Nancy King Releases 'Changing Spaces'
"How is it possible that one minute I'm a wife, and the next I'm a discard?"-Changing Spaces, Nancy King
Nancy King's new novel, "Changing Spaces," focuses on a runaway soon-to-be-divorced Midwestern wife who gets a "makeover" in New Mexico. King explained in a recent phone interview that the plot was sparked by her encounters with three mature women on the brink of divorce:
"First there was a woman at a party who said to me, 'That was before I lost my life...' referring to her divorce. Her husband of 40 years had left her to marry a younger woman. A week later, another friend showed up in tears because her husband wanted out of their 40-year marriage so he could marry his secretary."
By the time she read an Op-Ed about a woman who had written a book about the joys of being a stay-at-home-wife, and whose husband now wanted out after 40 years, Nancy King knew she was on to something.
Into this familiar scenario, King injected a "What if?" What if a Midwestern 60-year old woman woke up as she always did, made love with her husband of 40 years, and several hours later, learned her husband had fallen for a younger woman and wanted a divorce-and what if she hit the road and ended up in the healing bear-hug that is Santa Fe, New Mexico?
"Hey, ya got the Santa Fe idea. No need to be who you were. Be who you want to be." -Changing Spaces, Nancy King
In 2001, King moved from the East Coast "and never looked back." The decision to leave friends and job would have been bold for anyone, but since 1985, King has been living with a rare form of leukemia known as Hairy Cell.
"When I realized I had a chronic disease with no cure, I made the decision that it was not going to run or ruin my life. I focus on what I can do; not what I lost or what I used to be able to do. Even when I don't feel well, I force myself to walk or hike or play tennis because I always feel better afterward."
The unsinkable Nancy King has trekked Thailand, hiked the Grand Canyon, and "run people 50 years her junior into the ground," according to one friend. "She overcame the odds of a disastrous diagnosis."
"Laura tried on outfit after outfit, hoping toalter her personality from the outside in.She practiced taking bigger steps..." -Changing Spaces, Nancy King
Why Santa Fe? King didn't even take a moment to reply: "The nature around Santa Fe is spectacular. Many people find it has a magical energy that renews and regenerates. Even those born in New Mexico talk about this area's special energy, nature, culture."
According to King, newcomers often experience difficulties at first. "It's as if Santa Fe were trying to spit them out. Those who manage to survive their initial problems often experience personal transformations that they couldn't have articulated before coming."
Nancy King also authored the novels, Morning Light, A Woman Walking and The Stones Speak, which was optioned for a film and won first place in the New Mexico Presswomen's Communications Contest. She has facilitated international arts-based healing workshops, which she detailed in her non-fiction book, Dancing with Wonder: Self-Discovery through Stories.
"One theme that runs throughout my writing is an exploration of the need to reconnect with the disconnected Self after trauma," King said. "I'm interested in what happens when characters realize their old lives and ways no longer serve them."
What helps the most when living with illness or a life out of balance? "Having a sense of humor about every aspect of life. And good friends."
Just as in "Changing Spaces" where Santa Fe women form a circle of care around the stranger in their midst, King's friends have seen her through the best and the worst.
"When a nurse expressed concern that I don't have family here to support me while I undergo treatments, I told her. 'Don't worry. My friends are the best support network in the world.'"
This book is available in all formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Plain View Press and Nancy King's website (nancykingstories) where you can also read reviews, excerpts from all her fiction and nonfiction books, as well as check out her workshops and public appearance calendar.
"Changing Spaces" will have its New Mexico launch in Santa Fe at Collected Works (Feb. 7 at 6pm); Albuquerque at Bookworks (Feb. 11 at 7pm); and Taos at Moby Dickens (April 19 at 2pm). Nancy King will talk on the "Healing Effects of New Mexico on Trauma" and sign her book.
Paperback and all e-book formats
Release Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Publisher: Plain View Press