Byrd Nash as Guest Speaker

Author Byrd Nash is available to meet with Book Clubs and other reading groups to discuss her books, and for public presentations on topics of interest to aspiring writers. If you would like to interview Byrd for a podcast, news article, or blog, email her at

View Byrd’s bio and resume in a pdf format.

Author Interview Q&A:

When did you first consider yourself a writer? 
When I wrote a story about a jellybean tree at around the age of 8. My parents put it in a scrapbook which just cemented the idea in my head that I was amazing.

How did you become a writer?
As soon as I learned to read I was obsessed with reading (I drove my parents crazy with reading road signs out loud). Reading and books were magic. 

From reading stories to wanting to create them was a natural step. I started by imagining characters. Who where they? What did they want to say? What events happened to them to change them? I’m a people-watcher and pretty good at it, so my curiosity made writing about human drama a natural fit.

Attending college I chose journalism and worked for some time writing non-fiction. In the evenings, I continued to write about fiction. For me personally, I didn’t want to approach traditional publishing houses (for various reasons), but when the book industry opened to independent publishing, I knew it was time to put my stories out to the world.

How do you come up with the ideas for your books?
Ideas are around all of us – with people we know, things happening in the world around us, or even a piece of gossip you over hear at the grocery store can be a spark for a story. I think how a writer approaches this information is we see them as story seeds whereas others see them as life events.

This information goes into the melting pot of my brain until something emerges that wants to speak to me. For example, in the short story Milking Time (from The Wicked Wolves of Windsor and other fairytales), the first line haunted me for several months. The idea of stealing a bedroom in an apartment (the scene of the Closet Monster in Never Date a Siren) is another example of how a scene in my head became a full story.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
The art of creating something that no one else has imagined or written is one of the things I enjoy a lot when writing. Who is this person? How are they like someone we know, but yet a unique individual?

Another, is creating people who become real to my readers. Writing A Spell of Rowans was an easy book to develop because the characters were such strong individuals with an important story to tell me. When a character starts to speak, it becomes compelling to write about them, as well as a joy.

What are the common themes found throughout your books?
Relationships. What makes or breaks them? The psychology behind why some relationships work, while others fail, can always be traced back to characters. People aren’t perfect, and our flaws makes a good story.

Some of my stories (The Wicked Wolves of Windsor, A Spell of Rowans) deals with the trauma of family relationships. Even the College Fae series, which is for my younger fans, deals with the complexity of having to deal with parents and their expectations of their children.

It is one reason that you will find siblings, parents, and perhaps even a grandparent or two, in my stories. Family relationships cause the most drama of any that we have!

What makes a good story? 
The author MUST be able to convince me to care. If I don’t care about the characters or the events, the story is meaningless to me.

What is the typical process of writing a book for you?
I start with a character or scene that inspires me. I will write a few chapters (generally about three) and see if it is going to develop into something more. If not, I put it aside. If it starts grabbing my attention, I will do a general outline: about a 3-5 paragraph summary, the characters, what it is about, and how it will end. I tend to focus on the character’s journey so actual scenes often come later, but a start-to-finish synopsis is the starting point.

Is there any character you would say is the real you?
No matter the story, every character, whether hero or villain, is an aspect of my character. Of everyone, I’ve written (at this point), the most like me would be Brigit (the dryad from Never Date a Siren) and Vic, from A Spell of Rowans.

All of my characters are drawn from real life – though often exaggerated for effect. A Spell of Rowans deals with childhood trauma, and while I have also experienced dysfunctional parents, neither were as bad as the Rowan parents. The power of the writer is to see those human traits and produce something new, often more intense, so readers can identify with them, but also enjoy the drama.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
As writers we need to strive to make our characters relatable – and luckily both men and women have the same emotions although motivations might differ. What I do find challenging is developing the right chemistry between characters without falling into stereotypes.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
When I started, it was one book at a time. However, my writing process has evolved. Now, when one book is finished, I start playing with different stories to see which one captures my imagination to be the next project.

Sometimes this process surprises me. For example, when Price of a Rose (a Beauty and Beast novella) was off to the editor, I started writing A Spell of Rowans, a book I didn’t have any notion about writing! This book quickly took over my life and was written quickly.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
For a novella, the process is about three months from conception to a finished, edited project.
For a book, anywhere from six months to a year. The writing process is probably between 4-6 months of that, but getting work edited, and prepared for publishing takes longer so the book reads great.

Why do you write a lot of short stories and novellas?
Becoming the best author I can be is my number one goal, and novellas fit into that goal. From a writing point of view, it gives me time to play with different settings, characters, and situations to hone my writing skills. It’s one reason why the stories in The Wicked Wolves of Windsor and other fairytales differs in tone and style. It was an experiment and a personal challenge to broaden my writing.

Sometimes a book-length story can’t tell the story I want in the way I want. Novellas (about 25,000 words plus) values each word and I truly enjoy making a tight story. Every story is designed to reveal more the second and third time you read it.

For a commercial reason, the novellas allow me to craft more stories in a shorter period of time, and get them out to readers faster. I call these the Tip Jar stories.

Why do you write in the fantasy genre?
Ms. Pickanpaugh, the librarian at the Huber Heights library, introduced me to the genre when I was about nine years old. It captured me in ways other genres did not, although I’ve since read many Regency and Gothic romances, mysteries, and non-fiction since.

You have several fairytale collections. Were you a big fairytale fan growing up?
Actually not. My favorite reads were more about alien cultures and SF. However, somewhere along the line though I absorbed a bunch of knowledge about fairytales. Probably because I love symbols and psychology. My husband is the big folktale lover and we often discuss the archetypes and Jungian meanings behind the stories.

How can modern readers relate to fairytales?
People always have the same problems: interfering family, a need for love, a lack of money, and a desire for a magical moment to define their life. Fairytales can give a familiar framework to readers, where magic is taken for granted, that allows me to bring the reader into my story quickly.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
Sure do, but I don’t talk about it. If you talk about it, you summon it. All funning aside, the best thing you can do if hitting a writing block is 1.) Rest; 2.) Do more things outside of your comfort zone or something new (new place, new people); and 3.) write on a different project.

What have you learned about writing since you’ve started?
That’s a big topic! But here are some highlights:

  • Each chapter should have a beginning hook, a dramatic statement that draws the reader into the story;
  • Each chapter should end with a wow ending statement that propels the reader forward;
  • Each chapter of a book is a mini-story within the bigger scope of the book;
  • Keep chapters of a book to about the same length so the book has consistency;
  • Putting in some tropes is fine, but twist them to make them fresh to the reader;
  • There is a compromise of telling a story that you want and keeping readers happy. Find the happy medium.

What have you learned about self-publishing?

  • You can publish anything at any time. That doesn’t make it popular;
  • Scale back what success you think self-publishing will give you especially with your first book;
  • Know the first 1-2 books are learning curves. It will get easier over time;
  • The writing style of what is popular has changed. That was hard to swallow;
  • If you want to make money at writing, you may have to compromise some of your ideas;
  • Focus on learning life lessons and seeing what you can do to improve your books for readers;
  • There is a lot of FREE online help out there. Take advantage of it!

What is your typical process of writing book to getting it published?
I start with an idea and start playing with it. Once it grabs my attention I can usually get the first complete draft written anywhere from 1 month (novella) to a novel (3-4 months). That goes through several draft stages where I might seek out Alpha or Beta readers opinions.

Once I have a final draft that I am happy with it goes to an editor for copy editing. While the book is gone, there are things I have to set up for the book such as publicity, cover, copyright, advertising etc.. to put into place. The book is listed for pre-order.

When I have a break in writing or when I’m editing, I also must do my marketing, work on my website and newsletter list, and start deciding on what the next project will be.

When the book comes back from the editor and I do the suggested changes, next it goes to Beta Readers. Before it releases it goes to ARC readers. Feedback may make changes on the book. Once it publishes, the publicity/advertising side of the book takes over. At this time I am working on writing my next project.

What advice do you have for those who have writing dreams? 

  • Write every day. Big or small it doesn’t matter, it’s about consistency.
  • Build a good network of like-minded people to support you.
  • Keep learning your craft. The biggest problem I see with writers, is they think once they publish, they don’t need to improve. Quite the opposite!
  • Before publishing, work with beta readers, ARC readers, and an editor to make your book the very best.

With changes in technology, self-publishing and seeing yourself in print is achievable for anyone who is willing to learn about the process.


Note: due to the pandemic these are for online presentations only.

For Book Clubs and Reading Groups

Byrd can talk about any of her books in-depth, and each session includes a Q&A session. She will go into depth about how the book was developed, the inspiration for the characters, and how the plotting of the story (providing what “could-have-been” for story and characters). This gives a deeper insight into the book’s subject and plot.

Check out how to order a Book Club package with a ZOOM or FACEBOOK meet-up as well as discounted books!

For Authors and Writers

All talks includes hand-out materials with resources and a multi-media presentation. These can be adapted to a hands-on workshop if participants can bring their laptop computers and have internet access.

Steps to Success: Self-Publishing your Book

Want to self-publish but are confused by all the information out there? Don’t know where to start? This 43 minute slideshow with voice-over takes you through the A-B-C’s of publishing that first book. Or if you have already published, goes over the legal and marketing steps that I consider the most essential.

  • Basic resources for the writer
  • Copyright
  • ISBN numbers
  • Library of Congress control number
  • PCIP for libraries and bookstores
  • Publishing platforms and required formats for KDP, Ingram Spark, and Draft2Digital)
  • The importance of book covers
  • Finding a book cover artist or designer
  • Top 10 mistakes I see New Authors making

Promoting! Next Step Marketing Tools

Getting your book seen by your reading audience doesn’t have to be a pain! I offer simple, step-by-step ideas on how to make your own marketing plan.

  • Why a website with a newsletter is the foundation of building your book publishing empire.
  • How to use a newsletter to promote your books. How often to send it, and how to find ideas.
  • How Reader Magnets work to entice readers to check out your book.
  • Social Media platforms – which ones work best for authors?
  • Why have an Author platform on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub?
  • Book reviews: the two types and how one can be paid.
  • Where to find reviewers for your book and how to ask for a book review.
  • Paid book ads and what to do before you jump into the deep end of advertising your book.
  • Preparing for in-person events where you will sell or promote your books.

Beta Readers: Building a Better Book

Using Beta Readers can improve your end book. But how do you find them? What questions do you ask them? How do you incorporate their suggestions (or do you?) into your finished manuscript?

  • What is a Beta Reader?
  • What can you use then for?
  • Where do you find Beta Readers?
  • What questions do you ask Beta Readers to spark discussion and feedback?
  • Troubleshooting problems with your Beta Readers.
  • Building relationships with Beta Readers leads to reviews for Book Launches and builds your Street Team.
  • How to thank Beta Readers.

Contact Author Byrd Nash