Nancy Allen, Witness Impulse Author : Ten Tips to My Teen Self

Giveaway alert: One lucky commenter will win a ten dollar Starbucks gift card and Nancy’s latest legal thriller.

Nancy AllenI’m super excited today to be hosting my good friend and fellow Witness  author, Nancy Allen. Not only is she a sweetheart, to know her is to be awed by her! Nancy has just received a 2015 Missouri Lawyers’ Women’s Justice Award. She practiced law for 15 years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks. She has tried over 30 jury trials, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now a law instructor at Missouri State University. Her first novel,The Code of the Hills, was published by HarperCollins in 2014. A Killing at the Creek, the second book in the Ozarks mystery series released on February 17, 2015.

I’ve already had the pleasure of reading her latest: A Killing at the Creek and I absolutely loved it. A Killing at the Creek provides an authentic peek into the life of a criminal prosecutor in small-town Missouri. Elsie Arnold, though whip-smart in the courtroom, is all too fallible in the social arena, making her a supremely relatable protagonist. Nancy infuses the story with the flavor of the Ozarks so deftly that the setting seemingly becomes another character in the book. Then she tosses in lively dialogue and an unputdownable murder mystery to create a compelling read that will keep you turning pages late into the night. I think you’ll really enjoy this one and be surprised by how engaging a legal thriller can be.9780062325969

Okay- that’s enough from me. Without further ado, here’s Nancy:


Ten Pieces of Advice I’d Give to Teen Nancy

By Nancy Allen

We’ve all said it, right? “If I knew then what I know now.” I’ve been thinking about this lately, for several reasons. The antagonist in my latest book, A Killing at the Creek, is an incorrigible teen; and my main character, Elsie Arnold, sometimes acts out like an incorrigible teen; and I have a teenage daughter (not the incorrigible type, thank goodness).

So exactly what would I tell my teenage self, if I had the power to go back and offer advice? I have a pretty good idea of ten things young Nancy would benefit from hearing.

  1. Go to class, damn it. Those college professors will teach you something you don’t know. And you’re paying cash money for it.
  2. Do not go on crash diets. Ever.
  3. Enjoy the time you have with your mother. Relish it, revel in it. It won’t last forever.
  4. Yes, a lot of people are shorter than you are—so what? Stand tall.
  5. Don’t bother with a lot of makeup, and don’t worry about name brand clothes or accessories. Youth is an ornament.
  6. Do not permit yourself to hanker after a boy who shows no interest in you.
  7. Never let your friends tell you what people say about you behind your back.
  8. Read your textbook before exam time. In fact, just keep up with the reading over the course of the semester. Maybe you’ll avoid being awakened later in life by the college anxiety nightmares.
  9. Never fake it, or try to be someone else. Plenty of people will like the real you. Be with those people.
  10. You will stumble. Own it. Use it. Grow from your mistakes.

codeofthehillsHaving just read over my list, it occurs to me that a number of those suggestions are still works in progress. Aaahhh, hell—what can I say? Some people never learn. I think I’m one of them….



Now it’s your turn. What advice would you give your teen self if you could go back in time? Remember, one lucky commenter wins a Nook or Kindle copy of A KILLING AT THE CREEK and a ten dollar Starbucks gift card. 

You can find Nancy here:





About Carey Baldwin

Carey Baldwin is a mild-mannered doctor by day and an award winning author of edgy suspense by night.

Posted on March 20, 2015, in Author Spotlight, book recommendations, Carey Baldwin and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. If my teen age self would listen I would tell her to get a good education and pay attention in class instead of dreaming about my boyfriend (husband of 50 years now). I would convince myself that he would still be there if I chose to go to college instead of getting married. I would also tell myself not to let friends talk me into things I didn’t really want to do or to go etc. I would tell me to be my own person.

    Your book sounds great!

    • Oh! The late night crowd. Hi Patti, that’s terrific advice and congrats on your 50 years as man and wife. Nancy will be by later, but for now thanks so much for reading and stopping by.

  2. Nice to meet you, Nancy! Good luck with your latest release. If I could talk to my teen self I would say to appreciate being skinny! I look back at pictures in high school when I thought I was fat. Good grief I looked great and never realized it. We all need to enjoy life and stop being so critical of ourselves.

  3. Oh, Patti–peer pressure! How did I forget that one?!? And Lena, I know what you mean–I was so critical of my figure/body, it almost seems comical, looking back. I’d give my teen self some advice on that score, too.

    Hey, Carey baby! Goooood morning, and thanks for inviting me to the party!!!

  4. Welcome, Nancy!
    Like Lena, I would tell my teen self to appreciate the body I had and to not fret about jean size or how tall or well-endowed I was at such a young age. And I would certainly tell myself that I wasn’t fat!

    Congratulations on your newest release. I can’t wait to read it!

  5. Sharon, we are in agreement! And ooooohhhh Sharon–can’t wait for you to read A Killing at the Creek! Hope it keeps you up ALL NIGHT.

  6. Several years ago I overheard my nephew’s girlfriend complaining about her body (she was 20 and PERFECT). I turned to her and said, “Enjoy your body now, because it’s the best it will ever be.” I don’t think she appreciated the advice, and maybe my younger self wouldn’t have wanted to hear that either, but it’s true. 🙂

    Other advice I’d give myself: give up on that one guy. He’s not worthy of you. There is someone far better in your future, and when it’s right, it will be easy.

    Welcome to Kiss and Thrill, Nancy!!

  7. Nancy, I love that avatar! Is that a halo you’re wearing 🙂 ?

  8. Welcome to K&T, Nancy! I’d tell my teen self to stand up for herself and not be afraid to have an opinion. And is there anyone who doesn’t think they’re fat as a teen? What have we done to ourselves??

    Lots of great advice in your post and from the commenters. I love this! Too bad the ones who really need the advice probably won’t see it or won’t listen. Cycle of life, I guess. 😉

  9. Gwen, oh hell yeah–I’m ALL about having opinions! And Rachel, if only we could get back the time wasted, obsessing over that guy.
    Carey, I got the groovy avatar when I signed onto K&T! I like it. Kinda looks like me. But the halo is misleading…

  10. So glad you’re here , Nancy. Lovely post! What I’d tell myself is, you have a choice to be outgoing and happy. Don’t depend on others to draw you into their social groups or to provide your happiness. You need to do that yourself.

  11. Be very cautious with whom you share your private thoughts and feelings. Many people are secretly jeoulous and envious of you.

  12. Nancy, so great to see you here at K&T! Your Ozarks mystery series sounds awesome. I just downloaded both books on my kindle 🙂 The series reminds me a bit of Julia Keller’s Bell Elkins series which is set in WVA. I’m looking forward to discovering a bit more about life in the Ozarks.

    Excellent list of advice for all of us. #3 is my favorite. I’d add: Don’t be afraid of failure. Think of it as a stepping stone to success.

  13. Krista, my baby sister! Thank you in advance for taking a look at my books; I’m hoping you’ll enjoy the reads. And Joseph & Diana: wise words, friends!

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