Nancy Rue is the author of 110 books, including 9 novels for adults, 17 for teens, and 60 for tween readers, as well as 2 parenting books, 32 non-fiction books for tweens and teens, and the features for the FaithGirlz Bible. Her Lily Series, published by Zondervan, has sold well over one million copies. Her ability to relate to a wide audience has made her a popular radio and television guest and an in-demand speaker and teacher for writer’s conferences across the country. She has been a regular keynoter for The Young Writer’s Institute and Virtuous Reality Ministries, and now anchors Zondervan’s Beauty of Believing Tour for FaithGirlz, which draws thousands of tween girls and their moms.
Nancy is also the founder of the “Writing for Children and Youth Conference” in Glen Eyrie, Colorado. Her latest titles include The Reluctant Prophet for adult readers (David C. Cook) Limos, Lattes, and My Life On the Fringe (Zondervan) for teens, and That Is SO Me (Zondervan), a year-long devotional for tweens – in addition to a book written with her husband entitled What Happened To My Little Girl: A Dad’s Guide to His Tween Daughter. A student of the Academy for Spiritual Formation, sponsored by the Upper Room, Nancy continues her own spiritual journey even as she writes and speaks for mothers, daughters, and would-be writers about theirs. For more info, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
Are you an outliner or a seat of the pants writer?
Definitely an outliner. I would have a nervous breakdown if I tried to write a book without knowing where I wanted to go and how I intended to get there! That’s not to say that I don’t get new ideas and change things as I go along, but having that framework keeps me sane!
What do you do to recharge your batteries?
I usually go on a spiritual retreat. Right now I’m in a program called the Academy For Spiritual Formation, which involves going to San Antonio, Texas, four times a year for two years for five days at a time for intense study and contemplation and worship and community. I come back teeming with new ideas every time.
What would you like life to look like in ten years?
I would love to still be writing and publishing, but I’d like for the pace to be slower. I’d love to have a writers’ retreat house on my property so that writers who want intense mentoring can come to me and have a place to practice their craft in a quiet atmosphere. It would be great to be looking back on the campaign for more children’s and youth literature in the CBA that I’m starting now, and smiling because it has been so successful. Most of all, I want to feel God saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.”
Is there a genre you avoid?
In terms of CBA genres, I stay away from science fiction, mostly because (a) I’ve never really read any and (b) my mind just doesn’t work that way. I may be the only person in America who’s never seen The Matrix! Never say never, of course, but I just don’t think I’d be very good at it.
What initially drew you to writing?
At the time, I thought it was Nancy Drew. Seriously—when I was 10 I read every Nancy Drew mystery I could get my hands on, most of them several times. One day I stopped wanting to BE Nancy Drew and started wanting to write books about somebody like her. When I actually started writing seriously, when I was 28, it wasn’t Nancy Drew who drew me to it (no pun intended!) but God. The call was clear and has continued to be, even when the ins and outs of publishing have been a mystery to me (and I needed Nancy Drew to solve it!)