Happy New Year to you all! Another year under our belts and we made it. Maybe not the way we would have liked. But I truly believe that adversity molds us into the person we are today and continues to shape us for the one tomorrow. 2021 brought major changes to my life. Some good, others? Not so much. I will tell you that my personality is optimistic. I get through by having hope and believing things will get better. That's why in assessing my past blog I've worked on it to bring you the best and the brightest of guests. Today is no exception. Did you ever wonder who the mysterious person is behind the curtain. Well today Around The Fire is pulling that curtain back and giving you a peek into Mrs. N who many of you look to for so many writing and publishing services. N. N. Light's Book Heaven has been one of my go to sites for editing and promotion services and I can't wait for you to meet her.
Welcome to my fire Mrs. N and thank you for letting us into your life. Let's really pull that curtain aside. Tell us, who you are other than your bio?
What a great question to start. Well, let me start by saying my name is Mrs. N and I am one-half of N. N. Light and co-owner of N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. My better half is Mr. N but he’s a little shy when it comes to interviews so it will just be me and D.V., and of course all of you.
Before we started N. N. Light’s Book Heaven, I wore many hats. I was a manager of a large bookstore chain and an unpublished writer. I married the love of my life, Mr. N, in 2004 and found myself a new career, marketing. But I really missed being in the publishing industry so together Mr. N and I started writing and publishing our own works. We started a blog in 2013 which then turned into N. N. Light’s Book Heaven and we’ve been helping authors and publishers succeed ever since.
Oh, a love story! How wonderful you both work together. How about giving us some privy insight?
Something personal about me? Let’s see, I love to bake, walk outside, birdwatching by the lake, and spending time with my hubby. I love listening to music and watching television shows and movies.
How about that other half? What is the Mr. like?
Something personal about Mr. N? He’s a historian, loves history, loves reading and listening to music. He’s an avid heavy metal music fan but also enjoys a variety of other music including classical, jazz, blues, and ragtime. He’s a retired chef and now only cooks gourmet meals for me. Hee, hee, hee.
Such diverse activities and likes but can we delve deeper? Give us a real peek?
I touched on a few interests above but let me expand on a couple. Back in 2020, we were able to retire from our day jobs to a small town near a lake. We love where we live. The weather is beautiful, and we love to be outside as often as we can. The lakeshore is our favorite place to walk, especially in the morning. There’s something so soothing about walking along the water’s edge and breathing in the fresh air.
I live at a lake as well and emphatically agree. Food is also a passion of mine. You mentioned hubby the cook?
Since both of us are food people, we tend to indulge in great food, especially local produce. We live in an area surrounded by farms so it’s easy for us to get local produce. Mr. N is the chef of the house and many of his dishes are truly divine. I may be biased but I get to eat fine dining food in my shorts and flip flops. I handle the baking for our household and truly enjoy creating scrumptious desserts, bread, pastries, and more.
Maybe I'll leave my lake and head to yours. You know, become one of those neighbors who always shows up at dinnertime 😝 I'm so intrigued, what else goes on in the Light's household?
You asked about our reading habits. In addition to reading for our business, I enjoy all things romance and mystery. I also enjoy reading nonfiction, especially anything dealing with the creative arts. For our business, I read via my tablet but in my leisure, there is nothing I like doing more than reading from an old paperback or hardcover. The smell and feel of the paper touches my soul.
Writers tend to be soloists but often have a specific network or support system. I imagine you need some quiet alone time but no man/woman is an island. Who are your go to people who contribute to your career?
I have a large network of industry professionals who I turn to for advice from time to time, but my greatest support system is Mr. N.
Do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
I talk to birds by mimicking their songs. Does that count? I also paint landscapes.
Ha, you're a Mockingjay. Other than the lake, what is your neighborhood like? Are there any places you frequent? What makes them special.
We live on a semi-quiet street with two schools not far from the lake. It gets busy in the morning and afternoon when the parents and kids walk/drive/bike to and from the school. It’s fun to see all the little gaffers having fun outside.
Do you have any pets?
No. I’m allergic to dogs.
I couldn't imagine not having a dog. Except for short periods of loss, I've never been
dogless, but we won't dwell. Tell me Mrs. N, do you have a particular object like a piece of jewelry or a keepsake of some sort? Can you tell us what makes it special to you?
I have a necklace of my grandmother’s. It’s silver with a beautiful pale blue stone pendant. I consider it so special, I wear it every day. When I put it on, I feel like she’s with me. She passed away over a decade ago and I miss her a lot.
I'm so glad she left you such a connection to her. Do you have a favorite mug or teacup? Why is it your favorite?
I have a favorite mug that is blue and it’s from the Stratford Festival. It says, “What’s past is prologue. – The Tempest”
Sort of like what I meant in my opening statements. Antonio suggests all that has happened before then is the past, which leads him and Sebastian with the opportunity to do what they are about to do, just not murder😲. Are you a fan of the Bard?
I love Shakespeare and watching his plays acted out.
Years ago, there was a commercial that talked about a “Kodak Moment.” It’s a moment in time you catch in a picture. One you never want to forget. What is yours?
I have several Kodak moments but the one that stands out the most for me is the day I married Mr. N. We got married outside on a beautiful July morning. I will never forget it.
Myself and all our guest probably all went "Awww". If you could eat anything in the world right now, what would it be?
A freshly baked croissant from Paris.
Worst household chore?
Cleaning windows, hands down.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met and talked with?
When I was a manager at a bookstore in San Diego, California, I met Sting and his wife. I tried to remain cool on the outside but inside I was jumping up and down with excitement.
Ha I probably would have gone a fangirl. You are a true professional. What made you decide to become an editor and promotion service?
I’ve been in the book industry since the 1990s. I started out as a bookseller and worked my way up to manager of a large bookstore. I worked with publishers and their staff to learn the ins and outs of the business. I was a copy editor for a small publisher, and I found such enjoyment in that. When I moved to be near to Mr. N and to get married, I took some time off from the book/publishing industry. I shifted my focus to marketing and really exceled for my clients.
In 2015, Mr. N and I agreed to start an author promotions business. It was a lot of hard work but over the next six years we worked full-time and worked on building our business. Sure, we made mistakes, but we learned through trial and error what works and what doesn’t. There’s nothing we love more than helping authors and publishers succeed.
I can tell that about you. Your business truly assists me and so many others. But you do much more now.
In 2018, we launched N. N. Light Editing Services and it’s been a huge success. We’re freelance editors who work with authors to make their stories the very best they can be. We don’t embarrass or belittle writers but make suggestions on ways to improve their writing. We consider it a partnership between us and the writer. We keep our prices low so authors can afford to have a professional editor.
How long have you been in this business?
In 2021, we celebrated our sixth year in business.
You bring many talents to the table based on experience. Remind me?
Writer, author, bookseller, bookstore manager, marketer, copy editor, personal assistant, fashion buyer for a dept. store, secret shopper, and even worked at a cinnamon roll shop. Although, I didn’t last long there because I ate too much of my paycheck in cinnamon rolls.
I an ice cream shop for awhile. I get what you mean. You are considered An Influencer. Can you explain what that means?An influencer is someone who has knowledge of a product and/or service and shares their personal thoughts on it. I didn’t think too much about being an influencer until Amazon awarded us a blue check and the title ‘verified influencer’.
What is your educational background? Did you take any specific courses for this endeavor?
I have a bachelor’s degree in literature with a minor in creative writing.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Personally, I love romance. With all the sub-genres nowadays, I get to read romance in a variety of ways.
What excites you about a book?
I know this sounds cliché, but it’s all about the characters. I’m all about a character-driven plot filled with growth, emotion, and a bit of action. I know this will be scary for any author to read but I can usually tell if I’m going to love a book or not within the first chapter I’m reading. I don’t say this lightly but authors, please, grab the reader from the beginning.
What author or book made an impact on your personal life?
There have been several authors and books that have changed my life but the first one that comes to mind is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I read it my first year in university and it changed how I studied, worked, lived from that point forward. I use his habits in all aspects of my life.
What is your most recommended book to children? Teens? Adults?
Oooh, another tough question. Since it’s almost Christmas, here are my holiday-themed recommendations:
Children – The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Teens – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Adults – Christmas in Evergreen by Nancy Naigle
What is the most asked question you get?
Will you review my book for free?
What do you mean giving me four stars? You’re a fraud.
What author would you like to sit and have dinner with?
I would love to have dinner with two people: Agatha Christie and Ernest Hemingway. Both of these authors have been very influential in my personal and professional life.
What are the biggest challenges of being in the literary community today?
I think the hardest thing for an author is sticking with it for the long haul. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You have to keep going, keep writing, keep publishing, keep promoting.
The hardest thing for us as editors, influencers, professional reviewers is to convince authors you need to spend money on marketing nowadays. The market is oversaturated and both authors and publishers need to keep publishing and marketing to be relevant.
Do you have anything you would like a patron to know that hasn’t been asked?
We are a family-run small business that has grown so much over the past two years that we now have a small staff and an office. This is huge for us and allows us to really focus on our clients and providing exceptional service. We look forward to seeing what the next six years brings.
Mrs. N, thank you so much for joining me today Around the Fire. You are an inspiration and truly genuine person. To find out more about N. N. Lights Book Heaven and their services look below but first, the food...
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