Saturday, March 23, 2013

Featured Author Interview: Nancy Mehl


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 her newest 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.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul.

The following is a March 2013 interview with Nancy.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been married for forty years to my wonderful husband, Norman. I have one son who is married to the world’s most incredible wife. On Christmas day, I became a grandmother for the first time! His name is Aidan Jackson Mehl.

I live in Wichita, Kansas, but we are preparing to move to Missouri to be closer to our son and his family. I’m ready to spend time being Nana!

How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

I thought about writing novels when I was young, but not seriously. I don’t think I had a very good self-image so I didn’t really think it was an option.

I actually started writing in my forties. Two things kicked off my decision to give writing a try. The first was an inspirational message I heard about finding your destiny, and the other, believe it or not, was the television series, Murder, She Wrote! I realized that more than anything, I wanted to be Jessica Fletcher.

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

Jesus actually used fiction in His teaching. We call them parables. Parables are stories with spiritual meaning. Christian fiction is the same thing. We’re able to wrap the truth of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness into a story and deliver it to people that need to hear it. I think that’s pretty significant.

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

Well, I hope they’re entertained, but even more, I pray they take away something eternal. Something that brings them closer to God.

The biggest compliment a reader can give an author is to think about a book long after it’s put back on the shelf. This is what I long for.

What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why?

I’ve received several that mean a great deal to me. In one of my books, I included a young man with Down Syndrome. I named him Drew. A young lady wrote to tell me about her uncle with Down Syndrome who had passed away. His name was…Drew. I now have the real Drew’s picture in my office.

Another woman wrote to tell me that she read my cozy mysteries during her chemo treatments because they made her laugh. When I read that, I cried. (Smile)

And then there are the people who tell me they are closer to the Lord because of something I wrote.

These are the things that affect me much more than sales numbers or public acclaim.

Inescapable (Road to Kingdom #1)

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

Finding out God’s plan for my life has had a tremendous impact. I didn’t have a lot of self-esteem growing up and never really considered that God had something specifically designed for me to do. Discovering this has not only changed the way I look at myself, but at the way I view God. He is much more personal to me. A good, loving Father who cares about all the details of my life.

Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life?

First of all, I love the “great novels” part of this question! LOL!

My main goal is to become the person God created me to be. The other goals in my life center around being a good wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother. My family means everything to me.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

What’s spare time??? LOL!

I like to chill out and watch some TV, read a book, spend time with my dog, Watson, or play a game. My husband and I enjoy Yahtzee. When the weather’s nice, we go for a walk in a nearby park. We really love it there.

Unbreakable (Road to Kingdom #2)

What can you tell us about your latest novels?

Inescapable: Book One in the Road to Kingdom Series

Lizzie Engel is used to running away. At eighteen, she left her Mennonite hometown, her family, and her faith with plans never to return. Five years later, Lizzie finds she'll have to run again. False accusations at her job, a stalker, and a string of anonymous threatening letters have left her with no other options. This time, however, her escape is back to Kingdom, her hometown.

As Lizzie becomes reacquainted with Kingdom, she realizes she may not have left her Mennonite roots and her faith as firmly in the past as she thought. She draws on the support of Noah Housler, an old friend, as she hides out and attempts to plan her next steps.

When it becomes painfully clear that the danger has followed Lizzie to Kingdom, suspicions and tensions run high, and she no longer knows who to trust. With her life and the lives of those she loves at risk, Lizzie will have to run one last time--to a Father whose love is inescapable.

Unbreakable: Book Two in the Road to Kingdom Series 

Gentle and unassuming Hope Kauffman has never been one to question or try to make changes. She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed to the betrothal her father arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller.

Despite Hope's and other Kingdom residents' attempts to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to stir in the small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is the leader of the move to reform, and when one of Kingdom's own is threatened by a mysterious outsider, Jonathon is one of the first to push for the town to arm itself. Hope's fiancé, Ebbie, is at the forefront of those demanding the town stay true to its traditions of nonviolence.

When strange incidents around town result in outright attacks on several townspeople, Hope can't help but question what she's always been taught. As the town that's always stood so strong together is torn apart at the seams, Hope is caught between opposing sides, both represented by those she has come to care for. With tensions high and lives endangered by an unknown threat, Hope fears Kingdom can never survive in one piece.

Inescapable (Road to Kingdom #1)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

Unbreakable (Road to Kingdom #2)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

My Cozy Mysteries:

I also want to mention that I have six cozy mysteries that were released as ebooks a few months ago. These are books that went out of print but have found a new life through an ebook publisher. They are: In the Dead of Winter, Bye Bye Bertie, For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls (this book won the ACFW Carol Award in 2009), There Goes Santa Claus, Missing Mabel, and Bumping Off Binky. 

In the Dead of Winter
Bye Bye Bertie
For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
There Goes Santa Claus
Missing Mabel
Bumping Off Binky
Unforeseeable (Road to Kingdom #3)

What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?

In September, the last book in the Kingdom series, Unforeseeable, releases. Then early next year, a brand new series begins. More suspense with a Mennonite theme.

Unforeseeable (Road to Kingdom #3)

Also, sometime within the next few months, the third book in my Curl Up and Dye series, titled Wedding Jitters, will release as an ebook. This book has never seen the light of day, and readers who love this series will be happy to finally see this last story published.

What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

I would like to say that I am thrilled and humbled to find that I have readers in other countries. It means more to me than I can say. I love my American and Canadian fans, but reaching readers so far away makes me feel awestruck and extremely grateful.

Do you have any parting words?

Yes. If there is one message I want to get across through my books, it’s this: You are not a wandering generality. You are loved by God. He has your picture in His wallet. There is a marvelous plan for your life, and you’ve been equipped and gifted to fulfill it. Step out. Believe God. Never give up. Never.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be your guest. I’m honored.

Buy Nancy's Books at The Book Depository

Popular Posts