Friday, May 21, 2010

FAN-tastic Friday: Nicole Ducleroir

Aaaaaaaand welcome back to EV-erybody's FAV-orite game showwwww...

*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 correctly honestly. Today we have the loveley creator of One Significant Moment at a Time. So, please help me give a warm Passions on Paper welcome to Nicole Ducleroir! *audience screams and claps as Nicole enters the stage and takes a seat*

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 interview game a little differently and open up with some ice-breaker questions.

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*


  1. Hi Gina! Thanks again for inviting me today. I had a blast this week, getting to know you better and sharing a little bit of my story. You're the best!

    Happy Weekend, everyone!

  2. This was awesome Gina! I loved learning more about Nicole and her WIP. She is truly one of the shining stars of the blogosphere!

    If I were you I'd print this interview and save it for the day Nicole breaks into the NYT Best Sellers list! Then you can have her autograph it...along with Overcome.

    So...who's up for next week?

  3. What a great interview! I loved learning more about Nicole!

    I'm a quilter too, but I don't do anything by hand. Well, I'll do the end quilting by hand, but not putting the blocks together. My grandmother taught me. Your husbands comment had me laughing.

    Thanks so much for sharing!


  4. Nicole is awesome!
    And while I don't pass out when my blood is drawn, I do turn quite white.

  5. Nicole, great interview. That aura thing is quite interesting, I'd love to know more about it.

  6. Loved learning more about Nicole - this interview was awesome. I love how you developed your story idea, that kind of thinking is brilliant :)

  7. Fun interview Gina and Nicole!
    Wow, quilting and writing - both long processes. You must have the patience of a saint, Nicole!
    Loved learning more about you!

  8. My mom does have the patience of a very good saint! LOL
    -Cody Ducleroir

  9. I found you on Nicole's blog. I'm now a new follower for you. *waves from back of crowd*

  10. Woot woot! Another great interview and interviewee!

    Five daughters? Holy shmoly. That is all. lol

  11. Great interview, Nicole!!

    I loved hearing just a little more about you. :)

    And great questions, Gina! You know how to pry them open!

  12. Gina and Nicole--that was fantastic. (Pun not intended.)

    I especially like the comparison between writing and quilting. I'd never thought about the process and the perseverance required like that. I really liked it.

    Nicole, I'm definitely going to head over to your blog--I went to school for international relations with an emphasis in Africa, so any of your experiences and stories that tie into that time of your life will probably fascinate me.

    Nice job, both of you, and good luck!

  13. I found you on Nicole's blog, too, Gina.

    Great truthful interview you guys!!! :)

  14. Wonderful interview! It was so much fun learning more about Nicole, and I love the Game Show flavor!

    Thanks for sending me over, Nicole! :-)

  15. Wow, I'm so happy to see that so many of Nicole's fans (and even one of her kids!) came out to play on my humble blog!

    Thank you so much for stopping by and I sincerely hope that you'll come back soon. Click the follow button, add me to your blog roll and away we'll go!

    Have a spectacular weekend, everyone!!

  16. Great interview Gina, Nicole. It's always so nice hearing about a fellow writers' journey. And who doesn't love Nicole? She's one of the best.

    And Gina, you certainly have the calling to be a professional interviewer -- how about on Entertainment Tonight?

  17. Wonderful interview, Gina! I enjoyed learning more about Nicole!!!

  18. Gina, I'm happy to have found your blog through Nicole's. Thanks for hosting such a wonderful interview, and I look forward to reading more here! :)

  19. Great interview, Gina and Nicole! Gina, I'm so glad I found your blog through Nicole's. And Overcome sounds excellent!

  20. It's so wonderful to see so many friends here! (And Cody?!!) Thanks for reading the interview, following Gina, and just being wonderful supporters! You guys are the best!

    Gina~ What fun! And, please feel free to grab the graphic I posted yesterday on my blog. If you'd like to use it for a future banner on Fridays, or if you'd like me to make a new one that better reflects you, your personality, or your vision, just let me know! I'd be happy to customize a new one for you!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    ((hugs)) Nicole

  21. Lovely interview, good ladies! What an enjoyable game show. What are the prizes for it? Eternal fame and paparazzi stalking? Sounds kind of fun, actually.

    Nice job! (That was directed at both of you, btw.)

  22. Gina, that was fun! Great interview with Nicole.

  23. I really enjoyed this interview, ladies! It's wonderful getting to know more about my fellow bloggers and their writing journey.

    Nicole, have you always been able to see auras or was it something you learned? That's very interesting! Oh, and I loved your quilt analogy.

    Take care, Gina and Nicole!

  24. Jamie and Crimey~ I have not always known I could see auras. But a few years back I became friends with a woman who was very centered and organic in the most peaceful, wonderful way. She talked about seeing auras as if it were perfectly normal, and when I questioned her more about it she told me what she sees. A couple nights later I was talking with another friend who was telling me an emotional story. Suddenly, around her head and shoulders I saw a pale, wispy white "light," that seemed to expand and contract as if it were breathing. I started to cry. My poor friend thought I was reacting to her story!

    After that, I started looking for people's auras. The more relaxed and practiced you become, the more color you are able to see. I don't know why this is, except to say I believe an openness to the experience is necessary. Now, it's hard for me not to see auras.

    At a funeral for her mother, a neighbor was on the alter reading a poem. She was literally glowing green. I leaned over to the girl next to me and said, "Isn't that vivid color beautiful?" The girl squinted her eyes and then looked at me. "What color?" she asked.

    Another time when my daughter was seven, she was drawing a picture at the island while I cooked dinner. She was deep in concentration, and the tip of her little tongue was actually visible between her parted lips. A field of magenta color surrounded her, so bright nearest her face that her profile seemed lit by neon. It was beautiful.

    Usually, to see such vivid colors in people just going about their lives, (as opposed to emotional or creative moments), I have to meditate. However, I see pulsing whitish-blue halos around people all the time. Sometimes, like if I'm in line at the grocery store or something, it feels like an invasion of privacy and I look away. Funny, right?

    Everyone can see auras, if they just try. An aura is a normal part of the natural world. Try it!

  25. Ack! Sorry I'm just getting to this now, crazy weekend :) It's funny, before I started blogging, I felt the same way as Nicole (*waves* hi Nicole!) I had no idea how much of a community it is, and it's amazing! Thanks Gina and Nicole for the interview, hope you had a great weekend.


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