Nancy Barr – Writing Regional Mysteries

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On January 4th, 2012 Tyler R. Tichelaar and Victor R. Volkman spoke with regional mystery maven Nancy Barr.  Nancy served as news editor at the Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton for three years and now works at Michigan Technological University, where she recently earned a master’s degree in Rhetoric and Technical Communication.  Her novels include Page One: Hit and Run(July 2006), “Page One: Vanished” (May 2007), and “Page One: Whiteout” (November 2009), all from Arbutus Press. She spoke with us on all the particulars of regional mystery writing including:

  • Challenges of writing about real locations in rural areas
  • Character development — deciding who deserves a repeat appearance and who is a one-book wonder
  • Plotting versus characterization.  Each book has been different for me.
  • Other mysteries worth reading that feature the rural upper Midwest.
  • The pros and cons of small, regional publishing houses.
  • Marketing
Nancy Barr

Nancy Barr

A transplant to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at the age of 9, Nancy Barr grew up in the tiny town of Rapid River nestled at the top of Little Bay de Noc. She earned an associate’s degree with honors from Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba, Mich., and graduated cum laude from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., with a bachelor’s degree. Her love of reading and writing led her to a career in newspaper journalism where she spent several years covering police, courts, schools and local governments for the Daily Press in Escanaba.  An animal aficionado, she lives on the Keweenaw Peninsula with two demanding, but lovable, cats. When not writing, Nancy enjoys hiking and photographing the natural beauty that abounds in the Upper Peninsula.
Page One: Hit and Run

Page One: Hit and Run

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