Looking Out the Window: Award-winning, Best-selling Author Nancy Mehl Talks About Fatal Frost, Book One In Her New Defenders of Justice Series
Hi Nancy, lots of writers loved to read as youngsters. How about you? Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?
I read all the time. During the day, at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. A flashlight under the covers works great! My tastes were varied. Nancy Drew, Dickens, Little House on the Prairie. I’d read almost anything.
Let's talk about your writing. Why do you write?
Because I’m called to, and because I love it. It’s just part of who I am.
What themes do you write about?
I love to write about the battle of good against evil. This is the heart of mystery and suspense. Also, in each plot I include at least two battles. The main battle from outside forces and the inner battle that comes from personal trials and conflict.
What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
I have a room designated as my office. I really need a private place to work. As far as my schedule, Mondays are for organizing, scheduling, and getting other things done that have to do with my writing life. (Like this interview!) Tuesday through Friday, I get up at 6:00 a.m., have breakfast and spend some quality time with God. Then I write until 12:30 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. After lunch, I go back to the office for a while and work on whatever I didn’t get done on Monday.
Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
Sure. All writers do. During the week I try to be done with all things “writerly” by dinner time. I spend the evening with some quality recliner time and a little TV or reading. I also try to keep my weekends free – especially Sunday. I’ve had some emergencies when I have to work through the entire weekend, but I really don’t like to do that. When I keep my weekends free, I have lots of time for my hubby, my kids and my grandkids.
Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
Both, actually. I’d love to plot out an entire book before I start writing, but it just doesn’t work out that way for me. I like to be able to go another direction if something pops up I hadn’t originally thought about. I usually have a rough idea as to where I’m going when I start writing. Usually about half way through I’ll plot the rest of the way so I can wrap everything up successfully.
Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?
I wouldn’t want to write if I couldn’t share the love of God. Writing is more than my career, it’s my ministry. I try to write about people who aren’t perfect. Who need a touch from God. I pray over every book, believing that something within the pages of my books will touch my readers personally.
Do you put yourself in your books?
Absolutely. All authors do. We can’t possibly leave ourselves out. We understand life through our own eyes and interpret the world through our own experiences. You can get to know an author when reading their books if you read between the lines.
What are you working on right now?
Blind Betrayal, book three in my Defenders of Justice series. It’s about a woman named Casey Sloane, a Deputy U.S. Marshal who is given an assignment to transport a reporter from St. Louis to Washington D.C. The reporter has been called to testify before a grand jury investigating a U.S. Senator with ties to terrorism. She is working with two other deputy Marshals, not knowing that they are not only being tracked by men working with the terrorist, but they’re also being betrayed by someone close to them.
Wow! I can't wait to read it. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Yes. First of all, don’t become a writer because you envy someone else, or you think being a writer might be exciting. Make sure you’re called. If you’re not, it won’t work out. You won’t be happy. Find out what God has called you to do. That’s where your joy will come from. I’m not talking about people who write for their own pleasure. Nothing wrong with that, but if you want to be published, be sure you’ve heard from God. This job will take more from you than you realize. It’s not easy, trust me. You must be sure that God is with you and that He’ll bring you through to the end.
Also, you must be willing to stay strong during disappointments, failures, jealously, bad reviews (some of them really mean-spirited), and other authors who may not treat you well. Then there are agents who reject you, poor sales – the list goes on and on. Yes, there are great rewards as well, but if you can’t take the hard knocks, you’ll never get to the good parts. I’ve watched writer after writer turn back when things got tough. Once when I was complaining about an unfair situation, God asked me if I really wanted to write - that if so, adversity was part of the deal. I had to repent, suck it up, and get back up on my feet. Every day I have to trust God and believe that He has a good plan for my life.
Thanks for sharing with us!
Mercy Brennan followed in her father's footsteps in a law enforcement career, but she has no interest in any other connection to him. A U.S. Marshal in St. Louis, Missouri, she's assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD that puts her back into contact with her father and in the sights of St. Louis's most powerful gang.
When the gang has reason to believe Mercy has possession of some highly sensitive and incriminating information, her boss assigns Mark St. Laurent--a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Mercy's ex-boyfriend--to get her out of town until they can guarantee her safety.
Initially unaware of the danger she's in and uncomfortable working with Mark, Mercy's frustration escalates when she discovers the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark. It isn't until a freak ice storm hits, stranding them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office, that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy closing in to put their lives at imminent risk. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive--if help is even coming at all?
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Nancy Mehl is an award winning author who lives in Missouri, with her husband, Norman, and her puggle, Watson. She’s authored over twenty-five books and is currently writing a new series for Bethany House Publishing based on the U.S. Marshals. The first book, Fatal Frost, in her Defenders of Justice Series, released on November 1st, 2016. The second book, Dark Deception, will hit store shelves in June of 2017. She is also working on a new cozy mystery series for Guideposts.
All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”
Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Website. She is part of The Suspense Sisters Blog, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.