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. Leave a comment if you want to say anything about this interview. 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.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.