Grab your comfy chair and coffee and let’s get going!
Jo: Howdy, Nichole! Good to have you on the blog today. My readers know I’m gonna ask you some off the wall questions; I hope that doesn’t scare you too badly. *evil grin* Do I have you nervous yet?
Nichole: *gives a nervous laugh* Umm, no not at all! I’m happy to be here.
Jo: Glad to hear that! On to my interrogation (err… I mean interview! Yes, interview!) Let’s start with you telling me what it’s like to write with other authors.
Nichole: Honestly, it has its ups and downs, but overall I love it. When someone is as equally as invested in a project as you are, it’s like the finished product is twice as good as it was going to be. There’s someone there during the entire process, by your side, to bounce ideas off of, take over when you’re stuck, or to just be a constant cheerleader that understands what you’re going through. It makes the writing process a continuous flow with less road bumps or complete stops. Plus there are more ideas flowing that can take something that was good and make it great!
Jo: I can certainly understand that. It would be lovely to have someone to hit the keys when I couldn’t think or life got in the way, or someone to talk to when I’m blocked. I see you have two daughters, ages nine and seven. How has your writing influenced them? Do they want to be writers like their mommy when they grow up?
Nichole: Oh yes! They definitely want to be like mommy (although there was a time when my youngest wanted to be “a boy like daddy” when she grew up. But we’ve moved past that). They have both started several books already and their ideas seem to be endless. My oldest even gives me input on my book ideas now and I have to admit that sometimes they’re pretty good. Not only that, they both really enjoy reading now and it used to be a struggle with my older one to just pick up a book. I think seeing either a book in my hands or my fingers flying on a laptop has inspired them and opened their eyes to the world of books.
Jo: Kids are so funny, aren’t they? Mine started writing better since I published, too. Maybe one day they’ll mention us in their own interviews. Haha! So, you were a panelist at UtopYA Con 2013. How did you feel when you got the invite and what was it like speaking in front of so many people? Also, who are the lovely ladies with you in your photograph from the con?
Nichole: Oh my goodness!! That was AMAZING! I was so excited and really surprised when I was asked. I honestly had still struggled with calling myself a ‘real author’ up to that point, but being asked to speak as an author can really change things. Let me tell you that I was beyond nervous! Carol and Adam Kunz, who were on the panel with me, had to reassure me several times that I wouldn’t puke. There were a few iffy moments there, but I made it through and after…I felt like I had just ridden a roller coaster and was totally ready to go again! As for the photo on my Facebook page? From left to right that would be the lovely and talented Author Kristen Day (The Daughters of the Sea Novels) whom I met at UtopYA for the first time and fell in love with! Next to her is my writing partner/BFF Angela and finally Stacy Sanford whom I also met at UtopYA. Stacy is amazing and I instantly fell in love with her too, so much so that she is now my editor! Kristen and Stacy actually helped a lot when I was getting ready for my panel and went to cheer me on! Awesome girls!!
Jo: Don’t you just love it when you click with someone like that and they turn out to be really nice? I’ll be doing an interview with Carol and Adam later in this series. Can’t wait! I love the cover for Twisted, and mentioned my ideas for tweaking it in my review. Who designed it for you and how did you feel when you saw it for the first time?
Nichole: Thank you so much! That means a lot since I actually did it myself. My lovely friend and fellow author Kristen Day gave me some pointers and ideas for Photoshop and after hours of messing with it, I came up with that cover. And actually, since reading your review I did tweak it just a bit :)
Jo: You guys did a great job. It has perfect appeal for your target audience. I’m honored you thought my suggestion was a good one! So, I found your blog and noticed that you don’t post a lot there. Is it something you plan to change or are you happy being an occasional blogger? Why/Why not?
Nichole: I would really like to do more. I’m not that good at it! I know that probably sounds weird since I seemed to be just fine writing books, but I can be kind of long winded so something that is supposed to be short, simple, and entertaining is so hard for me. But I’m working on it!
Jo: There’s no set word count for a blog post. My advice: set a schedule and stick to it; even if it’s only three days a week. Be consistent and you’ll feel more accomplished. I see you do research about querying. Do you think you’ll ever go traditional? Why/Why not?
Nichole: You know, I’ve been thinking about that lately. I actually co-wrote a series under the name Riana Lucas and we are currently going through a publisher with them now. I was really excited and still am, but I’m finding myself really impatient with the process. But at the same time, I know that although the process is long, the book will be better for it. So yes probably, if it was the right situation and circumstances for me and my book.
Jo: A lot of Indies tell me the same thing. They want their books in the hands of readers sooner and the traditional publishing route just takes too long. I wish you luck if you ever decide to take the leap, though! I have to ask: Did you write Twisted from personal experience, that of a friend or family member, or did it just come from the bowels of your imagination? In other words, what inspired you?
Nichole: It was about 75% personal experiences. Most of the characters are loose interpretations of people I grew up with, as well as the situations. Of course some things were twisted or embellished, maybe even jumbled around a little, but pretty much all me. I struggled with whether or not I was going to write the book because it was personal, but I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I felt like a lot of books focus on the obvious abusive relationships (the mean kid at school that doesn’t hide it) or the couple relationships (the lovers, dating, or married ones), but not necessarily a friendship. I feel like people don’t expect that from a friend. I still to this day struggle with how naïve I was and regret a lot that I did in the name of friendship. So I wrote it and tried to stay as close to the truth as possible. I felt like it needed to be the raw and unsugar-coated tale of how friendships can be and how to hopefully spot the signs before you’re totally sucked in and it’s too late.
Jo: Wow. I’m sitting here stunned. I can’t imagine what it was like to go through that. I’m happy you escaped and are here to talk with me now! Tell me about the other half of your writing duo. Where did you meet and how did you decide to become partners?
Nichole: Riana Lucas is the pen name for our writing duo and Angela is the other half. She and I have been BFF’s since the 7th grade, we currently live down the street from each other, and often refer to each other as a soul mate. We are so similar in so many ways that it can be scary sometimes. How we stated writing is a good example of that. She convinced me to start reading again and it didn’t take long for us to be going through books like wild fire, chatting about them, picking them apart, and gushing over them. I started getting ideas for books, even wrote down a few, but I was so scared to do it. One day she mentioned that she thought it might be fun to write a book, I said “Oh! Me too! But I’m so scared!” And then she said “Oh! Me too! Let’s do it together!” And that’s pretty much how it happened (and I’m pretty sure those are direct quotes).
Jo: That’s just awesome. Friends like that are gems and we just have to hold on to them no matter what. What’s your favorite genre to read, who’s your favorite author, and why?
Nichole: I love every genre and it changes with my mood, but I think right now I’m really into Contemporary Romance. My favorite author does not change and probably never will. I LOVE Kim Harrison! Her Deadly Hollows Series is the best! I think she does an amazing job at finding romance, humor, mystery, and action without any of it being over kill. She brings her characters to life and I literally get lost in the world she created in her books. I got to meet her at the NYU bookstore a couple of years ago and she was the nicest person, only making me love her even more!
Jo: I feel you there! While Romance isn’t my thing, I can read most any genre other than that. I’ll have to check that author out. Isn’t it great when we meet our idols and they turn out to be amazing? Since the theme of UtopYA Con 2014 is aliens, what kind of alien wear are you planning to have? How will we recognize you?
Nichole: Oh man! I am so not prepared for this question! I have no idea yet. My girls want to come though so they will probably help me and you’ll know who I am because I’ll have two little mini-me’s dressed just like me in tow. :)
Jo: Glad I finally caught you off guard! Haha! I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for you and your girls. I see you live in Florida. Lots of paranormal stuff happens out there with the Bermuda Triangle and all. Are you a believer?
Nichole: LOL! Ummm… I think so. I really like the idea of there being more to the world than what we can see. I love the idea of magic and myths but to what extent I believe, I don’t know. My inner child insists that fairies are real though. *winks*. My husband is actually a believer in the alien stuff though and I think he has me convinced that we may not be the only ones out there in the universe.
Jo: The Fourth Kind made me shiver. But wouldn’t it be awfully arrogant of us to believe we’re the only ones in the whole big, wide universe? *grin* Favorite candy bar?
Nichole: Whatchamacallit! I have loved those since I was a kid and whenever I see one I HAVE to buy it.
Jo: I love those, too! Yum! Tell me one really bad habit you have that you wish you didn’t.
Nichole: Self-imposed deadlines and I don’t just mean in writing. I feel like everything needs to be done by a certain time, usually now, and I stress myself out over getting them done in time. It could be cleaning the house, paying bills, laundry, and of course writing. I make a schedule and then get upset when they aren’t done by the time I think they should be. I work daily at trying to kick the habit.
Jo: I’m a huge advocate for having a set schedule and being harder on yourself than others are. But letting it stress you out isn’t good, either. *smiles* Mental Health days are necessary, too. I’m curious, where’d you meet your husband and how long have you been married?
Nichole: We are very much the sappy high school sweetheart story. We met in the seventh grade; we were boyfriend/girlfriend for a little while and then became best friends when we broke up. We started dating again our senior year, right before prom, got married when we were nineteen, and have been together ever since. March will be 13 years that we’ve been married.
Jo: If that’s not the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard... Congratulations to you! Okay, now tell us about your featured book for the week. What it is, how writing it changed you or your life, and any other cool tidbits my readers may be enthralled over.
Nichole: Twisted is my featured book. It was just released and as you already know, it’s pretty personal so it was sort of a big deal for me as an Author. Not only did I feel vulnerable because of the content, but also because it was my first book as a solo-writer. Writing this book changed me in the way that it gave me that final burst of confidence I needed to know that I could really be an author, all by myself if I wanted to be. So, I know I’ve already told you a bit about it but basically we follow Nat through her childhood to early adulthood with her best friend. Their relationship started very early and the bond they developed formed quickly and strongly. But we see Mel, the best friend begin to change and in the process she does a lot of things to hurt Nat. Nat is a loyal best friend though and doesn’t see what Mel is doing to her. You have to read it to see what happens, but I will tell you that there are a few hot guys to read about too!!
Jo: I just loved it. I hope everyone else picks up a copy, too! Well, that’s all the time we have. Do you have anything to add?
Nichole: Not really, I think you’ve pretty much revealed all of my secrets for now. *winks* I would like to say THANK YOU so much for the opportunity to do this interview as well as for the wonderful things you said about my book and the support you’ve offered me so far. I seriously cannot wait to meet you at UtopYA!! Oh and at the risk of sounding like a musician that shouts out their upcoming albums randomly…I have a NA series coming out Dec/Jan-ish with a little bit of magic and Poppy (YA Fantasy series book 1) by Riana Lucas is slated to be re-released in January. Bye *waves and smiles*
Jo: *blushes* All in a day’s work! I’ll keep an eye out for that next book. I can’t wait to meet you at UtopYA! Thanks for chatting with me today.
On to information about N.L. Greene’s featured book!
Author: N.L. Greene
Genre: New Adult Contemporary/Romance
Length (print): 308 Pages
Links to Purchase: Amazon Kindle - $2.99 B&N - $2.99 Smashwords - $2.99
Growing up isn’t always easy. But for most teenage girls, they can rely on their best friend to help them get through the process. A BFF is something that is truly treasured and completely irreplaceable. You share all of your secrets, and are loyal and honest with each other, even when you’re acting just a little bit crazy. You have each other’s backs no matter what and you form a bond that is virtually unbreakable.
At least that’s what normal teenage girls experience.
Nat and Mel have been bestie’s since childhood and Nat has followed her blindly ever since. But as Nat’s friendship with Mel begins to lead her down the wrong path, she starts to question the sincerity of their relationship. Nat starts to see Mel’s manipulative, deceitful ways become more focused on her. Will Natalie hold on tight to the friendship she’s had her entire life, no matter what it cost her? Or will she let her heart lead her to a relationship that’s not so twisted.
Now that you know all about it, get out there and pick up a copy!
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Facebook: N.L. Green Author Page
Head on down to the comments section and ask N.L. Greene some of your own questions.
Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time WRITE ON!