Monday, September 24, 2018

Interview with cozy mystery author Nancy Coco

Mystery author Nancy Coco joins me today to chat about her new cozy novel, Forever Fudge.

Nancy J Parra AKA Nancy Coco AKA Nell Hampton is the author of over 25 published novels which include five mystery series: The Candy Coated Mysteries (Kensington), The Oregon Coast Mystery series, (Kensington), The Kensington Palace Mystery Series (Crooked Lane), The Wine Country Tours Mystery Series (Crooked Lane) The Gluten-free Baker’s Treat Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), and The Perfect Proposal Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime).

Her writing has been called witty and her protagonists plucky by reviewers around the world. Nancy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America and writes for the Killer Character Blog on the 8th of every month. Nancy loves to hear from readers.

Please tell us about your current release.
Forever Fudge is the 6th book in the Candy-coated series.

When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .


It's Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie’s help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie’s bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head—with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge maker has to square off against a crazy killer—but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

What inspired you to write this book?
Mackinac Island is an island between the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan. They don’t allow cars or trucks. So it’s a step back in time with horse-drawn carriages, bicycles and lots of park trails. I thought what a great place for cozy mysteries. They have tourists coming and going most of the year, not to mention they are the fudge capital of the world.

I thought what a great place to set a cozy mystery series. I contacted the Island Bookstore and they asked their reader what the protagonist should do for a living and fudge shop owner was the winner. Then it was fun to create Allie and bring her in to be the next owner of the McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop. Something she’d been training her whole life for and it wasn’t’ going to be easy –walking in her grandfather’s shoes.

Then I watched as she gathered employees and friends and built a family on the island. For this particular book, I thought it would be fun to bring in a television pilot being shot on the island and it’s fun to watch Officer Rex Manning get trailed by a Hollywood hunk who wants to play him on television.

Unfortunately, someone has been paying attention to Allie and her sleuthing. Now a killer is reenacting the murders she’s solved and challenges Allie to catch him.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on a second Nancy Coco series. This one is set on the Oregon coast and the protagonist owns a Bee shop called “Let it Bee” and sells all things bee related. She has a gorgeous Havanna Brown cat named Everett who loves to go for walks on a leash along the beach.

Unfortunately for our protagonist, Wren Johnson, Everett finds a dead woman on the beach and Wren’s world is thrown upside down. When the police name Wren as a person of interest, she and her Aunt Eloise go to work to figure out who the real killer is and why they are framing her.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That is a great question. I first started writing stories in 5th grade. I started a pioneer novel. I’ve been writing ever since. I wrote 17 novels before I sold my first book in 2002. I’ve written 27 more since then. I love all of them.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I actually have a full time job as a marketing manager for a tech company. I write in the evening and the weekends and on lunch breaks. I work on plot twists while I ride the bus to work.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I never know who the murderer is until the last fifty pages. I go into a story thinking I know, but when the last pages arrive- it’s always someone else who is revealed. I’ve begun to look forward to figuring out who did along with my readers.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut or a forest ranger. I loved the idea of adventure.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just want to say thanks for reading. The best thing about creating a book is that each reader changes the story based on who they are and what they think and that is a very cool thing. I tell you my story and you make it your own in your head.


Thanks for stopping by today!

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