*audience chimes in*
Who's. That. FAN!!!!!
That's right, Ladies and Gentlemen, this IS everybody's favorite game show where I ask our lucky contestant questions about her life, her blog and her writing and she tries to answer them
GL: Hi Nicole! I’m so glad you’ve taken the time to join us at Passions on Paper. I’d like to start this
Give us 3 things your followers already know about you (so that us Newbies can catch up) and 3 things your followers don’t already know about you...Ready?...Go!
ND: Hi Gina! Thanks so much for inviting me today. I’m thrilled to be here! Let’s see, three things I’ve already shared on my blog…Well, (1) I was a Peace Corps volunteer in central Africa, which is a frequent theme for my short fiction. (2) I grew up the oldest child of five girls (imagine the drama!), and all our names begin with “N.” And (3) another creative outlet I’m passionate about is quilt-making. Three things followers don’t know about me are: (1) I always pass out when my blood is drawn; (2) I can see people’s auras; and (3) I once trained for and competed in a fitness competition, tying with my sister for third place. The ironic part was we decided ahead of time not to tell anyone, including the other competitors and judges, that we were related. A utopian day for sibling rivalry!
GL: Oh, wow – FIVE girls? I can only imagine the fights over the bathroom in the mornings! I followed the link from your blog and read a couple of your short stories. I thought they were excellent! You have a wonderful talent for describing people’s actions and making them come to life. Have you always been a writer or is this something you discovered recently?
ND: I’ve been writing my whole life. My journals document each chapter of my existence. In middle school I won essay contests. In high school I was the student penning dark poetry that got passed around every day. And, I chose a college major that required endless term papers. But I didn’t become a writer until November 2007. That was when I began writing for an audience, when I first delved into the craft with the intention of producing publishable work. For me, that’s the true distinction between the hobbyist I was and an author I am today.
GL: Imagine you’re in a room full of non-writers… *pauses for the collective “eesh” from the audience* - I know, they can be tough – what would you say to them when they told you they “just didn’t get why you would expend so much energy on writing.”
ND: I’d answer their question with a quilting anecdote: the first time I challenged myself to make an entire quilt, I chose a monster project: queen-size quilt top comprised of 224 five-inch-square blocks. Each block required that I sew together twenty-one (or a total of 4,704) tiny triangular or square patches. That first night, my baffled husband watched me lay out yard after yard of fabric and slice it up with a rotary cutter. Hubby only interrupted me once to ask, “So, you mean you’re going to cut all this fabric up into itty-bitty pieces, and then you’re going to sew them back together again? Why would you devote so much time, patience, and energy when you could simply go to the store and buy a quilt already made?” I shrugged and said, “Because I like the process.” Writing a novel is the same. You break the project down into stages, and each stage becomes a fascinating study of that aspect of the craft. The finished project is the goal, but the journey is what’s most important to me. Incidentally, it took me two years to finish that first quilt. Hopefully, my first novel won’t take as long!
GL: Two years for one quilt? Holy Schmoley! I now dub thee Goddess of Perseverance. What are you currently working on? Can you give us a brief synopsis to tantalize our brain-buds?
ND: *laughs* I learned the art of perseverance through years of fighting my sisters for bathroom time! The premise for my WiP came to me a couple years ago. That day, I answered a telemarketer’s phone call. When I declined his pitch, he called me a “bitch” and hung up on me. I was furious! I considered phoning the company and complaining. But before I did, my writer’s brain started churning: What if I complained and that led to the guy getting fired? What if the guy was severely depressed, or maniacal? What if losing his job was that guy’s “final straw,” the turning point in his sanity? What if I became that guy’s poster child for a society that’s cruel, his scapegoat for everything that has ever gone wrong in his life? What if there was a way he could find me? What if he came looking…? By then, all my angry energy was rechanneled, and thoughts of placing a complaint were forgotten as I feverishly jotted character and plot notes. Overcome (working title) was born.
GL: That is one of the greatest thought processes I’ve ever heard of (probably because it sounds just like a lot of mine)! I love how you went from wanting to react to thoughts of the affects that one reaction could have had on that man. I think it’s a good idea that we keep in mind everything we do causes a ripple in the water. I think your book sounds brilliant and I can’t wait to read it.
Okay, next question. Finish this sentence: I want to be a published author because…
ND: …I love the idea of something I wrote surviving long after I pass from this life, so that my great-great grandchildren and beyond can read it. Of course, technically I don’t have to be published for that to happen…so I’d have to say bragging rights a sense of accomplishment is important too!
GL: What lesson do you hope your children learn from their mother being a writer?
ND: In life, it’s easy to say you’re going to do something. Actually achieving that goal takes hard work and dedication. Writers understand the challenge in staying self-motivated. I want to show by my example how success comes to those who are passionate and who stay focused and driven. My children will benefit from learning that lesson, regardless of the fields they pursue.
GL: Beautifully said, Nicole. You’ve given me another reason why I can’t give up either. Your blog is called One Significant Moment at a Time and has tons of great posts relevant to writing and your life. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
ND: I was so clueless when I began my blog! Honestly, I watched Julie and Julia and thought it would be cool to document my transition from short story writer to novelist. I had no idea my blog represented a door to an incredible community waiting beyond it. My favorite thing about blogging is connecting with so many talented voices, sharing our creativity ups and downs, and offering the same support that I feel daily from my blogging BFFs.
GL: Ditto to that, girl! Okay, I think we have time for one last question, Nicole. In your opinion, who will be one of the next big names in Paranormal Romance?
ND: Phew! All these questions have been tough to answer, requiring thoughtful reflection on my part. Finally, a query quite simple to answer: My money’s on Gina Leigh Maxwell being the next breakthrough Paranormal Romance author!
GL: From your lips to agents’ ears, Nicole! You’re so kind (and truthful) to say so. Well, I can’t thank you enough for your time. You’ve been an absolute joy to have and I look forward to reading Overcome in the future.
If you enjoyed this interview and would like to be featured someday yourself, don’t forget to click on the FOLLOW button over there on the right.
Or even if you’re just happy it’s FRIDAY, you should click on the FOLLOW button over there on the right. *gigantic cheesy grin*
Well, that's all the time we have for today folks. If you're not already following Nicole, now is the time to head on over to One Significant Moment at a Time and click that Follow button! Thanks for joining us and I hope you'll tune in next week on Terrible Twos-day when I pit WORD COUNT vs. WORDS THAT COUNT.
Have a great weekend everyone!
*cue seventies game show theme music*