Nancy Mehl is the author of more than forty books and a Christy Award finalist, as well as a Carol Award winner, the winner of an ACFW Book of the Year Award, and the winner of the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense in the inspirational romance category. Her short story, Chasing Shadows, was in the USA Today bestselling Summer of Suspense anthology. Nancy writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson.
In this interview, she talks about the third book in her The Quantico Files Series, Free Fall.
FF: Can you please provide a brief summary of your novel, Free Fall?
Someone has been abducting women with long dark hair across Virginia. When the FBI is called in to help, Alex Donovan, a behavioral analyst, is tasked with putting together a profile. She’s aided by her friend and colleague Logan Hart, but he has been acting strangely and won’t say why. When the kidnapper demands that Alex meet him at an abandoned amusement park in exchange for the location of all his captives, she takes the bait. But the meeting proves to be a trap, and Alex is abducted. Finding herself imprisoned with several other women, Alex works to think one step ahead of her captor. But the more Logan and the BAU learn about the kidnapper, the more they fear Alex may not make it out alive.
FF: What is different for Alex in Free Fall after the events in your second book in the series, Dead Fall?
Alex is forced to face feelings she’s tried hard to ignore. Free Fall doesn’t only put Alex in physical danger. Emotionally, she must confront the possible loss of a man that has meant so much to her. Free Fall will delve into the hearts and fears of its two main characters in a way I haven’t allowed them to explore before.
FF: What sort of research do you do to write from the perspective of a behavioral analyst within the FBI?
I’m blessed to have a retired FBI behavioral analyst as a resource for these books. Most of the information I get is from her, but I also do research using other materials.
FF: What influences your writing about characters involved in government organizations like the FBI and witness-protection programs?
I have a deep respect for law enforcement. These people put their lives on the line to protect us. Of course, there’s the danger aspect that adds excitement to my books, but I also believe readers need to care about the characters I write about. They must be people readers can admire. I create characters that I believe fit this description.
FF: What do you love about writing suspense?
The excitement! I love creating plots that will pull readers in and keep them engaged. I love it when someone contacts me and tells me they stayed up late reading because they couldn’t put my book down.
FF: How does your faith impact your writing?
It’s the reason I write. I pray over every book, asking God to use it to touch someone. Jesus told parables, using fictional stories to show people who God is, how much they are loved. My goal is to do the same with my books.
FF: How did you develop a character like Alex Donovan, with a dark past and determination to help others?
Actually, characters just come to me. That’s never been a challenge. I think maybe creating a difficult past is easier for me because of the way I grew up. I believe I have empathy for other people who have traveled a rather rough road in life.
FF: Do you particularly relate to any of your characters?
I relate to all of them. Each one is made up of some of my own thoughts, fears, and struggles.
FF: What do you hope your audience feels as they read your book?
I hope they can see that God has a great plan for every person. And that no matter what they struggle with, God is waiting to deliver them, heal them, set them free. Nothing is impossible for Him!
The Quantico Files Series #3
Genres: Mystery & Suspense, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 14, 2022
The closer she comes to the truth, the deadlier her chase gets.
FBI behavioral analyst Alex Donovan and her colleague Logan Hart have been called upon to write a profile for a missing woman, but a little digging quickly turns up more disappearances in Virginia with the same physical description.
Alex is in a race against the clock to rescue the missing victims, so when the UNSUB makes demands of her in exchange for information, Alex takes the bait. But when her life is put in jeopardy, Logan must do whatever it takes to track them down before time runs out.
Alex works to think one step ahead of the suspect, but the more Logan and the BAU learn about the serial kidnapper, the more they fear Alex may not make it out alive.
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