PageOneLit.com: Where did you grow up and was reading and
writing a part of your life? Who were your earliest influences and
Mangano: I was born in Lansing, Michigan and I moved to California as a
toddler. I have spent most of my life in Anaheim (Orange County),
California, and I have always had an interest in reading and
writing, with an emphasis on writing. When I was growing up, I would
write fun stories and I would make an “About the Author” page. I
would cut out my school picture and tape it on my “About the Author”
page. In high school I wrote and illustrated a children’s book for a
school project and at one point I tried writing songs. When I would
see a great movie or watch a great story on TV, I was always
fascinated by who the writer was…I wanted to know whose mind thought
that way. I still do. When I see a great movie, I wait for the
credits to see who wrote it. Also, on my last day of my senior year
of high school, my English teacher wrote me a note telling me that I
have a way with words and that I should be a writer. Of course, at
that young age, I had other interests in mind.
One of my earliest influences was Edith Wharton with her novel, The
House of Mirth. I loved that story. I also enjoy reading Jennifer
Weiner and Anne Tyler books, and great suspense stories. When I want
saucy fun, I take pleasure in reading Jackie Collins novels.
PageOneLit.com: Why do you write?
Nancy Mangano: I write because I truly love to do it and I enjoy the process. As I
write, it feels to me like I was meant to write…it feels natural. I
love taking a blank piece of paper and building an entire story
through words. As a writer, you can bring extreme emotion to
yourself as the author and also to the reader. It still amazes me
how by just the formation of words on paper, you can bring an entire
world of characters to life that elicit laughter, sadness, joy,
sorrow, etc. in the minds and hearts of the readers.
PageOneLit.com: Briefly tell us about your new book A PASSION
Mangano: A Passion for Prying is a great read filled with murder, mystery,
humor, fashion and a touch of the risqué. The book mixes the crime
genre with comedy. Natalie North works as a licensed private
investigator in her father’s PI firm, I Pry., Inc. Natalie’s
specialty is busting adulterous partners, and always in a great pair
of high heels! Tired of endless days chasing panting people
incapable of keeping their pants on, Natalie aches to work a case of
substance. When a murder-suicide takes place at a nearby diner,
Natalie tosses her cautious nature aside and begins to snoop into
the crime, of what she believes to be a double homicide. Due to her
prying nature and her best friend Cindy Hutchins’ fraudulent
get-rich-quick scheme, Natalie misses two bullets propelled her way.
This gives Natalie her dream: the chance to solve a gritty, felony
attempted murder case. The eerie part is that Natalie ends up
dissecting her own intended death.
Toss into the mix Natalie’s love triangle, torn between Darren
McAllister, the hotshot L.A. deputy district attorney, and Jett Jaso,
the hunky Hollywood actor, and Natalie’s life weaves a deeper web of
intrigue, danger and passion. Natalie’s day-to-day dealings leave
you laughing through all her escapades.
PageOneLit.com: Who is Natalie North? Who is Norton North?
Natalie North is a strong, gorgeous, independent woman who can hold
her own in life, but carries a soft, sensitive side as well. Natalie
makes a living carrying a gun and chasing after unscrupulous people,
yet she is also cautious and kind. She lives on her own in a Los
Angeles apartment, loves her family, and is torn between the
affections of two men. Natalie is intelligent, has a Bachelor’s
Degree in Psychology, and yet gets by in life more with her gut
instincts and her common sense. She is quite intriguing.
Norton North is Natalie’s father. He is a retired LAPD officer and
loves police work. Norton is an over-protective father and a bit of
a softie, who after twenty-seven years of marriage to Vera North
(Natalie’s mother) and four years divorced, still pines away for his
ex-wife. Norton is loyal almost to a fault, as his overwhelming love
for Vera almost takes him to “stalker” level. By constantly trailing
unfaithful partners, and living this world everyday, Norton suspects
everyone is a cheat, including Vera.
PageOneLit.com: If Hollywood called and asked you to cast A
PASSION FOR PRYING for feature film who would you cast and why?
Mangano: For the part of Natalie, I would almost prefer an unknown actress,
where the public has no stereotypes or preconceived notions built
up. If I chose a known actress, I would like to see Keira Knightley
cast as Natalie, since she portrays sexiness and softness. Steve
Martin would make a perfect Norton, as he looks the part and Kim
Basinger would do justice to Vera with her movie star glamour.
Jennifer Tilly would be a great casting fit for Amy Cobb, Norton’s
secretary who plays a large part in the success of the I Pry, Inc.
private investigations agency. Jennifer Tilly is well-rounded and
has a vast comedic talent.
PageOneLit.com: How did your professional career help in
writing A PASSION FOR PRYING?
Mangano: I have an Associate in Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and I was
employed for five years at The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner
Department, so this adds to the accuracy of A Passion for Prying. I
love police work and I am particularly intrigued by great detective
work. I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and I
interned at KCBS-TV and KTLA-TV where I was able to write both hard
and soft news stories. I also assisted Harvey Levin, who at that
time was the KCBS investigative reporter. I also interned and worked
at NBC-TV in Burbank, where I drafted news stories and assisted in
the movies/miniseries entertainment division.
Much like Natalie North, my main character, I love fashion, style
PageOneLit.com: What do you hope to achieve with A PASSION
Mangano: I want to take readers on a fun journey where they laugh, lose
themselves in the story and stay completely entertained from page
one to the end of the book. If readers finish the novel and say,
“That was fun!” or “That was heartwarming and entertaining!” then I
am happy. The book is pure escapism…like eating a delicious hot
PageOneLit.com: What was the last book you read?