I’m excited today to introduce you all to my friend and fellow writer Lorna Schultz Nicholson.
I met Lorna Schultz Nicholson at a local writer’s conference where she was a presenter and sharer of wisdom. Sorry, I don’t know what class I took of hers, but I remember being engaged with her wit and positive energy. Her smile draws you in and her open friendliness keeps you there. We’ve been friends ever since.
Lorna is an inspiration. She started writing when she was a stay at home mom and then continued her writing career as life morphed and changed around her. Her ability to write what she knows yet keeps vigilant in her pursuit of different genres including children’s, middle grade, young adult, adult, and nonfiction.
She doesn’t stop and wonder what next. Nope, she just jumps in with both feet and makes it work. I hope you enjoy her interview. Links to her website and books are at the bottom on the page.
Who is Lorna Nicholson Schultz?
I was a kid who loved to read and write but I also loved sports.
Not surprising, my first published book was a middle grade novel titled Interference and it was about a young hockey player named Josh.
I took an experience I had as a rower in high school and turned it into a book.
My girlfriend on my rowing team didn’t know she had Type 1 diabetes for around half of our season then she ended up in the hospital. Interference is a novel about a boy who plays hockey and finds out he has Type 1 diabetes, but it gets quite dangerous for him before his diagnosis.
I didn’t always know I was going to be a writer because I wanted to do something in the sports and athletics field. So, I got a BSc degree in Human Performance from the University of Victoria.
Throughout my career pre-full-time-author, I worked as a fitness coordinator, rowing coach, radio reporter and host, television reporter, and even a murder mystery actor.
I started writing columns to go with my radio show and this is when I remembered how much I loved writing.
I wrote a lot when I was young, even going so far as to collect my first rejection after I came home from a two-week overnight camp, having had the best time, and I sent a story to a camp magazine where I promptly got rejected.
When I came full circle back to writing (after remembering how much I loved it as a child) I gathered even more rejections, (seriously tons), but I took courses, read books, attended conferences, and kept writing.
Finally, I got Interference published.
I wrote seven more middle grade hockey novels, using a cast of characters that frequented each book. I started doing school visits, and I think that’s when the feeling of being an author became real.
When young students come up to you, tell you they loved your book and would you sign your autograph on a scrap of paper made it seem real. Someone wanted my autograph???
Since those first eight books, I’ve gone on to publish 41 books.
Side Bar: Lorna is also a very talented presenter. She travels around to school K-12 doing presentations and readings. She also teachers at writer events like conferences and festivals.
Q: Did you ever feel like you should go back to school to study the art of writing?
There were moments in my writing career where I thought that perhaps I didn’t have enough writing education. Yes, I have a BSc but that’s not writing.
At one point I contacted a professor at the University of Calgary to ask about an MFA and he asked me, “Why?”
By this time I had already published at least ten books and he told me most who went into the program were looking for their first book contract.
I feel so fortunate and lucky to be able to write full-time. Writing is solitary and sedentary and since I was such a “jock” when I was younger, I still stay active.
I run (have fun five half marathons), cycle (I’m entered in my first spring triathlon), golf, play tennis, ski…you name it, I love to do it. I also walk my dogs a lot, especially when the muse decides to take a coffee break.
My first series of eight books was well received as kids in Canada do like to read hockey novels. But I’m proud that they aren’t just about hockey, but about family, friendships and the ups and downs of life. With that series I got my taste of being nominated for awards when Roughing was nominated for the Golden Eagle Award, and Too Many Men for the Diamond Willow award.
Since that series I have gone on to write other series. I have my Puckster children’s book series for children aged 4-8(Penguin Random House). Here’s a link to one of the Podium Series for young adult (James Lorimer and Company).
And I have a Young Adult series titled the One-2-One series.
This series (One-2-One) is not about sports but about the Best Buddies Club and features diverse characters, (Autism, Down syndrome, brain injury, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder).
Every book in the series was nominated for the Forest of Reading Red Maple Award. Please check out Lorna’s website for links to Amazon and Indigo to purchase these books.
Q: Do you have an agent?
I’ve had a few agents over the years. I even had an agent in London, England.
I had years where I was in between agents, because they either quit the business or retired, and because I was on a roll, publishing in Canada, I didn’t feel I needed one at that time in my career.
I like to have close relationships with my editors, so it was easy not to have an agent.
I came to a point again, where I wanted to move another step up the ladder, so I secured Amy by a recommendation from another author.
As I said, she is brilliant.
Q: Are you familiar with Imposter Syndrome and does it ever affect you?
Side Bar: For those of you not familiar with imposter syndrome it is defined as the persistent inability to believe one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s efforts and skills. You never quite feel like you deserve it or you wonder if the whole thing is real…will someone discover that you’re a fraud?
I think all writers at some time have the Imposter Syndrome. But it is a business of ebb and flow.
In the ebbs you wonder if you’re any good.
In the flows…you still wonder.
Even in the middle of a book, you can have doubts about your writing.
Will anyone read this?
Is anyone going to relate to any of my characters?
Is this crap?
I think it is part of who we are as artists. You make art, you give it to the world, and people get to review it.
Not all reviews are kind either. Sometimes, you focus on that one bad one and doubt yourself.
Tricks to get past, are to ignore those reviews (hard to do) and cherish the ones that are good. Also, (and this is hard to do), celebrate every little success.
Celebrate finishing a novel. Celebrate a rewrite. Celebrate the next darn rewrite. Celebrate an agent rejecting you but sending you a glowing rejection. Yes, celebrate that too.
Writing is a journey not a destination.
Side Bar: It should be noted that Lorna Schultz Nicholson is also the author of many nonfiction books about some great National Hockey League players and teams.
To visit Lorna Schultz Nicholson’s website click here.
Make sure you don’t miss the second part of the interview where we’ll find out what Lorna Schultz Nicholson is working on now and her tips for writers.