Friday, February 6, 2015

Klann-Moren's award-winning novel rooted in facts of 1965 Selma civil rights' march

Welcome to author and artist, Nancy Klann-Moren, who began her writer's journey as a creative outlet on long plane rides while traveling for work. Her one-page ideas soon developed into fully realized short stories. Her goal―to create unique stories told in a distinctive voice. 

Soon, some garnered awards, and publication in anthologies. Eleven of them are published in her collection of short stories titled, Like The Flies On The Patio.

One morning while in a writers' workshop, she read an excerpt from a story titled, Fate Carries Its Own Clock. When she finished, the instructor asked what she was doing for the next couple years, because, “What you have written isn’t a short story, it’s a novel.” After a year of foot dragging, the seed he planted germinated, and grew into the award-winning novel, The Clock of Life.

What brings your writing into focus-- the characters, the stories, the love of words? My stories tend to all be character-driven. This was definitely true while writing The Clock Of Life. I lived with these unique, compelling characters through their emotional journeys, and felt responsible for being true to their circumstances, and for revealing their weaknesses and strengths honestly. And, of course, fell in love with many of them.

How much fact is in your fiction? Because the father of my protagonist, Jason Lee Rainey, had been involved in the civil rights struggle, there is a good deal of fact in this story. While creating the man's journal about his participation in the Selma to Montgomery march, I was able to score newspaper clippings originally published in the Selma Times-Journal during those days in March, 1965. With these, and the help of Google, the journal is most definitely historically factual.  And, by way of stories told to the boy by his father's best friend, other important, real events are highlighted.
Even though the town in The Clock Of Life is fictitious, its small town charm came to life after I took a road trip through the back roads of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Hadlee possesses the real spirit of the many communities I visited. 

I had my husband tell me the true story about the time he got his first suit, and the unfortunate instructions his mother gave the tailor. To go further with this would be a spoiler. Those who have already read the book know the outcome of that one.

What’s your favorite writing accessory or reference? The hours I've spent scouring my tattered Thesaurus in the pursuit of turning a bland phrase into a vivid impression, are many. I've heard it referred to as the "book nerd's bible." Amen.

If you could borrow one person’s zest for writing and/or life, whose and why? This one's easy - Ray Bradbury. I like to start my day with a cup of coffee and a page from The Stories of Ray Bradbury - just one of each - enough to charge my creative batteries. One day I can read about a giant sea creature who falls in love with a lighthouse, the next day a “wonderful white ice cream summer suit! White, white as the August moon!”  

Describe the best writer you know and something wonderful he or she has written. This is a follow-up from the previous answer. “The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me. The feeling I have every day is very much the same as it was when I was twelve. In any event, here I am, eighty years old, feeling no different, full of a great sense of joy, and glad for the long life that has been allowed me. I have good plans for the next ten or twenty years, and I hope you’ll come along.” Written by Ray Bradbury on his 80th birthday.

If you could meet one of your characters, who would it be and where would you meet? I would like to meet up with Jason Lee's best friend, Samson Johnson. We would meet at their secret spot on the flat boulder overlooking Mosquito Lake. I'm a sucker for Samson's precocious nature and his ability to rise above insults and stay positive and forward thinking.

Is there anything else you would like to add? Yes. Readers hold the key to any writer's heart. Readers are our raison d'ĂȘtre, and I am particularly grateful to everyone who has expressed appreciation for my efforts.

Facebook:  Nancy Klann
Twitter:  @klanncy

THE CLOCK OF LIFE: In the small town of Hadlee, Mississippi, during the 1980's, Jason Lee Rainey struggles to find his way among the old, steadfast Southern attitudes about race, while his friendship with a black boy, Samson Johnson, deepens.

By way of stories from others, Jason Lee learns about his larger-than-life father, who was killed in Vietnam.  He longs to become that sort of man, but doesn't believe he has it in him.

In The Clock Of Life he learns lessons from the past, and the realities of inequality.  He flourishes with the bond of friendship; endures the pain of senseless death; finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right; and comes to realize he is his father's son.

This story explores how two unsettling chapters in American history, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, affect the fate of a family, a town, and two boyhood friends.

Book Awards and recognition for The Clock Of Life:

2014 - Finalist, Best Kindle Book Awards, Literary Fiction
2014 - Second Place, Writer's Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards, Fiction
2013 - Finalist, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Fiction
2013 - Finalist, Readers' Favorite Book Awards, Southern Fiction
BRAG (Book Readers Appreciation Group) and five-star review
AIA (Awesome Indie Approved) Gold Medal and five-star review


  1. I am a reader and one of your biggest fans. Love this book!
    Charlie Redner, author, publisher, and (soon to be) film producer.

  2. I reviewed Clock of Life for the website bookpleasures & it is one of the best books I've ever read. Deeply insightful & brilliantly written the book puts the reader into the hearts & minds of several characters. This is what great literature is supposed to do.

  3. Wonderfully written, evoking emotion and real connection with each of the characters.