Wednesday, April 12, 2017

QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS!!!





 Nancy Mehl is a best-selling, award winning author who lives in Missouri, with her husband, Norman, and her puggle, Watson. She’s authored almost thirty books and is currently writing a new series for Bethany House Publishing based on the U.S. Marshals. The first book, FATAL FROST, in her Defenders of Justice Series, released on November 1st, 2016. The second book, DARK DECEPTION, will hit store shelves in June of 2017. Book three, BLIND BETRAYAL, will be released in the spring of 2018. She is also working on a new cozy mystery series for Guideposts.

Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: www.nancymehl.com. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.
 





QUESTIONS

A while back I answered several questions from readers. Today I’m going to tackle a couple more of them.

Melissa Dripps Lemaire, Lela White, and Beverly Duell-Moore asked how I got started. Lela also asked how many years I’ve been writing.

I started writing when I was very young. I wrote my first poem when I was six or seven, but no one would believe I wrote it. This happened to me again when I was in high school. We had an assignment to write three poems. Our teacher read all of them to the class, not telling anyone who the poems belonged to. After reading mine, the teacher announced that she was certain she’d read them before. Yep, she accused me of plagiarism! I should have done something, but I didn’t. How wonderful it would have been if she’d encouraged me to write – told me I had talent. Maybe I would have started writing much sooner. And before you ask… Yes, I’ve wanted to contact her now that I’m a published author and let her know about it. But I haven’t been able to find her. LOL!

When I was forty-five I was working at a bank and was just learning about the computer. (No, I won’t tell you how many years ago that was!) I’d been watching Murder, She Wrote, and for the first time started wondering what it would be like to write mystery novels. I remembered what had happened when I was younger and finally realized that maybe people were accusing me of plagiarism because I had some talent. So I sat in front of my computer at lunch one day and started writing. By the third page I was convinced I was not called to be a writer! It was really hard! However, I decided to give it one more try. I started to type again and all of the sudden something happened. My fingers started flying across the keyboard, ideas began to bubble up…and that was it. Since that day, I’ve never wanted to stop writing – nor have I ever had writer’s block. Of course I’ve had to work at coming up with ideas from time to time, but it doesn’t take me that long.  

After writing my first story (it wasn’t good!) I realized that writing a book was more than just tossing words on a page. It took training, just like everything else. I spent a lot of time learning the craft of writing. After a while, I sold my first book to a small publisher.

Mary Gessner - I know a little about when you started writing, but I'd like to know more about why. How did you know the Lord called you to write?

Mary, you’ve probably asked me one of the most interesting questions you could about my writing journey. I’d been writing for a while, small publishers, etc. One day the reality of what it would take to spend the rest of my life as an author hit me. And it frightened me. The time, the dedication, the training… Ask any author about the time we have to spend away from our family and friends, the things we have to give up for deadlines, etc. It’s not easy. So, I went to God about it. To this day, I can’t explain why I did things this way, but here’s what happened. I laid out a “fleece.” Something I’d never done before. You probably know the story from the Bible – how Gideon wanted confirmation that God was with the Israelites. He told God he’d lay a fleece out on the ground. If the fleece was wet and the ground was dry the next morning, it would be a sign that God was indeed with them. He even reversed that, asking that the following morning the fleece remain dry and the ground wet. God answered both requests. This is how Gideon knew God would give them victory.

God and I have this thing about snow. Not time to go into it here, but suffice it to say that when I was young, He used snow to let me know He loved me and that I wasn't alone. He's done the same kind of thing several times. So…I laid out my fleece. And I was serious. I fully intended to walk away from writing if He didn't respond. I had no desire to throw away years of my life on something I wasn’t called to do. My fleece was this: If I was supposed to write, it would snow during a certain week.

In April.

Yeah. I didn’t find out until later that it hadn’t snowed in April, in Wichita, Kansas, where we lived, for forty years. Later, when I stumbled across this information, I almost fainted!

The week started out. No snow. No snow predicted.

And then Friday came.

Nine inches of snow.

I’ve been writing ever since, and I’ve never questioned my calling. God has confirmed more than once that I’m doing what I’m called to do. That doesn’t mean things won’t change – that He won’t adjust the direction of my journey – but for now I know I’m walking out His will. Something, in my opinion, you really need if you decide to spend a significant amount of your life writing.

Leave a comment below. You could win one of my books (your choice - U.S. only for print books), a $10.00 Amazon gift card, or I will use your name or the name of someone you choose for one of my upcoming books.


51 comments:

  1. I love Nancy's books and can't wait to read the next one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you have to read something light hearted after writing your books?

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Thank you. And no, not usually. Although I do like to watch comedies on TV. Laughter makes me feel good! LOL!

      Delete
  2. Thank you for letting us know more and more about you Nancy and answering our questions. You have some awesome series and I enjoy reading your books same as my mom. Thanks for a chance to win.

    Lela W. paralegal7@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yay! I've been waiting for Blind Betrayal. Love Nancy's books! One of my to go authors! {And I love exclamation points. =) }

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I'm at cluedn@embarqmail.com

      Delete
    2. LOL! I like them too, Tammy! (And thanks.)

      Delete
  4. I cannot wait to read Dark Deception! Thank you for the interesting "question and answer" post. I especially loved reading about the snow fleece. Awesome! You are such a funny lady that sometimes it's hard for me to believe you write about suspense and murder. lol Ever since I picked up my 1st Nancy Mehl book at the Christian bookstore, I have been one of your biggest fans. Your books just "do" it for me.

    dianalflowers(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Diana. You're such a blessing to me and to many other authors. Hugs!

      Delete
    2. What a sweet thing to say. Thank you, Nancy. Hugs back your way!

      Delete
  5. Beverly Duell-MooreApril 12, 2017 at 8:17 AM

    What a great interview! Nancy, I loved what you did about the "fleece"! I've thought of putting out a "fleece" a time or two but never did. What an encouragement for me! I love reading all you're books!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love your books and am happy to know that you followed Gods lead. I think your current series could make a good movie...May you be blessed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Donita. I would love to see one of my books turned into a movie. That would be cool!

      Delete
  7. love your books!! thankyou for all you do

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love your books! First heard of you when I read the Ivy Towers books, and the Curl Up And Dye series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, we've been together a long time, Alice. Thank you for continuing to read my books. I really appreciate it.

      Delete
  9. I really enjoyed this post! It's always fascinating to learn more about the authors we read and to see how God has worked in their lives! I am really looking forward to reading Dark Deception!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops forgot to include my info: jdennis298(at)gmail(dot)com

      Delete
    2. Thank you. I loved getting questions from readers. I still have several more to go!

      Delete
  10. I am looking forward to reading this series, I have the first one but I always wait to get the entire series before I start reading. Thank you!! Blessings, Kritie tklovenestataoldotcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? You wait to read the entire series at once? You know, I've thought about doing that, but I never have. I get too curious. You have more self control than I do, but I bet it helps you to immerse yourself more into the series. Very cool. :)

      Delete
  11. Fatal Frost was my favorite read in 2016! I am looking forward to book 2. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Susanne. I really appreciate that. This series is something I've been wanting to write for a long time. I'm really excited about Dark Deception. I hope you like it too. :)

      Delete
  12. Woohoo another book by Nancy Mehl. I loved Fatal Frost and I looking forward to this one also.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fatal Frost arrived in our mail today. Yay! It's hard to put down for sure! Thanks for a chance at winning Dark Deception! florencebarkman@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nancy, I loved your snow fleece and Fatal Frost was awesome so looking forward to the next book.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nancy, I am so glad that I had a chance to read this today. My mother died Feb. 20 and my brother and I are in the process of preparing to auction her house and household belongings. A lifetime of memories and so many decisions! Your explanation of laying down your fleece is very inspiring and I have a very strong feeling that your former teacher does realize her mistake! I can't imagine an adult, and a teacher, being so negative with a young person. Blessings as you continue to entertain and inspire your readers.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looking forward to reading Dark Deception. Enjoy your 📚 books.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What is a puggle? God annoint your writing and bless jrs0350 @ yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. What an encouragement and inspiration. Thank you for sharing.
    betsytoj(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just finished reading Fatal Frost yesterday and look forward to reading the next in the series. Keep on writing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I loved reading your blog post.
    Keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Really enjoyed learning more about you, Nancy. It's interesting to find out how you decided to start writing. Looking forward to reading your books.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Really enjoyed learning more about you, Nancy. It's interesting to find out how you decided to start writing. Looking forward to reading your books.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nancy, I didn't know about the snow in your life and how it connected you to writing full time. I love it. You amaze me. May your series go really well. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  24. Nancy, what an awesome fleece! That have me goosebumps! Keep in writing those wonderfully blessed books!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Nancy, I LOVE your books and how real you are with your readers/fans. I'm looking forward to reading more of your books.
    Vicki

    ReplyDelete
  26. Lovely to see you here Nancy.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really enjoyed reading about your writing journey. I was blessed to be encouraged in my writing when I was little. Thanks for the giveaway too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot my email info: momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

      Delete
  28. What fun & thoughtful questions! I especially enjoyed reading your "fleece" story of how God confirmed His call on your life to be a writer :-) I bet is was a shock when He made it snow, lol!
    An amazing writing journey, thanks for sharing it with us, and for the giveaway chance :-)

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love your books! My favorite is the Curl Up and Dye series. Your characters in your books always keep me interested from beginning to end! Lol, and some nights, they keep me reading way past my bedtime!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Absolutely love your books!
    Have a delightful Easter weekend!!
    tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nancy, I enjoy your stories! Have a blessed Resurrection Weekend!
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete