Biography (Critical Survey of Mystery & Detective Fiction, Revised Edition)
Nancy Pickard was born Nancy J. Wolfe on September 19, 1945, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Clint Wolfe and Mary Wolfe. As a child, she enjoyed reading Nancy Drew books. After high school graduation in 1963, she enrolled in journalism school at the University of Missouri. When she was a senior, Pickard took a creative writing class. The teacher mocked aloud to the class a short story she had written, inhibiting Pickard from writing additional fiction. She completed a bachelor’s degree in 1967.
Pickard reported for The Squire in Overland Park, Kansas, then wrote training programs for Western Auto at Kansas City, Missouri, through 1972, before seeking freelance writing assignments. In 1976, she married Guy Pickard and lived on a Flint Hills, Kansas, ranch. By 1981, Pickard had stopped writing freelance articles and turned to fiction. An avid reader, especially of mysteries, she relied on her reading experiences and writing guides rather than formal instruction to create mysteries. She soon sold a short story, “A Man Around the House,” to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
During the early 1980’s, an editor rejected Pickard’s initial novel, saying the manuscript confused her as to whether it was a mystery or romance with suspense. She considered those comments and focused on mystery, resulting in her first published novel, Generous Death (1984).
Pickard’s son, Nicholas, was born in 1983 (she and...
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