Let’s Talk with Nancy J Cohen

Discovering a New Genre
by Nancy J. Cohen

Do you remember which books hooked you on the genres you love? For me, mysteries are easy. I grew up on Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, and Judy Bolton. Cherry Ames inspired me to become a nurse, while Judy Bolton taught me that characters in a series need to grow and change.

This interest segued into romantic suspense when I discovered Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Phyllis Whitney. And then I found Barbara Cartland. This queen of Regency romance introduced me to historical romance, a genre I still love today. In a way, this prepared me for the historical mysteries that I currently read.

As for the cozy mystery, it was Jill Churchill’s “punny” titles, such as War and Peas, that attracted me to this genre. Mystery, humor and a touch of romance—what was not to like? Diane Mott Davidson introduced me to the culinary mystery. Now we have a broad selection of choices in this genre.

I’d also read spy novels and men’s adventure at one point, probably because my father loved to read them. We ate up Alistair Maclean, Nick Carter, and Clive Cussler. But I gravitated away from these books toward titles with female leads.

For purely escapist reading, I like fantasy and science fiction. Strong female heroines are a must for me in these genres. But where did this interest start? I can’t put my finger on any particular book. Was it Lord of the Rings epic fantasy series for that genre? Star Trek on TV for the scifi? To this day, I love a good scifi space opera story with a female at the helm or a fantasy where a woman discovers her special powers.

Then there’s futuristic or scifi romance, as it’s now called. I have to thank Marilyn Campbell for awakening me to this genre. A published author and critique partner, she urged me to write one of these. I did, and this book became my first published novel. Circle of Light went on to win the HOLT Medallion Award.

At any one time, I’ll be reading three books in different genres. Like now, I’m reading a cozy mystery, historical military adventure, and a fantasy novel. There are just too many good books out there to narrow my focus to one genre alone.

Do you remember how you got started on the genres you love? Which ones do you currently read? Leave a comment below and your name will be entered into a drawing for an ebook copy of Silver Serenade, one of my science fiction romances. Maybe you’ll discover a new genre with exciting horizons to explore.

AND, while you’re here, click over to our Contest page where there are lovely reading choices you could win to help you Fall into a Good Mystery! Click HERE.