kind words are even sweeter a reward for this story.
If I were to ask a young Nancy what she wanted to be when she grew up, what would you have said and why?
LOL. Well, young Nancy wanted to be a zoologist and specialize in designing animal habitats. I still love the zoo! Somewhere around junior high I started dreaming of working for a big company in the city. Before I took early retirement to write full-time, I was a Senior Vice President with Ban of America. Writing was never on my radar as a career. When I turned 40 I decided I wanted to write one book to help one girl get through one bad day. That was the goal. It took me nine years to get that one book published, and it wasn’t until about book nine that I started thinking about making the leap to writing full-time as a realistic option.
What magazines are on your coffee table right now?
Cowboys & Indians (with Matthew McConaughey on the cover from earlier this summer) and REAL SIMPLE.
Who are your favorites authors? What are you reading right now?
The impossible question! You know I’m good friends with lots and lots of authors. I love and read them all. I’m currently reading Bookshop by the Sea by Denise Hunter. Books and beach—sounds like a winner to me!
Where do you go to find inspiration? Do you have a special quiet place?
I am inspired by life. Talking to people. Visiting new places. Trying new things. Living life with no agenda fills my creative well.
Tell me about your experience of making a book into a movie?
It’s a dream come true, but you should know that once the production company buys the option to turn my book into a movie, it’s out of my hands. They get to streamline the story as they see fit, and they don’t look for advice from the author. It’s exciting to see what pieces and parts of a 90,000 word novel they choose to include in the screenplay which is roughly 110 pages and about 20,000 words. ☺ Pssst – the book is always better!
What was the inspiration behind painting quotes on shells?
Well, I shared the original inspiration for the inscribed shells in the book above, but did you know I also have been painting shells and inscribing them for readers since the book released? Let me tell you about that!
I create a Pinterest board for every book I write while I’m writing it. Any research I do results in pics tucked away on that board. Now, that doesn’t mean it always ends up in the book, but it’s a great way to create an inspiration board. Along the journey of researching THE SHELL COLLECTOR I ran across the most beautiful shells. I decided to try my hand at it, and enjoyed it so much I’ve painted 100s of them! I use black chalk paint as a base, then dip, dot and dab acrylic paint using tiny brushes and mandala tools to pretty them up. In each one I write my favorite quote from the book ~ Interrupt Worry With Gratitude.
What’s next for you? Do you have a book or project already in the works?
More books! WHAT REMAINS TRUE comes out 5/3/2021. It is set in the same small mountain town of Antler Creek that my holiday novel, CHRISTMAS ANGELS, was set. Read that one this winter to get ready for the new release. WHAT REMAINS TRUE is already available for preorder at all your favorite retailers.
How would you like readers to follow or get in touch with you?
The Shell Collector Give-A-Way
Here’s how to enter:
Autographed copy of the book, beach bag, and hand-painted shell with a quote from the book.