November 30, 2011

Made It Moment: Nash Black

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 11:02 pm


There are some Moments that require no intro. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know the writing duo of Nash Black on various writing forums and blogs. They are real, approachable, warm people who never fail to have an encouraging word for a fellow writer or reader. But their Moment? Or should I say, Moments? It will say more than I could about what it takes to leap at a certain point, and follow your dream.

Nash Black

I’m old enough to have heard a multitude of put-down phrases aimed at detective/mystery authors. The innuendoes are intended to render the recipient a shot of guilt should they indulge in amoral anti-intellectual behavior.

1940s – You read mysteries and detective novels.

1950s – Paperbacks! They are indecent and vulgar.

1960s – Pulitzer prize winners are superior reading.

1970s – A good book is reviewed by the New York Times.

1980s – Vanity presses publish inferior books.

1990s – Print On Demand books are of dubious caliber.

2000s – E-books are amateurish ego trips.

2010s – What sells is not a barometer for quality.

A span of seventy years cover our reading lifetime. The majority of books we read and kept for our personal shelves to read again plopped into several of the above categories. We were card carrying members of a public who read for pleasure; stealing a few hours from full days to relax and let the author lead us to discover ‘who-done-it.’ We started writing like many late-life authors who were searching for a skillful mixture of red herrings and clues to match our wits against the reader’s.

Our dream was to be represented by an agent who would find a publisher for our work. After more than ten years of attempting to reach our goal we knew that for us, time was running out. Contrary to the loving advice of friends and family, we garnered our meager resources to self-published with a print on demand publisher. We enjoyed a few moments of fame, but sales dropped off as the mechanics of promotion changed for the world of books. The world of social media had arrived while we were still struggling to relearn the principles of advertising and marketing we’d last studied in 1958.

Our Made It Moment arrived the month we received a five star review from Australia for Sandprints of Death,with news from Ireland that another reader found the story enjoyable enough to read our previous titles. We were being read on a global scale at the same time the buyer for Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, KY purchased 3 copies of each of our books. The books sit on the shelves of the gift shop where they are physically exposed to nearly a million visitors per year.

It took one person to cross the dining room and ask us to sign her copy for our pens to shake. This experience gave us the impetus to step outside the norm and publish on our own with an imprint we’d been using for over twenty years for other publications.

IF Publishing’s first venture as an entity is Visitorsa holiday story now available on all electronic platforms with a paperback edition available as well.

“The greatest risk is not taking one” is from a Chinese fortune cookie.

When you are rushing toward your eighth decade you are free to choose your own path. When you know an action is right for you then take it and don’t look back. You will have your own Made It Moment and the put-downs of the previous decades will fade into oblivion.

Nash Black is the nom de plume for the married team of Ford Nashett and Irene Black. Their passion for writing and story telling has earned them award finalist status for Haints (ghost story collection) and Writing as a Small Business. Nash Black reviews books, mainly mysteries, on Amazon and at their blog. You can follow them on Twitter @Pennhand.

We thank Jenny Milchman for allowing us to share our experiences of writing and publishing from a senior perspective of those who are free to follow their dreams.


  1. I love that!!! What a great attitude, and what a great philosophy!

    Comment by Connie J Jasperson — November 30, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

  2. Wow….I guess it really never is too late! Wonderful story, Jenny.

    Comment by kathleen barker — November 30, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

  3. It’s great to see the faces and read the story of writers I meet on discussions. It confirms what I have known about writing since I started in 1985 – it takes persistence, patience, treating what you do as a business, and making sure you hang around with people with whom you have something in common. Well done, you two!

    Comment by Rosanne Dingli — December 1, 2011 @ 2:08 am

  4. Not only do you have a wonderful attitude, but you demonstrate that some married people can write together successfully. I’ve been trying to drag my husband into my writing web for years, but he keeps escaping. Too bad, as he has a mathematician’s mind for plotting mysteries. Congratulations to you for turning your dreams into reality. Liz

    Comment by Elizabeth C. Main — December 1, 2011 @ 2:22 am

  5. What an inspiring post! And the advice to take action and not look back is something to pay attention to even if we’re not yet in our eighth decade. Congrats on your success!

    Comment by Toby Speed — December 1, 2011 @ 5:49 am

  6. Jenny, thanks. Well done and nice to meet you, Nash Black. You are as refreshing as a child discovering their first butterfly.

    Comment by Doctor Barbara — December 1, 2011 @ 6:19 am

  7. I LOVE this pair. I’ve talked to them on one of the forums quite a lot and they are so helpful and full of wisdom. They’re the ones we all listen to and follow every word with interest. Super terrific people, and they epitomize all that’s good in self-publishing.

    Thanks for shining a spotlight on them Jenny.

    Comment by mountainmama — December 1, 2011 @ 6:30 am

  8. Thank you, thank you. We’d love to hear from others who’ve had to listen to the same snide remarks about their “lowly” reading indulgences.
    I’ll share the first compliment we got on our first book from Marclean A., “I never saw so-and-so as the killer, but I went back and it was all there.” What more could an author want?
    Nash Black (Irene)

    Comment by Nash Black — December 1, 2011 @ 8:26 am

  9. ““The greatest risk is not taking one” is from a Chinese fortune cookie.”

    I love that.

    It’s funny to think of genres as lowly when the likes of Agatha Christie and Stephen King spotlight their ranks…but still, it persists. I may never win an award for writing about zombies (!), but I’ve enjoyed every moment.

    Thank you for sharing your story, your encouragement.

    Comment by Leah Rhyne — December 1, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  10. This is a wonderful post. It feels so real, so genuine. I don’t know Nash and Irene, but I would be pleased if I did. They are wonderful participants in a forum I follow. Thanks, Jenny. And to you, “Nash Black”.

    Comment by Alex Lukeman — December 1, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  11. Wonderful comments. Shows you can be young at heart at any age. You can be part of the new middle aged group.


    Comment by Arthur Levine — December 1, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  12. Great post. Never say never, and never say it’s too late. I’m reminded of my favorite quote from Galaxy Quest – never give up, never surrender.

    Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — December 1, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  13. Lovely post! While I’ve read about Nash Black for eons, I’ve never gone to investigate. Now I shall.


    Comment by Theresa de Valence — December 1, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

  14. This is great. I loved this post. I have been following them for years and have the good fortune of calling them friends.

    Comment by Barbara — December 1, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

  15. Ford and Irene,

    This is an inspirational post. I’ve gotten my share of insults as well because I write mystery and romance. I’ll never knock other people’s choices. I love mystery and romance fiction and write it because I love to read it. Congrats to you on continuing the work you love to do. Wishing you every success. Young or old, we need to follow our dreams.

    Comment by Jacqueline Seewald — December 1, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

  16. Hi, I am Nash, the other half of Nash Black. We don’t consider our writing as work but as an enjoyable pleasure. Doing self publishing we are not under a dead line to finish a book so we we can but our best into it. Its never to late to start anything. If you can dream it you do it. So get started and have fun doing what ever you do.
    Ford Nashett (Nash)

    Comment by Ford Nashett — December 1, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

  17. It’s strange how the snobbery over literary vs crime fiction persists, but persist it does. I’ve encountered it so many times that I no longer bother even answering. Most recently, I went to a reading by a “literary” writer I’ve encountered over the years several times, and even had dinner with, and as I handed her a book for her to sign after a reading, she said, “Oh, yes, you write mysteries? I don’t read them. They’re so crass, don’t you think?” And that’s the last book of hers I’ll buy or read. I’ve decided that the literary types are insecure and jealous–mystery writers are having more fun and making more money.

    Comment by Susan Oleksiw — December 1, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  18. I want to thank Nash Black for their “Made It Moment.” Their honest experience in reading and writing is true for all of us in writing or any other profession. We have been working for it and some have experienced it. They have given everyone hope. Writing is like eating it is something we must do every day. Thanks Again!

    Comment by Piper Rena Jordan — December 1, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

  19. Anyone out there old enough to remember how Bess Truman was slandered in the press for reading detective stories?
    Mystery authors are able to laugh at themselves. Who else could come up with the quirky things we do using the 32 devices Poe used in one short story and still be original?
    Jacqueline knows the one-up-manship that goes on in “literary” circles. Need a good cat fight for a story (either gender)–attend one of their launch parties and snoop.
    Nash Black (Irene)

    Comment by Nash Black — December 1, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  20. What good advice. I’m thrilled for you both that you’ve had your made-it-moments.

    Comment by Anita Page — December 2, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

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