NA Novak, Nancy Novak, is a writer of a new work called “Osiris Returns.” Hopefully, on bookshelves near you in 2022/23-fingers crossed.
She is also a member of the following writers associations: The Authors Guild, International Women’s Writing Guild, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Enough of writing in the third person: Please see below to learn more about me and who I really am.
Who is my love? Science be thy name
I was raised by a single parent, my father, Stanley Alan Novak. From him, I learned how to be extremely inquisitive and thoughtful. He taught me how to build model rockets and remote-controlled airplanes when I was not even out of elementary school. Flying was another story; usually, we crashed everything we flew. Yes, I had a lovely Barbie doll I treasured, but I loved my brother’s Evil Knievel even more. We lived in a ranch-style house that had one long hallway, and I used to send that daredevil right into the wall on the other side of the house!
As I grew older, my Dad bought me a TRS-80, which was an early computer from Radio Shack, and he taught me how to code in binary. For my science fair project, I snuck into his bedroom closet while he was at work and took without permission his RC airplane parts and controller. I built my own very ugly robot from motors, wires, a pair of pliers, a plastic popcorn bowl, and Paper Mache. No, I did not win, and I burnt up a motorcycle battery (long story), but I did it on my own without anyone’s help.
My father also taught me independence, which I actively covet above all else today.
Later on, I sat beside him at his desk as he signed onto his HAM radio set under his call sign Whisky One Tango Victor Foxtrot (W1TVF). He fondly collected QSL cards from other HAM operators he talked to across the globe and proudly displayed this collection on the walls in our home. I was not “legally” allowed to sign onto his radio set, but when he was at work, I knew how to turn on the equipment and listen in. I would sometimes call in under his sign. I was a very naughty young girl!
My passion for the golden mask
In addition to learning how things worked and the sciences, I had a passion for everything and anything that had to do with Egypt, especially King Tutankhamun. I was determined to become an Egyptologist when I grew up. My enthusiasm must have overflowed from my every pore because even my 7th-grade teacher Ms. Preston caught on. I can’t remember how I conveyed this message to her, but she knew. I was beyond excited when she told me she had plans to see the touring King Tut exhibit in NY in 1979. I wished I could have gone with her somehow. When she returned, she told me the treasures were breathtaking, and that she had bought me a gift. It was a beautiful aqua blue scarab. It was slightly dusty and had a coating of tan dirt stuck in some of the hieroglyphics. It looked like it had just been dug out of the earth. To this day, I wonder if she bought it from the museum’s gift store and did she roll it around in her backyard to make it look more authentic. The fantasy side of my brain would like to think she bought it from an antiquities dealer, and it came from a magnificent tomb (legally). Where it came from, I did not care, but I cherished this tiny treasure more than any possession I ever had. I still have it. I put the scarab on a gold chain, and even wear it on occasion to this day. I will never, ever part with it.
My beloved scarab
Many years later, my passion for all things Egypt did not diminish, but my education took another path.
I put aside my dreams of digging into the earth to study electronics and business. I found pride and joy working in the Aerospace industry. My brother Jim, who is an attorney, has told me on many occasions he is so proud of everything I have accomplished in my life. He brags to his colleagues about my mountaineering adventures, my working on the detector that flew on the Mars Rover Pathfinder Mission and my graduation from the MIT Sloan Fellows Program, but he told me a few years ago he always saw me as a female Indiana Jones. He said he would have been the proudest of that achievement above all else, had I ever followed that path. I still have that hidden desire too.
After I graduated from MIT in June of 2017, I pondered what my next step in life should be. I considered starting my own business or going back to work leading a business operation somewhere in the world, but while a friend and I were walking on a cold fall day in Oct 2017, he said, “Why don’t you try writing?”
As soon as he said it, the words felt comforting, soothing, and right.