I knew I wanted to write from the time I was a little girl. I was writing in journals long before John-boy Walton ever picked up a pencil…but, in full disclosure, I did switch over to tablets after watching him on the show. (Just writing that sentence made me nostalgic enough to go online and purchase one again.) As so often is the case, reading and writing go hand-in-hand. When I was young, my mother took the kids (there were three of us at the time) to the library every week. Years later, she told me that I was always much more enthusiastic about the trips than my older brothers, who would rather spend time beating each other up–but I loved to read. A true geeky bookworm. If I could have built a home at that age, it would have looked exactly like a library…minus the brothers.
Writing was a natural path for me. What could be more exciting than creating a story of my own, getting it published and seeing it on a bookshelf? Life just couldn’t get any better than that.
Fast forward many years…to college. You would have thought that, given my history, I would have majored in English literature. Or creative writing. Or poetry. Or, at least, something in the arts. But unfortunately, I was very shy and the idea of reading my work aloud in front of living, breathing classmates, scared me to death. Even to this day, talking in front of groups still frightens me. So there I was, a young sophomore, needing to declare a major by the end of the year. After deep reflection (20 minutes?), I decided on education. I earned a masters degree in Special Education and became a teacher.
Fast forward many years, again, because otherwise it’s going to take a long time to get to nowadays. I was in my mid-thirties when the desire to write hit me really hard. After talking to my husband, I decided to take the leap. I started teaching part-time and writing part-time. I wrote several children’s books and a young adult novel. And I racked up a boatload of rejections for my efforts. After five years, I returned to teaching full-time. During the first month back, I finished an adult, romantic suspense, took a deep breath and sent my completed manuscript to a few agents. Several days later, success! Elaine Koster, from the Elaine Koster Literary Agency, called my house and offered to represent me.
I was offered a two book contract with Putnam Penguin. A Dying Art and An Opening for Murder were published in 2001 and 2002, respectively. They have since being updated, revised and reissued on Kindle as Artful Dodger and Artistic License. It is a humorous, romantic suspense series set in Colorado about an artist who has a knack for finding dead bodies and bumping into trouble.
And the really good news: A brand new, never been published before, third book in the series is now available on Kindle. It is called Artfully Yours (I’ve got an “Art–” thing going).
In the meantime, I’ve retired from teaching and am writing again (see the new book that’s out). I’ve started gardening a bit (my husband and I even built our very own hoop house/greenhouse last year which actually managed to stay standing through the winter months). I love to read recipes–cooking is a real passion. My goal is to wean myself off of the recipes, add some basic sauces to my repertoire and start fooling around in the kitchen. Should be fun. I also co-write a blog with a dear friend called Over Margaritas at www.overmargaritas.com Check it out!
What inspires you to write?
All kinds of things inspire my writing. I’m a huge lover of humor. My husband happens to be a very funny man and has me laughing all the time so I often find myself drawn to read and write humorous characters. I love the combination of romance and suspense, too, which is why it was fun for me to write the Maggie Kean misadventure series. I like the idea of throwing normal (but interesting) characters into unusual situations and to watch what happens.
Tell us about your writing process.
I usually set a monthly word count goal. I used to make a daily goal but found that somedays the writing flows smoothly and quickly. On other days, not so much. So the monthly goal works better for me. Normally I write in the mornings simply because I found that I work better then. Depending on how the writing goes, I will work in the afternoon, too. Also, I always try to stop in the middle of a paragraph or scene because it’s easier for me to begin work the next day if I’m finishing something that’s already been started.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters but I can always hear their voices in my mind. If I can’t hear them, I know the character isn’t strong enough to jump off the page.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
This is written in more depth in my bio up above, but I started out with two of the books in print. They’ve now been updated, revised and given new titles. The third book is brand new. They are all published as Kindle eBooks and available on Amazon.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s an amazing time for Indie authors. The eBook world has exploded which provides authors huge opportunities.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Romantic Suspense, Humor, Romance
What formats are your books in?
Link To Nageeba Davis Page On Amazon