~Author Interview~Hello Nina! I am so glad you are here on Booked & Loaded! Hi, Annie! Thanks for having me! I’ll try not to ramble too much, haha!
Annie: Can you start off by telling us a little about yourself? Nina: Oh man, this is always the toughest part. I never know what to say! Let’s go with life outside of work. Other than writing, I have a ton of hobbies. I loooove archery and shooting. I’m getting back into piano, forcing myself to stick with yoga, and I’m studying programming (I know, it’s a weird “hobby,” but I thought it would be fun…I was wrong. It’s hard!). I also like to bake, cook, sew, and knit like an old lady! I paint and draw, even though I’m terrible at both. I’m an avid anime/manga fan and I do a bit of gaming, though my husband says I’m not a real gamer because I spend all my time playing Sims and Cooking Mama. Now that I think about it, most of the games I like to play are crafting games! This doesn’t even scratch the surface of my hobbies, but they’re the important ones for right now. I do have to remember to make time to write, hahaha! I LOVE shooting too! I am a hobbie junkie as well. With a touch of artist in me, I just can’t help it!! Annie: What has been your greatest challenge becoming a writer? Nina: I’m a perfectionist. Not the cool, gets-stuff-done-and-it-turns-out-amazing-because-of-the-level-of-attention kind of perfectionist. The insane, nothing-I-write-is-ever-good-enough-so-let-me-delete-this-entire-book-and-start-from-scratch kind. They say that you’re your toughest critic and they (mysterious and all-knowing bunch that they are) are entirely right. I used to feel like a failure if one of my readers said something even as mild as “Man, I dislike this character’s name,” but thanks for my friends and my wonderful husband, (who is oftentimes borderline abusive with his level of “you’re a terrific writer, so stop being a baby”) I’ve learned to use every run-in as a chance to grow and develop as a writer. Annie: I recently reviewed your novella, A Clockwork Christmas, and LOVED IT. What inspired this book? Nina: I’m so glad you liked it! A Clockwork Christmas was actually the second book in a series, even though it comes first in the timeline. The Blackwell Legacy originally started with Clockwork Kiss, which had already been accepted by Liquid Silver. In that novel, Olyve and James are already married. As we were editing CK, I remember falling in love with Olyve all over again. She’s such a strong character and I wanted to give her the chance to really shine. Soooo, being the nut that I am, I decided to write how she and James met AND have it published BEFORE CK came out. It was an intense couple of months! *goes and buys Clockwork Kiss* Annie: What characters do you find the easiest to write – the bad? The good? Nina: My bad guys are always the easiest for me to write. In Elementary school, I wasn’t the most well-liked student. It’s pretty terrible to say now, but I spent a lot of my time taking my frustrations out in stories. I would write tales of monstrous individuals who picked on this one, innocent fairy/princess/warrior girl who would ultimately use her powers to put them in jail….or blow them up. *Coughs delicately* I can’t exactly remember who it was, but one day a teacher…or maybe it was one of my parents…picked up one of my notebooks. I was terrified I was about to get in trouble, but that person read whatever I had written and said “You know, no one who is evil ever really thinks they are. Even bad guys have stories and in their heads they’re usually the good guy.” That simple statement blew my young mind. It was a concept I’d never thought of before. Bad guys who didn’t know they’re bad guys! I’ve rambled a bit, but that just goes to show how passionate I am about it! To me, writing bad guys is almost as fun as writing Alpha males. Annie: What is your favorite thing about creating strong Alpha male love interests for your characters? Nina: Definitely, breaking the rules. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some He-Man silliness but my favorite part of the Alpha is his soft side. I like writing Alphas that secretly love to bake or cry during sappy movies. It always warms my insides and it gives my heroines the chance to break out of her shell too, you know? I DO! Annie: Can you talk about any other upcoming releases that are in the works? Nina: I’m working on a few projects right now. My Riding Hood Tales should have a third installment by the end of the season, as should the Luminance Prophecies. I like to jump around in the subgenres a bit, hahaha. The RHT is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (of course) that I would consider Fantasy Rom. The Luminance Prophecies is actually a M/M Sci-Fi Erotic Rom series about a group of genetically engineered shape-shifters who have to protect humankind from extinction on post-apocalyptic earth. I’m also looking at a romance trilogy about the three Erinyes (also known as the Furies in Roman Mythology) sisters. The first one is already written but my perfectionism curse is making this one hard! That is a whole lot of books added to my TBR!!! Annie: What is your favorite genre to write? Nina: Oh man, that’s a tough one. I wrote Horror for a little while and had a fabulous time, but my first love was always Romance. Subgenre, though, is up in the air. Annie: Holidays – Do you love them or despise them and why? Nina: It’s disgustingly sappy, but my favorite part about the holidays is the people. It’s not just my friends and family coming together; it’s the way even strangers seem to light up. People are smiling, despite the stress of shopping and bills. There’s always this warm glow of cheer during the holidays that I want to bask in for hours. Annie: You a featured author for Authors After Dark Savannah Nights. What are you most looking forward to experiencing while in Savannah? Nina: This will be my first convention so I’m looking forward to everything! I did tons of research on the different cons out there and tried for two years to get a spot in this one. I love how it focuses on the readers and I’m stuuuupid excited about all of the events we have planned. Oh ! A con Virgin!!! Annie: So I love music almost as much as books. Do you think your characters or books have theme songs? What are they?? Nina: If they do, they’d probably be a mixture of dubstep, classical, and reggaeton! That’s what I listen to while I write. I’m a bit of a dink because I can’t write when there’s music with lyrics playing. It always ends up like: James pressed his palms to either side of her face. “Olyve. Don’t be afraid, I won’t let anything happen to you. Because your stare was holding. And your jeans are ripped, skin is showing.” She blinked. “Yeah, it’s kind of a hot night. And the wind is blowing.” …no good. Annie: Can you give me your top 3 favorite authors that you would go fangirl over if introduced to? Nina: Only 3?! You cruel, cruel woman. Well, I’m not sure if she knows it (especially since I’ve been so caught up in deadlines that I’ve been neglecting her), but Lisa Hendrix is totally my mentor. She is the go-to woman when I have a problem or need advice. Not only is she fantastically patient and helpful, but she can write. Oh my Goddess, I have threatened to sit outside her house and stalk her for books on more than one occasion. I’m not sure if she realizes how serious I am. I’ve already cleared a space on my bookshelf for her next release! And I can’t forget my girl Sasha Devlin. As a writer, I’m kind of prone to vanishing in my room and banging out books while completely forgetting the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the job doesn’t work like that. This lady helps me remember that there’s a lot more to being a successful writer than just writing (*gasp*)! She’s an inspiration without trying to be, seriously. She’s always working so hard and she’s the only person I know who is as critical of her own work as much as I am of mine (even though everything she writes is amazeballs)! They’re both a dream come true and I wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far as I have without their help. Lastly…Gena Showalter. Dude. She would have to call security, just saying. I’m pretty sure I would scream myself hoarse if I met her. Or cry. Or Scry. Have you seen Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World? I’m Knives and Gena is music. I would probably throw up. Or faint. I’d put that in a spiffy one word thing…but I don’t think you can puke and faint at the same time. But! If it’s possible, I would be doing it. Okay, that has gone on long enough. I’m starting to feel like a creeper. LOL. This is the best answer….ever!!! Annie: If you could compare yourself to any fictional character who would that be? Nina: Oh man. That is a TREMENDOUS question. There are so many options! I watch a lot of anime. And I read. And I read comics as a little kid. So many options! @_@ ~*~*~ Fifteen minutes later ~*~*~ Sorry for the wait! I cheated and went to ask my husband. He said Belle. I’m inquisitive, I like books, and I’m nice (*snort*). Yeah. That’s a good answer. Yeah. You have him trained well! *wink* Annie: Do you have a weird or strange talent? (I can pinch and pick up things with my toes!) Nina: My husband is now here to help me. He would like me to mention that I can tie cherry stems with my tongue. *Coughs* That’s pretty much…it. Annie: If you were fighting zombies what would your weapon of choice be? Nina: My first inclination is to say “death,” because I hate zombies. My Sims aren’t even allowed to be zombies because they freak me out. I’ve come up with a dozen very good plans to kill myself and simultaneously destroy my head so that I won’t be forced to become a zombie as well…but the husband is not having that. So a bow. It’s not practical, but I know how to use it. Yeah. A bow and a Ruger SR-556 Carbine (I know they’re unpopular, but damnit, I want one). Good plan. Thank you Nina for this great interview and can’t wait to meet you in Savannah!
~More About the Author~
A Biography is kind of a difficult thing to write when you don’t have a memory with any kind of chronological order. So, instead I’ll just tell you a bit about me.
My name is Nina. That’s a statement within itself, since I’ve “changed” my name at least once a year since I was ten. I stopped doing that around sixteen, mostly because I got bored. I was kind of a wild child, within the quiet comfort of my imagination. I chased Dragons and seduced Demons, all the while saving the world with hunky co-stars.
I was always knee deep in books and paper. My family always backed me, which is very important. I had a strong support system while growing up and I was lucky enough to have sisters who consume books at the same insane rate as I do.
I was a military brat and I have seen a lot of this fantastic country (and a few besides). I’m allergic to cats (though I have two). And wheat. And soy. Actually, I’m allergic to a lot of things: corn, fish (shell, white, and red), peanuts, sesame, walnuts, and shrimp. Shrimp is technically a fish, which was already covered, but I like it so I’ll put it down twice.
Yeah. That’s enough about me. Tell me about you!