Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NANCY LYNN JARVIS-Realtor turned Murderer

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


Marni said...

Nancy, good for you! I was an RN for almost 30 years before being able to write full time. Love it! And yes, one of my series features a nurse, Trudy Genova, doing my favorite job: medical consultant for soap operas. Of course, no one was murdered on the sets I worked on, but for Trudy that's another matter...

Congrats on the series!

jenny milchman said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of murder, Nancy! Your books sound intriguing--I too love the cerebral detective, someone who sees what others miss. I will look forward to checking them out!

Nancy Lynn Jarvis said...

Hi Marni and Jenny,
Marni, I'm having images of IVs filled with poison and perfectly gorgeous starlets getting rid of their competition. What fun!

Regan still thinks about what's going on and why, but by Buying Murder, she's getting more daring.


Nancy Lynn Jarvis said...

Hi again Marni,
I've been trying to find contact info for you and am now feeling like not a very good detective.

Given your background, you may know how to stab someone to cause a quick bleed-out.Please contact me at to talk gore!


Peg Brantley said...

The power of the blog! I have downloaded a sample of THE DEATH CONTINGENCY and am looking forward to reading it.

At about the time many of the people in my field went from eagles to turkeys, I made the decision to move on to something else. And Nancy, if a mortgage banker or broker wasn't the bad guy in one of your novels, I know you've considered the possibility more than once!

Gerrie Ferris Finger said...

Thanks you Nancy for being myguest and for your comments. Gerrie