Author Nancy Lynn Jarvis has been a Santa Cruz, California, Realtor® for more than twenty years. She owns a real estate company with her husband, Craig.
After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, she worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager of Shakespeare/Santa Cruz.
Nancy’s work history reflects her philosophy: people should try something radically different every few years. Writing is her newest adventure. She invites you to take a peek into the real estate world through the stories that form the backdrop of her Regan McHenry mysteries. Details and ideas come from Nancy’s own experiences.
Take it away, Nancy.
OK. You seem nice. You seem like someone I could talk to, like someone who would understand. I have a confession to make. I like to kill people sometimes.
Until about three years ago I sold houses — that’s right — I was a Realtor. But then the market tanked and I took a break from real estate. I got bored pretty quickly and started having these fantasies about murdering people.
It’s not that much of a stretch, real estate agents and murder, I mean. Realtors really do find bodies — sometimes dead bodies, sometimes just naked bodies — people don’t always get notified when their houses are going to be shown — but it’s an interesting business. And after twenty years I had seen a lot of things to feed my fantasies.
So I decided, just as a way to fill time, to write mysteries from a real estate agent’s perspective. I figured I could tell you about some of the things I had seen — some of the funny or crazy things — and about the bodies.
It turns out murdering people is fun. Instead of just taking a time-out from being a Realtor, I’ve retired…or moved on…and am killing for a living.
I have three books out now and am working on the fourth. I can’t tell you too much about the books because they are mysteries, but you’ll like reading about killing people the way I do it. I’m not big on graphic gore, although I do enjoy researching ways to get rid of people. I guess that’s not surprising — I do like CSI — but I’m more of a fan of the Mentalist. I like the way Patrick Jane solves mysteries: by noticing things others overlook, asking questions others aren’t asking, and by reading people. That’s how my protagonist, Regan McHenry solves mysteries and murders, too.
I just had a great idea. I know how I can introduce you to my books without giving too much away. Why don’t you go to my website and take a look? Read the beginning chapters of my books. You can do it for free. You’ll start to see how my mind works and get a better sense of how I write than by reading anything I can say here. (But since book four isn’t ready to be posted yet, I will have to tell you about how it will begin.
It starts on Halloween with a person dressed as death passing out cards to partygoers. All the cards have future dates on them except for one man’s. His has a time on it, a time just about an hour in the future.)
Oh, and there’s a recipe for Mysterious Chocolate Chip Cookies on the website in case you’re into chocolate with your murders. Come on — just between us — I bet you are, aren’t you?
Nancy Lynn Jarvis