Skip to main content

An Interview with Nancy Herriman

MM: Nancy give us the backstory on your career?
            I began writing when my kids were little (since they’re               nearly 19 and 21, you get an idea  how long ago that                   was), jotting down as many words as possible during                 naps and distracted playtime. I took writing classes,                   attended conferences, and joined a hardy band of fellow             writers who were my greatest supporters and are still                 my friends. I began writing romance novels, winning                 RWA’s Daphne award for a historical romantic
            suspense that landed me my first agent, but                                  unfortunately not a contract. It would take
            several more years, manuscripts and a new, utterly                     marvelous agent to finally get ‘The Call’. When my                   publisher closed their fiction line, however, I was left                 adrift. My agent knew about my historical romantic                   suspense and suggested I try writing a mystery. Which I             did and which became ‘No Comfort for the Lost.’

MM: What type of schedule do you have?
            When I’m working full tilt on a book, my day usually starts around 8 in the morning, when
            I catch up on my e-mail and social media. I start writing sometime around 10,
            working until about 4 (or later, if I’m nearing deadline), and will spend a few more hours
            catching up on mail and posts and doing a little promo after that. I work 6 days a week,
            including holidays, but even when I’m on deadline, I take Sundays off. I simply have to
            recharge at some point.

MM: Tell us about your latest work?

            I’ve just handed in the edits on the 2nd book in my ‘A Mystery of Old San Francisco’
            series, which is titled ‘No Pity for the Dead.’  My books take place in the 1860s after the
            Civil War, and feature an English nurse, Celia Davies, and a handsome (of course!)
            Police Detective, Nick Greaves, along with a host of colorful characters. Here’s a mini-
    blurb that rather summarizes the premise of my books: ‘In 1860s San Francisco, gold buys the best life has to offer. Without it, not even justice is guaranteed.’ I’m also very pleased to say that Library Journal chose ‘No Comfort for the Lost’ as their August Pick of the Month. Quite an honor.

MM: If you could sit down to dinner with five people. Who would they be? What would you ask them?

            Given the time period for my books, I’d like to meet some             of the famous folks from 1860s San Francisco. People like             Mark Twain and Bret Harte; Emperor Norton, who wasn’t
            really an emperor, but did become an extremely popular                 tourist attraction; Levi Strauss;  or the intriguing Jesse                   Benton Fremont, whose house overlooking the Golden                   Gate in the early 1860s became a salon for the San                         Francisco intellectual elite.

MM: What is your favorite place to vacation, dessert, song, movie and book to re-read?
            Vacation: I have to choose? Any place with interesting history, lovely buildings and good
            food! England is a favorite (no, honestly, there is good food there) as is New York City.
            Dessert: Hm. It’s a toss-up between my mother’s blueberry pie and key lime pie, I think.
            Song: Tough one. As a vocalist, there are songs I love to sing (Bach/Gounod’s ‘Ave
            Maria’ or Darlene Zschech’s ‘Shout to the Lord’ or Wilson Picket’s ‘Mustang Sally’!). As a
            listener, it depends on my mood. I love Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Never Going Back Again’, ‘Wild
            Horses’ by the Stones, and ‘Tonight, Tonight’ by Smashing Pumpkins, to just name a few.
            Movie: I watch ‘A Christmas Story’ every year, but I adore old classics, especially
            Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’. Appeals to the mystery author in me, I suppose!
            Book: I can’t recall the last time I reread a book. But I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Peters’
            Amelia Peabody series (so sad she’s gone) and Lindsey Davis’ work.
MM: What would you like to say to your readers?

            I hope that you find my tales of the folks who populated San Francisco in the 1860s, a
            city filled with immigrants from all over the world, interesting and that you come to love
            Celia and Nick and their family and friends, with all their quirks.

MM: What would your characters tell us about you?

            That I keep putting them into perilous situations they’d rather not have to deal with!

MM: Tell us about where you live? Be our tour guide>

            I live in a fairly normal central Ohio suburb, but am happy that we’re very close to
            countryside and have lots of parks to take advantage of (as well as lots of great
            restaurants with good food and some very lovely buildings)

MM: In closing leave us with a character quote?

            ‘Danger finds her like a bloodhound tracks a scent.’ Nicholas Greaves thinking about
            Celia Davies


  1. Nancy,
    I am going to love your books. Can't wait to read them.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Upside Down Post

Upside Down Post:

Yurn your frown upside down into a smile as this post is for those who do not enjoy the family gatherings at Christmas. You know who you are and why but today I thought it would be fun to have a little fun.

This is a "Would you rather" reply when someone asks what you would rather do get through the holidays than spend it with family?

1. I'd rather drop a house on my sister.

2. Have a root canal

3. Eat fruitcake even the store bought kind.

4. Have my neighbor tell me about her colon in great detail

5. Dust

6. Watch my cat chase and kill a mouse

7. Hear the neighbor's dogs barking all night long.

8. Shovel snow

9. Open my prezzies and discover everyone sent me clothes two sizes too small. What is family for but to get the sizes wrong even after they call and ask.

10. I'd rather read a good murder mystery set at Christmas this would make it a killer holiday for me.

Okay you all come up with your own funny list and I can't wait to see what you have. Oh one…

An Interview with Frances Brody

MM: Frances, give us the back story on how and when you became an author?
I started by telling stories. I’d walk home from school with a friend and spin some tale that would last till the parting of our ways at the corner shop. In my twenties, I wrote stories that were published in magazines and broadcast on BBC Radio. I then wrote radio and theatre plays and scripts for television. My first novel was based on stories told to me by my mother.
MM: Tell us about what you are currently writing and what has been released?
I’m editing the eighth Kate Shackleton novel, Death at the Seaside. My setting is Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast. Whitby is where Bram Stoker has Count Dracula land in the Russian ship Demeter in the shape of a black dog. Dracula doesn’t appear in my story. But if he did, Kate Shackleton and her trusty assistants, Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden, would deal with him.My latest release in the US is Kate Shackleton #5, Murder on a Summer’s Day. In the UK, it’s #7, A Death in the…

Review - Yellow as Legal Pads by Fran Stewart

Biscuit and Bob are on their honeymoon when Bob tries to help someone dying with resuscitation efforts that leave him poisoned and in ICU.

The story time hops a lot and introduces a lot of characters and isn't really your typical amateur sleuth asking questions all over town.

It is a series of pieces out of the life of the Holvers family and events that led to the current situation she and Bob are in.

It is interesting and complex at times but satisfying as the pieces come together.

I saw several reviews where the number of characters and time hopping frustrated readers and I admit, I had to pause a few times to make sure I was in tune to everything going on, but I thought it was fun a non-traditional which was a bit refreshing.