Nancy Hughes’s family says of her work: “She murders people.” On paper, that is. She made the leap from journalist, media, community relations and PR specialist to follow her heart and write mystery novels. She credits her love of writing to her parents, who were voracious readers. When Hughes was small, they spent hours reading to her, which fueled her lively imagination. Transplanted from Key West at age two, she never adjusted to the cold. While walking to grade school, then Penn State classes, she invented mystery stories to distract herself from the snow and ice. Now, nothing stirs the creative juices like a hot shower.

The view from her rural Pennsylvania home-office window is just as distracting as big city chaos when the deer munch her beloved azaleas. A three-hour commute to Manhattan connects Hughes to the Mystery Writers of America’s New York chapter meetings. Their devoted leaders provide timely updates, inspiration, mentor programs, workshops, seminars, tours, legal tips, and boundless moral support. And friends! With whom she exchanges war stories and encouragement. Being published by Black Opal Books and working with their professionals is a prodigious opportunity.