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Stories have arcs. Characters have arcs. Writers have arcs. We write, we get better at our craft. We read, we get better at our craft. We interact with other writers, we get better at our craft. The Arc of a Writer is a blog about writing. Visit regularly for thoughts, ideas, and information about writing. Whether you are a professional writer or just starting out. Hobby or career. We are all in this together. Welcome.

Contact: Elena Hartwell - elenahartwell@gmail.com

Historical Fiction Author Nancy Herriman - Part III

Summer has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest. La NiƱa has heated up the rest of the country, but it's been relatively mild out here. After trips to New York City and Las Vegas, home for a few weeks of 75-80 degree weather feels great. So much to catch up on! Getting back to the gym, finishing book two of the Eddie Shoes Mystery Series, and my blog. So on that note, here's part III of my interview with author Nancy Herriman. 

Scroll down for parts I and II.

What do you love about singing with choral groups?
There is an inexplicable joy in group performance done well. Making music recharges me and provides the ultimate escape. I dont think of much else while Im singing.

What are you working on now?
Im working on a short story featuring the nurse sleuth from my mystery series, Celia Davies. Once I complete and polish that, its back to work on Book 3.

Final Words of Wisdom

To folks whod like to writePersevere. Ive faced lots of obstacles in my writers journey, but the only way Ive been able to reach any of my goals is to keep jumping over those hurdles.

Nancy Herriman abandoned a career in Engineering to chase around two small children and take up the pen. She hasn't looked back. A multi-published author, she is also a former winner of the Romance Writers of America's Daphne du Maurier award for Best Unpublished Mystery/ Romantic Suspense. 


When not writing, she enjoys singing with various choral groups, gabbing about writing with friends, and eating dark chocolate. After two decades in Arizona, she now lives in her home state of Ohio with her family.

Historical Fiction Author Nancy Herriman - Part II of the interview!

So nice to be back home after two weeks on the road. I enjoyed staying at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where the air-conditioning was as perfect as the hair on a werewolf drinkin' a pina colada at Trader Vic's.

The Public Safety Writers Association conference was terrific. So many experts in the room! I got to hang out with FBI Agents, Homicide Detectives, and other first responders. Lots of brains to pick for future books in the Eddie Shoes Mystery Series.  


First order of business was to clean my desk.

Yes... it really does get this bad....

But now it looks like this!










Next order of business was to get the next set of interview questions with author Nancy Herriman up on my blog! Take it away Nancy.... (Scroll down for part I)

What is your research process?
I start with upfront research as pertains to the fundamentals of the storysetting descriptions, background information on characters occupations, relevant historical events, things like that. A lot of my research occurs while Im writing, though, when I have to look up specifics or want to add details. I can waste hours searching the internet for the brand name of an item one of my characters might use!

Your first career was as an Engineer, how did that training impact your writer's life?

When I first started, I imagined that I could attack writing in the same manner Id solved problems at workwith a checklist and a set of formulas. It took me a while to learn that writing a novel is not quite so straightforward, and that there is no single magic recipe or set of rules. Although I do still like to use spreadsheets to help plot out my books. Once an engineer, always an engineer.

Excerpt from No Comfort for the Lost... Click on this link or the book cover to read further...

San Francisco, March  1867

        The Chinese believed that some days were inauspicious, the ill tidings written in the passage of the heavenly bodies. Celia Davies gazed down at her patient, a delicate Chinese girl whose skin sported more bruises than unblemished flesh, and wondered if today would prove to be one of those days.


Check back soon for the end of the interview!

Nancy Herriman abandoned a career in Engineering to chase around two small children and take up the pen. She hasn't looked back. A multi-published author, she is also a former winner of the Romance Writers of America's Daphne du Maurier award for Best Unpublished Mystery/ Romantic Suspense. 


When not writing, she enjoys singing with various choral groups, gabbing about writing with friends, and eating dark chocolate. After two decades in Arizona, she now lives in her home state of Ohio with her family.


Thrillerfest Coverage Will Return Soon - But First, an Interview with Author Nancy Herriman


It's a very busy time here at arcofawriter.com. Last week was Thrillerfest - a weekend so chock full of literary excellence I'm not yet finished with my coverage. This weekend I'm in Las Vegas for the Public Safety Writers Association Conference. Updates about that experience to come as well. But first, I want to turn the blog over to my regularly scheduled guest, author Nancy Herriman. 

Nancy Herriman abandoned a career in Engineering to chase around two small children and take up the pen. She hasn't looked back. A multi-published author, she is also a former winner of the Romance Writers of America's Daphne du Maurier award for Best Unpublished Mystery/ Romantic Suspense. 



When not writing, she enjoys singing with various choral groups, gabbing about writing with friends, and eating dark chocolate. After two decades in Arizona, she now lives in her home state of Ohio with her family.







You write historical fiction, what draws you to that genre?

Ive always been fascinated by history. Most specifically, social history, which studies the experiences of everyday folks in the past. Since I was young Ive tried to imagine what it was like to live in a small village in medieval England or to walk the streets of ancient Rome or a nineteenth-century American city. I also truly believe that studying the past can teach you a great deal about life today. So, when I began to write, it only seemed natural to set my books in the places and times that have intrigued me for so long.




What made you decide to set your series in San Francisco?
I love the city, and I wanted to take advantage of its rich lore. What an interesting town full of even more interesting and colorful characters! It’s no surprise, I think, that Mark Twain made his mark there. Plus, the mixture of people who’ve called the city home from its founding—Italians, Irish, Mexican, English, Chinese, Germans, etc, etc—makes for a fabulous blend as well as provides opportunities for strife, which is useful when you’re writing a mystery series. Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt that San Franciscans are passionate about their city’s history, and there are many, many resources available on the web, things like maps and newspapers and photos. Makes doing research so much simpler.

Check back for the rest of the interview.