Behind the Scenes with Nancy J. Cohen
How do you organize your book collection at home?
May 3, 2016
My fiction works are organized by genre. Let’s go room to room and see what’s in there. In my office, naturally I keep my own books on the shelves. Here, too, are my writing references. I also keep my collection of futuristic romances and scifi/fantasy series in this room.
YA books are found in our kids’ rooms, along with my collection of paranormal romance novels. When I feel like a read that’s dark, mysterious, and sexy, I’ll take a book from that shelf.
My TBR pile is on the bookshelf in our master bedroom. This is handy for when I finish one book and reach for the next on my list.
Beyond the kitchen is our family room. In here we have classic works of fiction, nonfiction books, and my extensive cookbook collection. Even in the dining room you’ll find books, although these are copies of my own titles in covered plastic bins. The only room that is devoid of books is the living room.
“A day without a book is like a day without wine or chocolate.” Who said this? I did! Feel free to quote me.
My Favorite Vacation
These days, my favorite vacation is Disney World. We’ve been going there since 1976, when my husband and I got engaged. We went there to celebrate this momentous occasion. At the time, the Magic Kingdom was the only park open. Since our meeting each other was magic to us, this magical realm suited us both. The parks gradually expanded into Hollywood Studios, Epcot and the Animal Kingdom plus Downtown Disney and numerous resorts. Our kids were born, and we went back once or twice a year, pushing their strollers in the early days when we rented them with our name written on a tag. I remember having ours stolen once. Our younger child cried when she met a Disney character. They can be scary in their costumes. Our family albums are filled with photos of our visits.
Next came time for another celebration. I’d sold my first book. Circle of Light was a dream come true, and what better place to celebrate. I have a glass-blown castle that my husband gave me as a tribute to my first published novel. This was the year The Lion King came out, and the Circle of Life song was especially meaningful.
Our kids grew up. Still we maintained our love for this magical place. When you’re tense and feel as though you need a release valve, there’s nothing more satisfying than a trip here, if you don’t mind the crowds. Everyone is out for a good time. The employees are friendly. It’s a happy place. Just bring your wallet. Or buy an annual pass and take advantage of passholder benefits.
Now our children are grown adults and out on their own. Yet where do they live? Not far from our favorite place! We finally bought a condo at Disney’s backyard so we could visit as often as we please. Every day, we can take a walk and immerse ourselves in a new environment: one of the four parks, Downtown Disney (currently under renovation), one of the themed resorts with interesting dining and shady paths for walking. It’s become an annual tradition to go to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. And now that the Flower show has food booths, we must attend this event as well. I have a collection of cookbooks from the various Disney festivals.
It’s not as though we haven’t been anywhere else. My husband and I have been on over twenty cruises. We honeymooned in the South Pacific and took a tour to the Orient. I went all around Europe on a Eurailpass after college. And I’ve visited many of the states in this great country. But for a happy escape nearly in our backyard, we’ll go visit Mickey Mouse. Consider it all part of my love for storytelling. I like living a fantasy, what can I say?
My Current Projects
I am working on book #13 in my Bad Hair Day Mysteries. I am also preparing to submit audio editions of my backlist mystery titles and to get online any books missing from my list.
Where I Live
I live in a western suburb of Fort Lauderdale in a pleasant neighborhood with single story ranch style homes. Our house has four bedrooms plus a den that serves as my home office. We’ve recently replaced our roof with white barrel tile. Many of the plants and trees we planted ourselves and watched grow over the years. Our banana plants, lychee tree, and coconut palms yield fruit while the avocado tree in our backyard is leafy but barren. I love to walk along the sidewalks and admire the tropical foliage that graces our community. Here’s a typical bird to be found foraging on our lawn:
My Work Habits
I get up early, usually by 5 am, and get a cup of coffee to bring into my home office. My husband is our official coffee maker since he rises earlier than me. Then I begin work, taking a break around 6:30 to get dressed and eat breakfast. We’ll go for a mile long walk before the sun rises too far and the temperature along with it. Then it’s back to the computer until I finish my daily quota. If I’m writing, that’s five pages a day minimum. I always write a synopsis before I begin the story, so I know what has to happen in each scene. How it happens will unravel in the course of writing, and that’s where the story magic occurs. If I’m editing, my quota is one chapter per day. At lunchtime, I’ll break to meet a friend or grab a turkey sandwich. Afternoons are for naps and promotional/marketing activities online. I work until dinnertime and then relax with a movie on TV or a good book. I’m an early to bed and early to rise kind of gal so you won’t see me online at night. But I’ll be here fresh and early in the morning.
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