Nancy Springer

Award winning author of Dark Lie, the Enola Holmes and Rowan Hood series, and a plethora of other books. Nancy has been named as winner or nominee of multiple awards for Juvenile, Young Adult and Adult Literature including the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Hugo Best Short Story, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature for Best Novel.

A NYC blog group is riding the subway while reading Nancy Springer's Dark Lie

Drawn Into Darkness, Nancy Springer's latest book due fall 2013

In Bookstores Now

Darkness lies closer than you think…

Liana Clymer is running away—from her divorce, from her past, from herself. Leaving behind everything she knows, she finds herself ensconced in a fuchsia-colored cottage in the swampy hinterlands of the Florida panhandle.  Far from the grown sons who don’t return her calls, her only companion her dog, Liana decides to put her best foot forward and get to know whoever lives in the blue house across the street, the only neighbors within sight of her new home. 

But moments after a teenage boy, Justin, answers the door and wins her over with his shy kindness, his face appears on the TV screen, and is immediately recognizable as the child who was taken from his parents two years ago.  Worse, Justin’s abductor has no intention of letting Liana go. 

A powerful will to live…and to save Justin too…seizes hold of Liana.  She will fight tooth and nail to survive. But does she have what it takes to thwart a wily, depraved psychopath for whom abuse is a way of life…and killing is routine? From Drawn Into Darkness, coming Nov. 2013.

Heard Around the Web

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2013 - "In this gripping psychological (Dark Lie) thriller--smart, chilling, and unrelenting--Nancy Springer establishes herself as an exciting new suspense writer with a distinctive voice and some surprises up her sleeve. To their neighbors, Dorrie and Sam Whiteare a contented couple in America’s heartland, with steady jobs, a suburban home, and plenty of community activities to keep them busy. But they’re not quite what they seem. For plain, hard-working Sam hides a depth of devotion for his wife that no one would suspect. And Dorrie is living a lie--beset by physical ailments, alone within herself...and secretly following the comings and goings of the sixteen-year-old daughter, Juliet, she gave up for adoption when she was hardly more than a child herself. Then one day at the mall, Dorrie watches horror-stricken as Juliet is abducted, forced into a van that drives away. Instinctively, Dorrie sends her own car speeding after it--an act of reckless courage that puts her on a collision course with a depraved killer...and draws Sam into a dogged, desperate search to save his wife. As mother and daughter unite in a terrifying struggle to survive, to what extremes will Dorrie go in overcoming her own limitations...and in confronting her dark, tormented past?"

"Nancy Springer's first foray into suspense is a darkly riveting read, featuring a scarred heroine whose past is shrouded in a shameful secret she would kill--or die--to protect. The pages swiftly fall away, along with layers of secrets and lies to reveal the pulsing heart of this compelling thriller: the primal bonds between parent and child, between man and woman--and the fine line between love and hate." ~Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times Bestselling Author

"...Springer gets to the heart of what it takes to be a novelist in an earlier post over at Long and Short Reviews, where she lists “the Three Inane Question most frequently asked of novelists”: 1. “How long does it take you to write a novel?” 2. “How do you find the time?” 3. “Where do you get your ideas?” In response to the first, Springer answers, “How can I explain how long it takes to write a novel? Your whole life, that's how long. Your childhood, your dreams, your waking time and sleeping time and loving and hurting time all go in.” Read more of her insights here. Dark Lie has already received several excellent reviews, which we've included below:

“As the author alternates among the points of view of Dorrie and other characters...she makes the far-fetched feel plausible, building the stoic Dorrie into a protagonist of epic proportions...A fine finale...A compulsive page turner that will have readers cheering on the decidedly unglamorous heroine, this thriller gets points for making the suburban mom-type the one who saves the day.” --Kirkus

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“[Springer] captures the fear of the women and the sickness of their captor with precision and the resolution of the kidnapping with unforeseen irony.” --RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars, Top Pick

“A gripping story that draws the reader in and doesn't let go until the final page.” --Stuff and Nonsense Blog

“A most unusual psychological thriller...If you're looking for something very different and gripping in a noir thriller, you won't go wrong with Dark Lie.”

“A fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have you reading late into the night and cheering for the novel's unlikely but steadfast heroine.” --Heather Gudenkauf, author of the New York Times bestselling novels THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and THESE THINGS HIDDEN

“A darkly riveting read...The pages swiftly fall away, along with layers of secrets and lies, to reveal the pulsing heart of this compelling thriller: the primal bonds between parent and child, between man and woman—and the fine line between love and hate.” --Wendy Corsi Staub, author of HELL TO PAY

"A page-turner of a thriller with a truly unique and fascinating heroine." --Alison Gaylin, national bestselling author of AND SHE WAS find the entire review on Nancy here:

Nancy's Blog


About Nancy

As a child, I lived in Eden. I explored every inch of the fascinating brook that meandered crystalline amid wildflowers and willows to the swamp along the Passaic river where I discovered herons, hawks, muskrats, snapping turtles.

Coming home from school feeling bruised, I turned to the brook, the swamp, the fields of farmland and the deep forest on Riker's Hill to comfort me. Until I was thirteen I ran like a freckled fawn where the owls lived, where the wild phlox grew, where sometimes frogs could be caught.

Then my family moved away. The place we left must have been the last remaining rural spot in Livingston, New Jersey. A year later we came back and I saw the trees bulldozed, the wetlands drained and the brook banished to a culvert, all for the sake of a housing development. I have grieved for Eden lost ever since.

Writing this, I realize for the first it might seem odd that, bullied in school, I turned to Mother Nature instead of my mother. I can say only that Mom and Dad were good people, but theirs was the old-fashioned farmhouse style of parenting. Dad worked to "bring home the bacon"; Mom painted pet portraits. They fed me, clothed me, and let me grow. Daily I did my chores, which included collecting warm brown eggs. Whenever a broody hen pecked my hand, I told my father, pointed out the culprit, then held her down while he chopped her head off. I watched her flap around, helped to pluck her feathers, and then my mother, gutting her in order to cook her, would show me the sand in her gizzard and the transparent egg she had not yet laid. We were matter-of-fact. No one cared about feelings, Education, yes.

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I read at will from my parents' large library, so that even when I was not outside I was still running wild -- in the world of words. But no Disney for me. A television set arrived in the house when I was six, but I never turned it on; that was for my father to do when, nightly, we gathered as a family to watch for an hour. Aside from beautiful horses, nearly everything about cowboys and Indians traumatized me. I hated TV. Still don't like it much. But, as I have said, when I was thirteen, we moved -- to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where there was no more time for TV because my parents had acquired a small motel. The guidance counselor at my new school informed me, to my astonishment, that I was very bright. And wonder of wonders, my new classmates did not torment me. Overnight I transformed from an underachiever into a straight-A student. I still went outside every day after school, through farm fields down to a creek, but now I did it to walk Mom's Sheltie dogs--mostly.

Still, I kept to myself. I skipped being a teenager -- all those messy emotions; my parents wouldn't have liked it. Instead, I cleaned motel rooms with them, read Steinbeck and Hemingway, drew wistful pictures of horses, taught myself to play guitar, practiced my violin. Also, I began to daydream so much, so graphically and so vividly that I worried about myself.

The daydreams continued right through college, although by then I was having some fun. Thanks to Twiggy I was no longer a joke, and I shocked my parents (about time) by becoming a fashionably long-haired, raccoon-eyed hippie. But beneath my ponchos and beads I had no beliefs, no causes, no clue as to life goals or emotions or love. So when a nice-enough boy named Joel Springer asked me to marry him, I said yes. That was what smart girls went to college for in the sixties, to be teachers or get married. I didn't want to be a teacher so I got married.

Very shortly I discovered that marriage was not a cure-all. Those shivery-strong daydreams were still with me, so in an attempt to offload them I wrote my first fantasy novel. I had no ambition to be a writer; in fact I felt no authority to write -- in English Lit we had studied only male novelists -- but I couldn't help it. Meanwhile, I had my first baby, Jonathan Paul, and upon making his acquaintance I experienced, to my bone-deep astonishment, an overwhelming emotion: love. Finally growing up, I admitted I might want to be a writer, sent out my first novel, and was published. For a little while I became my own world's wonder. Over the moon. And pregnant again. This time a girl -- perfect! -- Nora Lynn.

But after the second baby's birth, I had postpartum depression which escalated -- let me put it this way: all the tantrums I had never thrown as a child, all the rebellions I had never rebelled as a teen, all the doors never slammed, angers never shouted, grudges never spoken, all detonated at once, attacking the only permissible target: myself. I wanted me dead.

I scared me sleepless.

It's called clinical depression. The less said about the next several years, the better. Ultimately my writing saved me. Looking back, I can see myself gaining a little strength in each book. First, in the Isle fantasies, working out the yang and yin of good and evil. Then, starting in Wings of Flame, realizing that I was female, and later claiming power as a woman -- in The Hex Witch of Seldom,

Nancy Springer and Lilian Stewart Carl, WorldCon, Nancy Springer Biography Fair Peril, Larque on the Wing. Less depressed, I grew less interested the inner world of my psyche; I wanted to turn my vision outward, to the real world. I bought a horse. A horse! The childhood dream. And I started writing children's books about horses, taking a break from fantasy.

My wonderful, thriving son and daughter, plus horseback riding, plus allowing myself to be human, plus the amazing and incomprehensible fact that people wanted to read what I wrote -- all of this made me feel a whole lot better.

I kept growing more and more, not only as a self branching out socially but as a writer branching out into different topics and genres, now that I was writing for the love of it rather than out of desperation. In 1994 I had five different books released by five different publishers. In 1995 I won my first Edgar.

In 1996 my husband left me.

Stupid old story; I'd always sworn it wasn't going to happen to me. Once I'd learned love from my firstborn, I worked hard at putting some into my marriage. For a while it seemed to work. But I had become a real person, no longer the passive waif my husband wanted, so a few weeks after my daughter started college I found myself completely alone in the empty nest. Then (honestly, a horror writer couldn't have plotted it better) along came menopause.

Which dumped me into depression almost as awful as before. Again, the less said of the next few years, the better. Yet, duringNancy Springer horseback 1990 this ridiculously difficult time I wrote the best work I had done so far. With the encouragement of my wonderful agent, Jean Naggar, and the coaching of a brilliant editor, Michael Green, I completed I Am Mordred: A Tale of Camelot, then went on to write I am Morgan Le Fay.

I sound terribly professional. It wasn't like that. I still needed the comfort of my mother (Mother Nature; my real mother had Alzheimer's), but my beloved Morgan mare had been struck by lightning and killed (Honestly! I couldn't make this stuff up.) so rather than trail riding, I walked a lot. When I couldn't be outside, I did things my ex wouldn't have liked, such as painting flowers on the walls. I even took a life-sized ceramic woodchuck, put a daisy-decked straw hat on it, and painted its portrait. My friends told me I needed to get a life.

I was trying to do so, working at a no-kill animal shelter while taking in stray cats on my own. Then one day in late 1999, I met a man who wanted a Chihuahua.

His name was Jaime Fernando Pinto, and he's been around ever since. He loves me out loud. No more obsessive daydreams for me. No need.

It was Jaime who gave me the encouragement and support I needed to get out of the house where the ghosts of husband and children haunted me. I fell in love with a chalet-style home by a lake, moved there, married Jaime, and rediscovered my childhood joy of fishing. Several years later, so that Jaime could retire into a dream of aviation, we moved again, to the Florida panhandle, where we spent a year in a hangar at an airport located in an absolute paradise of a swamp. Every day I watched the wading birds, the long-winged tropical butterflies, the lizards basking. Every night I went out to see the tree frogs, toads, huge silk moths, and snakes. A small (5-foot) alligator attended my 59th birthday party, and 911 had to be called to escort him away! The only thing better would have been if someone had given me a pony.

Jaime and I now live in a real house just down the road from the airport where I still ride my bike, looking for trouble to get into. Other than that, I write, I feed feral cats, I do face-painting for public library fund-raisers, I read, I fly with Jaime over this Edenic place where two of my favorite things, water and forest, come together, and I write some more. Every day is a new story.

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Nancy Springer is an award winning author who has written more than 50 books. Her works include children's, young adult and adult writings and she has won a collection of awards including:

  • Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature Best Novel nominee (1982): The Sable Moon[4]
  • World Fantasy Best Short Story nominee (1987): "The Boy Who Plaited Manes"[5]
  • Hugo Best Short Story nominee (1987): "The Boy Who Plaited Manes"[6]
  • Nebula Best Short Story nominee (1987): "The Boy Who Plaited Manes"
  • Tiptree Award (1995): Larque on the Wing[2]
  • Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery (1995): Toughing It[3]
  • Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery (1996): Looking for Jamie Bridger[3]
  • Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature Best Novel nominee (1997): Fair Peril[4]
  • Carolyn W. Field Award (1999): I am Mordred[7]
  • Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery nominee (2007): The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery[3]
  • Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery nominee (2010): The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline: An Enola Holmes Mystery[3]

Novels         Young Adult/Children's         Short Stories

Click for a complete list of Nancy's works; books, ebooks, and short stories.

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In the News

Drawn Into Darkness is featured in the Jan/Feb Issue of Southern Writers Magazine. Click the image to check out their site for more information.

Nancy Springer named as a featured writer in Southern Writers Magazine