Thanks for joining me once again for some special holiday fun. I hope you enjoyed the author interviews. I personally look forward to trying out the recipes they submitted.
This week I want to honor two special friends that are both accomplished writers. They are Kari Nichols and Jan Romes. I invited them to participate in writing The Gift with us but they both were strapped with previous engagements and were not available. Notwithstanding, I wouldn't dream of leaving these two ladies out.
Kari Nichols was one of the first writers I connected with on Twitter and she quickly became this larger than life pool of inspiration to me. I appreciate her dedication to God, her husband, and their international photography work. Kari has authored several books including The Plagued Trilogy and is currently working on the third installment, Plagued. I had the privilege of doing an interview with Kari on her debut novel Rogue. Read it here under Kari Nichols. Look for Plagued coming soon.
Jan Romes' books are delightful in every way with zany, witty characters. Well known for her Texas Boys Falling Fast series, Jan will thrill your reading hours away. Her latest is the No Sweat Pants Allowed Wine Club and its sequel Sipping Sangria of the Wine and Sweat Pants Series. One of my favorite titles from Jan is Stella in Stilettos. While Jan has a number of books out, we can expect more from this lovely and talented lady.
Well, that's it for this week. Check back next week for my favorite holiday recipe along with an update on my two short stories.
Also, don't forget to download your free book, The Gift, written by Theresa Snyder, Kaye Kelly, Iona Morrison, and me, Alexia. It's a fun read full of delightful characters celebrating the gift of friendship. Enjoy! See ya next week.
My next guest comes from New York and she is joining me in a celebration of her debut release, Rogue. Please join me in welcoming author Kari Nichols.
AS: So, you are a published author now. How does it feel?
KN: It feels surreal. I’m still reeling from the fact that my book is sitting on my bookshelf.
AS: Writing is a process of writing, read, rejection, read, and rewrite. You stayed the course; no doubt through many ups and downs, and you reached your goal. Have you taken the time to sit back and breathe?
KN: It was definitely a long process, and I did take a bit of time off from writing. But the time off was mainly spent focusing on my other business. I’ll get to sit back and breathe once December hits!
AS: Mutual Twitter friend Iona Morrison celebrated her debut release this month. She quoted, “Today I celebrate, tomorrow I write.” Did you have a big celebration?
KN: I didn’t have a big celebration. But my husband and I celebrated with two of our good friends, and the night was definitely memorable!
AS: Well, we join you in the sweet victory.
AS: What age did you realize you wanted to become a writer / author?
KN: I’ve always loved to write. And I’ve been dreaming up stories in my head since I was about five years old. But it wasn’t until 2013 that I realized I should be writing them down. I have no idea what took me so long, but I’m incredibly happy now that I’ve figured out this is what I truly love to do.
AS: What genres interest you most?
KN: I’m pretty diverse when it comes to genres, but urban fantasy, historical fiction and romance have to be my top three.
AS: So, what prompted you to write Rogue? Where did your ideas or inspiration come from?
KN: I was reading a really terrible YA series when I had to stop because the books were just SO poorly written. I looked at my husband and said, “I should really do this. I’m a way better writer.” So he stayed up with me really, really late that night and helped me come up with the premise for Rogue. I knew I wanted to write a story about immortals, but I didn’t want it to be geared towards teens. I wanted to write a book that was something I would want to read. I can’t go into detail about where my ideas came from, because I would be giving away some major plot lines! Needless to say, we both really like history.
AS: You and your husband have a very successful photography business in New York. How do you find the time to write?
KN: It is not easy! I am a very singularly focused person, so I only write once my photography clients are completely taken care of. Wedding season is generally much slower between November and February, so I wrote the majority of Rogue over those months last year (and will likely try to do the same with Ghost this year).
AS: Each author approaches prewriting differently. What’s your favorite method of prewriting?
KN: I write my full story arc so I know where I’m going to start and where I plan to end up. It’s complicated with The Plagued Trilogy because I’m writing three books that are all heading toward the same outcome. So I have to be really careful that there aren’t any discrepancies in plot lines or characters. In addition to the outlines, I now write detailed character bios on any characters that will make important appearances in the book. I give them a past—a full story of their personalities, life experiences, emotional responses, etc. That way I really know my characters before I ever write about them.
AS: You’ve described your editor as invaluable in helping you stay focused. Describe how you two work together. Do you send her the entire novel at one time or do you break it down into segments or chapters, wait for her feedback and then continue?
KN: She is incredible. I send her pieces of each novel as I’m writing. Each time I send her something new, she reads the entire work as a whole—not just the new parts. So with Rogue, the first thing I sent her was the first five chapters. Once she gave me her feedback on that section, I worked more and sent her the first fifteen chapters (and so on and so forth). Once the book was completed, she got each new draft as I finished them. She is incredible!
AS: Did you experience times when you needed to change the direction of Rogue and was that easy for you?
KN: I didn’t really have to change the direction of the book, but I did have to do a major overhaul on a few of my characters. It was only easy because I knew by changing them, I was going to make the characters much more relatable/likeable which would lead to readers enjoying the book more. I’m pretty much willing to do anything to make my books the best they can be—even if it’s a lot of extra work or heartache for me.
AS: Many new authors often give up trying to cope with the details of the business side of becoming an author.
At some point did you find yourself overwhelmed with the process? How did you handle those times? What can you tell aspiring authors to help them get through this?
KN: I already run a successful business, and years ago I sold a second successful business. So the business side of being an author doesn’t stress me out as much as one might think. The one thing that really does stress me out is trying to run both businesses simultaneously while trying to continue writing. It’s a huge commitment and more often than not I find myself behind schedule at the end of each day. I usually turn to my husband in those times. It’s so important to have a strong support system around you if you’re going to be an author. I rely not only on my husband, but also on my author friends who have already released books of their own. I have one friend in particular who released her book two days before I released Rogue, so we’ve been able to talk about our triumphs and frustrations as they come. It’s been a huge comfort to be able to talk to someone going through the same things.
AS: You chose to take the route of an indie author. What benefits / challenges presented themselves that prompted your decision?
KN: I spent months just researching the differences between indie publishing and traditional publishing. There was one author in particular who pretty much cemented my decision to go the indie route. You can find her amazing articles about self-publishing on her blog here-- http://elizabethhunterwrites.com/2014/03/03/self-publishing-is-it-difficult-sometimes-is-it-doable-definitely/I basically decided that I would rather maintain control over the creative process and make a smaller initial profit than hand over my rights, creativity, and editing to a company that probably wasn’t going to end up doing much for me in the end.
AS: How long did it take you to write Rogue?
KN: I began writing Rogue in October of 2013 and released it on August 20th this year.
AS: What has been the most rewarding / challenging part in writing Rogue?
KN: The most rewarding part is seeing the reviews of my book. It wasn’t until I saw the first review that I said to myself, “People are actually reading the book that I wrote! This is real!” The most challenging part was just making the time to sit down and write it. After my first draft was finished, I sent it out to three readers to get their honest feedback. After their responses, I ended up just sitting back and thinking about the feedback they’d given me for a solid month. I was so overwhelmed by how much I had to add/change to make the book better that I couldn’t touch the story for a while. So once I was able to wrap my head around it, I got to work (and dove in head first). That was definitely the most challenging part of the writing process for me.
AS: Tell us about Rogue, give us a teaser.
KN: “We stand united, Family of Immortals. Plagued by life. Cursed by the hand of God …”
Rogue was born into an immortal family whose wealth is marked by a trail of blood. But when he meets the unnervingly familiar assistant of his next target, an unexpected rush of emotions begins to unravel his carefully laid plans.Lissie lives a mundane life filled with work … and little else. She hasn’t taken a risk since she moved to New York City after college—seven years ago. But when the mysterious Matthew McCloud walks through the door of her office, she finds herself diving head-first into a whirlwind romance she never saw coming.
AS: Will this become a series?
KN: Yes! Rogue is the first installment of The Plagued Trilogy. I’m currently writing Ghost, the second book in the series.
AS: Where can we buy Rogue?
KN: You can buy Rogue on Amazon here-- http://www.amazon.com/Rogue-The-Plagued-Trilogy-Volume/dp/0990612325/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Or on Smashwords here-- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/467452
AS: What can we expect from author Kari Nichols in the near future?
KN: I’m hoping to finish the first draft of Ghost in the next month or two. I’m also working on a compilation of short stories that are contemporary fiction. If I can find the time to work on that, I may get the short stories out before Thanksgiving. But I’m not making any promises!
AS: Do you have a book tour set up; where can we find this schedule?
KN: I’m not going to do a book tour with Rogue. I just don’t have the time with wedding season still in full swing. But I am in the middle of a blog tour. I try to regularly post links to the latest blog posts on my website.
AS: We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future. How can you be reached or how can we find information on upcoming releases?
KN: You can follow my blog here— http://www.karinichols.com
On Facebook here— http://www.facebook.com/thekarinichols
On Goodreads here— http://www.goodreads.com/thekarinichols
Or on Twitter— @TheKariNichols
AS: Kari, thank you for stopping by and giving us the opportunity to celebrate with you on your new release. It is exciting, and we certainly look forward to the completion of The Plagued Trilogy.
KN: Thanks for having me! It was a pleasure!
AS: Once again, Kari’s new release can be found at Amazon -- http://www.amazon.com/Rogue-The-Plagued-Trilogy-Volume/dp/0990612325/ref=tmm_pap_title_0 and Smashwords -- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/467452
If you find yourself in need of a photographer, Kari and her husband, Caleb, travel extensively, providing some of the finest wedding photography anywhere. Psst: I’ve seen their work and it is amazing. You can find more about them and their studio at http://www.cottonwoodstudiosworldwide.com
If you are new to writing, do yourself a huge favor. Take advantage of the resources provided by Kari and myself. Visit Elizabeth Hunter at Self-Publishing: Is it Difficult? Sometimes. Is it Doable? Definitely. and Joanna Penn at TheCreativePenn.com for a free download of her e-book Author 2.0.
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