Friday, December 2, 2011

Getting to Know Nina Quinn

by Heather Webber / Heather Blake

Years and years and years ago (it was a lot of years), I was in the middle of a contract for three historical romances when I had the idea for a mystery.

Back then, I had no idea how many genres of mystery there were—I’d never even heard the term “cozy mystery.” All I knew was that I had a story to tell. About a woman who lived in a small Ohio town and solved crime. She was sassy and sarcastic and had a crazy family, crazier neighbors, and employees with rap sheets.

Nina Quinn was born.

From the time I wrote the first draft of what became A Hoe Lot of Trouble, Nina changed a bit (her career mostly), but her core stayed the same. She was still a strong, nosy, independent, fiercely loving and loyal woman.

I found an agent, and within a few weeks I had a contract for the series of cozy mysteries (who knew that’s what I was writing?). There were five books (A Hoe Lot of Trouble, Trouble in Spades [which was nominated for an Agatha Award for best novel], Digging up Trouble, Trouble in Bloom, and Weeding out Trouble.) Round about the fourth book, word came that my publisher was discontinuing its cozy paperback line. I knew how hard it was to move a series to another publisher, so the decision was made to wrap up the series and move on. (This is where Lucy Valentine was born.)

However, I’ve missed Nina. Missed telling about all the trouble she gets into. Missed her nutty family. Missed her merry band of troublemakers. But now, thanks to the explosion of e-books, I’ve had the chance to bring her (and the whole colorful cast of characters) back.

Trouble under the Tree, the sixth book in the Nina series, hit cyber shelves this week (Amazon, BN.com, Smashwords), and I can’t tell you how happy I am. I loved writing this book, and I hope that shows in the story. I’m so excited that Nina—and I—get another opportunity to share her adventures with all of you.

Is there a series that you’d really love to see make a comeback?

15 comments:

Elaine said...

I'm so glad Nora's back!

One series I was sorry to see disappear was Karen Kijewski's "Kat Colorado" series.

Books by Heather said...

Thanks, Elaine. Me, too.

holdenj said...

I was so pleased to see that you decided to return to Nina! I missed those crazy neighbors too and just knew there might be a little more story left!

Kathryn Lasky Knight wrote a great adult mystery series about Calista Jacobs that just kind of disappeared from sight. They were really good stories and she a super relationship with her son.

Brittney said...

Its tough on reader when an author discontinues a series because we so want to keep that story going. At least I have a vivid imagination so I can keep it going myself haha! I love when authors are able to bring back those characters. I love the Blackbird series by Nancy Martin and she has now confirmed there will be a new one coming out in 2012!

Aurian said...

Ooo there are so many great series discontinued because of those stupid publishers. Like Elizabeth Lowell, she has a great paranormal historical series, but will never be able to write the fourth book about Eric. And Jude Devereaux, I will always be hoping for a fourth book in the Forever and Always series. It's different when the author stops writing a series, then when she is not allowed to write/publish any more.

So, happy that you have written that sixth book. I have just bought the other series, and perhaps when I have finished those, I'll try to find the Quin books.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Sarah Strohmeyer's Bubble Yablonsky series continued.

CherylR said...

I would love to see Laurien Berenson's Melanie Travis series come back

Paula said...

I am still sad.. I was so excited to see a new book and only to find out it's just on Kindle. I don't have a Kindle, I don't want a Kindle but I miss Nina and would so like to catch up.. I am highly irritated at dumb publishers who make an author with a great series going make them stop cause they think the public wants more vampire stories. Please.. Thanks for letting me vent. Am really glad to at least see a kindle edition. :) I miss Selma Eichler, Katy Munger, Kathy Trocheck, Beth Sherman, Julie Smith and Annie Griffin to name just a few.

Books by Heather said...

There are some great series here that need to make a comeback. Hopefully they will.

Paula, I understand about the e-book. The price for me to pub a print book would be about $12.95... I am thinking about doing it, but I'm on the fence. Seems like such a steep price compared to $2.99.

Btw, not sure if you know that Kathy Trocheck writes as Mary Kay Andrews as well. Love her books.

Anonymous said...

I was thrilled to see the next Nina Quinn book. Lucky me, I have an iPad and can get the Kindle for that.

Even though I enjoy her other books, I wish there were more Periodic Table Mysteries by Camille Minichino. Again, publishers didn't want any others.

Chaplain Jan said...

Would love to see more Thistle & Twigg books (Mary Saums), but the author of the series I love best (Southern Sisters) died. Sure do miss Anne George's quirky characters.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Elaine about Kat Colorado. I recently e-mailed Laurien Berenson about her Melanie Travis series. She advised that a new one will be out in 2013

Shirley -

Books by Heather said...

Would LOVE another Anne George book. Might have to re-read that series now. :)

Dru said...

I would love to see Abby from the Yellow Rose series by Leann Sweeney back. I miss Abby.

Dru said...

I'm glad that Nina is back and can't wait to read her story.