Moving from the big city of St. Paul to the small, rural tourist town of Lanesboro, nestled in the river bluffs of Southeastern Minnesota was no small undertaking. It involved changing careers, and saying good-bye to a high-paying job in medical device research, for a new role as owner of a Queen Anne Victorian bed and breakfast. And there was a lot of work to be done, learning to cook breakfast, cleaning six guestrooms, providing concierge services, doing the book-keeping and managing internet reservations and advertising. Add in the gardening, shopping, entertaining guests and more, there was very little time left over for a private, personal life. And there’s the rub.
But Nancy squeezed out the time to get serious about writing. Inspired by the 2011 movie, We Bought a Zoo, Nancy tossed around the question that led her to her first published book, Does a Zebra Know It’s Striped? (Agape Studios,2012). This beautifully illustrated children’s picture book (no, Nancy is NOT an illustrator, and artist Nathan Hale was a real find!) not only features the alphabet and whimsical rhymes, but more. Everyone wishes at one time or another that they were different in one way or another. This book allows children to imagine, “What if?” while affirming them with a special message at the end of the book. Perfect for preschoolers through age 8, parents, grandparents and teachers have been thrilled.
And Nancy then took the next step. Starting her own publishing company, Books By Nancy H., Nancy brought twelve years of experience in the Bed and Breakfast industry to print. It started out as a collection of recipes, evolved to a selection of anecdotes and then really got down to business, telling it like it really is. Behind the Door Marked Private: Confessions of a Small Town Bed and Breakfast Owner, is now a reality.
Welcome to the world of the innkeeper! Join Nancy as she shares the challenges that her new life present as she adjusts to the small town culture in what would become the Bed and Breakfast Capital of Minnesota, with its 13 B&B’s nestled in this historic town. Discovering a new lifestyle, meeting guests and town characters who make up the tapestry of Lanesboro, finding time for laughter—these are the tasks that Nancy faces in her day-to-day life over the course of 13 years.
Join in on the journey and as American author Willa Cather, once said, “The end is nothing. The road is all.” That journey will continue, so stay tuned, with Facebook, my blog, and more. Become a part of it. Welcome to the Habberstad House!