Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband Norman and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored fourteen books and is currently at work on a new series for Bethany House Publishing. The first book in her Road to Kingdom series, “Inescapable,” came out in July of 2012. The second book, “Unbreakable” released in February of 2013. The final book in the series, “Unforeseeable,” will be available in September of 2013.
Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: www.nancymehl.com. She has a newsletter located at: www.nancymehl.blogspot.com, and is a part of another blog, The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.
THE POWER OF A BOOK
It’s hard to remember when my passion for books began. I recall being absolutely crazy about Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys when I was in grade school. My father, who willingly fed my growing addiction, carted volumes home to me as fast as I could read them.
Probably in an attempt to remain financially solvent, my parents introduced me to my school library. It quickly became my very favorite place. I even volunteered after school so I could be near all the wonderful stories that lined the shelves. There’s something special about a library or a bookstore. The possibilities are almost endless – adventures, mysteries and strange worlds wait to be plucked up and enjoyed. In fact, it’s the memories of my school library that helped to shape a very special place in my
mystery series. Miss Bitty’s Bygone
Bookstore was fashioned from those early library experiences. Ivy Towers
At my very first book signing, the mother of my best friend in grade school showed up. She told me that she wasn’t the least bit surprised I’d turned out to be an author. “I still remember when you’d stay the night,” she said laughing. “I’d come in to check on you two and find a big, glowing lump on the bed.” No, it wasn’t aliens, nor was I radioactive. It was me, under the covers with a flashlight, reading. I’d check out five or six books at a time and then stay up all night so I could finish them. Made for some rather sleepy days at school. For a while, I think my parents were afraid I was suffering from some kind of vitamin deficiency.
By junior high, I’d read all of Charles Dickens and Shakespeare. In high school, I even read War and Peace – not because I thought it would be interesting. It was for the challenge. I was so glad when I finally closed the cover. I can’t remember much about it. Except there was a war. And some peace.
I’ve read so many books it’s hard to pick just a few that had an impact on me. Black Beauty stoked my love of horses. Charles Dickens taught me that fictional characters can be so real they stay with you forever. Edgar Allen Poe showed me that words can illicit sadness – and fear. And Louisa May Alcott made me cry.
In one of my
’ novels, There Goes Santa Claus, I use one of my
favorite books to paint a picture of a young woman with a painful past. When a love-struck
man presents her with a copy of a beloved book, misplaced from her childhood,
it helps to break down her self-made barriers. Miss Jellytot’s Visit, by Mabel Leigh Hunt, is about a little girl
who isn’t comfortable being herself. She soon discovers that trying to be
someone you’re not only leads to unhappiness. A lesson my character had to
Books can make us laugh. Make us cry. Teach us. Affect us. As an author, there is nothing that means more to me than getting an e-mail or a letter from a reader who tells me that something in my story leapt off the page and touched their life. Whether I’m reading or writing, that’s what it’s really all about, isn’t it?