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Friday, October 5, 2012

INTERVIEW and Giveaway: NANCY J COHEN

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes Nancy Cohen for this interview as part of her virtual book tour. All commenters during Nancy’s blog tour will be entered into a drawing for a Warrior Prince tee shirt and magnet and a pdf copy of Warrior Prince. Go to http://nancyjcohen.com/Appearances for a complete schedule of her tour stops.

Warrior Prince is the first book in Nancy's Drift Lords Series, a new paranormal series based on Norse Mythology. The books take place in a modern setting with elements of magic. The idea for the series came from a ride at Disney's Epcot theme park. The Norway pavilion has a ride called Maelstrom, which is one of Nancy's favorite attractions. You board a boat that sails into a dark tunnel where you rise up a steep incline. Staring down at you from the top is a glowing eye. At the summit, the boat sails into a misty forest where trolls appear. These evil creatures cast a spell on you to “Disappear…disappear.” Suddenly, your boat is whisked backward as though by magic.

"This inspired me to base my series on Norse mythology. The bad guys are trolls that I call Trolleks. I watched different films involving trolls to get an idea of what I wanted them to be like. They’re a militant society bent on conquering Earth, which they invade through a dimensional rift in the Bermuda Triangle. The mission of the Drift Lords—a league of space warriors—is to repel the invaders and seal the rift. But they can’t do this on their own. They need the help of a special group of Earth women who possess legendary powers," Nancy said.

Take a look at the book video for Warrior Prince:



Nancy is currently writing her next Bad Hair Day mystery.

"Fans seem to love this series and have followed it from the beginning, so I’m really keeping it going because of them. The stories are humorous mysteries," she told me. "Who hasn’t had a bad hair day? I bring humor into my Drift Lords series, too. My purpose is to entertain you and give you an escape from your daily toil. I’ll also be working on Warrior Rogue and Warrior Lord, the next books in my Drift Lords series. The former is already in production and the latter is next in line."

Nancy has been writing as long as she can remember. She started out with poems and short stories. When she was in graduate school to earn her Master's Degree in Nursing, she bought a book called Structuring Your Novel, that took her through chapter-by-chapter exercises—she learned to write a complete novel.

She wrote three books, submitted them, and kept getting rejections. In 1998, she joined Florida Romance Writers, a local chapter of RWA.

"Networking with other authors propelled my career forward," she explained. "I got an agent at the first conference I attended and joined a critique group. Three books later, I still hadn’t sold anything. At this point, one of my critique partners suggested I try writing a futuristic romance since I was a Star Trek fan and loved reading romances. Circle of Light was born and became my first published book. This title won the HOLT Medallion Award in the paranormal category. It’s now available in a revised ebook edition along with subsequent titles in myLight-Years series. I wrote four futuristic romances total as Nancy Cane for Dorchester Publishing. But then the market for this genre took a dive. Upon my agent’s advice, I switched to mysteries under my real name. Thus began the Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairstylist Marla Shore, who solves crimes in between cutting and coloring her clients’ hair at a South Florida salon. So far, I’ve written ten books in this series and am working on the eleventh title. I also went back to my futuristic roots and wrote a new sci-fi romance, Silver Serenade, published by Wild Rose Press. I enjoyed writing romance again and didn’t want to stop there."

The titles for her books are all series related. For her mysteries, the heroine/sleuth is a hairdresser and salon owner, so the books have titles relating to hair and the beauty business: Permed to Death, Hair Raiser, Murder by Manicure, Perish by Pedicure, Killer Knots, and so on. Her early futuristics were part of the Light-Years series, so they had “light” in the title: Circle of Light, Moonlight Rhapsody, Starlight Child. For the Drift Lords series, these are hero-centered stories and the guys are warriors from space who come to Earth to quell an invasion. Warrior Prince, the first title, introduces Zohar Thorald, leader of the Drift Lords and crown prince of the Star Empire. Book Two is Warrior Rogue-- Paz Hadar is a cocky pilot and communications specialist who can say “come to bed with me” in dozens of languages. And Lord Magnor of the Tsuran is the star of book three. Hence the title of his story is Warrior Lord.

Nancy loves her writing space—so much so that she'll probably never sell her house as long as she can get around.

"It’s a five bedroom ranch house, and one of the rooms facing the street is a converted home office," she said. "We bought it as a resale. The faux wood paneling was already here and built-in bookshelves filled the closet space. I found a wrap-around corner desk in a blond wood where my computer sits. Then I have a separate mahogany desk which is where I pay bills and such. My writing notebooks and How-To texts and copies of my own works fill the upper shelves. Gifts people have given me decorate the room: paperweights, an Area 51 pencil holder, troll dolls to inspire my Drift Lords series, a jar with little sayings to use in the event of Writer’s Block, a mug that says 'Bad Hair Day', and so on. I find it almost impossible to write elsewhere. My muse inhabits this room."

"Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?" I asked. "If so, what do you do about it?"

"I don’t have a problem knowing what to write since I complete a synopsis before starting the book. The story might take unexpected twists and turns, and that’s what surprises me and the reader. If you get stuck, you haven’t laid the proper groundwork for your story.

What stops me from writing is the constant pressure to promote or when life events get in the way. Tragedies in the news can make writing lose its meaning, until I remember that my stories provide readers with a needed escape. Bad reviews and a tough marketplace can contribute to lack of motivation. The one thing that keeps me going are readers who ask when my next book is coming out or who say they love my work. My fans are the reason why I keep slogging away at the keyboard. So people, write to the authors whose work you love and tell them. It makes a difference." Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"Follow the 3 P’s: Practice, Professionalism, and Perseverance. Know the marketplace and the choices writers have today. Join your professional writers’ organizations and attend conferences and workshops. Networking is crucial in this business, and writing is foremost a business. It’s not enough to write a good book. You have to be market savvy, establish yourself in the social networks, and meet as many people in the industry as you can. Do your homework."

About the Author:
Nancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries. Her popular Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list, while Nancy’s imaginative romances have garnered rave reviews. 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.

Find Nancy online at

Website: http://nancyjcohen.com
Blog: http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nancyjcohen
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-J-Cohen/112101588804907
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/91508.Nancy_J_Cohen



When mythologist and Florida resident Nira Larsen accepts a job as tour guide for a mysterious stranger, she's drawn into a nightmare reality where ancient myths come alive and legendary evils seek to destroy her. To survive, she must awaken her dormant powers, but the only person who can help is the man whose touch inflames her passion.

After a dimensional rift in the Bermuda Triangle cracks open and an ancient enemy invades Earth, Zohar—leader of the galactic warriors known as the Drift Lords—summons his troops. He doesn't count on a redheaded spitfire getting in his way and capturing his heart. Nira has the power to defeat the enemy and to enslave Zohar's soul. Can he trust her enough to accomplish his mission, or will she lure him to his doom?
http://www.thewildrosepress.com/nancy-j-cohen-m-831.html

8 comments:

Sandra Dailey said...

My first look at the trailer - Excellent!
My mom is going to love this series too.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

That's good to hear, Sandra. I hope both you and your mom enjoy the story.

LisaRayns said...

Great video and blurb. The bad hair day mystery sounds pretty interesting too!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Lisa, I hope you'll take a look at both of these series. Thanks for dropping by!

Debby said...

I love mythology. I have read some of the Norse mythology and would love to read more.
debby236 at gmail don com

Calisa Rhose said...

Fabulous interview Nancy. Your office sounds like writing heaven! Good luck on all your serieses (did I just make up a new word?)

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Debby, I hope you'll try my series. I really got into the Norse creation myth and some of the stories while researching my series.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Calisa, I appreciate your stopping by. I do love my home office.