Nancy J. Cohen
Read our inspiring interview with author Nancy J. Cohen. She is the author of the humorous Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Shore. She is a featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.
What does your typical writing day look like?
I wake up early before dawn, get a cup of coffee, and sit at the computer in my home office. If I am in the writing phase of a book, I’ll write until I reach my daily quota of five pages, or I’ll go beyond if the words are flowing. I take time for breakfast and a walk. Then it’s back to work, either to continue writing or to focus on marketing and revising. Marketing can take up my entire day, so it’s important that I don’t turn on the email or go on the Internet until my daily quota is finished.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It takes me four to six months to write a book. At the front end are a couple of months for plotting, research, and writing a synopsis. At the back end are numerous revisions and proofreading rounds. So in total, I’d say I like about nine months overall, although I’ve done a book within six months when required.
What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Fan response is by far the most rewarding aspect of writing for me. I write for my readers. I like to think I’m giving people a few hours of pleasant escape from their problems. I want to give them the same experience I get as a reader. Hearing back from fans that they love my books and can’t wait for the next one is highly gratifying. I’d also urge fans to write customer reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. These are critically important for our books to attract new readers.
What is the best writing advice you have gotten?
“Throw a lot of spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks” was good advice for me when I was a beginning writer in the days when we had limited publishing options. I found my niche in futuristic romance until that market took a dive. That’s when I started writing the Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Shore. To date, I’ve written eight science fiction romances, fourteen mysteries in my series, two novellas, and the instructional guide Writing the Cozy Mystery. Now that we have more publishing options available, I would advise writers to stay in the genre they love regardless of the marketplace. You need to have four or five books out there before you start to make an impact. Also keep in mind that readers love series, as do editorial houses. Once you’ve established your platform, you can think about what else you want to do.
What are you reading at the moment?
I like to read in different genres for variety and depending on what mood I’m in. So I am reading a cozy mystery, Topped Chef by Lucy Burdette. I’m listening on audiobook to The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead. And I just finished a historical romance by Annette Blair. Next on my list is a scifi story by Jamie McFarlane.
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what is your job?
I’m a retired registered nurse. I have a master’s degree in nursing and worked as a nurse for ten years. Currently, I write full-time.
What is your next book about?
Facials Can Be Fatal (Bad Hair Day Mystery #13) is due out Feb. 22 from Five Star. A client at Marla’s day spa dies while getting a facial. To salvage her reputation, Marla jumps on the trail of the killer. Soon she’s unraveling clues involving historic buildings, family journals, pirates, and shipwrecks off the Florida coast. The victim may have stumbled onto secrets others would kill to keep. Excerpts in this story come from my father’s true-life travel adventure involving a 1935 trip he took to Florida. That makes this book special to me.
Where can we find you online?
Sign up for my newsletter here: http://nancyjcohen.com/newsletter/
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+NancyJCohen/
Booklover’s Bench: http://bookloversbench.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nancyjcohen