JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Nancy J. Cohen, author of Hanging By A Hair
Hairstylist Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are delighted by every aspect of their new home, until their next door neighbor illegally erects a fence on their mutual property line.
Marla’s hopes for making friends are ruined by a resultant argument between Dalton and the man, who happens to be the Homeowners’ Association President. Things grow worse when their neighbor is found dead in his home the next day. Despite a suicide note, Dalton suspects foul play, but he’s removed from the case due to a conflict of interest. At her husband’s suggestion, Marla gets to know her neighbors better. One of them might have had a reason to want their president dead.
Is it another board member? Or a local woman he’d spurned? Perhaps the guy’s nephew wants his inheritance? And what about the protesters who disrupt the community rummage sale? As Marla learns more about the guy next door, she discovers ugly truths that a murderer wants to keep hidden.
Can a sharp-witted salon owner untangle the web of secrets before the killer strikes again?
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “Hanging By A Hair”?
Nancy J. Cohen: Hanging By A Hair stemmed naturally from the progression in Marla and Dalton’s relationship. They’re recently married and moved into a new house. Marla hopes to make friends at their first homeowners’ meeting, but it doesn’t go as planned when her husband gets into an argument with the association president, who’s later found dead.
Personal experiences play a part in this story, too. Who hasn’t had a problem with their HOA? How well do you know your neighbors? These questions enter into the tale and can strike a chord in many of us. Maybe you’ll look at your neighbors more closely when you finish this story.
JP: What sets “Hanging By A Hair” apart from other books in the same genre?
NJC: My stories focus on the relationships among the characters. Readers view my people as friends they like to revisit in a familiar setting. In this case, Marla and Dalton struggle to make adjustments to married life. Everyone can relate to this situation.
They also have a murder to solve that affects Dalton’s job. Meanwhile, Dalton’s teenage daughter has a birthday that makes her eligible for a student driving permit, while Marla’s mother whines about the inattention of her boyfriend.
It’s the characters and their evolving relationships that bring readers back for more.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “Hanging By A Hair” getting out to the public?
NJC: I do a lot of speaking engagements throughout Florida and at conferences and libraries. I also market heavily online on all the social networking sites. I have a blog, website, Facebook page, etc.
Also, being responsive to readers is important. I answer every note or email personally. It’s constant work but ultimately rewarding.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “Hanging By A Hair”?
NJC: The initial plotting and research may take me a month or two. Once my synopsis is written, I’ll put myself on a writing schedule of five pages a day. Thus it’ll take me about four months to write a mystery, straight through with no interruptions. Then I need another month or two for my revisions.
So say it takes me six to nine months from start to finish.
JP: What’s next for Nancy J. Cohen?
NJC: Peril by Ponytail is #12 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. I’ve already turned in this story. My next release will be Warrior Lord, book #3 in my paranormal Drift Lords series. And then I want to work on getting my mystery titles into audio format.
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen
Google Plus: https://google.com/+NancyJCohen
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nancy-J.-Cohen/e/B001HD1ELI/