Biography – Nancy O’Hara
Nancy is a meditation coach in real life who kills people in her fiction.
Nancy’s first book, Find A Quiet Corner
, (first published in 1995 and re-issued in 2010) still strikes a chord with thousands of people who are looking for A Simple Guide to Self-Peace. Nancy’s simple, mindful approach to serenity and her open and honest offering of her own life, resonates for anyone who is searching for a harmoniously balanced life.
With one foot firmly planted in the West and the other in the East, Nancy O’Hara brings to us a rich and powerful message laced with simplicity and compassion.
Originally from New England, Nancy O’Hara has come to think of herself as a New Yorker. For more than thirty years she has lived, worked and loved in New York City. During this time she worked in various corporate settings, in a small bookstore (her all-time favorite job), and in large and stress-inducing companies.
She dropped out of the work world twice – once by choice to return to school in the early eighties, and once when she was fired from a cherished job. Both times her life changed dramatically. The first sent her into the business of book retailing and publishing, where she was responsible for buying, merchandising, marketing, advertising and selling newly published books, from general adult trade, to children’s books, for Shakespeare & Co., Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster. The second sent her to live in a Zen Buddhist Monastery, which radically altered her view of the world.
Nancy had always been curious about spiritual issues, like “what does it all mean?” but had come to believe that spirituality was not something one talked about, so she suffered her questions silently. When her father died in 1985 her world fell apart and she could no longer contain her longing for some answers. Her search led her to Zen meditation and to pursuing her lifelong desire to write. Nancy’s formal study in spiritual matters deepened in 1992 when she participated in Kessei (an intensive three-month training program) at a Rinzai Buddhist monastery in the Catskill Mountains of New York. That same year she took the ten precepts of Buddhism in a formal Jukei ceremony and was given the name Myochi, which means Wondrous Wisdom.
After writing the briskly-selling (and still in print) Find a Quiet Corner
, Nancy ventured out on her own, publishing five more popular books, and doing freelance writing and editing. She began teaching meditation with her first book and has used her experience in Zen and problem-solving to also become a professional life-coach and take what she’s learned back to the corporate environment.
Most Recently, Nancy is enrolled in a foundations course at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and co-teaching Imperfect Partners, a workshop for couples with her Husband Michael Levine. She continues to teach, coach, and edit other writers’ work; has written the second installment of the Alex Sullivan mystery series, Killing Sacred
, and has reissued a fresh edit of her first novel, One Hand Killing
. Stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter and her blog!