Sunday, November 29, 2015

FEATURED AUTHOR: NANCY G. WEST




ABOUT THE BOOK

Aggie, fast approaching the big 40, returns to college to learn about the genetic effects of aging. She’s thrilled by what she discovers. But when she finds a dead academic, becomes prime suspect and is on target to become next campus corpse, she gets a crash course in staying alive.



INTERVIEW WITH NANCY G. WEST


Nancy, how did you get started writing and when did you become an “author?”

When I was seven years old, my mother and I wrote poems to each other on special occasions. The poetry was awful, but I learned if you wrote something, people paid attention. In high school, Library Journal Pegasus published my poem, a feat I ranked (I’m embarrassed to admit) lower than cheerleading.

Since journalists were underpaid and English majors sold lingerie, I studied General Business at the University of Texas (Austin and Houston), slogged through mind-numbing courses and earned a BBA. Fortunately, I took a creative writing course, started writing  magazine articles and became a pitifully-paid author.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
Dreaming up Aggie’s predicaments when she stumbles upon a crime: Where will she be? What characters will she meet? How will she track down clues? How will her dogged determination to investigate affect her dicey relationship with Detective Sam? Can she get out of this mess?

How long is your to-be-read list?
About twenty books. I want to read the first mystery in every series published by Henery Press, books by candidates running for president, plays by Lillian Hellmann, books people recommend or that I read about, award winning and nominated mysteries, and new books on the craft of writing.

Can you share some of your marketing strategies with us?
I give away an Aggie Mundeen mystery occasionally on my website, Facebook, Goodreads or to bloggers for their readers. And I tweet.

If you could only watch one television program for a year, what would it be?
I can whittle it to three: Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, and Downton Abbey.
All these have good plots, but it’s emphasis on characters that make them great. That’s what I strive for in my books.

How often do you tweet?
A couple times a day.

For what would you like to be remembered?
Being a good wife and mother who loved to learn and worked hard to write mysteries with humor and romance that readers enjoy.

What five things would you never want to live without?
A loving family, writing and other writers, music, humor, and steak. Cheese, wine, chocolate . . .

If you had a swear jar, would it be full?
Almost empty.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Both. I’m not shy about meeting and talking with people, but I need time alone, too.

What's your relationship with your TV remote?
Where is it?

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Popcorn and PJ’s.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Sail through trees hanging from a zip line in Costa Rica.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Sail through trees hanging from a zip line in Costa Rica.

I cannot believe how often those two answers go hand in hand! What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
I’d major in English literature and journalism, start writing sooner and leave accounting and statistics to somebody else.

What would your main character say about you?
Lots of things. See “How Aggie Popped into Nancy’s Head.”  

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
Smart, But Dead. Aggie returns to school to study genetics. I had to understand it, translate scientific jargon into English and weave it into the mystery.

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
Thomas Jefferson’s Library at the University of Virginia. The architecture is beautiful, inside and out, and reflects Jefferson’s genius.

The Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress in Washington is awe inspiring.

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Six or seven.

Do you have some favorite books?
To Kill a Mockingbird, All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale.

Do you sweat the small stuff?
Not usually. There’s no time.

If you had to choose a cliché about life, what would it be?
Be optimistic, be thankful, enjoy people, relish the humor.

What are you working on now?
Aggie Mundeen’s next mysterious fiasco, which will be out in 2016.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nancy slogged through boring business courses in college but fortunately took a course in creative writing. She started writing magazine articles, returned to school to study English literature and began writing the suspense novel, Nine Days To Evil. As she was about to finish it, a funny thing happened: supporting character Aggie Mundeen demanded that she write about her. Aggie’s first caper, Fit To Be Dead, was Lefty Award Finalist for Best Humorous Mystery. Dang Near Dead followed, and Smart, But Dead was just released. Writing is a lot more fun than accounting.

Connect with Nancy:
Website Blog  |  Facebook  | Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  LinkedIn 



2 comments:

  1. Hi Amy, Thanks for having me on A Blue Million Books! Your questions made me think about things I haven't considered for awhile. And I love your site!

    Nancy G. West

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Nancy. Happy to have you here!

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