Hi Nicole and welcome to our blog. Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm just an average person. I'm a wife and mother who home schools my children. I love to read--have always loved to read. And my creative juices are always flowing; whether I'm doing graphic design work or writing, or working with music, there are a million ideas roaming around in my head at any given moment.
How long have you been a writer? What made you put that first story/poem down on paper?
I can't remember a time when I wasn't a writer, but I didn't write my first novel until I was in my early 20s. It was an awful thing, but I wouldn't trade it for the world; without that first book, I would have never written the second, or the fifth--and they each got better until I could actually write something that didn't make readers cringe.
What do your family/friends thing about your writing? Are they supportive?
My family and friends are very supportive. They think it's fantastic that I am creative, and often tell me they can't believe I can come up with so many characters and plots.
Earlier you said you love to read. Who are your favorite authors and what kinds of books inspire you to write – if any?
I read constantly. I've always been an avid reader. Any well-written book will inspire me to write. It's a spark inside that ignites when someone has been able to immerse me in their created reality. I itch to pen something that will match that type of great escape.
Favourite authors? I think there are too many to count, in a myriad genre and style. At any given time, I can be reading a Regency romance, or a thrilling Christian novel by Ted Dekker, or non-fiction books on Christian apologetics, comparative religion, or spirituality. If I have to pick a favourite, though, I'd have to say William Shakespeare.
For you, what is most frustrating about writing? Most rewarding?
There isn't really anything frustrating about writing--however, finding the right publisher has been known to be a little frustrating. The most rewarding thing is reading the finished and polished manuscript and being able to say, "I did it! Finis."
Do you take most of your ideas from life? Or your imagination? A mix?
I don't think any author completely creates a world without influence from his or her own. Our minds are filled with knowledge of our experiences, so we cannot get away from that. However, what I take from real life is usually just a premise that evolves into a fictitious plot that doesn't even resemble the incident which sparked the story to begin with.
Do you have days when the words won't flow? What do you do?
I do have days when the words won't flow. I try to push through them by writing what little comes to mind--even if I think it's drivel. In my experience, when I go back and read those sections the next day, they aren't nearly as worthless as I had thought when I was creating them.
Do you have a "golden rule" of writing that almost always works for you?
Write. It's very easy to allow other things to get in the way. Make time to write, and then use that allotted time to write.
What is the best piece of advice you've been given as a writer? What's the worst?
The best piece of advice I've ever been given as a writer is to listen to constructive criticism. It is true that the only way to improve one's writing is to acknowledge what is lacking, or where it is flawed, and do everything to fix it.
I don't think I've ever been given bad advice--or maybe I've just blocked it from my mind!
Did we forget anything? What would you like to add? Any upcoming publications or links for our readers? Current projects we should watch for?
I would like to thank everyone for their interest, and I extend an open invitation to my website at http://www.inicola.net or at http://www.shoutlife.com/nicola . I have a great deal in the works. I've just been privileged with having two releases made available on the same day: The Resurrection of Lady Somerset is a traditional Regency romance, and The Lighthouse is a contemporary romance novella with allegorical overtones. Both are available in both print and electronic formats.
In addition to fiction projects, I'm also working on a few non-fiction works: Writers will be interested in The Lightning-fast Lexicon of Period Lingo. Award-winning author, Linda Lea Castle and I are at work on an updated edition of that book. Christians will be interested in a companion book I'm writing to go along with the already-published prayer CD, The Prayer of the Heart.