Let’s start with the basics.
Who are you?
Tell us (briefly) about you and a bit about what you’ve written and what you’re working on right now.
I’m a new independent/self-published author of the epic fantasy book called Only A Glow. Only A Glow is the first book in a 7 book series on its way out called The White Warrior. I was born and raised in Massachusetts. I spent a little over a year living in Tennessee before coming back home for family reasons. I loved the time I spent in Tennessee. My next move will be to California this coming summer with one of my best friends. I need to get out of these confounded New England winters. 🙂
What are your earliest book-related memories?
I read Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews when I was in 7th grade. Since that book I have read at least another thousand or more. I love to read. Wouldn’t you know it, epic fantasy is my favorite genre, but a great epic fantasy is hard to find. I also love mysteries and young adult books.
What are your three favorite books?
I have so many favorites. If I have to narrow it down I would have to say: Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, and The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. (Other honorable mentions include Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordian, Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull, and The Dark Elf Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore.)
How many books to do you read at any given time? What are you reading now?
I can only read one book at a time because when I read a story, I want my complete and utter attention on it. I want to get to know the characters, their story and really absorb what the author is saying. Lately though I haven’t had much time to read because I’ve been busy with getting my own series out and trying to promote it.
Finish this sentence; when I curl up with a book, I _________.
…feel content and happy and love where my mind goes with the story.
To re-read or not to re-read that is the question.
I usually don’t re read a book. The only book I have ever read twice is Wizard’s First rule. However I’m thinking about starting to re-read the Obsidian Trilogy soon.
How likely are you to read a book that’s been recommended to you?
It depends on how enthusiastic the person telling me about the book is and if they tell me enough about it to spark my interest. If they’re jumping out of their skin excited as they tell me all about it, then it will be worth looking into. But if someone just tells me nonchalantly, “It’s a great book. Got great reviews too,” I mostly likely won’t look into it.
How likely are you to recommend a book (that isn’t yours)?
Very likely! If I love a book I’m one of those enthusiastic people I was talking about in the previous question. I go nuts over a book and tell people about it that want to listen. I’ve recommended hundreds of books that people have read and loved.
What do you look for in a good book?
That is a tough one. It has to be a combination of a few things. I need to have likeable and believable and interesting characters that I can relate to and empathize with. A good story with a few secrets to be revealed is always good, (I have no problem with unexpected twists and turns.) It needs to be well-paced so it’s not like pulling teeth to try and finish it.
Why do you write?
Oh there are so many reasons why I write; I love to write. I’m good at writing. Life doesn’t make sense if I’m not writing, but most of all, I want to touch people. I want to stir emotions in them and make them relate, fall in love with, empathize, and route for my characters. I want to take my readers to places that don’t exist and meet people that aren’t real just because I can, because that’s what books do. When readers love what I write, I feel like I’ve been a small part of their life and them a part of mine.
If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
I would be something fun and adventurous, like a tour guide through the Grand Canyon or the Application Mountains. Maybe even a white water rafting guide. I love the outdoors and fun and adventure.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from other fantasy authors and my own life experiences. My stories are sort of an emotional escape for me. Azrel, my main character in The White Warrior series, is me 10 years ago when I wrote her. The struggles she faced and the emotions she battled and the victory’s she won. Other fantasy authors inspire me because fantasy is a very hard genre to break into because there are so many out there, so those that have made it in the genre inspire me to keep going and plugging away to get my name out there.
What has writing taught you about yourself?
My writing and this self-publishing adventure so far has taught me that I do have a gift to offer people, and I didn’t think I had any gifts worth mentioning for most of my life. But based on reviews of Only A Glow from my growing fan base and my friends, I have come to realize, and have confidence in the belief that I have a true gift of storytelling and putting emotions into text. I suck at grammar still, but that’s what editors are for.
How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?
Everyone, my closest friends and family and a few of my biggest fans, they all swear up and down that I’m going to be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer. They say that because, according to them, my book had the rare ability (for them) to suck them into the story and stay sucked in. These people have all told me that they are not easily imprisoned by books, but my book hooked them, got inside them, and made them lose some serious sleep. Those are the best complements anyone can give me. The greatest thing any fan of mine can say to me is, “You’re book kept me up way too late at night. I could not put it down,” because that’s what great books do to me too. I am so honored and flattered when I get complements like that, and I can hardly believe someone is saying that about my work, about something that I created. It’s the best feeling ever.
Are there any stereotypes about writers that you don’t think are true?
I haven’t really been in the author world very long to make a call like that. I don’t know of any stereotypes that authors get labeled with because I don’t know very many authors.
What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?
Being heard! The hardest thing about writing is marketing your work alone because there are just so many authors out there with the self-publishing industry on a huge incline! It’s difficult to get the word out and have people listen to one person. Fellow authors are usually concerned with getting their own writing out so they can’t pay much attention to other authors, and the general public isn’t going to listen to a nobody debut novelist. It’s very hard to stand out and get noticed.
Have you made any writing mistakes that seem obvious in retrospect but weren’t at the time?
I’m still too new at being an author to realize any mistakes I made. It is way too early in the process to learn from my mistakes, because it’s too soon for mistakes to be brought to my attention that need to be fixed.
Is there a particular project you would love to be involved with?
Nothing that I can think of off the top of my head. Again, I blame being a rookie independent author.
How do you deal with your fan base?
With humility, gratefulness and kindness. I’m just a regular person like them. I love my fans and have become friends with a few of them. They are some of the greatest people I have met and they really love my book. One fan told me that he loved my book so much he feels like it’s his personal mission to get as many people to read it as he can. My fans are very passionate about my book and they go out of their way to tell me how much they love it, and they promote it to the best of their ability. I love my fans.
Finish this sentence; my fans would be surprised to know ___ about me.
HA! I’m not sure. I don’t really have any surprises up my sleeve that I can think of right now. I might have to get back to you on that.
Anything else we should know?
I have a book trailer for my book. It’s actually really beautiful! You can view it here: http://vimeo.com/51313772
I want to connect with you! Let’s chat! Find me on Facebook (where you can see the book covers of the next 4 novels, and there are 3 more book covers to be unveiled soon) here: http://www.facebook.com/TheWhiteWarriorSeries.com
Follow me on Twitter: @Nichelle_Writes
My website has more info about me and some fan art and some fun sound bites so you know how to pronounce the names, places, and things in my book. Visit my website here: http://www.thewhitewarriorseries.com
I’m currently working on book #2 in The White Warrior series called The Blaze Ignites and it is due to be release March 2013.