Guest Author Interview
Every few weeks I post a guest author interview on my blog where we get a little peak into an author's life! This week we're chatting with Nancy Warren, author of the Great Witches Baking Show Cozy Mystery Series. Have a question for Nancy? Don't be afraid to leave a comment!
Nancy Warren is a USA today bestselling author of more than 70 novels. She began her career with Harlequin and was one of the launch authors for Kensington Brava.
As a self-published author, she writes the successful Vampire Knitting Club series of cozy paranormal mysteries.
She's appeared on the front page of the New York Times (when her book, Speed Dating launched Harlequin's NASCAR series), has been a clue in a crossword puzzle (National Post, Canada) and she's been a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award three times. She holds a BA (hons) in English literature from the University of British Columbia, Canada and an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University in the UK.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now splits her time between Victoria, BC and Bath, UK. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and all things chocolate.
1. How long does it take you to write a full novel? AND...what's a typical writing day look like for you?
I've never been very good at schedules. Truth to tell the creative side of my brain takes up most of the room in my skull, leaving a space about the size of a dried pea for the analytical and organizational tasks.
I'm hopeless at schedules so what I do instead is give myself writing word counts I have to meet. Some days I write two chapters, some days I can barely manage a few sentences. Somehow, it all works out, though and I write a novel in about two months.
My typical writing day starts online, where I pop in to my Facebook group, Nancy Warren's Knitwits and have a laugh and a chat. Then I open my current book file read what I wrote the day before and may edit it a bit. At this point, I may write some new words or, more likely, I'll go walk my dog. When I get back, of course, it's time for coffee. I'll then write a bit, break for lunch, and in the afternoons and evenings I'm sometimes editing, sometimes writing and sometimes reading or watching TV for pleasure. I love shows like Midsomer Murders and Poirot.
2. Beside's writing, what are you most passionate about?
I love hiking and walking by the ocean. I'm a huge Jane Austen fan and re-read her novels every couple of years. They've been my comfort reads during Covid.
I'm a pretty good cook. I'm trying to learn to knit as I write a series set around knitting but it's not coming easily to me. I do love to travel and really enjoy touring historical sites.
3. If you could travel to any location to write a novel, where would you go and why?
I started a series set in 1920s Paris and have a second one planned. I long to spend a couple of months in Paris, sitting in cafes, pretending to write but mostly watching the world go by and drinking coffee in tiny cups.
I don't believe you can write authentically about a place you haven't spent time in. Of course, I always set my books in places I love to visit.
4. What's the latest show you binge watched?
Dead to Me.
5. Tell us something most people don't know about you!
I am sitting here stumped. This is where people usually tell you that they used to be undercover for the CIA or climbed Everest. My accomplishments seem so pitiful by comparison.
Oh, here's something interesting. For a time I rented a flat in a Georgian house in Bath. I discovered that one of my direct ancestors owned the house in the early 1900s and ran it as an asylum for madwomen. I had no idea when I moved in. How cool is that?
A word from Nancy!
Apart from 'when's the next book coming out' the question I'm asked most often is how do I come up with the plots?
I find that's probably the easiest part of my job. I love imagining what could happen if...
Often I'll learn something or see something interesting or meet someone with a strange job and the wheels start to turn.
When I was living in Oxford I discovered there used to be tunnels under the city in the middle ages. I could feel the history and used to wonder about all the people who've walked those same streets over the last thousand years. At some point, an imaginary vampire started talking to me, and the next thing I knew, I was writing The Vampire Knitting Club.
I may not be a real witch, but there is something mysterious and magical about writing fiction. And about reading it. I love picking up a book and soon I forget I'm reading words as this new world appears in my imagination. That's magic.
The Great Witches Baking Show Cozy Mystery Series
Competing in the world famous Great British Baking Contest is tough enough, but amateur baker Poppy Wilkinson also has to solve a murder while whipping up a winning bundt cake.
Thank you, Nancy, for joining us today and sharing a little bit of your writing process and a behind the scenes peek at your personal life 🙂
Don't forget, you can ask Nancy a question in the comments (I'll make sure she sees it) and of course shoot on over to her website where you'll learn more about her books.