About the Book
Author: Nancy E. Wood
Genre: Contemporary YA Fiction
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Synopsis: Isn’t that something everyone wants to be?
Gina has done everything she could to please her parents, gain her friends’ approval, and get that one guy’s attention, but it never seems to be enough. There’s no pleasing everybody.
She’s struggling just to get through the year when a mysterious guy abruptly decides to become part of her life and disrupts everything she’s ever believed in.
Could he actually be right? Is perfection really unattainable? Or by listening to him will everything she’s worked for fall apart?
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Interview with Nancy!
Hello Nancy 🙂 Thank you for stopping by today and letting me and my reader get to know you better!
How do you pick your characters personalities, or looks?
I don’t have to think about it. The main characters show up in my imagination as real people whom I have to get to know. I normally have an idea of their basic features and then google images until I find a picture of what I think my character looks like.
Once an idea takes root, how long does it take you to write it down?
It depends. Some ideas I’ve carried around in my head for years. Others I jot down right away so I don’t forget them. But the powerful ideas that will eventually end up published stay with me, and I’ll think about them often. I think that’s a sign of a good story when the idea sticks with you and you have to meditate on it.
Do you have a genre that you would never write? (In the Christian genre sphere i.e. speculative, historical, contemporary, etc.)
I’d never want to write historical fiction. Firstly, I find that most Christian books are historical fiction, and I’ve always been drawn to contemporary stories. Secondly, I don’t like researching, and I’m deathly afraid of misrepresenting facts and events in my writing. So having to write historical fiction would drive me crazy.
What is one thing in your life that you would say has had the greatest impact on your writing? Or in your life in general?
That’s a hard question. My siblings and I grew up devouring books, and one thing I noticed was that there wasn’t much Christian YA out there. Seeing the YA books in the world, I didn’t want my little sisters to be filling their minds with those topics unbelievers enjoyed. That motivated me to use my gift of words to write books that were not only entertaining and contemporary but also had Christian themes. All of my books lead to God and a relationship with him.
Lastly, what was your favorite book growing up?
This is the hardest question of all! I had so many favorite books, but the first one that popped into my head when I read this question was The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. I read and listened to the audio drama so many times, I could quote pretty much the whole book. 😊
Nancy E Wood was born into a missionary family and lived in Hungary until she turned twenty. Her whole childhood, she loved reading and stories, writing some of her own, but never believing she actually had the talent to be an author. Speaking multiple languages, she never thought she would be good enough in any to become a wordsmith.
Her senior year of high school, she was encouraged to write short stories, one of which turned into Perfect, a novel that couldn’t stay short. After sharing it with a few people, she decided to get it published a couple years later. She went to college in Florida, where she studied English and Music. After graduating, she married and moved to California. She published her second standalone book, I’ll Take the Lie, in the summer of 2019 and is currently working on a sequel to Perfect. She also runs a blog for young women, where she writes relatable and motivational posts that point to God. She has also done some speaking in different Christian schools and youth groups, encouraging teens to pursue Christ through some of the most difficult years of their lives.
Thoughts from Nancy
You’re not good enough. No matter how much you do, you’ll never do enough. No matter how good you look, you’ll never be pretty enough. No matter how little you eat, you’ll never be skinny enough. No matter how kind you are, not everyone will like you. You’ll never be enough.
These words, or something very similar, have echoed in my head since I was a kid. I don’t know when it started, and I certainly don’t know when these words will fade away forever from my mind and heart.
I was born in Budapest, Hungary. My parents are missionaries, and they raised me to love God from the very beginning. I got saved really young, and church was my life. My parents reminded me many times that I was the example, and that my little sisters looked up to me, so I had to be careful about how I acted. My whole life, I was taught that I had to be good, had to please authorities, and had to do the right thing no matter what. But what was the right thing? And what if it didn’t please the authorities?
For much of my life, I was torn. I was told that something was not right, but to me it seemed perfectly fine. I wasn’t happy. I was confused. I was living my life according to other people’s expectations. I didn’t know what was right or wrong. I felt like a horrible person, even when I was doing “the right thing.” What was wrong with me? So many times I felt alone, even though I had many friends. Nobody could understand me.
Nothing about this lifestyle changed until my senior year, the year I had my first boyfriend. He was studying to be a psychologist and helped me change my thinking. Other than having constant conflicts with my parents, who weren’t too thrilled about my dating somebody, he opened up my eyes to how much people-pleasing had taken over my life. I realized I had so many masks for each person I was around, that I didn’t even know who I was underneath. Long story short, I thought a lot about who I was. I started questioning what I believed and why. I started writing “Perfect,” which has a lot of parallels to my life then.
God was there through it all. I didn’t know how to defeat it, but I took a step. I talked to my parents. I told them about all my bitterness, of trying to live up to standards I didn’t believe in, of all the things I did that I didn’t enjoy doing. I told them how much I wanted to please them, but how I felt like I always fell short. They were extremely surprised, and then supportive. We were able to work through years of hard feelings on my part that they hadn’t even been aware of.
More steps. I used to write and not share it with anyone. I was afraid of what people would say. When I finally decided to open up and show people, I was overwhelmed at the good feedback. Instead of judging me, people could relate! I wasn’t alone in my people pleasing. I take little steps all the time when I do something I’m not comfortable with; giving hard advice, telling someone something they don’t want to hear, going to other people for help, seeking mentors, opening up to people.
Am I completely free? No, not yet. There are times I still come under the icy grip of doubt and fear. What if people stop liking me? What would happen if I disappointed someone I love and they don’t forgive me? But I know that I am a lot farther along than I was years ago. I may never be perfect, (in fact, let’s just admit that’ll never happen), but I can keep taking steps, getting closer to God and farther from my perfectionism. And now I know that I’m not alone.
I may not be perfect, but I believe God can still use me.
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18
Rebecca Tews, September 19
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 20 (Author Interview)
The Book Chic Blog, September 20
Texas Book-aholic, September 21
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 22
Inklings and notions, September 23
For Him and My Family, September 24
Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, September 25 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, September 25
Artistic Nobody, September 26 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 27
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 28
Sara Jane Jacobs, September 29
Batya’s Bits, September 30
Spoken from the Heart, October 1
To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away the grand prize of a $20 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.