Nancy J. Cohen - Inspiration Comes From The People (Author)

Storytelling is in my blood. It’s something I have to do. But I also wanted to be a nurse, and I worked for ten years in this career. 

1. Tell us more about your background and journey.

I started writing novels in graduate school where I earned a master’s degree in nursing. Seven books later, my first title was published in 1994. Circle of Light won the HOLT Medallion Award and started the Light-Years trilogy. I wrote four science fiction romances in total for Dorchester and four more for The Wild Rose Press before switching to mysteries.

Kensington accepted Permed to Death, the first book in my Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring Florida hairstylist Marla Shore. Four of these were also published by Five Star. Currently, I’m writing book #17 in the series that also includes a novella, short story and cookbook. Now I publish independently. My nonfiction title, Writing the Cozy Mystery, is my bestselling book.

2. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always wanted to write. Storytelling is in my blood. It’s something I have to do. But I also wanted to be a nurse, and I worked for ten years in this career. I turned to writing full time after our son was born and I stayed home to raise our children.

3. Is it a financially stable career?

No, it’s a financially erratic career! I couldn’t write full-time without my husband’s support.

4. Who is your favourite writer and why?

Right now, I’m into Lindsay Buroker’s science fiction and fantasy series. I love her fast-paced action-adventure stories with engaging characters. They’re the perfect escape.

5. Where does your inspiration lie?

Inspiration comes from the people I meet and the places I visit. Ideas are everywhere. I might be inspired by something I hear on the news or by a topic I want to pursue. Personal experiences play into my stories all the time as do subjects of interest to me.

6. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring writers?

Attend craft workshops. Join professional writing organizations. Keep writing and don’t give up. Have faith in yourself. You have to train for a writing career same as for any path, but at least today we have many more routes to publication than in the past. Follow the 3 P’s – Practice, Professionalism, and Persistence.


7. Which is your favourite book and why?

If you’re asking about my books, I’d say Dead Roots. I had great fun creating a haunted resort on Florida’s west coast. Marla brings her fiancĂ© to meet her extended family over a holiday weekend. She finds a dead body instead of a festive meal. Here she learns about her roots and that her family has buried secrets she knew nothing about before this trip. The story involves ghosts, hidden treasure, paranormal experts, secret passages, and a bit of Florida history.

- Nancy J. Cohen (Author)

LinkedIn: Nancy J. Cohen

- Interviewed By Pratibha Sahani