Interview: Nancy G. West

Please welcome Nancy G. West, author of the Aggie Mundeen series.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Rising about seven in a beautiful cool place, amid tall trees near water, to the smell of a family member cooking bacon for breakfast. We eat, then go for a walk, everyone telling about the interesting/funny/worrisome/stupid things going on in their lives. After everyone has done his/her dangwork for the day (beauty shop trips included), we gather in late afternoon for dinner. After dinner, we sing, play or listen to music. After much more talking, laughing and singing, people drift to bed one by one—safe, happy, and loved.

Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
I love bright colors: fuchsia, red, bright Irish green, marine blue (just about any shade of blue.)

Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
Shakespeare, Harper Lee, and the lady who taught creative writing at a St. Louis community college.

Do you listen to music when you write?
Music has its own language. When I listen, I’m completely tuned to it, listening to notes and inflections like I do when a person speaks. If two people talk at once, I can’t completely concentrate on each person. So I can’t concentrate on writing and simultaneously listen to music.

If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Smooth milk chocolate. Delectable, not dark. With a handful of nuts thrown in for surprise and amusement.

What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Dang Near Dead takes place at a dude ranch where Aggie Mundeen, Meredith and Detective Sam (incognito) go to vacation in the idyllic Texas Hill Country. Like Agatha Christi’s settings in a remote castle or on a moving train, a dude ranch exists separated from reality. Characters go there for various reasons. Most of them, not accustomed to outdoor living, have bizarre experiences that are dangerous or funny. I’ve been there.

What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Love, justice, truth, humor, people’s strengths and frailties, why some people commit crimes, why some people are compelled to solve them.

Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
Aggie Mundeen’s parents died when she was young, and a beloved aunt and uncle raised her. She saw love’s seamy side at age nineteen when her love abandoned her. She learned what real love is and values it highly, along with integrity, truth, and trustworthiness. She hates the thought of getting old before she can do, see, and meet every person, place and thing that interests her. She writes the column, “Stay Young with Aggie.” Smart, dangerously curious and determined to seek justice, she jumps into situations to right wrongs without having the proper investigative training—which leads to danger, chaos, humor, and a dicey relationship with Detective Sam.

Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Sandra Bullock (Miss Congeniality), Goldie Hawn (Private Benjamin), and Angela Lansbury (Murder, She Wrote.)

If you could host an author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Jodi Picoult, Harper Lee, Ken Follett. I’d sit between the first two so Churchill could translate everything Shakespeare said.

What’s next for you?
Aggie, always interested in staying young, returns to college to learn about the genetic effects of aging. It’s in the middle of the Human Genome Project, and scientists have located specific genes that affect health and life span. Can they alter these genes? Aggie is fascinated! Henery Press will release Smart, But Dead in spring 2015.


I’ve been writing since age seven: poems back and forth with my mom. I had a real poem published in the Library Journal, Pegasus. At age eighteen, I wanted to study journalism and English literature, but friends who chose that college route were making minimum wage or selling lingerie. Being practical, I earned a business degree. After marriage and two children, I decided I HAD to study literature and write. I wrote non-fiction articles, a biography, and a suspense novel in 2004. That’s when whimsical Aggie Mundeen cut through the suspense, popped into my head and demanded her own series: FIT TO BE DEAD was a Lefty award Finalist for best humorous mystery. DANG NEAR DEAD has just been released.


Facebook: www.facebook/authorNancyG.West

Amazon author page:


Henery Press author page:

Nancy and Aggie’s blog:

In addition to making comments here, contact Nancy anytime through these links, except for Amazon. She’d love to talk with you.


18 thoughts on “Interview: Nancy G. West”

  1. Thanks for visiting us, Nancy. Great answers. The mash up one makes me “get” her immediately. Sounds wonderful and going on my TBR list right now.

    Best wishes with Dang Near Dead…


  2. Thanks for visiting! I enjoyed sharing your table at that Left Coast when Fit to be Dead was new. I look forward to another installment.


  3. Cynthia,
    Thanks for the wonderful questions. You made me think!

    I would have answered sooner, but we had a family member undergoing surgery yesterday. He’s fine.

    I’m interested in your academic mystery in progress. Since Aggie goes back to college in Smart, But Dead to learn about how genes affect aging, it looks like we’re all in school together. Let me know how your mystery progresses?


  4. Mary,
    Your martial arts series sounds great. Aggie takes a defense class in the next mystery. Unfortunately, she’s a klutz and not the best student.
    I loved WPA and am waiting to see where it will be held next year.
    (p.s. I’m reading Agatha Christi’s After the Funeral.)


  5. Nancy, I’m so sorry to hear about your family member’s surgery and am glad that he is fine! Best healing wishes.

    And I’d love to talk to you about academic mysteries…via email?

    Thanks again for the visit!


  6. Julie, You can blame revisions for anything. I’m in the throws of revising Aggie’s 3rd book, Smart, But Dead, and hoping it doesn’t apply to me and the victim both. (:
    I’m so glad you like Aggie!


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