Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Interview with Nicole Zoltack

Today we're chatting with author Nicole Zoltack about her novel, WOMAN OF HONOR.

Welcome to We Do Write, Nicole. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, I’m married to my college sweetheart, who was also my first kiss. I have three young boys - a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 9 month old. Yes, I’m crazy. I’m obsessed with the Middle Ages and Renaissance - we even had a Renaissance themed wedding!

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I first learned how to write. My mom used to sit my sister and me down and gave us paper and pencils to write. I’ve been writing seriously since about 2007.

Tell us about WOMAN OF HONOR. What’s the story about?

Short version: A young girl wants to become a knight and ends up finding love as she tries to fulfill her dream.

Long version: Aislinn of Bairbhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish and she begins her long years of training.

Despite the mockery of the other pages, and the disdain of Prince Caelan who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her dreams and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery. Through the years, Aislinn and Caelan grow from sparring classmates to good friends. They both know that someday Caelan will marry for the sake of the kingdom, but even that cannot keep them from falling in love.

The threat of war with the Speicans is a constant threat, and one that grows more frightening as she and Caelan train toward their eventual knighthood. Aislinn has committed herself to serving Arnhem, and has promised herself as King's Champion when Caelan claims the throne. She is willing to give up everything... her childhood, her life, even her heart for Arnhem. No matter the pain it brings.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

As I mentioned, I love the Middle Ages. One day, I was going research and discovered there had been an entire order of female knights. The idea of a young girl asking her king if she could train to become a knight, citing those women, came to me, and Woman of Honor was born.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I self-edit, then have critique partners and beta readers. You can never have too many eyes on your story!

Are you a planner or a pantser?

A pantser. I tend to not finish stories that I figure out the ending to before I’m ready to write that scene (I tend to write from beginning to end). I am slowly starting to outline some, but it’s a loose outline so my creativity doesn’t feel stifled.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Editing. I can write rough drafts fairly fast when I want to, but editing can take me a long time.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Just my netbook or desktop or pen and paper. That’s all I have to have.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Super speed. That way, I can speed up the editing process and still have the house cleaned, my chores done, dinner on the table, etc.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

So many things! Probably when I was researching different poisons for a story about an assassin.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: honestly, hornets nest, and humble.

“Honestly… I am scared,” Humble said, dropping the stick and stepping away from the hornets’ nest.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

Chasing after the little ones.

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

My husband. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to stay at home with the boys all day and work on my writing in between caring for them.

Faith Bicknell Brown. My first editor. She taught me so much and was the first person to believe in my writing enough to sign me.

Mary Waibel. My newest beta reader. She’s read almost all of my novels now. Her feedback in invaluable.

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

Just about everywhere!


Nicole Zoltack said...

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Dorothy! Glad to be here. :)

Christine Danek said...

Great interview Dorothy and Nicole. So nice to read about other writer's journey's and work.

Adriana Ryan said...

Woman of Honor sounds amazing. Love the idea of female knights! And wow, Nicole, you're one busy lady. :D

E. Arroyo said...

Yay! I love the story concept. Such a great interview. Thanks for sharing. =)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Thanks, Christine!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Very busy, Adriana. I think the world needs more female knights. :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

Tricia Ballad said...

Sounds like a great story!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Thank you, Tricia!