The Ultimatum, Steadfast Series #2The Ultimatum, Steadfast Series #2
Nancy Moser
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A small-town waitress dreams of a new life, and a runaway kid tests a dangerous new friendship. When their paths intersect, will prayer be enough to prevent disaster? 342 pages, softcover.

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Our interview with Nancy Moser
Nancy Moser
Is this the final book in the series, A Steadfast Surrender?

This is a second and final book in the series, though there was actually a prequel: The Seat Beside Me which featured the character Merry. She’s the only character in all three books. Then chronologically comes A Steadfast Surrender, then The Ultimatum. The latter two books take place in Steadfast, Kansas, and many of the characters carry through. Yet any of the books can be read as stand-alones.

Are there any new projects on the horizon?

The third book in the Sister Circle Series that I’ve coauthored with Vonette Bright is coming out in July 2004 ( An Undivided Heart) with the fourth book finishing up the series in the spring of 2005(A Place to Belong). Also this November, The Second Time Around will be released. It’s the sequel to Time Lottery (which won a Christy Award last year for best Christian fiction in its genre.) Three more winners of the Time Lottery will be featured in this new book.
Personally, I think it’s better than the original Time Lottery.

I also have a three-book contract with Tyndale. The first book will be called, The Weave of the World and involves a dying town that is given away in a contest. That book comes out in the fall of 2005.

In the Sister Circle Series you are in partnership with Vonette Bright. How did that come about?

Quite amazingly. I got a phone call two or three years ago from one of Vonette’s people asking “Would you be interested in co authoring a book with Vonette? Dr. Bill Bright realizes the power of Christian fiction and wants Vonette to write a novel.” Frankly, I didn’t know who she was. I’d heard about Campus Crusade for Christ—which she helped co-found with her husband--but I hadn’t heard her name before. They offered to fly me to Orlando to talk with her and see if we hit it off. I asked, “Would you like me to bring a resume, or ideas for the book?” They said that wasn’t necessary. They’d been praying about it for months and I was it. All I had to do was say yes. That was a new experience for me—having people pray about me without my knowledge. It was very humbling. During our first meeting we really felt a bond so one book turned into four, and in addition, the Sister Circle movement came about.

Actual groups of women called Sister Circles are burgeoning all over the country—and the world. I recently got an email from a woman who’d started one in Wales. Sister Circles are simply small groups of women who gather regularly to bond and share—hopefully for life. Women can find out more about them on our website at All of my novels are also excerpted and featured on my own website at

What are some of the challenges you face being an author?

As far as the actual writing part . . . I don’t find many challenges; this is what I’m supposed to do. I wake up at 4:30 every morning and it usually flows. I have three books coming out this year. I write every day seven days a week. I love it; I plan to do it until the day I die. As far as the business part? That’s where I feel challenged. Having to deal with numbers and contracts and the what-ifs of a future that can grow or die at any moment keeps me turning to the only one who has any control over the whole thing: God. Writing for the Christian market demands a fine balance between business, faith, and art. That’s the tough part.

Who influenced you the most with your writing?

I shouldn’t be a writer, my degree is in architecture. I’ve never had a writing course. Yet the writing was always there. I learned how to write by writing and rewriting. Reading books on writing. And reading good novels—studying what makes them good. I got published because of pure persistence. I wouldn’t let anything stop me and I have hundreds of rejections. But when the time was right—God’s time, not mine—it happened. I continually thank Him that He didn’t do things my way in my time. I’m sure I would have messed things up thoroughly. Through this entire process my faith has grown immensely. God’s taught me a lot during the dark times, probably more than He’s taught me during the high points . . . I can’t say any one person influenced me. It was my inner drive to do it, and keep doing it, plus God’s grace, that got me where I am.

How much research did this series take?

None. I don’t do research. Yuck. There are different kinds of writers. There are those who plot out the entire book and outline, and there are the seat-of-your-pants writers. The latter is me. I come up with an idea--often literally one line--then cast it like a movie. Then I let the characters loose and see what happens. It’s a little awkward at first, but really starts to click when the characters take over. I tend to pick areas of the country I’ve been to, or occupations that I know something about. I try not to do any research. Some authors thrive on that and are good at it, but I’m not. The Internet is wonderful for any information I do need to find.

Is there such a place as Steadfast, Kansas?

Not exactly; I did happen to go through a town, Council Grove, Kansas, when I was on my way to speaking at a retreat. They had a library that looked just like the library I pictured for A Steadfast Surrender. There’s also a perfect library in Dexter, Maine. But Steadfast is merely small town USA.

What advice would you give to a person trying to become a fiction writer?

  • Read. Read fiction you love. Don’t waste your time reading bad fiction. If it doesn’t grab you at the beginning don’t go past 50 pages. Read fiction you love, then figure out why you like it.
  • Study it. Every writer who’s successful reads a lot. Another suggestion is to write every day—even if it’s only for thirty minutes. And be willing to edit and throw away. I once had to cut 74,000 words from a novel that I’d written before I knew anything about length restraints (The Quest). I had to toss 41% of the novel. Yet it was one of the best things I’ve ever had to do. It taught me how to write tight. Though I do have a few stray plots from that book still lying around . . .

    What were your favorite books as a child?

    I liked Agnes Turnbull. She wrote about a pastor in the 1800’s. I also liked John Jakes who wrote the North and South books and the Jakes Family Chronicles. I liked historical, which is odd, considering I don’t write historical. But then again historical requires research and I don’t like research. so I pick a time I know. I also read Nancy Drew. We all read Nancy Drew.

    What is your favorite verse from the Bible?

    Psalms 138:8 “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.” It’s a verse that’s full of promise. And my calling—the underlying message in all my books—is that we each have a unique purpose. The hard part is finding out what it is.

    What message would you like your readers to take away from The Ultimatum?

    That our choices affect everything, and if you make the wrong choice it can have a far-reaching effect. Don’t make choices lightly and don’t put off the eternal choices. Make such choices-for-Jesus now so you’ll be ready for whatever life may throw at you.

    You captured the essence of mixed Christian families in The Ultimatum. Annie, a new believer with an unbelieving husband, was quite brave. Everyone has someone in their life who thinks they’re crazy because they’re passionate about God. This book was almost like a guide book as to how to approach non-Christians, either in our own families or in the community.

    The fact you were authentic in the author notes will affect many people. You can tell that God was speaking through your writing. The Ultimatum was very intriguing reading.

  • The Ultimatum Discussion Questions.

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