WHEN I GREW UP I WANTED TO BE… by Nancy Springer

A cowgirl! As a kid in elementary school I might have been a bit unclear as to what a cowgirl did, but that didn’t matter as long as it involved a horse or cow pony, preferably pinto spotted, and a cool western-style outfit, and a lot of cantering and galloping. I guess later I added a guitar and shifted focus a little. By the time I got to college I was playing acoustic guitar, writing down lyrics and teaching myself all the Peter, Paul and Mary songs, singing and playing in my dorm room to relax and in coffeehouses to show off, and in my dreams I would spend my life singing ballads, “killing them softly” with my songs. I’d had no professional training with either my voice or my guitar but that didn’t matter. I felt fated to be a singer of sweet folk songs.

Of course the folk singers of the 1960’s were an anomalous blip in the history of popular music in this country, and it passed before I could have gotten started even if I’d had a clue how or where to begin, which I didn’t. Also, getting married changed everything and somehow hushed my voice. But it found its way back later in the form of writing. From the very first, when I wrote, I wanted the words to sing. My first fantasy hero, Hal, was a singer, and I wrote the songs for him and set their poetry like gemstones into the texture of the book. I think both my singing and my writing spring from a deep, unconscious, and enormous emotional need to connect with people, communicate deeply, become intimate in a poetic or spiritual way. I said unconscious, but the need has gradually become conscious due to sixty-some years of living with myself. When I was young I craved the ultimate sexual communion. Now, aside from the love of my second husband, there is no greater joy in my life than a good conversation with someone, anyone. By “good” I mean something more than witty, something a bit more honest than usual, mind touching mind somehow, much as hand occasionally touches hand.

Armchair psychology tells me that this urgent need to speak and be heard can be traced back to when I was a child meant to be seen and not heard. In my old-fashioned upbringing, no one gave a rat’s sphincter about how I felt, only about how I behaved. Cleanliness was next to Godliness and so were proper, polite manners. It took me decades of my adult life to override my over-civilization enough to honk my car’s horn. I still can’t flip a finger. People can cut me off in traffic with impunity. I feel much more put-upon (although I try not to show it) if anyone cuts me off when I’m speaking, because I so badly need to say things.

About the Author:

Nancy Springer has passed the fifty-book milestone, having written that many novels for adults, young adults and children, in genres including mythic fantasy, contemporary fiction, magical realism, horror, and mystery — although she did not realize she wrote mystery until she won the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America two years in succession. DARK LIE is her first venture into mass-market psychological suspense.

Born in Livingston, New Jersey, Nancy Springer moved with her family to Gettysburg, of Civil War fame, when she was thirteen. She spent the next forty-six years in Pennsylvania, raising two children (Jonathan, now 35, and Nora, 31), writing, horseback riding, fishing, and birdwatching. In 2007 she surprised her friends and herself by moving with her second husband to an isolated area of the Florida panhandle, where the birdwatching is spectacular and where, when fishing, she occasionally catches an alligator.

Find Nancy online at

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780451238061,00.html Dark_Lie_Nancy_Springer

In this gripping psychological thriller — smart, chilling, and unrelenting — Nancy Springer establishes herself as an exciting new suspense writer with a distinctive voice and some surprises up her sleeve…

To their neighbors, Dorrie and Sam Clark seem a contented couple in America’s heartland, with steady jobs, a suburban home, and community activities to keep them busy. But they’re not quite what they appear to be. For plain, hard-working Sam hides a depth of devotion for his wife that no one would suspect. And Dorrie is living a dark lie — beset by physical ailments, alone within herself, and unknown to those around her, following the comings and goings of the sixteen-year-old daughter, Juliet, she gave up for adoption when she was hardly more than a child herself.

Then one day at the mall, Dorrie, horror-stricken, sees Juliet being abducted, forced into a van that drives away. Instinctively, Dorrie sends her own car speeding after them — an act of reckless courage that pits her against a clever, depraved killer, and draws Sam into a dogged, desperate search to save his wife. In a confrontation that unites mother and daughter in a terrifying struggle to survive, Dorrie must face and conquer her own secret, tormented past.

Speak Your Mind