Name (s) Nanette Louise Burton (Max Murdoch, my pesky ghost may show up, too)
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Nan: I was born and raised in Irvine, California, and worked as an IT programmer until my job with a local bank ended in 2008. Fortunately, I inherited a cottage on the sand in Laguna Beach. Just in time, too, since I had nowhere else to live. Along with the house, I inherited a dog and an annoying, self-important, arrogant, demanding ghost.
Max: I resent your characterization. I am a well-known and established author of women’s literature.
Nan: Romance, you mean. And you wrote as Maxine DuBois. Very few people, and certainly no one under the age of a hundred, would have a clue as to who Max Murdoch is.
Describe your appearance in 10 words or less.
Nan: Dirty blonde, curly hair, tall, lean, ordinary.
Max: I would hardly say ordinary. After all, you resemble your great-great-aunt Nanette, and she could have passed for a movie star.
Nan: Max, the request was for ten words or less. Please let me do this on my own.
Max: How can one adequately express oneself with such restrictions?
Do you have a moral code? If so what is it?
Nan: Care for others, and no matter how dire the circumstance, there still is hope. I moved into my cottage at a time when I had no job and no prospects. Then I met Max, and he forced me to complete his old manuscript.
Max: Just a moment. Our collaboration resulted in a new career. Your association with me opened whole new vistas for you.
Nan: Exactly. Just when everything looked bleak, Max came into my life, and I discovered so much more than I ever dreamed possible.
Max: Thank you, my dear.
What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?
Nan: Through the past year, I’ve discovered how resourceful I am. As an only child, I guess I depended on my parents as a safety net. When they weren’t around, I had to figure out some things for myself.
Nan: With Max’s help, of course.
Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why
Nan: I love my parents. For many years, I was closer to them than to anyone else. While working on Max’s book, I met Helen, his former secretary. I grew to love her like the grandmother I never had. Oh, and then there’s Steve. His father and grandfather were Max’s publishers. Now Steve is mine. Well, he’s a lot more than my publisher. In the past, I made some poor choices of boyfriends. Steve taught me how a guy should treat a girl he likes. Yeah, now that Helen’s gone, Steve is definitely my best friend.
Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions?
Nan: Along with the cottage, I inherited Mitzi, my great-great-aunt Netta’s spoiled shih tsu. I certainly didn’t want a dog at first, but now I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you?
Nan: Swimming in the ocean. I nearly died when I was a little kid. If it hadn’t been for a lifeguard, I’d have drowned. From my window, I can see the ocean. I jog on the beach, and I love to watch the surfers, but I’m not going out in it.
Tell Us About Your World
Please give us a little information about the world in which you live.
Nan: Laguna Beach is a small town on the coast of Southern California. Lots of artists live there because it’s so beautiful. In fact, I have a really nice painting on my wall.
Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where?
Nan: No. Without a car I was pretty well stuck in Laguna. Fortunately Steve came down and took me around the area.
What is the technology would you not be able to live without?
Nan: When I moved into my house, I discovered it had no TV or microwave. At least I had my laptop with me so I could work on Max’s novel, but I really needed the microwave. I ordered one online, and it took forever to arrive.
Max: When it did, you nearly burned the house down.
Nan: Max, stuff a sock in it and stay out of this. It’s my interview.
What made you choose computer programming as a profession, and how did you end up completing Max’s novel?
Nan: I took programming in college because we were told there would always be a need for programmers. What I hadn’t counted on was the collapse of the banking industry. There were few jobs, and none requiring my specific experience.
When I moved into the house, Max refused to let me sleep unless I typed up his stupid manuscript and finished it. I couldn’t even decipher his scribbling, much less make sense of the story.
Max: Now see here, young woman. My final effort would have been a masterpiece if you had not tinkered with it.
Nan: Max, it’s only a good story because I fixed it.
Max: It did not need fixing by you or anyone else.
Nan: The publisher thought it did.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Nan: Write what you know, but don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. You are then forced to do research until you do know.
Max: I believe I said that to you.
Nan: Yeah, Max, you did. I learned a lot from you.
Book(s) in which this character appears plus links
Blurb for Ghost Writer:
When unemployed computer programmer Nan Burton inherits a California beach cottage from her great-aunt, she’s delighted. But she’s in for a huge surprise: The house is haunted by the ghost of famous romance writer Max Murdoch (pen name Maxine DuBois) who insists Nan complete his last novel, threatening to keep her from sleeping until she agrees. The ensuing clash pits youth against the long-dead but still egotistical author with humorous and moving results.
Author name: Lorna Collins
Website/Blog/Author pages etc.
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