Monday, August 5, 2013

Meet Judy Nickles Author of Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mysteries

About the Author

Judy Nickles has written since she could hold a pencil. Her newest project is a six-book cozy mystery series set in Arkansas where she has retired. The books will release two at a time through August.

She also writes under the pen name Gwyneth Greer. Visit her author page at She blogs at The Word Place and her website can be accessed at Someday Is Here.

Besides writing, Judy enjoys genealogical research, reading, travel, and meeting new people. She has two grown sons, two granddaughters, and a grandson.

And, she's having her adolescent rebellion 50 years late!


When did you begin writing?
I don’t remember when I didn’t write. My first ‘rejection’ came from a children’s magazines because I mentioned Heaven in the story—and that was back in the 1950s!

What genres do you write?
My first two books were vintage romance. The third was contemporary with older lovers. The fourth was a contemporary romantic suspense with a historical flashback. The fifth was vintage romance, a WW II love story set in my West Texas hometown. But I think I’ve found my niche with Penelope and cozy mysteries.

Who do you imagine you’re telling a story to as you write?
Obviously I think of the audience I hope will want to read the book(s)—but when I write, it’s more living vicariously through my characters than it is telling a story to anyone.

What’s your latest book about?
The six-book Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series combines older characters with romantic suspense. Penelope runs a B&B in her family home where she lives with her widowed father, Jake Kelley. Her son is a police detective with the local PD in the small town of Amaryllis AR. She’s divorced from a man with a wandering eye and content with her decision even though it means, as a Catholic, she can’t remarry. Then Tiny the Biker aka Sam enters her life, and her peaceful world turns inside out and upside down. Each book in the series is a new brush with disaster for Penelope. And Sam…well, Sam just won’t go away, and Penelope struggles with her ever-growing feelings for him.

What authors inspire you?
There are so many authors I truly enjoy, but I think my inspiration comes from those who stay true to themselves and their subject matter. That is, they don’t try to write something just for the ‘shock value’, which is soon forgotten, but rather for the lasting values they want to remain with the reader.

What’s your favorite book?
I’d have to say it’s The Christmas Bride by Grace Livingston Hill, an old-time romance writer. By today’s standards, her books are ‘trite’. However, carefully dissected, they contain all the elements of romance, conflict, and HEA. Not many people read them these days, but I have a VERY old copy of the aforementioned book, and it’s sort of a ‘talisman’ for me. (I read her books as an adolescent beginning the day I got my ‘adult’ library card; my mother took me to the shelves and shelves of her romances. Clever mother. She knew how to keep me out of the other less-desirable books for a girl my age!)

Why did you choose indie publishing?
With five books ‘traditionally’ published by two wonderful companies (The Wild Rose Press and Champagne Books), it was a difficult decision. But it takes a minimum of a year from contract to publication with most companies, and I felt the Penelope series needed to come out together so people didn’t forget number one long before number six hit the shelves. So indie publishing seemed the right choice. I have at least two other indie projects in mind, but that’s not to say I won’t go the traditional route again at some point.

What one piece of advice would you offer other indie authors?
Do NOT start out with SIX books the way I did! Surely, that was madness! I’m muddling through, but one book at a time is more than enough. A word to the wise. 

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