Manhasset resident, former businesswoman publishes debut novel

Manhasset resident, former businesswoman publishes debut novel
Nancy Brennan, of Manhasset, who published her first novel last month.

Nancy Brennan began her debut novel eight years ago as a side project. She devoted hours to it here and there while she worked full-time in human resource management at Chase Bank and part-time as a consultant for students applying to college.

“I had to stop and start so many times,” the Manhasset resident said. “I had my corporate job and I had students who would contact me. It was very demanding with my head.”

Two years ago, after taking a job in human resources at the headquarters of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Brennan retired.

“When I wasn’t working in business, I could wrap it up,” she said.

Last month, Brennan published the young adult novel, “Unraveling,” which follows a woman who wakes up in a barren, unknown location and must find her way back home to her children.

“It’s very light reading,” she said. “I love humor. I love plays on words. I wanted something that would be entertaining to a broad spectrum of individuals.”

Brennan was born in Douglaston, Queens, where, she said, she grew up with a fondness for writing.

“I have a file of things in a handwritten script we learned in second grade,” she said. “I wrote short booklets, short stories and a lot of poems.”

Brennan studied English at Fordham University and went back to the school for a masters of business administration.

She took the job at Chase Bank, where she worked for 25 years. Then she moved to the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

“I had a corporate career but I’ve always been called upon to do writing and editing, either formally or informally,” Brennan said.

In 1985, Brennan moved to Manhasset with her husband and two children.

For 16 years, she has conducted a consulting business that helps prospective college students with the essay portion of the application.

In 1999, Brennan received a masters of psychology from the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University.

She wrote her thesis on the “psychological effects of downsizing on victims and survivors” and “why males and females feel differently about losing their jobs.”

For her novel, which she described as a work of “magical realism,” she wanted to write something different from her professional and academic writing.

She said the book, which chronicles the journey of a protagonist who meets a cast of different characters along the way, shares similarities with “The Wizard of Oz” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

She didn’t expect the book to get published, she said. 

“I never even thought of all that,” she said. “It really was for fun. I was not looking to make a million dollars.”

While supermarket shopping, Brennan ran into a friend and literary agent, Ann Marie O’Farrell, who lives in Manhasset. O’Farrell connected Brennan with Lincoln Square Books, the work’s eventual publisher, Brennan said. 

“The whole thing is so exciting to me,” she said. “It’s a thing on my bucket list that went way beyond what I possibly could have imagined.”

The book is available on Amazon or at the Manhasset Public Library. 

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here