Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! I'm really excited today to feature writer Nancy Sathre-Vogel. But Nancy isn't just a writer. She's also an adventurer extraordinaire. Just wait 'til you hear what she has to share with us!

Hi, Nancy! Can you tell us a little about your background?
Hmmm... Where do I even start? I've never lived within the boundaries – never colored inside the lines, so to speak. I've been a classroom teacher for the past twenty years, but do it on my own terms. I've taught on the Navajo Indian Reservation and in five countries outside the USA. My bicycle is my main mode of travel and I've pedaled my iron maiden in more countries than I care to count. I didn't even 'do' kids like most people. The only children I have are twins.

When did you first begin writing? Was there an event or moment in your life that triggered your desire to write?
When did I start writing? I guess way back in first grade or so… Oh, you mean like, when did I really start writing? I suppose I would have to say back in 1991. I had just returned to the USA after a 13-month bicycle trip around the Indian subcontinent and felt like I wanted to get all those random thoughts and journal entries organized. I wrote a book about that journey, but ended up moving to Egypt three days after it was finished. That was back in the BC days before internet, so I never had a chance to try to publish it. Since then, the writing has been something I do to chronicle my journeys around the world.

Tell us about your latest writing project or published title.
I'm really excited about what I'm working on now!! My family and I just returned home after another 12 months on the road. My husband and I, along with our 9-year-old twin boys, pedaled 9300 miles through 19 US states and 4 Mexican states. I am attempting to get all those random thoughts and journal entries organized into a book!

What do you find most difficult about writing? What do you find most exciting or rewarding ?
The difficult part is thinking of creative ways to describe something. But that is also the most exciting and rewarding. I love those times when I get a brilliant idea – when the entry kind of writes itself. I generally get those flashes of inspiration while doing something repetitive and physical – like riding my bike or swimming.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Ummm.. pedal an 80-pound bike up hills??? I am also a teacher and a bead artist, so I keep plenty busy!

When you write, do you use the computer or compose by hand, oral dictation, or some other method?
I really like to write it out by hand. I think my writing is better that way – maybe because writing it that way makes me slow down and take more time to think. I'm trying to switch over to writing on the computer, since it is a lot faster, but I still find that I like my handwritten writing better.


What a great interview ~ thanks! (Though I think I need a nap, now, just thinking about pedaling all that way...)

Want to know more about Nancy Sathre-Vogel? Visit the links in her interview above, or leave her a comment or a question here. Thanks for stopping by!


kimmi said...

Thank you for inviting us over Allie. How very interesting. I'm loving the interview!

Diane Craver said...

Very interesting interview, Nancy. I'm impressed with your bicycle travels. Very cool you have twins.

Mel said...

I'm amazed. What I want to know is what state or area did she find the most breath taking in the U.S.?

nancy said...

Thanks for the kind comments! Mel - it is so hard to say which area was the most breathtaking. Each and every day of our journey was spectacular in very different ways, and as such will always be special to all four of us. That being said, I think I can safely say that our favorite part, in general, was the "West" (as opposed to the "East). We loved cycing through the desert and noticed subtle variations that one would not even begin to notice while in a car. We enjoyed camping out amongst the cacti and listening to the coyotes at night. We enjoyed being able to sit around a campfire in the evening and talk. There were so many special moments in the West.

The East was special too - but in a very different way. It was much harder to camp in the East due to the abundance of undergrowth. Realistically, the only places we could pitch our tent were established campgrounds where the brust was cleared away. Which means, of course, that we were around other people and didn't have the privilege of time with just the four of us. Because of that, we ended up staying with more people and in more hotels - which were special in their own way.

Jim Melvin said...

I've always been amazed by people who can write long works by hand. My hand cramps up after about two paragraphs. But I can type like a madman. If I were stranded, Tom Hanks-style, on a deserted island, I'd really struggle to write, even if I had dry pen and paper. Once the batteries ran out on the laptop, I'd be screwed!

Susan Breen said...

What a journey! What was the most exciting thing that happened on your trip? Did you find that you could think a lot while you were bicycling? I would think that would be a great opportunity to let your mind wander, but perhaps that's a bad idea.

nancy said...

Hi Susan! Yeah - my mind did wander a lot. I find that I compose things while on my bike, then all I need to do is grab a pen and put it down once I stop. It works well for me. I cna't even tell you how many necklaces I've designed while riding my bike - it's like my brain goes places then that it can't go any other time!