Nancy Pickard is a four-time Edgar Award nominee, most recently for her Ballantine debut, The Virgin of Small Plains. She is the winner of the Anthony Award, the Macavity Award, and three Agatha Awards. Her short stories have also won numerous accolades. Pickard has been a national board member of the Mystery Writers of America and president of Sisters in Crime, and she is a member of PEN. She lives in Merriam, Kansas.
Nancy Pickard's website
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In two separate interviews, one video, one text, Nancy Pickard talks about her novel, The Scent of Rain and Lightning, set in Gove County, Kansas
Random House Readers Circle: How did the idea for this story come about?
Nancy Pickard: It started with the landscape. I saw a photograph of Monument Rocks in Gove County, Kansas, and it blew me away. Since then, I've been out there to see them. They are so unexpected, so enormous, so beautiful, and they're such a dramatic contrast to the ultraflat ground from which they rise. Even from seeing only a photo, I sensed I had to set a story there. (In the novel, I renamed them Testament Rocks.)
RHRC: Many reviewers have raved about your ability to make Kansas come alive in this book and your previous book. The setting for The Scent of Rain and Lightning is very different from the one you used in The Virgin of Small Plains. How do you choose the settings and landscapes for your stories?
NP: I think they choose me. Something about a landscape will grab me and haunt me. It won't let go until it has its very own book! Currently I'm working on a book set in the farthest corner of southeastern Kansas, and for a long time I couldn't figure ...
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