June 18, 2020

How Does A Move Create An Author?

  Nancy Arant Williams


First of all, I would like to thank Susan Reichert for graciously allowing me this opportunity. My name is Nancy Arant Williams, and I am both an author and book editor. But today, I want to speak to the subject of my new book release: Murder Walks on Peachtree Street. To be honest, I penned this book in the early 2000s, and even found an agent to represent it and the four that followed in this 5-book series. But because this series was not done according to the then-accepted formula format, she found no buyer for it. However, that was fine, because I was writing it for myself. (Recently, I was thrilled and excited to obtain a contract for this series with Elk Lake Publishing in Massachusetts after originally self-publishing all forty of my books.)

It was 1999, and we had just retired, moving from the only hometown I’d ever known in Nebraska, to the Missouri Ozarks, and I was at loose ends, homesick and terribly lonely. I had no network or church—even my two adult children and their families were back in Nebraska. People in Missouri have always been very nice, but they were all working two jobs, involved in their social circles, and had no room for a newcomer like me. So, from that lonely place of isolation, I asked the Lord, “What on God’s green earth did you bring me down here for? What am I supposed to do here?” And the Lord responded, “Sit down, because I’m going to teach you how to write.” Until that moment, I’d only written the occasional poem and short pieces as an expression of my personal feelings.

At that point, I told Him I thought He might have started twenty years earlier when I was younger and in better shape. (Just my opinion. Yikes—who was I to question God?) Yet in my spirit, I knew He felt I hadn’t been ready.

To be perfectly candid,
the Lord knew exactly what He was doing: The Missouri Ozarks is the perfect place to write—we’re situated on eleven beautifully wooded acres, quiet and peaceful, nestled in a valley with a private two-acre lake and very few distractions.
In order to learn my trade, I joined an online writing group and bought and read every book I could get my hands on. I wrote a few other books before Peachtree Street, but this series is all me. In fact, I had dreams that would run through my head during the night hours, where the action was acted out as if on stage, and my characters were so life-like that I felt I might actually meet them in the grocery store. I’d never had a sister, but many of my friends shared their ‘sister’ stories, and I yearned for that kind of closeness in my isolation. The only thing was--this sister story wasn’t warm and fuzzy at all. In the end, I realized that even the warmest, closest relationships fail to compare with the one we have when we run to Jesus in our desperate, lonely hours.

During that time, I discovered what I was supposed to be when I grew up—a writer. I arrived in Missouri in midwinter, taking Prozac for depression, but after I began to write the depression lifted, and I felt at home, in a perfectly-fitting niche designed just for me.

My main character, Makkie Yeats, is a fifty-two-year old divorced, retired nurse, who lives in a lovely garden apartment in the small town of Azalea, Missouri, just south of Kansas City when her eighty-year old mother, Jane, asks her to give up her apartment in order to move back into her childhood home, because Jane wants to move into a mansion turned luxury senior-bed-and-board, next door. Her goal is for her girls to resolve their differences before she dies. Unfortunately, Makkie is unaware that her mother has made the same offer to her social-climbing, coercive older sister, Zoe, and the two end up moving in together, to Makkie’s great regret. Her most frequent petition is, “Please God, get me out of here!” Her second is, “This isn’t going to work unless you help me love her—I need chocolate!”

The town is charming, filled with streets named after flowers, and people who are zany, unpredictable, and wonderful in their own right. Makkie has the right idea—to run to God for wisdom and the ability to step out of her reactive mode, and into a place where she herself is ultimately transformed. When her dear friend and several of the mansion residents die under suspicious circumstances, Makkie finds that she can’t help but fight for justice on behalf of the victims, though she has a terrible time sticking up for herself.

I would encourage you to come along if you love to laugh, cry and sympathize with this unassuming woman, who is completely out of her element and feels like she’s going down for the third time. But don’t forget your hard hat, because it’s a bumpy ride.

Thanks for joining me here. And to you who write for God, I speak encouragement, hope and boldness as you step out to write what matters, as we seek to glorify the Lord together. Blessings and big hugs.

   Nancy Arant Williams is a retired RN, the author of forty books, a speaker and book editor as well as the former associate editor of Beautiful One Magazine. She has been writing and editing for over twenty years and her passion is making other people’s books ‘sing’ to the glory of God. She was recently humbled and blessed to be named #2 of the top nineteen editors in the country. She and her husband are Nebraska transplants who live in the heart of the beautiful Missouri Ozarks, the perfect peaceful place to write and edit. She has two married children, and six remarkable grandchildren. 

Her website is:
You can find Murder Walks on Peachtree Street available for purchase at See her blog on Facebook, at Nancy Arant Williams, Author and Editor.

1 comment:

  1. Nancy,

    Thank you for this article. I've not been in touch with you for years but remember being with you often on an online group which has folded (happens). I'm delighted to see your persistence and continuing to write and publish. Congratulations on your new series with Elk Lake. In gratitude,

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed