Meet Author Normandie Fischer!

Posted by on May 29, 2015 | 11 comments

Meet Author Normandie Fischer!

My guest this week is Normandie Fischer, multi-published author of the Carolina Coast series. I know you will enjoy hearing about her life and books! Make certain to leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle copy of Heavy Weather! Sign in on the Rafflecopter to increase your chances of winning!



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome Normandie! Tell us something about yourself and how you started writing.

I’m a sailor, a writer, a former sculptor, and a former editor. I first wrote poetry, then essays, non-fiction, and finally fiction.  Stories are just plain fun.

Tell us a little about your family.

My mama’s family settled New Bern, NC, in 1710, and they’re the ones I’ve always been closest to, so finding my roots in Southern fiction felt right. I have two incredible children, one granddaughter, two step-sons, and I’m married to my best friend, who helps me take care of my mama and who keeps our home and boat functioning and happy.

Your books all involve sailing and women struggling with some aspect of life and relationships. Tell us what inspires your stories.Heavy Weather

My goodness, who knows? My auntie—who taught me to sail and lived with me for the last nine-plus years of her life—inspired Becalmed. The other stories just grew—and new ones continue to grow—organically from an incident, a need, an overheard conversation, my imagination, someone’s profile or expression, hurts expressed or witnessed. I don’t think I can ever run out of stories, certainly not while my brain remains agile enough to grab them and run.

How do you “design” your characters and what similarities run through the main characters in your books?

I don’t exactly design my characters: they show up and introduce themselves and their struggles. And then they grow. I love discovering their names and their roles, their longings, their hurts, and the things that bring them joy. The lies they tell themselves, the ones that make them react in a certain way and establish the conflict, show up as we uncover their messes.

How much of yourself do you write into your characters?

Oh, there are bound to be smidgens here and there. I love to sail, so my sailing women have that in common with me. I love Italy, so some of Sam’s reactions to Italy (Sailing out of Darkness) came from my joy in the language and the people, the food and the views. I’ve lived many years, and they’ve been years full of pain and joy; years where I’ve made mistakes, yearned, hoped, striven; years when I’ve had to trust God and cling to Him. These things teach us—or they don’t. I write a lot about consequences of our choices, and although I haven’t had to face the same choices as my characters, I’ve had my own mountains and valleys.

You have such an obvious love for sailing and the ocean. I’m from the desert and mountains, what would I relate to in your books?

Sailing is merely a vehicle in my stories, something that brings joy and peace to the protagonists as well as the occasional challenge. I loved living in the mountains of Italy (described in Sailing out of Darkness and my next book, Two from Isaac’s House). I’ve visited deserts and delighted in the landscape. We lived and sailed in the Sea of Cortez (Pacific Mexico), which is surrounded by desert and stark mountains. I’ve begun a book with that as a backdrop. Every landscape carries its own beauty. It’s up to the writer to convey the setting in a way that makes readers imagine themselves there.

And, of course, the issues my characters face aren’t subject to geography.

Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?

I write full-time, but I also live with my husband and elderly mama way out in the country. While it’s very beautiful here, it’s also very remote—just as it was when we were cruising—and I have come to cherish my online presence. I love chatting with readers and other writers and sailors, making virtual friends who often become face-to-face friends when I venture away from home. Of course, the ease of checking in with that world also requires me to exercise discipline and self-control. (Great idea, hard to execute.)

What would you like to tell us about your three books, their differences, their similarities, and how you want them to inspire your readers?

Each of my books deals with choices, consequences, and the lies folk tell themselves as they seek to meet real or perceived needs. I love to write from multiple POVs as friends try to help friends vanquish their own particular demons. Only in Heavy Weather was I able to keep the point of view of the bad guy, the deliciously horrid abuser, Roy. I think it’s a stronger book because of that, although Sailing out of Darkness remains the book of my heart.

Do you have a favorite or signature Bible verse, and does it relate to your writing in any way?

How do I choose? I cling to verses promising provision and peace. Job’s words (13:15) “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” have been ones I’ve needed again and again. No matter what, trust. No matter what, move forward and don’t lose heart. No matter what.

When I counseled hurting women, I turned often to Psalm 139 and God’s promise that He knows us, that He called each of us into being, that He wove us in our mother’s womb. That He understands our thoughts even before we speak.

I love that. I love that He says we’re skillfully and wonderfully wrought. Each of us. Not one of us is a mistake, no matter what the world says of us or what others say of us. And look at what Romans 8:28 promises: He will work out all things—even those seeming mistakes—for our good if we love Him. That’s amazing news.

Although I don’t write Christian fiction, my faith informs my worldview. In fiction as in life, individuals must walk their own road, make their own mistakes, and face the consequences of those. My goal is to help my characters find their way to answers and ultimately to peace. Some of them listen; some don’t.

Will you share your favorite passage from one of your books with us?

That is not an easy request. I wrote the stories, so I have favorites and then other favorites and then, oh, there’s that one. So, because I have a copy of Sailing out of Darkness right next to me on my desk, I picked a few paragraphs showing the beginning of Sam’s epiphany when she thinks rescue might never come.

Her fault.

I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.

She didn’t know how much time passed as she wept. At some point, her thoughts evolved into a different kind of plea. And though hiccups finally stopped the flood, she lay curled in the dark, seeing years of choices that had brought her to this moment. Years of acting the victim. Years of blaming her past, her present, her father, her husband. Years when she’d filtered perfect love—like a sunscreen held up to dampen the light—and basked in the little slivers she’d let through. Thinking, that’s all there was. Thinking, that’s all she deserved.

Realizing, finally, that the fist in which she’d clutched her tiny portion had been the fist that had opened her to the mess with Jack.

Her stomach hurt from hiccupping. And her heart hurt from peering behind the screen.

Okay. She was a mess. Fine.

Could she ever get past here?

As she asked that, she felt a gentle whispering that enveloped her. Not words. More like the soughing of wind through a pine woods.

The whispering inside grew louder. And a thought tickled her brain, slithered in there and grabbed her: she could let go of it all.

Book Blurb: 

It takes a town to save a child. That town is Beaufort.

Annie Mac’s estranged husband vows that nothing will stop him from getting his baby girl. Not Annie Mac and certainly not that boy of hers.

Only four blocks away, Hannah Morgan lives in comfort with her husband and dog, making pottery and waiting for her best friend to come home. When she discovers the two children cowering in the bushes and their mama left for dead, it doesn’t take her long to set her coterie of do-gooders to some extra-strength do-gooding. Add in Clay, a lonely police lieutenant yanked out of his comfort zone and into the heart of this small family, and who knows what will happen?

From the author of Becalmed comes this latest tale of the Carolina coast, introducing some new characters to love—and to loathe.

About the author:

Normandie Ward FischerNormandie Fischer studied sculpture in Italy for several years before receiving a BA, summa cum laude with special honors in English. She began editing professionally in the seventies in Washington, DC, and is the former Executive Editor of Wayside Press, the general market imprint of Written World Communications. Her stories have garnered numerous awards across the country, and her first Carolina Coast novel, Becalmed, was released in July of 2013, followed by Sailing out of Darkness in November. Her third book, Heavy Weather, is another Carolina Coast novel that made its debut in March 2015. A lifelong sailor, she and her husband spent a number of years on board their 50-foot ketch, Sea Venture, in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. When they’re not cruising East Coast waters with Normandie’s elderly mother, the three of them can be found at home near Beaufort, NC.

Connect with Normandie:


Book Trailer:

Facebook Author Page:




Twitter: @WritingOnBoard

Book Links:



Barnes & Noble:

Sailing Out of Darkness:Sailing Out of Darkness


Barnes & Noble:

Heavy WeatherHeavy Weather:


Barnes & Noble:


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  1. Thanks so much for the fun interview!

    • You’re very welcome!

  2. This is one of the best interviews I’ve read. Your books sound really intriguing to me 🙂 I really enjoyed reading your favorite Bible passages and how you described them to us. I look forward to reading more from you and I will put your books on my Pinterest page for authors. Thank you for the fun interview (both of you!) Blessings, Marcie

    P.S. Have you had your poetry published? I’d love to read your poetry too.

    • Thanks for commenting Marcie! I didn’t know Normandie was a fellow poet!

    • Hey, Marcie. I’m sorry I’m so late in replying to your note, but my boy is home from Japan for a few days! I figure that excuses a lot, doesn’t it?

      I hope you enjoy these stories–and the poems in Sailing out of Darkness. I’ve only submitted my poetry to one magazine once upon a time and long ago; it never occurs to me to publish it, but I thought it fitting for the story of Sam and Teo. (A few poems are on my website under the About heading.)

      Thank you for your kind words. Bless you!

  3. Normandie, I have admired you from afar for a few years now. We first met online when I was communicating with Written World. I loved getting to know you more through this interview. Thanks for sharing Normandie with us, Norma.

    • Thanks for commenting, Nan!

    • Thank you, Nan! I remember you from way back when. So glad you stopped in to chat with us!

  4. This book sounds like it’s full of great characters! I’m one of your new readers and would love to read this one.

    • Thanks for stopping by!

    • Thanks so much for commenting here. I appreciate your support–and hope you win a copy!

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