Writing a Wow Book! @_nancyradke #mgtab

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Hi. What is a Wow Book? Well, we’ve all had someone tell us, “Oooh, I loved that movie. Be sure to catch it.” Or, “I loved this story. You’ve got to read this!”

Then someone else says, “I hated that book! Couldn’t get beyond the first chapter.”

Why do people love something? Hate something else? How can one reader’s favorite novel be another reader’s turn-off? Truth is, we all respond differently.

Some movies/stories, like Cinderella, reach an enormous number of people, while others please just a few. The “blockbusters” touch the feelings of their audiences. In books, I call this the Wow! factor. It’s when you tap into your readers’ emotions, where you pull your readers into the story so they “live” it through your characters.

It’s the intangible something which brings your readers back for every book you write. We can’t write for everyone, but we can write some Wow books for our readers.

Scanning through the comments on Amazon, I find many of my books have earned a Wow designation from my readers, especially the Trahern western pioneer series, liked by those who like Louis L’Amour. The Traherns My son, Nolan Radke, who is also an author, even had one reader comment that he called over everyone and said, “Wow! You won’t believe the great book I’m reading!” Logan’s Lead

The first book I selected for July’s Authors’ Billboard monthly board is “The Bravest Woman in Town,” a Trahern story, set near the end of the Civil War. People love Kate, who is fighting the war in her own way. Both it and the second book, Height of Danger, have turned out to be Wow books for many people.

Height of Danger has my favorite character, Hugo, involved, but he doesn’t arrive until the hero, Owen Putman is nearly killed twice in the same day. Owen goes in undercover to find out who is sabotaging the work being done to build a dam. The arrival of the boss’ daughter complicates things, especially when she is kidnapped. Hugo comes to help, but has to be rescued too. As authors, my son and I had a lot of fun, putting our characters in danger and getting them out again.
Height of Danger
If you read Height of Danger and want more of Hugo, his story starts in Scorpion’s Trail. Owen is in that one also. Hugo shows up again in Spirit of a Champion. And Hugo’s brother, Greg, is in our next co-authored book, Terminal Pursuit, which should be out this year. We have to do a little more work on it, to put in the wow factor, before we release it to the public.

~ USA Today Best-selling author Nancy Radke lives in Kirkland, Washington, along with her extended family and (right now) six dogs and a kitten. She writes sweet contemporary romances (Sisters of Spirit), mysteries (Brothers of Spirit), and a pioneer series (The Traherns). No sex, no swearing, just clean and wholesome. Her series books are all able to stand alone. She loves hearing from her readers, especially during FaceBook parties, which Authors’ Billboard will be hosting July 19-20.

Nancy Radke
Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse’s nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. She spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said “Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes.” It is light and humorous.
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Nancy Radke

About Nancy Radke

Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse's nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. She spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said "Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes." It is light and humorous.  View website

5 thoughts on “Writing a Wow Book! @_nancyradke #mgtab

  1. Wow, Nancy, your books sound great! 🙂 (And I love your bio too. What an interesting childhood you had–makes me _even_ more interested in your stories.) 🙂

    • Thanks, Ev. I remember driving trucks with starter, throttle, clutch, gas pedal and brake. Stick shift of course. My grandpa taught me to drive when I was 13, so that I could “spot” trucks in the field (take them out and leave them where the combine could fill them up with wheat.) The ground was so bumpy, I couldn’t keep my foot on the gas pedal, and I would bounce and buck it across the ruts. Scared, but determined to drive it where they told me. Fun life.

  2. I’m a big fan of this cover, Nancy. Talk about ‘Wow’ factor! For me, it starts at the cover. A great one will draw me into the story, then it’s up to the author to carry through on its promise 🙂

    • Jacquie, this cover was done by a highly artistic friend of mine, Cheyenne Cox. She’s doing the cover for the next story, Terminal Pursuit. I agree, a good cover helps the reader into the story.

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