Q: Thanks for visiting my blog again! Murder on the Orient Express recently the big screen and it inspired me to have an interview with another mystery author. Today’s guest is Nancy Cole Silverman. She’s an author of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense. Nancy also has a strong background in broadcasting and radio marketing. You can find the Carol Childs Mysteries and the rest of Nancy’s work through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Thank you for joining us today, Nancy.
A: Glad to be here, Stephanie.
Q: When did you develop a passion for writing?
A: I think there is something magical about the age of seven. Most of the writers I know admit they were either telling or starting to write stories by then. I know I was.
Q: Why did you choose the mystery genre?
A: It’s a mystery to me. I’ve always thought the story picks the writer and I still scratch my head as to why certain stories won’t leave me alone until I write them. It’s an obsession.
Q: You have a significant background in radio and journalism. Do you want to share anything about those experiences?
A: The best thing about working in broadcast was that it taught me to stick to a deadline and write for the ear, which is storytelling. The biggest problem I had was going from :30 and :60-second copy or about 75 and 150 words to 80,000. I still have days I wonder about that.
Q: Were your books traditionally published or self-published?
A: I’ve done both. The misconception many people have is that traditionally published authors don't have as much to do once the book is published. Today, whether an author is traditionally or self-published, it doesn’t make much difference. There is still a lot of the day to day promotion and marketing is left to the author whether they are self-published or traditional.
Q: A compelling story is essential for a successful book. What are the most important elements of a great story?
A: A likable character or at least one reader will rally behind a compelling plot. In news there’s a saying; if it bleeds, it leads. That’s kind of how I judge a story. It’s got to grab a reader’s attention and the more unusual and unexpected the twists the better.
Q: Your author website mentions something called “writing for the ear.” Would you mind explaining it in more detail?
A: Writing for the ear is a natural style, similar to how we speak. Unlike literary fiction, writing for the ear requires short, simple, easily understood words. In broadcast, particularly radio, important ideas are communicated quickly without requiring listeners to run for their dictionaries.
Q: What is the premise of your Carol Childs Mysteries?
A: I like setting a mystery series inside a talk radio station because the very nature of the medium is mysterious. Sound alone without a physical body present creates such opportunity for the unexpected. More than once during my career in talk radio, I heard listeners tell on-air hosts how much they liked their show. Faceless friendships were built on the airwaves that might never have existed if people were to meet face to face. In fact, in most cases, listeners had no idea what the host or personality looked like. One day, I even heard one listener says to the host, “I wouldn’t tell the cops this, but I’ll tell you...” That comment, more than anything else gave me my hook for Carol Childs. As a reporter for a talk radio station, people tell Carol things they wouldn’t tell the police, and as a result, she has a leg-up on investigations.
Q: I believe every author has a unique style. What makes your writing different than everything else in the mystery field?
A: I like my murder with a little-unexpected humor. All of my Carol Childs books deal with social issues many of which my readers have said they didn’t expect to find and might not ordinarily read. I love when a reader shares with me that because of the manner in which I’ve introduced the crime, they were unable to put the book down. I think the biggest compliment I’ve received from readers is that after finishing one of my books, they are still thinking about it.
Q: Do you have any audiobooks or short stories on the market?
A: I like writing short stories, and several have been picked up by the various websites for audio files. To listen to some, visit my website www.nancycolesilverman.com.
Q: Many people want to become authors, but it can be difficult to start writing. Do you have any advice for prospective writers?
A: Dorothy Parker used to say, “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second favor you can do for them is to present them with a copy of Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now while they’re still happy.”
Q: Marketing is one of the most challenging elements for authors. Would you mind sharing some marketing tips?
A: It’s a full-time job all on its own. The good news is there's a lot of opportunities online for authors, and the bad news is there’s a lot of opportunities for authors. Finding where and when to spend time and money is tricky. I like Goodreads, Facebook, and I’m constantly on the lookout for good mystery blogs and frequently begging for reviews. Reviews are a writer’s lifeblood. That said, may I stop here and ask your readers to write a review.
Q: I usually ask my interview candidates this question. Are you familiar with steampunk in the literary world? It’s the genre I chose for my book series.
A: I love steampunk. It's a fun, surprising new genre.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I'm working on book five of the Carol Childs series. I hope to have it out next year.
Q: Thank you for giving us a great interview. I learned a lot of useful information from this Q&A session. It’s always nice to receive advice and unique perspectives from professional authors. Best wishes for your future writing projects.
A: Thank you very much.
That's a wrap for my interview with Nancy Cole Silverman. I really enjoyed talking to her. She has a fun and fresh take on the mystery genre. Hopefully, you guys will check out some of her work. I'm going to leave some links and a short bio for Nancy. You guys probably know Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I'm wishing all of you a happy Thanksgiving with plenty of great food and company. Enjoy the rest of your week!
BARNES AND NOBLE
Nancy Cole Silverman credits the fact both she and Edgar Allen Poe share the same birthday, along with her twenty-five years in talk radio, for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. After writing everything from commercial copy to news Silverman retired from radio in 2001 to write fiction. Today, Silverman has written numerous short stories and novelettes, some of which have been produced as audio books. Silverman's new series, the Carol Childs Mysteries (Henery Press) takes place inside a busy Los Angles Radio station. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband, four adult children, and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.
Welcome back! I recently attended the Fall Dapper Day Expo at the Disneyland Hotel with my sister and we had a really good time. It's a fashion expo with a big emphasis on retro themes. I saw a lot of attendees dressed in attire that was inspired by the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Occasionally, I saw some Victorian and Edwardian influences. Some of the attendees and vendors had a really interesting style with a lot of Disney elements. Here's a note to my dieselpunk friends. You guys would probably enjoy Dapper Day because it takes so many elements from your favorite time periods. Keep strolling down to check out my menagerie of photos.
First, I looked at the merchandise from the Oblong Box Shop. They specialize in vintage style clothing and accessories. It's really adorable merchandise for women who enjoy fashion conventions and other retro events. I might consider shopping online for skirts at some point. Their website is www.theoblongboxshop.com. I also noticed they have a rewards program and an FAQ section on their official website.
I also looked at some clothing and accessories from The Official Bettie Page Store. They had a decent variety of retro women's clothing and lingerie. I believe the correct website is www.bettiepage.com. They also have pages on Facebook and Instagram if you want to purchase merchandise.
There was a lot of variety from Glam Factory Vintage. I'm pretty sure they're from the Las Vegas area. You'll get a decent idea about their merchandise if you check out my photos below. Glam Factory Vintage has a Facebook page if you want to learn more about their products. Glam Factory Vintage on Facebook.
I thought this gentleman had a cool outfit and he was nice enough to pose for me. He had more of the late 19th century or early 20th century vibe.
Rockin Bettie came from Las Vegas to sell her merchandise at the Dapper Day Expo. Her official website describes the merchandise as Las Vegas' original Pinup Rockabilly store. Rockin Bettie sells clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. Here's the link to her website if you want to purchase any merchandise. www.rockinbettie.com. You can also find Rockin Betty on Instagram and Facebook. The first picture below definitely has Disney themes. I can see a retro Minnie Mouse outfit among others.
Suavecito has a mobile barber shop. They're also a retailer of pomade and other grooming products. I thought it was quite delightful and nostalgic to see a mobile barber shop at the Expo. Their official website is www.suavecito.com. I saw products for both men and women online.
I encountered a young couple who had a Star Wars theme with their outfits. Quite a few attendees threw some Disney themes into their costumes.
Kristy Therrien is the owner of Excavade. She's a jewelry designer for men and women. I think Kristy's jewelry is suitable for vintage and retro outfits. Some of it might also be a good choice for people who appreciate turquoise or amber. You can check out www.excavade.com for more merchandise.
I thought P.M. Chavez Haberdashery had some nice products for men. He does leatherwork and sells men's grooming products. His products should be a very good choice for men with beards. You can find out more about Mr. Haberdashery and his work at www.pmchavez.com.
It's Origami Owl! I love their charms and jewelry. Courtney Falde was the vendor for this batch of Origami Owl products. She's an independent designer and I thought her charms were quite adorable. You can find more of her merchandise at www.mahalo.origamiowl.com. I also suggest searching for Mahalo Lockets on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Do you guys like Panama hats? Uqsha is a company that makes a wide variety of straw hats in different sizes, colors, and styles. All of their hats are handmade and custom orders are available at www.uqsha.com.
Pamela's Vintage Millinery also had a great variety of hats. She carries vintage hats for both men and women. Some of her hats would look good on those of us who participate in the steampunk community. I talked to Pamela for a while and she was really interesting. She gives lectures and hat shows throughout Southern California. Pamela's website is www.pamsvintagehats.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.
These two men might fit into my 19th century settings pretty well. We had a good chat for a while. It's always nice to meet people at these conventions.
More hats! Sidewalk Fashion Hats has a really big display of vintage style headwear. I don't know much about the company, but it seems like they have quality hats in a strong variety of styles, sizes, and colors. Their hats would be awesome for either steampunk or dieselpunk cosplay. Check out www.sidewalkfashionhats.com for more information. You can also visit their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Steven Herder and Jillian Barlich are the owners of Port City Pomade. They sell men's shaving products on Etsy. I'm sure their products would be perfect for a dapper steampunk or dieselpunk gentleman.
Vintage Blue Moon is a retailer of clothing, accessories, and jewelry. As their name suggests, most of their merchandise is authentic vintage wear. I took several pictures because they sell a big variety of goods. They have a website if you want to learn more about their merchandise. www.vintagebluemoon.com.
This vendor was really cool for me. Lincoln and Hobbs makes vintage style lighting designs. They had touch control lights at the Expo. Tesla power! You can see their products at www.lukehobbsdesign.com. I think they make custom projects too.
Check it out! This is a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado. Sorry, but my knowledge of classic cars is mostly limited to the 60s and 70s. It's still cool though!
My sister took a moment to pose with the Cadillac. Her Dapper Day outfit had some Harry Potter elements. I know her skirt was a Harry Potter item and her scarf definitely shows a lot of Gryffindor. A lot of the attendees had subtle movie themes in their costumes.
I also found a lot of women's clothing and accessories at Audrey K. Boutique. They have a pretty good variety of merchandise. You can find more details at www.audreyk.com. They also have Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages. I took a lot photos for this vendor.
I found a group who definitely had the Dapper Day spirit with plenty of Disney elements. Hopefully, they enjoyed the event. Thanks for the pic, guys!
What type of attire did I wear? I felt like being a dieselpunk mobster in a hot pink suit. Thanks a lot for exploring my photo gallery! I'll post more Dapper Day photos when the event resurfaces in spring 2018. You can read both steampunk and dieselpunk tales in my book series titled The Post-Apocalyptic Society. My work is available on Amazon and Kindle.
That's all for now. Next week's post is going to be an author interview. I'm keeping the identity of my interview candidate a secret until next weekend. A little bit of suspense won't hurt you guys. Thanks visiting and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.