Sometimes we all need an escape, just a few hours to unwind in a world other than our own. Nancy is a lifetime lover of episodic storytelling. As a teenager, she found herself hooked on John Jakes' novels. The books followed a family's story through American History, another subject that Nancy finds fascinating. She loved television and even soap operas, mainly because they enabled a viewer to follow characters over long periods of time. There is an intimacy that develops between reader/viewers and characters in episodic storytelling that simply cannot be replicated in a one-story format, whether that is on film or on the page. Great characters make us long to travel with them again, to get to know their quirks, hopes, dreams, and fears—to call them friends. That is how J.A. Armstrong Books came into being.
So, why a pen name?
The J.A Armstrong series differ in several ways from Nancy’s novel writing. Aside from being shorter in length than a novel, these stories offer a bit more in the way of romance. They depict loving relationships between women in every facet of a relationship. In other words, there is more sex in these short stories than you will typically find in one of Nancy’s novels—different format, different feel, different name.
Why J.A. Armstrong?
How does one choose a pen name? J. is for Julia. Julia was Nancy’s paternal great-grandmother and also the main character in her novel Falling Through Shooting Stars. (In fact, Julia Gallagher Riley was Nancy’s great-grandmother’s full name, just like the character in the book). Julia was also Nancy’s maternal great-grandmother’s middle name. A. is for Arderine. Arderine was Nancy’s maternal grandmother. And, Armstrong? Armstrong is Nancy’s mother’s maiden name. J.A. Armstrong. There you have the recipe for a pen name, at least, in Nancy’s world!
The J.A. Armstrong series will continue, eventually some will end and new ones will begin. Hopefully, readers will continue to enjoy traveling with the characters as they move through the ups and downs life offers. And, hopefully, they will part each time feeling that they are saying “see you soon,” to friends.