Friday, February 11, 2011
FEATURED AUTHOR: Nicole Green
How did you start out your writing career?
I've always liked to write. When I heard about the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest in 2007, I decided to enter. I didn't win, but the contest gave me the push I needed to try to get published. After the contest, I edited my manuscript, submitted it to publishers, and in May 2009, Genesis Press offered me my first publishing contract.
What did you learn while writing this book?
Patience. It takes time to edit a book well, and to make sure that the words get across to the reader the way that you want them to. It takes a long time to get from story idea to finished book.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
I just want to write a book that people enjoy. My goal with all of my books is to write the kind of book that I've always wanted to find on the shelves. To paraphrase Toni Morrison, if there's a book you want to read, but it hasn't been written, you have to write it.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
Probably Davis. When I was writing him, he always surprised me. Also, he's funny, smart, and loyal to the people he loves.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How much I've learned. I thought at first that you put some words on a page, and that's it. People buy the book, and you don't have to do anything else. I've learned a lot about craft, editing, and other things related to writing. I've also learned a lot about marketing and self-promotion. People can't buy your book if they don't know about it. Also, writer's conferences are a lot of fun. I've been to several, and I might try to make it to the RWA conference this summer.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
I love creating characters and dialogue. What's most fun is when your characters do or say something that you never expected them to. Especially when it's something funny or something that takes the plot in a new, exciting direction. There are several things I find difficult, but I hate it when things aren't working in a scene or chapter, and I can't figure out why. Sometimes critique partners can help with this, but sometimes nobody can really figure out what's wrong. That's incredibly frustrating.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
1. It's important to be yourself. Trying to be someone else is too hard, and you're not impressing other people by doing that no matter what you think. 2. Don't let other people's insecurities bring you down. This kind of goes along with number 1. 3. Be informed and stand up for what you believe in. Make yourself heard.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do: write every day. It doesn't matter if you think every word is terrible. It doesn't matter if you only write a paragraph. The important thing is to write. Reading is very important, too, but write every day. Don't: give up. I think most writers who never get published never make it because they give up. Like I said earlier, everything about this process takes patience. Even before you get your first contract, you have to have patience. There are a lot of talented writers trying to get published. Most of them have been writing for years. Agents and editors have too many good writers to choose from, so it just takes time. In the meantime, work on your craft. This goes back to writing every day.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
Writing a book is hard. It's rewarding and fun, but it is definitely hard work.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
That's a really hard question! There are so many characters I admire, but I don't know if I'd want to be them. Off the top of my head, I'd have to say Diane from J.J. Murray's I'm Your Girl. I'm Your Girl is what inspired me to write my first novel, and I love the chemistry between Diane and Jack.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Hm...I don't have a lot of it outside of writing that I don't devote to reading. So I guess...reading. I also listen to a lot of NPR. NPR is great for learning about people and their stories. I'm always learning something new from listening to it. In fact, I've gotten a few story ideas from it.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I blog. I've done one book signing, but I haven't set up any future ones yet. I try to set up as many author events as I can. I'll be at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, VA in March. I also try to send out a newsletter every two months. Sometimes I'm late with it, but I really do try! I've also held a blog contest in the past. I haven't done that recently, but I'm getting an idea for one to go with my third book. The theme will be Christmas In July. More details on that closer to July.
Our theme for this month is Writing the book, what advice do you have for staying motivated to complete the book?
Write a book you truly love. Don't try to write to trends or the market or what you think people want to read or anything like that. If you write what you truly love, you'll stay invested in finishing it. Also, writing is a long and hard--and rewarding--journey. If you don't have fun along the way, it'll seem even longer.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
That I'll never stop trying to improve. That includes everything from writing a better book than my last one to getting better at my job to being a better friend and family member.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
Sure. I haven't released that much information about it yet, but here's the basic premise. A busy lawyer meets an artist while she's visiting her family for the holidays. They get off to a rocky start, but there's instant chemistry between them. The book comes out in July, and it's called Holding Her Breath.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me at http://www.nicolegreenauthor.com/
After graduating from college, Jemma returns to the one place in the world she thought she'd never see again--her hometown of Derring, Virginia. She can't stay away any longer when she realizes her best friend from high school is getting married. Returning home also means seeing Davis again. He broke her heart in high school, but she has a new life now and Davis is a part of the past she's determined to put behind her.
Davis knows Jemma can do better than him and he wants her to. So even though his heart nearly stops when he sees Jemma for the first time in six years, he's determined not to get attached to her again for her sake. Trying to ignore what he feels for her isn't his only problem. His two brothers may want to sell the house their dad left all three of them. His brothers abandoned him to their abusive father and now he's sure they only want to come back into his life to take the house away from him.
Neither Jemma nor Davis want to fall in love with each other again, albeit for different reasons. However, it's hard for them to fight the forceful attraction that hasn't disappeared over the years. If anything, it's grown stronger.
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