Gail's Book Nook

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Looking Out the Window: Multi-published Author and Carol Award Winner Nancy Mehl Talks About Her Latest Book, Inescapable

Nancy will give away a copy of Inescapable. To enter to win leave a comment with your email address.

Welcome, Nancy. First, tell us a little about yourself.
My first novel was published in 2001. Since then twelve books have followed. Book three in my Ivy Towers’s series, For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls, won the Carol Award for mystery in 2009. My Mennonite-themed Harmony novels have just been released as a trilogy. Also, six of my previously out-of-print cozy mysteries are now available as Ebooks. I’m very excited to see them get a new life.
I’m currently working on a Mennonite-themed suspense series for Bethany House Publishing. The first book in The Kingdom Series, Inescapable, just released. The second book, Unbreakable, will be out in February of 2013. That book will be followed by a third novel that is as of yet untitled.
I live in Wichita, Kansas with my husband Norman, and my very active puggle, Watson. I have one grown son, Danny, who is an award winning graphic designer. He lives with his beautiful wife, Shaen, in Missouri. We just recently found out that we’re going to be grandparents! Our grandchild is scheduled to be born on Christmas day! Now that would be the best Christmas present ever!
Besides writing, I love to work with my volunteer organization, Wichita Homebound Outreach. I’ve also been teaching a novel writing workshop and really love it. I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

Congratulations on the Christmas grandbaby. It sounds as though you stay busy. Many prolific writers developed a love of reading early. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?
Absolutely. I’d check out four or five books from the library and read them at night with a flashlight, under my covers! I couldn’t get enough.
I loved Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, and anything with a touch of mystery in it.
Those were favorites of mine also.

We'd like to know about your latest book.
My newest book is “Inescapable.” It’s the first book in my “Road to Kingdom” series. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Engel is a young woman who escaped her hometown of Kingdom, Kansas, when she was eighteen years old. An unwed mother, she felt judged and rejected by her father and by the members of Kingdom’s Mennonite church. The church runs the town, and its conservative leaders work hard to keep the leaven of the world from destroying what they’ve fought so hard to establish. Living and working in Kansas City has given Lizzie a freedom she’s never known before. But when a stalker sets his sights on her and her daughter, Charity, Lizzie begins to fear for their safety. Then accusations of theft and the loss of her job leave her without any other choice. She must go back to the one place she never wanted to see again. Kingdom. Although she dreads the reception she will receive, she heads home. Surprisingly, she discovers that the rejection she expected doesn’t exist. Most of the people in Kingdom welcome her back with open arms. Unfortunately, her sense of safety and relief is short-lived. Evil has followed her, and her life is soon turned upside down by conflict, danger and something else she never expected. Love.

Wow! This sounds suspenseful, and I love that she’s accepted when she thought she might be rejected. What inspired you to write this particular book?
There are so many people who don’t realize that God has a plan for their lives. Besides pointing that out, I also wanted to address those who feel they’ve made so many mistakes, God can no longer use them. That’s not true! God can give us back our destiny as long as we trust Him enough to believe our unworthiness isn’t stronger than His overpowering love.

Thanks for those reassuring words. Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
I’m blessed to be able to write full time now, but there are still challenges balancing everything. Sometimes I have to say “No” to things I want to do. My friends have to understand that when I’m under a deadline, I can’t drop everything to go out for lunch. For the most part, they are very, very understanding.
One area that really bothers me is having to miss events with my volunteer group or not being able to help out at church the way I’d like to. But I learned long ago that being disciplined is a quality a writer must have.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
Both. I start out by the seat of my pants, and about halfway through, I begin plotting. So far, it’s worked for me. I’d love to plot out everything before I start to write, but I just haven’t been able to do it. Sometimes my plot takes off in a direction I hadn’t planned on, and I like that.

Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?
Absolutely. I pray over every book before I start and ask God what He wants to say through my story. I believe He uses fiction to touch people. Every book is dedicated to Him first.

What are you working on right now?
To be honest, right now I’m working on a vacation! LOL! I need it so badly. We’re going to Branson in August and will be meeting our kids there for a few days. I can hardly wait!
Thanks so much, Nancy. Branson sounds like lots of fun. Have a great time.

More about "Inescapable"
Lizzie Engel is used to running away. At eighteen, she left her Mennonite hometown, her family, and her faith with plans never to return. Five years later, Lizzie finds she'll have to run again. False accusations at her job, a stalker, and a string of anonymous threatening letters have left her with no other options. This time, however, her escape is back to Kingdom, her hometown.
As Lizzie becomes reacquainted with Kingdom, she realizes she may not have left her Mennonite roots and her faith as firmly in the past as she thought. She draws on the support of Noah Housler, an old friend, as she hides out and attempts to plan her next steps.
When it becomes painfully clear that the danger has followed Lizzie to Kingdom, suspicions and tensions run high, and she no longer knows who to trust. With her life and the lives of those she loves at risk, Lizzie will have to run one last time--to a Father whose love is inescapable.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Gail. It was fun!
It was my pleasure.

Read more about Nancy on her Web site
Visit her blog


Wendy Marple said...

It sounds like good book.

Connie Almony said...

This sounds great. I'd love a copy. cbalmony(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Connie Almony said...

This sounds great. I'd love a copy. cbalmony(at)yahoo(dot)com.

GABixler said...

Good to meet you here! Have a great your writing activities sounds like you really will enjoy some time off!

Anne Patrick said...

Great interview ladies! Nancy, your new book sounds right up my alley. Looking forward to reading it. Gail, thanks for another awesome post!

Amy Campbell said...

Love the interview! I can't wait to read this!
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Miss Mae said...

Sounds like a great plot, and I absolutely love the cover! Nice to meet you! :)

Gina said...

Nancy, it's wonderful to meet you an to learn about your writing. "Inescapable" sounds really interesting. Could you tell us a little bit more about the writing group you are leading? Also I am so impressed with your volunteer activities.

Wonderful interview!!

Gail, your blog is consistently fabulous. Thanks for a great visit!, said...

Thanks for the interview. I really want this book of Nancy's. WOW! Sounds like a good one.
Maxie ( )

Janice said...

Thank you for sharing with us. It is nice to know the background of successful authors who are an inspiration to those who are in the learning stage. I would love to read this book! It would be super to win it, read it and pass it along to a ministry that does outreach using good Christian books.

Blessings, Janice

Finbar said...

Very interesting idea, turning a negative into a positive is always a great story theme especially in a mystery setting. And very effective on the reader of Christian fiction literature also. Thanks for sharing the work.

by Pegg Thomas said...

Congrats on becoming a grandma!

I loved Nancy's Harmony trilogy. Looking forward to this one! Thanks for a chance to win.

by Pegg Thomas said...

Oops... e-mail:
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Connie said...

This book sounds wonderful and I also look forward to reading the Harmony trilogy.

Jo said...

It was great to meet you here. I loved your interview and look forward to reading the book. It sounds great!


tickmenot said...

I have read all of Nancy's other books, and really look forward to a new one!

Check out Lambert's Cafe and The Stained Glass Theatre while you are in Branson. Our family loves them both.

Becky Isaac

Phyllis Kemp said...

I have not read any of your books, but I would like to. I really enjoy Amish stories.

Tanquella Rhoden said...

I keep seeing this book everywhere and wood love a copy.

Soccerkidsmom said...

Thanks for an interesting interview. I'd love to be entered to win a copy of the book. Sherri christianbookreviewer at gmail dot com

NancyMehl said...

Thanks to everyone who came by. It was a pleasure to be on Gail's blog.

Gina, I teach a six week novel writing course. We meet every Saturday for six weeks and cover everything from plotting to characters to how to find an agent. Before long I plan to have the entire course online so anyone can take it.

Thanks again for all the great comments, and congratulations to the person who won "Inescapable!"