Welcome to Authors Visits Nancy. We are delighted to have you. I have so much to ask you for our readers.
One of the first questions, is why did you decide to become a writer?
When I was seven, my mother and I wrote poems to each other on special occasions: Roses are red. Violets are blue. You are my Mom. I love you, too. Not earth-shaking literature. But the experience taught me that if you write something, it is valued.
Sounds like your mother saw a talent in you when you were young and was smart enough to nurture it.
Your Aggie Mundeen Mystery Series is such a success. What brought about the writing of this story/series?
Aggie Mundeen popped up as a supporting character in my suspense novel, Nine Days to Evil. My protagonist, Meredith Laughlin, was taking a Shakespeare class in graduate school when classmate Aggie Mundeen commanded her attention. In her late 30s, wearing a warm-up suit trimmed in a wine color that clashed with her red lips and nails, Aggie studied the professor. Her body language said, “Show me something.”
Aggie planted herself in my brain. I found myself waiting to see what she’d do or say. She shared her background, not an easy one, and demanded that I write a book about her. Or maybe a series. She was serious but humorous, smart, dangerously curious, determined, and had a wry view of life. She was multi-faceted enough to sustain a series. I could enjoy watching her infiltrate Detective Sam’s investigations and come close to driving him crazy. I was hooked.
We have a poster showing your three books in that series that are out and I want your fans to know you have a new one in the Aggie Mundeen Mysteries series coming in January titled River City Dead.
What don’t your readers know about you?
I can be serious but have a humorous view of life. Maybe a combination of Aggie and Meredith? I’m less introspective than Meredith and a lot more cautious than Aggie.
Is there a purpose behind the story that you want your readers to know?
My stories boil down to trust. Who can you trust? Who should you trust? You can like somebody, even love them, but can you trust them? Nine Days to Evil was originally titled A Matter of Trust. Trust issues between Aggie and Detective Sam hinder their shaky relationship.
What was the most challenging part in writing this story?
I live in San Antonio, but once I decided to set Aggie Mundeen’s fourth book on the River Walk during Fiesta Week, I had to view sights and sounds with new eyes. I also had to produce a bang-up scene at the end because Aggie always manages to cause one.
Did it require a lot of research and if so what kind?
I had to know the history and details of La Villita, Arneson River Theater, Fiesta Week and the organizations behind it, and the role of the military. In addition to the history of creating the River Walk, I had to research hotels, restaurants, river barges and landscaping. I wanted readers to experience San Antonio and the enchantment of strolling the River Walk. My goal was to immerse them in the story, not deliver a history lesson.
What’s next for Nancy West?
Aggie and Sam reach a milestone in this book, but crime complicates relationships. What’s next depends on them. Who knows? —————
Nancy we are so thrilled you dropped by. Can’t wait to get my hands on that new book.
Thank you, Southern Writers Magazine, for letting me share this new adventure about Aggie, Detective Sam, and their friends in River City Dead.