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CABR: Welcome to CABR Nikki.
NL: Thank you, I’m very excited to be here and to discover you.
CABR: Thanks! 🙂
“Wild Encounter” is your first romantic suspense novel, right? Why’d you decide to ‘branch out’ from category romance? Were you compelled to by Clare and Simon? ￼
NL: Actually, “Wild Encounter” was the first book I wrote, so it pre-dated my romance with contemporary category, but it was never a conscious decision to write a ‘rom sus’ (romantic suspense). I just wrote the story I wanted to read and the characters took me, and the story, in the direction they wanted to go. I had a very strong dream which led to the ‘escape’ scene in the book and getting that down on the page really set the tone. But the moment I started writing my hero (with whom the heroine has a very Stockholm-y thing happening) the rest all fell into place and I realised it was always going to be a ‘rom sus’.
“Wild Encounter” took a backseat while I started getting full-on into contemporary category romance, so it was only this year when I first heard about (Entangled Publishing‘s new line) Dead Sexy, that I thought….oh, that’s a good fit for Clare and Simon. But of course Entangled is still category length so this story still offers the pacier, tighter journey of a category romance (albeit at the longer end of the range).
CABR: Did you seek out Entangled Publishing’s Dead Sexy line for WE or did they contact you? Why?
NL: I was intrigued by Entangled’s business model and I thought Dead Sexy just sounded…well, dead sexy! I could ‘see’ my cover with a Dead Sexy logo on it and it felt very right so I subbed it to Nina Bruhns assuming it would be months before I heard back but Nina got back in touch virtually straight away very excited and clearly getting the story. Not long after that she was back in touch with an offer. I was very excited to have my story — and my name — connected with such a cool, emerging line.
CABR: That’s fantastic Nikki 😀 Have you been surprised by any fan reactions to WE, since it’s a bit of a departure from your previous 15 books?
NL: You know what… it’s really not THAT much of a departure. All my stories have wildlife or nature themes through them and are strong, character-led stories with lots of drama. Sure, “Wild Encounter” externalises the drama but it’s still there. There’s no doubt there’s more blood and more on-page sex than my usual but I would hope that, essentially, the stories are crafted much the same.
So far all the direct reader feedback I’ve had has been positive, people who’ve enjoyed the departure. I’d like to think that what makes my stories engaging would translate across genres (but maybe that’s just me being optimistic about getting to play with future genres 😀
CABR: I say think positive. 🙂 Did you get to choose the book cover for “Wild Encounter” or have significant input?
NL: Yes!! I’m a very visual writer and waaaaay back when I was first trying to get my head around this story I found an image of a woman with amazing green eyes staring out past a man’s hand clamped over her mouth and I stuck it on the wall and used it to help me conceptualise this story — like a visual log line. So when the opportunity came to make suggestions for the cover of Wild Encounter I sent Entangled’s art department the image and suggested a kind of ‘watermark’ of wild dogs somewhere in there too. The final cover is so amazingly close to how I imagined it, and I love the green Dead Sexy branding—hope I get to keep those for my future nature-based stories.
CABR: Now that you’ve gotten the first one out of the way, so to speak, are you planning to write more romantic suspense? Perhaps a series?
NL: I hope so! If there is a good reader response to this story I’d like to write Mac’s story next, probably set in Australia. There are quite a few minor characters in “Wild Encounter” and so lots of scope for a series. And no shortage of great wildlife settings.
CABR: Would you say “How to Get Over Your Ex” is a category romance? When can we get our hands, or Kindles, on a copy?
NL: Very definitely category. This title will be one of the debut titles for the new Harlequin line, KISS, which launches in North America in time for Valentine’s Day, 2013. It’s set in London and has no on-page sex in it and so is nowhere near as wild (in all ways) as “Wild Encounter”. Look for it late January.
CABR: Those are a couple of dates to keep in mind. What do you consider the pros and cons of writing?
NL: Pros: Getting to work-from-home, with my dogs at my feet, in my PJs if I want. Being my own time manager, getting positive reader feedback or four/five-star reviews. Getting to see direct benefit from my own work ethic.
Cons: Getting a bit ‘shut in’ and missing daily human contact; people thinking that it’s okay to steal your work and give it away to others (or worse, selling the work they’ve stolen); being confronted by online people who build themselves up by tearing others down; working seven days a week (I was promised a leisurely writer’s lifestyle goshdarnit!).
CABR: Being able to work at home, with your dogs as company, sounds like Heaven. I totally agree with you about how awful, and illegal, it is to share/sell eBooks without consent. On a happier note, what’s the funniest fan interaction you’ve had?
NL: A friend popped round to see her mother and saw one of my books on her mother’s bedside table and her mother said ‘I’ve discovered this great new writer…’ My friend took great delight in saying ‘you know her, mum’ but she didn’t believe it until she came round next time with a book signed and personalised by me.
Also this one time in an elevator at a writers’ conference in New York, a lovely woman glanced at my nametag and said ‘I think I know you…’ and we spent the entire 30 floor ascent (although it was very fast) trying to work out whether she’d met me somewhere. Finally she stepped out of the elevator waving and saying ‘It’ll come to me’, and my mother (who was travelling with me in NY) looked at me once we were alone and said ‘You’re an idiot’. A little lightbulb came on over my head and I said ‘oh, right! I’m an author.’
CABR: LOL. That elevator encounter is too funny. Have you ever been awestruck upon meeting any particular author/s at a convention?
NL: I worked in the film and TV industry for many years so I’m really not all that much of a gusher (from necessity). But there’s this kind of rockstar allure that some writers have (which I don’t think has anything to do with stature) and, for me, Deanna Raybourn is such a writer. I met her at the same writers’ convention and she was just so poised and gracious and beautiful, she had that whole presence thing going on. I officially gushed. And possibly stalked.
CABR: I’m sure you didn’t stalk her…much. 😉 If you could be someone else for a day, from any time in history, who would you be and why?
NL: I would love to experience Beethoven’s music the way he must have toward the end. To feel it battering my face and be able to ‘hear’ it that way. Awesome.
CABR: Love Beethoven! Which character from fiction, yours or another author’s, would you like to spend time with and why?
NL: I think if I could only pick one then I’d have to go with Jane Eyre, primarily because by spending time with her then I’d also get to spend it with Mr Rochester (a twofer!) Much as I love the witty, confident Elizabeth Bennett-esque heroines of regency, I’ve always had a particularly soft spot for the unsung, mousey, tolerant but shy heroines who win love gently and against the odds. I love a cinderella story.
NL: Thank you so much for having me by. I hope you all really enjoy Clare, Simon and the wild dogs.
Giveaway reminder – an eBook of “Wild Encounter”. Post a Comment then follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter. a Rafflecopter giveaway