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Monday, August 17, 2009
Monday Spotlight: Nina Pierce
Hi, I’m Nina Pierce. They let me hang out here for a week … silly, silly LASR. Anyway, I’ve been writing seriously now for 4 years. (Of course like most writers, I’ve been writing since I could hold a crayon, but that’s another story all together.) People often wonder what ever possesses a writer to actually sit down and pound out their first manuscript. I think the most common is answer is that they were driven to do it. Nothing works right in their world if they’re not sitting down letting the characters in their head have some play time on the page.
But my story is different. Much different.
Let me first start by telling you I have a degree in Marine Biology. Not English or European literature—Science. I grew up on the beautiful coast of Maine where the tide pools are plentiful and the water is clear and cold. Very cold! I dreamed of one day working beside Jacques Cousteau. But as I went through college I found out something else about myself … I love to teach. Anything. To anyone. And darn if I wasn’t good at it. So I minored in education and got my secondary education teaching certificate.
About 15 years ago I landed the job of my heart. I taught environmental science at an outreach facility where students from pre-K to adult came for my classes, many which took place outdoors. I was in heaven! I loved working there and would have happily continued if fate hadn’t stuck her foot out and tripped me up.
You see, in the early 90’s I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, (http://www.multiplesclerosis.org) a degenerative disease that eats away at the sheathing around the nerves in your brain causing faulty wiring. It attacks people differently causing different symptoms and problems. People with MS rarely look the same to doctors. Unfortunately there is no cure, but wonderful advances in medicine to keep disability to a minimum. I lived years without showing symptoms.
But five years ago it was becoming painfully obvious that the disease had progressed to the point where I would be unable to keep up with the physical demands of my job. Not one to sit around and do nothing, I searched through my bag of talents and tried to find something I thought I could do sitting on my butt. For whatever reason, I looked to writing. (Probably because I’ve always had something to say.) Anyway, I took a writing class at the local university, joined RWA, found a local chapter of like-minded authors and VOILA! a career was born!
And I haven’t looked back.
When asked what the hardest transition is I’d have to say changing my thought process. Because I taught science I always catalogued the world around me, put it in simple terms to use later in a lesson plan. Now, I look at the world as a whole lot of “what ifs”. What if that couple in the store were having an affair? What if someone were running drugs up the Maine coast? What if shapeshifters actually existed? A whole TON of possibilities.
I am really happy writing stories, letting my imagination take my characters places I can’t go and living out those naughty sexual fantasies. My stories do seem to all take on a suspense twist … ‘cause you know … I couldn’t completely let go of that naughty scientist inside me!
Check out all of Nina’s books on her website at www.NinaPierce.com