Friday, May 10, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with Nancy Cohen

What inspired you to become an author?

I was an avid reader when I was young and tried my hand at short stories. But it wasn’t until graduate school in nursing that I decided to write a novel. Stories by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Phyllis Whitney inspired me to write romantic suspense. I bought a book called Structuring Your Novel and that taught me how to write a full-length book. I wrote six books before one sold. I submitted the first three manuscripts myself. They got rejected. Then I joined Florida Romance Writers and got an agent at one of their conferences. This agent submitted books four through six. None of those sold, either. At that point, a writer friend (Marilyn Campbell) suggested I write a futuristic romance since I loved Star Trek and read romance novels. I wrote my first sci-fi romance, Circle of Light. This title became my first published book. It won the HOLT Medallion Award in the paranormal category.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like fast-paced stories, so I use a lot of dialogue and action. Each scene must have a purpose and move the story forward. I want readers to feel compelled to turn the page.

Do you write in different genres?

I write romance and mysteries and have 18 published works in my repertoire. My humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairstylist Marla Shore, who operates a salon in sunny South Florida. When not cutting and coloring people’s hair, she solves crimes along with hunky Detective Dalton Vail. Shear Murder is the tenth and latest title in this series.

My wild side urges me to write romantic adventure, and so I’ve written five SciFi romances. Then I wanted to try something different, and so I decided to set a new series in contemporary times. Currently I write The Drift Lords Series for Wild Rose Press. These paranormal stories take place in a modern setting and involve Norse mythology. Think Thor meets Lord of the Rings. Elements of myth and magic enliven these tales. Shifters, elves, dwarfs, evil trolls, a demon, and descendants of the Norse gods are some of the otherworldly inhabitants of this world, along with every day humans like you and me.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

I enjoy writing both mysteries and romance for different reasons. The mysteries are well-grounded stories based on logic. I like the challenge of plotting a whodunit. These tales do not focus on forensics or crime scene details. They’re relationship stories. So once I have my victim, I determine who might have had reason to kill the person and why. Then I link these suspects together. It’s all about their inter-relationships. Then there is the continuing cast. Marla and company, after ten books, have become my friends.

On the other hand, when I write paranormal romance, logic still prevails but magic and myth enter the equation. Anything can happen to my main characters. They can go on a quest, get captured by the enemy, brave volcanic vapors and demons. They can have adventures that I can’t do in a reality-based modern mystery. Even though my Drift Lords series takes place in a contemporary setting, these paranormal elements expand the possibilities for my stories.

For example, a recurrent element in the Drift Lords series is sinister theme parks. I take this setting from real life and give it a twist. What’s going on at my fictional tourist attraction beneath the surface? Why aren’t all the guests returning home? How come those costumed characters look so real? Everyday events take on darker depths when infused with myth and magic.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I like to have a working title before I begin writing. It gives me a sense of direction even if I have to change it later.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

Nancy Drew, because I feel I’m writing these kinds of stories now for adults. My mysteries are clean, with no bad language or graphic scenes. Not so the romances which have a spicy flavor. As for influencing my life, Cherry Ames books inspired me to become a nurse. I have a master’s degree in nursing and worked for ten years as a registered nurse.

What books are in your to read pile?

First on the list are books by my fellow authors at Booklover’s Bench. I’ve teamed up with several other writers to offer contests and excerpts at My plan is to read at least one book by each team member. Otherwise, I have favorite author’s books on my TBR shelf and new authors to try. Too many books, not enough time. Generally, I read genre fiction—paranormal or historical romance, scifi/fantasy, and cozy mysteries.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

Coming next is another Bad Hair Day mystery, Hanging By A Hair. And then I expect my 20th book to be Warrior Lord, #3 in the Drift Lords Series. I still have a final round of proof-reading to do on that story.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

In Warrior Lord, Lord Magnor is assigned the task of locating the fabled Book of Odin. Therein lies a clue to the destruction of the Trolleks. Magnor starts out at the Viking Vegas Resort where he’s received a tip the book may be found. As soon as he enters the casino, he zeroes in on the woman he’s destined to meet. Here’s where I had some fun. Vegas is the place for spur-of-the-moment weddings, right? What if he finds himself hitched to this woman, a perfect stranger? And what if she gets caught up in his troubles with the Trolleks?

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Beginning a new story. I hate facing the white page at the start. It’s hard to put the characters on stage for the first time. Once each one has made an appearance, it gets easier. By the second half of the book, the story flows and I’m in the zone where story magic happens.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I like Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. I’ve read everything he has written. His world building is exquisite. The whole series is driven by the love between two characters, who experience torments and triumphs that make you turn the page. Goodkind can be wordy but it’s worth the effort to get past those passages. You can lose yourself in his stories, feel immersed in his world, and that’s what we writers all want for our readers, isn’t it?

Do you travel much to do research for your books?

For my mysteries, I’ll do on-site research. For the romances, I use notes I’ve taken during past travels. I’ve a trip planned to Arizona for the Fall, and I hope to do research for both series while I’m there. It’s a rich area with sites appropriate to each genre.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Never Give Up; Never Surrender.
Follow the 3 P’s: Perseverance, Professionalism, and Practice.
It’s only over when you say it’s over.
Keep learning and growing as a writer. The learning never stops.
Have faith in yourself.


Where can readers find you?


May 6 Spotlight and review
Jessica Loves Books

May 7 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair. 

May 8 Spotlight
2 Bibliophilies Guide to Seriously Awesome Books

May 9 Interview
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

May 10 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

May 13 Interview
Fang-tastic Books

May 13 Spotlight
Cover Reveals 

May 14 review
Musings & Ramblings – 

May 15 Spotlight 
Eclipse reviews 

May 16 Spotlight
Faerie Tale Books

May 17 guest blog

May 17 Guest blog
Paranormal Romance Fans for Life

May 20 Spotlight
Brianna Lee Book Reviews

May 20 review 
Eclipse reviews 

Warrior Rogue
The Drift Lords Series Book Two
Nancy J. Cohen

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: April 26, 2013

Trade: 978-1-61217-739-7
Digital: 978-1-61217-740-3

Number of pages: 410
Word Count: 100,688

Cover Artist: Tamra Westberry


When fashion designer Jennifer Dyhr loses her lead actor for a video-game commercial, a replacement literally drops from the sky. Reluctant to let him leave, she hires him as a model for her studio. But when terrorists attack their flight home, Jen must awaken powers she didn’t know she had to protect them both. Will she be able to keep her heart safe from the sensual man beside her?

When space ops warrior Paz Hadar falls through a spatial rift onto Jen’s set, he soon realizes she is essential to his mission. Not only must he protect her, his success depends upon her special powers. But as they struggle to stay one step ahead of the enemy, he discovers that fighting his attraction to the lovely Jen is as much a challenge as keeping them both alive.


When fashion designer Jennifer Dyhr loses her lead actor for a video-game commercial, a replacement literally drops from the sky. Reluctant to let him leave, she hires him as a model for her studio. But when terrorists attack their flight home, Jen must awaken powers she didn’t know she had to protect them both.

About the Author:

Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author of eighteen romance and mystery novels. Her humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list.

Shear Murder is the tenth and latest title in this series. Nancy's imaginative romances have also proven popular with fans. Her paranormal romance titles have won the HOLT Medallion Award and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews.

Warrior Rogue, #2 in the Drift Lords Series, is her latest title from The Wild Rose Press.

Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.

One lucky commenter on this blog will win an ebook copy of Keeper of the Rings.

Enter via Rafflecopter


Nancy is running a Rafflecopter contest on her sites April 26- May 19. Grand Prize is a hand-made troll from Trolls of Norway. 
Two runners-up will each receive a signed print copy of Wicked Women Whodunit. 


Alice Duncan said...

I'm with you, Nancy. I need some kind of title in order to write a books. Back in my romance-writing days, most of my titles got changed (and not for the better, if you ask me--but nobody did). I also like your ruls!

Alice Duncan said...

A book. Not a books. Sigh.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

I've only had one title changed. Killer Knots was originally Crew Cut but the publisher didn't like that one. So I came up with a new title that they accepted.

Unknown said...


I'm also a huge Star Trek fan. Futuristic and sci fi are still two of my favorite genres. :)

Great interview!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Miss Snark, I can't wait for the next Star Trek movie. And I love Galaxy Quest. Have you seen that one? I enjoy reading sci fi and futuristic romance, too.

Mary Ricksen said...

One would never think that Nancy has a wild side. She is a beautiful, elegant, and always impeccable and elegant.
But, read one of her drift Lord novels and you will find that Nancy, surprisingly, has one. She just let's it loose in her books and that makes them well worth buying!
Go Nancy!!!

Terry Odell said...

I'm reading Silver Serenade now, and it's total change of pace from the Bad Hair Day mysteries. I agree with Mary--knowing Nancy, you'd never think she had this wild streak.

Terry's Place

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Nice interview. I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I believe in the three p's.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Mary, you are right. My wild side comes out in my stories. And thank you for your generous compliments.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Terry, my romances are very different from the mysteries that are grounded and logic-based. I enjoy writing adventure. It's refreshing after interviewing so many suspects along with my sleuth.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Marcia, you are a role model to follow.

Aria Glazki said...

I'm so impressed you give your work titles - even working titles. Usually, that's the hardest part for me, even once something is written and I know exactly what I want the title to convey.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Aria, I need to know what my title will convey before I start, even if it's a working title. That helps me conceptualize the story. I can brainstorm for a better title later but need one to start.

wanda f said...

Want it need it gotta have this book!!Thank you for sharing with us .

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Glad you came by, Wanda!

Glendalys Hernandez said...

I just wanted to say I enter all different kinds of giveaways because I have learned to read different types of books through them so thanks for the opportunity!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Entering contests and reading about the books involved can get you interested in new authors.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Thank you so much for having me on your site!