Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been writing for sixteen years. I started out writing mainstream mystery. Then I went to cozy mystery and now I’m writing romantic suspense.
I grew up in Kansas, but my husband and I moved to Missouri about a year and a half ago so we could be near our son and his family. We have a grandson who is two years old, and we wanted to be involved in his life. We’re very happy here!
What do you do when you are not writing?
I don’t really have any hobbies although I used to do some embroidery and am determined to get back to it. Most of my time is spent writing, reading, and spending time with my family. I do enjoy television at night when my working day is over.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing when I was forty-five and finished my first book about a year later. It was terrible! LOL!
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I didn’t. It chose me. As I said earlier, I started out writing mystery. I’m a huge mystery buff. Love Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, etc. I had a few novels published by small publishers, and then my agent told me Barbour Publishing wanted to start a cozy mystery book club. After researching cozies, I wrote a proposal and sent it to my agent. She sent it to Barbour. A couple of weeks later, they told me they wanted to offer a contract! I wrote seven cozy mysteries for them. One of them won the Carol Award for best mystery book of the year.
When they quit publishing cozies, they asked me if I wanted to turn a mystery proposal set in a Mennonite town into a romantic suspense novel. I said yes, and they offered me a three book deal for my Harmony series. Eventually, I ended up writing nine Mennonite-themed romantic suspense novels. Three for Barbour and six for Bethany House.
Now I’m getting ready to write a series that heads in a different direction. It is suspense that revolves around the U.S. Marshals. No Mennonites in this one! LOL!
I am back to writing cozies though. This time I’m writing for Guideposts. It’s so much fun to work with other authors on a series. A new experience for me!
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I usually start out writing, and then about halfway through I either outline or I put the scenes I know I want in my story on recipe cards. Then I can put them on my desk to remind me where I’m headed. I can also move them around if I decide I want to change the order of things.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Yes, although it’s not a “book” yet. It’s just a proposal. It’s a cozy mystery based around an idea I just love. Actually, a British publisher wanted it. Their publication board accepted it. But when it got to their promotional department, they turned it down. They said it was “too American,” and that the idea that a librarian would actually stop to pray during the day was something their readers wouldn’t accept. LOL! I’ve decided to publish the story myself online – when I get the time.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I miss the characters in Winter Break. I wouldn’t mind revisiting my Ivy Towers series. I was working with another writer to do just that, but I think he lost interest. One of these days I might do that myself too.
I also have an idea for an allegorical novel I’d like to write. I’ve been thinking about it for years. One of these years, I’ll write it.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Just thank you so much for all your support. You have no idea how encouraging it is to authors when you take the time to write to them and tell them how much you enjoy their books. Never feel embarrassed to do that. It means more than you know.
My readers can reach me through my website: http://www.nancymehl.com, or on Facebook. I’m very active there.
-Gathering Shadows: Book One in the Finding Sanctuary Series (2014 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award Nominee)
-The Road to Kingdom Series – Inescapable, Unbreakable, and Unforeseeable (2013 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award Nominee
-The Harmony Series – Simple Secrets, Simple Deceit, and Simple Choices
-The Ivy Towers Series – In the Dead of Winter, Bye, Bye Bertie, For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls (Winner of the 2009 Carol Award for Mystery), and There Goes Santa Claus
-Curl Up and Dye Series – Missing Mabel, Bumping Off Binky and A Wedding to Dye For
Thanks for hosting me, Cheryl!
Your welcome Nancy. I love to be able to learn more about the authors of books that I read.