Monday, March 16, 2009

Author Q&A with Nancy Cohen, author of the Bad Hair Day mystery series

Nancy J. Cohen is author of the popular Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairdresser Marla Shore who solves crimes with wit and style underthe sultry Florida sun. KILLER KNOTS and PERISH BY PEDICURE are the latest titles in this humorous series. Author of thirteen published novels plus a novella, Nancy has served as president of Florida Romance Writers, and as secretary for the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Several of her books have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Bestseller List.

How did you get your start in writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. Even in high school, I submitted my work which consisted of short stories and poetry. I began writing novels in 1975. I wrote three practice books before discovering Florida Romance Writers in 1988. Joining that organization and participating in a critique group improved my writing so that I obtained my first agent at FRW’s annual conference. Each year, I sent this agent a new book, all romantic suspense. None of those sold. Then a member of my critique group, Marilyn Campbell, inspired me to write a futuristic romance. Switching genres brought me success. CIRCLE OF LIGHT was my first book that sold and winner of the 1995 HOLT Medallion award. I went on to write a total of four futuristic romance novels underthe name Nancy Cane. At that point, my stories contained mysteries, so I decided to write a straight mystery novel. And that’s how my series was born.

What does your writing routine look like?
I wake up early, around six, drink coffee, read the newspaper, then take my poodle for a walk. By 8 a.m., I’m usually at the computer. I do my best writing in the morning and spend the afternoon on promotional activities.

Tell us whose work you admire and why.
Heather Graham, because she writes several books a year in different genres, has five children, and always looks gorgeous.

What are you working on next?
A new mystery series based in Winter Park, Florida.

What made you decide to write this novel?
My latest release is Killer Knots. This is the ninth title in my Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairstylist Marla Shore. The story takesplace on a cruise ship. Marla and her fiancé sail away on their first Caribbean cruise with a killer on board. Having been on over twenty cruises myself, I wanted to share the experience with readers.

What challenges did you face with this book?
I researched on board the Navigator of the Seas and the Norwegian Spirit, took copious notes in the ports, and visited all the places in mystory. I wanted the details to be as authentic as possible.

What advice would you have for other writers/would-be writers?
Have faith in yourself, work at improving your craft, and believe inyour success. Follow the 3 P’s: Practice, Persistence, and Professionalism.

EDITOR'S NOTE: J. Louise Larson, blogmistress for The Writing Porch, interviews published authors. To be considered, email her at jackielarsonwrites (at) gmail (dot) com. Larson's work has been published in a number of newspapers and magazines, including the Dallas Morning News and Entrepreneur Magazine. She is the managing editor of the Ennis Journal and a contributor at the Waxahachie Daily Light, and she has received the top award for series writing in Texas, the Texas APME, as well as a silver from the Parenting Publications of America. She co-authored a nonfiction career guide for FabJob Publishing in 2006, and is seeking representation for her new novel, 'At High Tide.'

No comments: