Saturday, October 30, 2010
A Visit with Nancy J. Cohen
Nancy, how did your “Bad Hair Day” mystery series come about?
I started out writing romance, and my romances had mysteries in them. I liked plotting the mystery angle so much that I was thinking about doing a straight mystery series. But who would be the sleuth?
Why the switch from futuristic romance novels to mysteries?
Why do you write? And what’s the best part of being a writer?
What’s your writing schedule?
I’m an early bird, so I wake up before dawn and start work right away. My daily quota is five pages a day or more, then I spend the rest of the time on promotional activities.
I wrote three books before I joined Florida Romance Writers. Then I got my first agent at the first conference I ever attended.
Which writer most influenced your own writing?
I first got hooked on female amateur sleuth stories by Jill Churchill’s humorous series. I went on to read mysteries by other women writers featuring strong female protagonists and a humorous slant and then decided to write one myself.
Florida hairstylist Marla Shore hopes for a romantic interlude with her fiancé on their first Caribbean cruise, but troubled waters lie ahead when their dinner companions disappear one-by-one. Then Marla learns a killer is along for the ride. Onboard art auctions, ports of call, and sumptuous buffets beckon, but she ignores temptation and musters her snooping skills to expose the culprit. She'd better find him fast, before her next shore excursion turns into a trip to Davy Jones's locker.
I've been on over twenty cruises and wanted to write a cruise mystery. I based the ship on a cross between the NCL Spirit and the RCCL Navigator. Then I made up an itinerary to my favorite ports. It was great fun doing the research in person.
Coming next in the Bad Hair Day series is Shear Murder in January 2012.
What’s the most difficult aspect of writing and the one that you enjoy most?
The most difficult aspect of writing are the distractions. There are dozens of things that jostle for my attention and it’s tough to tune them out. I enjoy it most when I’m in the middle of writing a book and the story just flows. It’s an innervating, glorious feeling.
Advice to fledgling novelists?
Follow the 3 P’s: Practice, Persistence, and Professionalism. “ Never Give Up, Never Surrender!” as they say on Galaxy Quest. It’s true for a writing career, too. Your career isn’t over until you say it’s over. So keep writing!
It was good to have you with us, Nancy.
Nancy's web site: http://nancyjcohen.com/
Her blog: http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com/