Barbara Nachman

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A Life for a Life Book Cover


Q: “A Life for a Life” is your newest book. Why did you write it?

A: I began “A Life for a Life” shortly after the Sandy Hook   
Elementary School massacre. I vacillated between profound sadness and intense anger. How could 20 innocent children and six teachers lose their precious lives because a madman had a gun!  I had to do something about this. All I had was my skill as a writer. Over the years, I put the manuscript down many times. I optimistically believed Congress would pass gun-safety laws. I picked up the manuscript again and again when that didn’t happen. Finally, when 17 teenagers and teachers were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I finished the book and published it.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

A: Just a little because the book is a mystery/thriller and I don’t want to give away too much. In a nutshell, “A Life for a Life” is about a group of people who have lost loved ones to gun violence. They tried everything to make the country safer. And they failed. Now, with nothing else to lose, they take drastic measures to effect change. It’s a dark book, but I hope it leads to the light. I will be shamelessly promoting this book because all profits from its sale go to groups working to tighten gun laws and make our country safer for our children.

Q: “A Life for A Life” seems like a departure from your other books. Is it? 

A: Yes and no. It is darker, for sure. But my other books also reflect my passion. In “Life” that passion is anger over our insanely lax gun laws. Even my Who-Done-It? Who-Wore-It? Mysteries are more than mere entertainment. My love for fashion is evident. And each book has a message. In one, it’s a feminist theme about the importance of equal opportunity. In another, it’s about what could happen when parents prevent children from following their dreams. And then there’s “Sylvie Shine Senior Snoop Sleuth.” I wrote that book to prove that the wisdom of age is more valuable than the beauty of youth.   

Q: I’ve heard that you were born with a pencil in your hand. What’s that about?

A: I began my writing career as a toddler, scribbling in the books on the bottom shelf in my father’s library. I wrote my first poem when I was nine years old. In the third grade, my teacher forgave me for jumping out of my seat when I wrote a poem titled, "I hate to sit." In college, I raised my grade in public speaking by writing a paper on Greek orators. And when a boyfriend moved across the country, I wrote him letters that made him fall in love with me. I finally turned writing into a career and spent nearly 30 years as a journalist, mostly at a daily suburban newspaper. I was also an adjunct professor teaching the art of writing for the Internet. After retiring, I turned to fiction. I'm now looking for an agent to represent my next book, “Men, Madness, Murder,” featuring freewheeling, freethinking Private Eye Mona-Lise Hadley. And I have a sci-fi, action book ricocheting through my head. It addresses another passion: Saving our planet by addressing climate change.

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