I’ll Take the Lie by Nancy E. Wood: Author Interview
About the Book
Book: I’ll Take the Lie
Author: Nancy E. Wood
Genre: Christian YA
Release Date: June 28, 2019
Does the truth really set you free?
Paige Hall doubts it, after her boyfriend Justin tells her he’s over it, leaving her with a broken heart and crushed dreams. When Justin disappears, she can’t help but try to find out what happened to him. But when the more she searches, the more problems arise, she can’t help but wonder if it would be better to just accept the lie…
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What is your writing Kryptonite?
I love writing dialogue and dealing with the inner thoughts of my characters. I don’t, however, like to describe the scenes. My least favorite thing to write about is where the characters are—how do you describe a room without boring the reader? When I read, I get bogged down by all the “telling;” what the characters are wearing, where they’re standing, what’s surrounding them. So I think that’s influenced my writing. I’ve been trying to add more description tidbits into my dialogues so the reader isn’t left wondering where in the world my characters are.
What about writing do you love?
I love the creative aspect. You can build a world that nobody else could’ve come up with. Your characters can look any way, act any way, go anywhere. I absolutely love creating tension, feeling what my characters are going through. Nothing else gives me the same kind of thrill than finishing an especially emotional scene. Writing lifts me out of my own life and puts me in a world that I’ve created.
Do you end up doing research for every book?
Yes. I’m not the most research-savvy person; I prefer to write what I know most of the time, but it’s always necessary on some scale. Sometimes it’s just researching what high school kids get bullied about the most or what the popular brand of clothing are, sometimes it’s reading about how to hide a dead body (that was a gruesome read), but I always end up googling something throughout my writing process.
What is the funniest thing you’ve ever had to google?
I remember spending an hour watching videos on the top-ranked tractors and their features for I’ll Take the Lie. I remember thinking while scrolling through google, “I never thought I’d willingly be researching tractor models.”
What is your process for coming up with a title?
It depends; I usually have a title before I even start writing the book. With the Perfect series, I knew what the main theme for each book would be, so it was easy coming up with one-word titles.
I’ll Take the Lie was the hardest one to come up with. I already had the full manuscript and still didn’t know what I would call it. I knew I wanted to have either the word “truth” or “lie” in the title, so I wrote out about a dozen different options with those words. I sent them all to my husband and sisters and had them vote on it. In the end, “lie” grabbed people’s interest more, so I settled on I’ll Take the Lie.
About the Author
Nancy E Wood was born into a missionary family and lived in Hungary until she turned twenty. Her whole childhood, she loved reading and stories, writing some of her own, but never believing she actually had the talent to be an author. Speaking multiple languages, she never thought she would be good enough in any to become a wordsmith.
Her senior year of high school, she was encouraged to write short stories, one of which turned into Perfect, a novel that couldn’t stay short. After sharing it with a few people, she decided to get it published a couple years later. She went to college in Florida, where she studied English and Music. After graduating, she married and moved to California. She published her second standalone book, I’ll Take the Lie, in the summer of 2019 and is currently working on a sequel to Perfect. She also runs a blog for young women, where she writes relatable and motivational posts that point to God. She has also done some speaking in different Christian schools and youth groups, encouraging teens to pursue Christ through some of the most difficult years of their lives.
More from Nancy
What’s truth? Why is it important? Does everyone have their own kind of truth or is there only one?
Those were questions I was dealing with in my college Apologetics class while I wrote I’ll Take the Lie, and I thought that theme would fit so well into the story.
The idea came to me a long time ago. I was really into The Great Gatsby at the time and wanted to write a story from a bystander’s point of view. Originally titled What’s Wrong with Alex?, Paige, the worried sister of Alex, who drastically changed over his first semester of college, wants to find out what happened to him. But the deeper I went into the story, the more Paige’s character shone through, and she soon became the protagonist with her ex boyfriend’s mysterious disappearance. The whole theme tied into what I was studying about apologetics and truth, so the messy pieces all came together into a solid plot.
Paige isn’t a believer, and she doesn’t really care about the idea of truth and spirituality until she gets dragged into it. It’s my hope that this book story helps young adults like me think deeper and question their beliefs. We get so caught up with our own happiness, we don’t always want to accept the hard truth. But, like Paige, we need to think about whether we can keep living pretend lives or if the truth really does set us free.