Sunday, December 1, 2013

Celebrating Debutantes 2013: Nancy J. Cavanaugh (13 Random Facts + Giveaway)

Our debut author of the day only read children's book! Check out 12 more random facts about the author of This Journal Belongs to Ratchet!

Nancy J. Cavanaugh

13 Random Facts

1. I’m a “night owl.” I love to stay up late (as long as I can sleep in the next day), and I do my best work at night. Late at night no one bothers me because everyone else is sleeping, so I can finally get my work done.

2. My favorite writing instrument – the good old pencil. I LOVE pencils! But they have to be made out of real wood with a really good erasers. And if they are fun and colorful all the better. My super awesome electric pencil sharpener is also a must-have to keep my favorite pencils nice and sharp.

3. I use my pencils to come up with my characters. My stories always first begin with my idea for a character. After that I have to work very hard to create a plot that will keep my story moving along.

4. My favorite benefit of being an author – all the writing friends I’ve made over the years. The people I work with in critique groups and go to writing conferences with are some of my very best friends. I feel lucky to have them in my life!

5. I only read children’s book. I LOVE children’s books – not just writing them, but also reading them. To me they are the best books in the library and bookstore.

6. Even though I love to read, I’m a VERY slow reader. I always have been. So, that means I’ve read a lot less books than most people, but the books that I read I really savor.

7. When I was growing up, I dreamed of being Clara Barton, Florence Nightengale, or Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read about all of them and thought their lives were so exciting. Much more fun than my suburban life during the 1970’s.

8. After growing up in the quiet suburbs, my adult adventure was going to China to teach English. I helped Chinese English teachers learn how to become better speakers of the English language. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

9. My favorite TV show of all-time is THE BRADY BUNCH. I’ve seen every episode many times and often enjoy playing “Brady Bunch Trivia” with other Brady Bunch fans.

10. My favorite food is pizza. I love thin pizza, thick pizza, and stuffed pizza; but even so, I’m somewhat of a pizza snob because I grew up in Chicago. I like to think of it as the pizza capital of the world.

11. This leads me to my favorite city – CHICAGO. I not only love the pizza, but I love the city itself – the skyscrapers, Lake Michigan, the fabulous restaurants, and more. What I don’t love is the Chicago winter. That’s why I now live in Florida and spend only my summers in the Windy City.

12. Speaking of summer, I’d love to be able to go to summer camp again. I wish adults could go be a kid again, sleeping in cabins, signing up for arts and crafts, and spending late nights around the campfire singing songs. I don’t think camp should just be for kids.

13. Something I love to do besides reading and writing is baking. I especially love to make Christmas cookies and look forward to it all year.


More about Nancy!

Nancy J. Cavanaugh lives in Florida with her husband and her daughter. This Journal Belongs to Ratchet is her first book, but she has been writing for almost twenty years.

Like her main character, Nancy is pretty handy with a ratchet and is able to take apart a small engine and put it back together. 

In addition to her mechanic's hat, Nancy has been an elementary and middle school teacher as well as a library media specialist. One of her favorite parts of writing for children is being able to say "I'm working" when reading middle grade novels.

Check out Nancy's debut novel!

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet
by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Published April 2013 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 

Blurb (Goodreads):
A debut middle grade novel about a girl named Ratchet and her quest to make a friend, save a park, and find her own definition of normal. Ratchet tells her story through the assignments in her homeschool journal.

If only getting a new life were as easy as getting a new notebook.
But it's not.

It's the first day of school for all the kids in the neighborhood. But not for me. I'm homeschooled. That means nothing new. No new book bag, no new clothes, and no friends – old or new. The best I've got is this notebook. I'm supposed to use it for my writing assignments, but my dad never checks. Here's what I'm really going to use it for:

Ratchet's Top Secret Plan
Project Goal: turn my old, recycled, freakish, friendless, motherless life into something shiny and new.

This year, I'm going make something change.

The Escapist

Head over to Oops! I Read A Book Again now for debut author Christian Schoon!

Yesterday: Jennifer Ann Mann (Sunny Sweet Is So Not Sorry) and Helen Douglas (After Eden)
Tomorrow: Ari Goelman (The Path of Names) and Laura Lam (Pantomime)

Calling YA/NA/MG debut authors of 2014! Want to join us on this fun event? Fill out this form! Don't forget to spread the word with your debuting friends!

- copy of This Journal Belongs to Ratchet
- open internationally


  1. I can't say I LOVE pencils as much as Nancy does! I'm more of a gel pen fan!

  2. I can't say how much I love children book. they are colorful!


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