Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Interview with Nicky Wells

Today we're chatting with author Nicky Wells about her new book, SOPHIE'S TURN, published by Sapphire Star Publishing.

Welcome, Nicky! Tell us a bit about yourself.

(Nicky laughs uncertainly: where to start?) I’m a writer, as well as a mother and wife. I love rock music, as you probably guessed, and have been known, in a previous life, to carry a torch for the odd rock singer or three. Luckily, none of these crushes ever came to anything or I wouldn’t have met my lovely husband! That said, he does sing and he does play the guitar… so the music theme is there. People say I am funny with a wicked sense of humour. I wouldn’t know about that, of course. I’m German by birth and not supposed to have a sense of humour, wicked or otherwise.

How long have you been writing?

That’s not an easy question to answer. In some capacity, I have been writing all my life. Yes, I know, everybody says that, but it’s true! I wrote Sophie’s Turn when I was pregnant with my first child almost eight years ago. That was my first serious incident of novel writing, and it took about four months. Then, baby boy came along and turned my world upside down, so writing took a backseat (to put it mildly). I picked the thread up again last year after I decided to launch Sophie’s Turn upon the world and realised that the story was far from over.

Tell us about SOPHIE'S TURN. What's the story about?

Sophie’s Turn is the story of one young woman’s inadvertent entanglement with a rock star. Sophie’s dream of marrying lead singer Dan could be within reach… if she could just figure out what to do about her engagement to boyfriend Tim. Glamorous, funny, charming and honest, this contemporary fairy tale traces how Sophie gets into her predicament and how she turns it around.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

I blame my husband. He knows I have this weak spot for rock stars, and he can never resist a little dig. One night, when we were watching telly, a clip came on featuring either a rock star or one of my favourite movie stars, I can’t recall now who. It doesn’t matter, anyway; what matters is that I said something along the lines of, “wow, how could a girl ever resist if he proposed?” And my husband replied drily, “well, good job you’re already married to me.” We both laughed but that night, when I couldn’t sleep (remember, I was quite highly pregnant), the idea ricocheted round my head: what if…? I started planning the very next day!

Are you a planner or a pantser?

A planner, definitely. My first ever secret and deeply embarrassing attempt at writing was an off-the-cuff, barely planned, rushed and frantic affair produced over ten days. It was… alright, but it made me cringe when I read it again. The plot was inconsistent, full of holes, and occasionally even contradicted itself. I buried that attempt in the attic (I might have burned it since… the manuscript, not the attic) and learnt my lesson. Now, I plan.

I plan in several stages. First comes the concept or main idea. I develop a flowchart of key events around that, the kind of ‘red thread.’ From there, I develop outlines for scenes and character profiles. The last stage of planning for me is producing a one-page outline of each chapter or major part of the plot, and it’s from those ‘crib’ sheets (usually about 20) that I eventually write.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Now, the hardest part is remembering to use American spellings!! Ok, seriously, the hardest part of writing is the editing and polishing. It’s fun, but it’s stretching. When you’ve read and dissected your manuscript for the 15th time, you eventually reach the point when words lose their meaning, sentences don’t make sense, and the whole story seems to disintegrate in front of you. Incidentally, that’s usually the point at which you’ve done enough!

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A cup of tea. And chocolate!

Oh yes, amen to the chocolate! If you could have any super power, what would it be?

If I could have any super power, I would get by without any sleep. My goodness, my life would be transformed. Think of all the novels I could write in the dead of night while everyone else was sleeping?

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

The weirdest thing I’ve googled… well, let me tell you about the thing with the weirdest and most unexpected results. It flagged me up on the company firewall, no doubt (I was working for a research consultancy at that point) and it made me cringe.

You see, my then manager was leaving the company to go to law school. I was in charge of finding a jokey leaving present to lighten the mood at her official departure ceremony. I thought it would be a great idea to give her a huge, inflatable plastic gavel. So I googled… large, inflatable plastic gavel.

I leave it to your imagination what kind of results I got. I’d had no idea I’d stumbled into kinky-land!

LOL, that's hysterical! Okay, quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: envelope, tree tops, and marmalade.

A confused and disconcerted Tarzan sitting high amongst the tree tops turned the brown enveloped marked ‘final demand’ over and over in his hands, his sticky marmalade fingers making a pretty pattern on the recycled paper.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

YAY! A huge big Thank You shout out goes to the following people:
~My husband, of course, for his unfaltering belief and unwavering support. Thank you for cooking dinner yet again while I work!
~everyone at Sapphire Star Publishing, especially Amy and Katie: you guys rock
~Linn B. Halton, for all her support and advice
~All the amazing authors and associate readers over at Loveahappyending.com: you are my writing family, and your good humour and never ending cheer keep me going!
~Shaz Goodwin, for showing me the ropes on the blogging front
~Sue Fortin for being the best writing buddy one could ever imagine

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

You can find me on my blog where I post articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on my work in progress, the second and third parts of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. You can also follow me on Twitter and find me on Facebook. I’m a featured author with the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and have joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Oh, and I have author pages with Sapphire Star Publishing and on Goodreads, of course! ☺

Sophie’s Turn is available in Kindle edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and many other Amazon sites. The paperback edition is also available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. In addition, you can obtainSophie’s Turn from Barnes & Noble.

8 comments:

Nicky Wells said...

Good morning, Dorothy! Thank you so much for hosting me on my launch day. The post is absolutely beautiful and I just adore the design of your blog. I am delighted to be celebrating the launch of Sophie's Turn with you and hope your readers enjoy it, too. See you soon--rock on!

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Thank you for letting me be part of the launch! :)

Sheryl said...

Haw, haw! Reminds me of when I was responsible for organsing the bride-to-be's party hat for her hen night. Thought it might be fun to plaster pics of pecs around it (if you get my drift), so I googled 'male models', while at work. Not a good idea!

I love this site! Soooo pretty! Good luck, Nicky! :) xx

Marina Sofia said...

A really fun interview - a great start to the launch!

Nicky Wells said...

Hey Sheryl and Marina, good to see you here. It is a pretty blog, isn't it? I love it. Sheryl--we'll have to swap notes sometime on our dodgy google searches. Thanks again to Dorothy for hosting me, and you ladies for touring with me. XX

Linn B Halton said...

Dorothy's blog is a very relaxing place to visit! Lovely, personal feel. So nice to see Nicky here - it's been an amazing day and I'm exhausted just trying to keep up!

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Loving the comments, everyone! *warm and fuzzy*

Nicky Wells said...

Ooh, feeling warm and fuzzy too! Thanks to Linn for visiting, and yet again to Dorothy for hosting. What a wonderful place to be... See you again soon?