Today, Suspense Sisters welcomes author, Nancy Herriman, who wrote the Old San Francisco Mystery series, Welcome, Nancy! Stay tuned to win your choice of the first two books in the series.
SS: If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?
NH: A slightly zany individual with an active imagination?
SS: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any interesting hobbies?
NH: I sing. A lot. And help plan music for one of the choirs at church. Music is my stress relief.
SS: What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
NH: As a child, I loved ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.’ As a teen, I devoured Dickens and Agatha Christie. I don’t think I could pick which book of theirs was a favorite.
SS: Tell us three things about yourself that might surprise your readers.
NH: This one might not be a surprise, given that I’ve mentioned that I sing, but when I was in college, I fronted a cover band.
- I have an engineering degree (which I mention in my bio) and used to work in the tech industry. That fact regularly surprises and interests readers.
- I’m obsessed with watching American Ninja Warrior. The show has yet to inspire me to go lift weights at the gym, however.
SS: What genre did you start out writing? Have you changed course? Why or why not?
NH: I began writing historical romance. Then dabbled in Young Adult and Romantic Suspense. Now I’m writing my first love—historical mystery.
SS: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
NH: When I was pitching my first manuscript (which has never been published), an agent challenged me to explain what made my story ‘special or unique’. At the time, I couldn’t come up with a good answer. In the years since, I’ve thought about her comment often and hope I’ve succeeded. Readers have frequently told me that they love my descriptions, and feel utterly immersed in the story and the setting. It’s also a great compliment when folks say they didn’t figure out who the killer was!
SS: Any other genres you’d like to try? If yes, what and why?
NH: I’d like to try my hand at a contemporary cozy. Most of my books are fairly serious, and it might be fun to write with a lighter tone for a change.
SS: If you could go back in time and do something differently at the start of your career, what would it be?
NH: I wish I’d written more. But my children were small when I began chasing this dream, and I never felt that I had the time.
SS: What is the most important piece of advice you’d like to give to unpublished authors?
NH: A piece of advice I still give myself on a regular basis—the book doesn’t have to be perfect the first pass, or the second. Or the third! Just get the words down on the page.
Here's a little bit about Nancy's latest, No Pity for the Dead. British-born nurse Celia Davies runs a free medical clinic to assist the poor women of San Francisco. Aided in her endeavors by her half-Chinese cousin Barbara and feisty housekeeper Addie, Celia has earned the trust and friendship of many of the city’s downtrodden, including a young orphan named Owen—who’s just confided to her that he’s stumbled upon a corpse. Owen recently started working for the ruthless real estate and development group, Martin and Company, and discovered a dead body in the office’s basement. Celia turns to Detective Nicholas Greaves for help, only to learn that one of the main suspects—the husband of Celia’s dearest friend—is an old enemy of Nick’s. Now, Celia and Nick must put aside their personal feelings about the case—and each other—if they’re going to bring a killer to justice...
Nancy Herriman retired from an engineering career to take up the pen. She hasn’t looked back. Her work has won the RWA Daphne du Maurier award, and Library Journal has said that her ‘A Mystery of Old San Francisco’ series is “…just the ticket for anyone who misses Dianne Day's 'Fremont Jones' series as well as readers of Rhys Bowen's 'Molly Murphy' historicals.” When not writing, she enjoys singing, gabbing about writing, and eating dark chocolate. She currently lives in Central Ohio. Find more at www.nancyherriman.com
To win your choice of Old San Francisco Mysteries, either book 1, No Comfort for the Lost or book 2, No Pity for the Dead, leave Nancy a comment below. Sorry, US only.