Nash Black is the combined name for Ford Nashett and Irene Black. Telling stories for them is a life-long vocation, which started when they were in high school. Irene’s first essay was published in 1953 and Ford wrote his initial stage play in 1959.
A twenty-two year skirmish with the IRS, as small farmers who had outside employment, ended when an agent visited their farm and discovered Ford struggling to extradite a calf from a quagmire. Nothing worked like losing a high-heeled shoe in the mud to convince an auditor that it was a working farm and not a hobby. The IRS experience lead to their non-fiction Writing as a Small Business. Published in 2008, the publishing industry discussions are dated, but the information, court rulings, and record keeping models are still applicable to one financial aspect of writing–federal income taxes.
“How do you write as a team?” A short answer is “We send each other emails and don’t discuss our work during meals.”
Ford is the creative force behind the stories. He developed the nine Young brothers and writes all the racing/mechanical related scenes. Irene is the craftsman/writer who takes his work and polishes it into a mystery. When they do a collection of ghost stories the labor is divided and each writes their own vision of these classic tales.
Their early crime novels were located in what they thought was a fictional place. At a book signing in San Antonio, TX a buyer informed them Brewster county was the largest county in that state. A series name change was in order that could be integrated into their novels as a normal occurrence.
The Ono County Chronicles were born and the renaming is told in the second novel of the series, Sandprints of Death. The story is true according to local lore. Ono is a teeny community located in Russell County, KY. It is a real place west of what may be the original Cracker Barrel, with a church and launch-ramp access to Cumberland Lake.
Retirement allows Ford and Irene to pursue their lifelong passion for writing. Starting over is not new for this couple, both of whom have followed new endeavors several times during their working lives.
Ford’s career includes farming, a small business owner, working as an industrial x-ray technician and as an observer for the United States Auto Club.
On their first date Ford took Irene to an indoor midget sprint-car race where the cars didn’t use mufflers and the stadium had little ventilation. Today they both wear hearing aids and can recognize exhaust fumes a mile away.
Irene spent forty-three years working for colleges and universities, public schools and libraries as an instructor, teacher, book reviewer, and director. She is an accomplished moonlighter. She has an avid interest in the environment, habitats, and earth science. She is an award winning tree farmer and testified before the Environmental Protection Agency as the representative for KY’s quarter of a million small woodlot farmers.
When they sold their farms they retained the registered name, River Cliff Farms, for use in their stories. Besides writing and farming, they have had an antique business for thirty-five years.
They enjoy photography, fishing, boating, running, golfing, gardening, live theater, and all forms of music. The photos they share on their blogs, for exhibits, Twitter, and Facebook are their own work.