Tuesday, February 9, 2016

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 comment:

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


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