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Thursday, January 9, 2014


USA Today bestselling author Nina Pierce spends her days at the keyboard writing romance stories, blissfully creating chaos for her characters by throwing in a villain or two, a little murder and a whole lot of mayhem as they struggle toward their happy-ever-afters. Learn more about her and her books at her website. 

Reality Becomes Fiction
A warm thank you to Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers for letting me hang out with them today. I love checking out other corners of the internet and talking books … especially romantic suspense books!

One of the first questions people ask me when they find out I’m a writer is where do I get the inspiration for my stories. The answer is … everywhere. I came at writing sort of sideways. I have a degree in Marine Biology and spent many years teaching science. During that time, everything I saw or interesting places I visited were catalogued as possible information for lesson plans.

Eight years ago, the multiple sclerosis that had been percolating in the back of my life reared its ugly head and forced me to leave teaching. Enter writing. I’m an avid reader from childhood and decided that I should try my hand writing the romantic suspense stories I’ve always loved to read. And of course I could do it from the comfort of a computer chair. It took a couple of years to re-wire my thinking, but now every snippet of conversation, every story my friends share and sometimes the news programs I see … become possible fodder for a new story.

My newest release, In His Eyes, is set on the Maine coast, a place that is intimately familiar to me. Before I was a twinkle in my mother’s eye, my parents bought a small cottage on a private beach community. They rented it out for most of the summer, but every year my family spent two or three weeks there at the end of August, lounging in the warm sand and playing in the surf. The cottage has since been winterized and my parents now rent it out in the winter months. The premise of my story actually came about when a couple rented the cottage a few years back and actually switched off weeks while they decided if they wanted to separate permanently.

Of course, there was no FBI agent on the hunt hoping to bring down a villain murdering prostitutes. And definitely no serial killer wandering the beach looking for a woman to make his “own”. But you’ll find all that and more in In His Eyes. I hope you’ll check it out.

Do you have something interesting that’s happened to you that might make a good story? Curious minds (and nosy writers) want to know. And just to give you all the information, I have no idea what happened to the couple when the lease was finished that winter, but the romantic in me would like to think they got back together and mended their marriage.

In His Eyes
It’s always wonderful to be noticed … or is it?

To those around her, Maggie Callaghan appears to have the perfect life…a handsome husband, three beautiful children, and her own business. But beneath her thin veneer lies a dark past and self-doubts. When evidence of her husband’s infidelity surfaces, Maggie leases a cottage on the Maine coast and prepares for her inevitable divorce. But a serial killer is on the hunt—and he’s marked Maggie as his next victim. Now her beachside retreat is the focus of an undercover FBI investigation targeting the murderer who’s left a trail of bodies across two states. As lies and secrets are revealed, Maggie realizes her life depends on knowing who’s protecting her—and who’s got her in his sights.

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Morgan Mandel said...

Yes, our own lives are a great influence when writing, consciously or unconsciously. At times I don't realize the significance of why I wrote something until later when it dawns on me why I wrote it.

Morgan Mandel

Nina Pierce said...

It is funny how we store things away and the people or incidents just flow from our fingers, Morgan. All I can say is with my family ... I have plenty of fodder for my stories. ;)

Christine Finlayson said...

I loved your story of how the couple renting your parent's cottage provided inspiration for your latest book. I'm going to keep my own eyes and ears open for good story ideas! In His Eyes sounds like a fun read--and a terrifying one. I look forward to checking it out.

Richard Brawer said...

I had the opposite. My fiction became reality. I wrote The PAC Conspiracy about a cabal of Japanese business owners building nuclear bombs to protect their country from a menacing China.

Six months later this article came out in The Wall Street Journal.

“Japan Nuclear Plan Draws U.S. Ire.”
From the article: “Japan is preparing to start up a massive nuclear-fuel reprocessing plant over the objections of the administration…The Rokkasho reprocessing facility is capable of producing nine tons of weapons-usable plutonium annually, enough to build 2000 bombs.”

Richard Brawer

Nina Pierce said...

Christine - I did try to mix a little humor in with the suspenseful parts, but I am hoping this story keeps people on the edge of their seats.

Nina Pierce said...

Wow Richard, that must have sent shivers up and down your spine.

When I was doing the final research for "In His Eyes" I found a serial killer with many of the traits as the Black Widower, THAT creeped me out!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed reading about your parents cottage, Nina, and admire your courage to move forward. I downloaded your book a couple of days ago and can't wait to read it.

Nina Pierce said...

Rose - We're currently living in the cottage for the winter. It was odd (and very creepy) working on the book in the house where the villain was stalking.

Thanks for downloading. Please let me know how you like it!

Melissa Keir said...

I agree with Morgan, plus it adds an authenticity to our writing. We have intimate details and bring that excitement to the story. All the best Nina!

Nina Pierce said...

Funny you should mention the authenticity, Melissa. The cottage is basically set up as a single bedroom although there is a very small bedroom downstairs with enough room for a twin bed and a bureau. When I put the husband of that story in that room my editor asked "why does it have to be Cinderella? Can't the husband have a regular bedroom?" I laughed and conceded. Kind of funny I was writing the truth and it seemed too much for a reader to believe.

Angela Adams said...

Nina, I enjoyed the interview. I don't think any author realizes how much of her/his real life creeps into their stories -- until it does. Best wishes with your new release.

Nina Pierce said...

Angela - That is so true. We don't intend for it to happen, but then the best friend is our sister or the wise-cracking maƮtre 'd, the clerk at the grocery store. It's kind of funny when it happens.

Marianne Stephens said...

Our families and past provide many ideas for books. It could be a person, place (like a cottage in Maine), or event.
Great to hear you continue to write in spite of your disease. Good for you! You've been very successful and may your writing career provide more great books!

Nina Pierce said...

Marianne - Thank you for the kind words.

Chris Taylor said...

Your story sounds fascinating. I love romantic suspense. There's something so intriguing about people who are wired so differently to most of us. How does it happen? Nature or nurture? Endless questions....