Random Chitchats

Shop Talk Tuesday with Nancy Viau!

The shop’s been closed for a while, but today we have Nancy Viau joining us! Nancy is a Class of 2k8 member and the author of Samantha Hansen has rocks in her head.


Sam is a ten-year-old mad scientist, but she doesn’t blow up stuff or change kids into cats that bark. She just has a little trouble keeping a lid on her temper, and she “ab-so-lutely” loves science—especially rocks. But science isn’t all that helpful when it comes to the big questions like, why does she get into trouble, why is her sister so annoying, and why won’t anyone talk about her dad. When Sam’s mom announces a trip to the Grand Canyon, it’s a “dream-come-true.” But if Sam can’t get a grip on her emotions, she’s going to miss seeing her favorite rocks, and miss finding out the answers to some of her questions.

Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head is a hilarious and touching debut that introduces an exuberant new character who studies the world around her as she discovers what is in her own heart.

So welcome, Nancy! Grab some coffee, get comfy in the beautician’s chair, and let’s get down to the gossip.

What’s the most regrettable hairstyle you’ve ever had? Any mullets? Rat tails?

Nope, no mullets or tails, but I’ve had quite a few I regret! My early awful styles were not my fault, really. My mom plopped my brothers down on the picnic table and gave them “crew cuts.” I guess she liked cutting hair a little too much because when it was my turn—cut, cut, CUT! Most of my hair landed on the grass, too. Voila—the pixie years were born. (I’m the one standing behind the teacher sporting that very cool plaid bathingsuit. It was pink and purple, and oh how I loved it!)


Later, horrendous glasses, a half-dozen cowlicks, and many tutus were added to that look. *ugh* In my thirties, I tried being a blond and a redhead, tried it short and SHORTER. (Did I NOT learn a lesson in my childhood?!) And, of course, there was the perm. (What can I say? It was the 80’s!)


What hair styling product can you not live without?

My hair is naturally super straight, and recently I found this product that adds fluff and body without weighing it down: Aveda’s Phomollient Styling Foam. Sure could use a full-time job to support my Aveda habit.

What kind of hairstyle did you have in high school?

Straight and parted in the middle like everyone else’s!


Looking back, I can say this was my favorite hairstyle. No muss; no fuss, unless I wanted to curl it with my spiky Clairol curlers, and risk second-degree burns on my fingers. Now and then I’d French-braid it, tie it back with a scarf, or whip it into a ballerina bun.

Time for your Hypothetical Questions of the Week:

HQ #1: For one day, time travel is a reality and you have the opportunity to visit any famous deceased author you want. Who do you pick?
E.B. White. I would plead and plead with him to NOT let Charlotte die. Please, please, let the poor thing live, and let Wilbur be her friend forever! I was not right for days after reading this as a kid. Too much trauma. There has to be another way! See? I still get upset over this.

HQ #2: You magically find a $100.00 bill in your box of cereal. In what frivolous way would you spend it?
Hmm, it’s a toss up between something lasting like a Kate Spade wallet (not enough for a purse….*sigh*), and something that is not lasting, but totally worth it, like a an hour massage.

HQ #3: You’re a big-time celebrity who just had a baby. If you were competing for the most bizarre celebrity baby name, what would it be?

Seagrams. Goes well with Viau, doesn’t it? (Viau is pronounced Veo, like the booze—VO.)

HQ #4: Paparazzi are stalking you, looking for shots of odd things authors do while writing. What do they catch you doing, hmm?

I procrastinate by organizing office supplies and rearranging books on the shelf. And I make lists of new office supplies and new books I can’t live without.

HQ #5: You’ve been locked in a bank vault with that guy from The Twilight Zone, so you finally have time to read! What’s the first book you crack open? (And don’t worry—no one stepped on your glasses.)
Locksmithing for Dummies.

HQ #6: If I asked the members of your critique group who you’re most like when critiquing manuscripts, would they choose Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul or Simon Cowell?

I’m Simon, definitely. Everyone else would be him, as well. We’re a tough bunch.

The Lightning Round—no more than two words per answer!

Do you . . .
Outline or wing it?
Wing it.
Talk about works-in-progress, or keep your trap shut? Talk.
Sell by proposal or completed draft? Both.
Love to edit or cringe at the thought? Edit.
Prefer writing a new book or marketing the old? Both.
Write better at home or in a coffee shop? Home.
Read your released book or no thank you, I’ve read it enough? Read enough.

And finally, what’s your favorite . . .
Time to write?
9 AM
Movie? When Harry Met Sally
Book? The Secret Garden
Author? Janet Evanovich (Don’t shoot me ‘cause she’s not a children’s book author.)
Song? Ten Years Gone, Led Zeppelin
Pair of shoes? Flipflops
Guiltiest pleasure? Traveling alone
Line from a movie? “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Thanks for stopping by, Nancy, and for sharing those great photos! Pixie Cut? Check, I had that myself. Perm? Check. Mirrored sunglasses with a strap? Check, check. 😉 And your critique group sounds great. A bunch of Simons? Awesome!

* May it also be noted that Nancy has recovered from her pixie/perm days with the smoking hairstyle below.


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