Interview with Well-Known Author Nicky Charles
Nicky Charles is an independent writer/publisher who works full time and writes in her off hours as an escape from reality. She enjoys weaving stories of love and suspense with a paranormal twist and alpha-type males. As she writes, she often sees the stories unfold like a movie in her head and tries to convey this sense of ‘being there’ to her readers.
A resident of Canada, she’s very proud of her country and even tries to stick to Canadian spelling in her novels.
Ms. Charles loves reading, writing (of course), gardening, music, dark chocolate, her two cats and taking daytrips to discover little out of the way places. She’s a firm supporter of animal shelters and encourages her readers to make donations to these organizations whenever possible.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
LOL! You know, I never wanted to be a writer and to this day I still have to remind myself that I am. Growing up I wanted to be jockey!
The actual writing didn’t start until a few years back when I discovered the world of fanfiction. I’d never heard of fanfiction before and once I tried my hand at it, the writing bug took hold. After penning a number of stories for a show called Scarecrow and Mrs. King, a random comment concerning a novella written by a friend (author Jan Gordon) had me attempting my first original story. I haven’t looked back since!
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I suppose the fact that I spend a lot of time surfing the web searching for images that match my mental picture of my characters, especially the male lead. I like to actually see the person I’m writing about.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Well, first of all, I suppose I was most surprised to learn that people actually liked them!
After that, I think it would be the amount of work that goes into taking a story from an idea in my head to an actual published book. I’d never thought much about the writing process before. It seemed like something an author just sat down and did. However, the research, the rewriting, the back and forth with my editor over the course of the year… There’s so much work that goes into a novel. And then my readers gobble it up in a matter of days and want more!
Where did you get ideas for your books?
My ideas usually come from things I see. I’m very visual and a simple ‘snapshot’ can balloon into a whole scenario in a matter of seconds! A waitress looking bored becomes a woman waiting for the man she loves to appear, a cliff I see as I drive down a highway is transformed into a crash scene, someone walking in the rain turns into forlorn lover… It doesn’t take much to get my imagination working.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written five novels so far. Four in the Lycan series and one standalone called Forever In Time.
I think Forever In Time might be my favourite simply because it was the first, but really each book has a certain appeal to me.
The Mating was written so fast and was such an off-the-cuff project that I always marvel at how it turned out and how it appeals to so many. The Keeping features Ryne and he’s such a sexy bad boy; I just love him. The Finding, however, appeals to me because it was an exercise in writing from multiple points of view and trying to intertwine several story threads into one large culminating event. I was really pleased that I was able to pull that off! And finally I really like Bonded because I was able to address a social issue in it and the main character, Reno, was so much more complex than any I’d ever attempted previously.
What do you think makes a good story?
What do you think makes a good story?
Characters you care about are a must for me and they have to have chemistry between them. The story needs to have a hint of suspense or uncertainty so the readers can’t wait to find out what happens next. And, my personal favourite is that it has to appeal to the senses. When I read I want to see, hear, and feel everything the characters do. I want the story to unwind like a movie and I’m right there in the scene.
What projects do you have up and coming?
I’m presently working on a sequel to Bonded. It’s tentatively called Betrayed: Days of the Rogue. It will be the fifth book in the Law of the Lycans series and will begin where Bonded left off.
When it’s finished I have a few characters who’ve been patiently waiting for their turn at a happy ending. Many readers have been asking for a story about Daniel and Tessa as well as Armand the were-bear and Katie, who made her debut in Bonded.
Then, I really want to write a sequel to Forever In Time. There’s a certain policeman mentioned near the end of the book who has a story to tell.
And, of course, I have a number of other ideas. Just the other day a man named Saul strolled into my mind. I think he’s going to be very hard to resist, hehehe!
Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are so many great authors out there! My favourite genre is romance but there are many subgenres of that. For angsty novels, I’d choose S.C. Stephens who is also a friend of mine. If I’m in the mood for suspense then it would be Elizabeth Peters. Cherise Sinclair writes amazingly romantic BDSM. Lora Leigh’s erotic paranormal books rate up there too. And finally Nora Roberts’ trilogies are always a treat.
Who are some of the people that influenced your love of writing?
I had a fantastic teacher in Grade 6, named Mrs. McDonald, and she was probably the first person who ever told me I was good at writing. And, of course, if someone tells you you’re good at something you want to do it more and more. I loved writing in school even though I never considered it as a career.
Another influence would be the lovely ladies at a yahoo group for fans of Bruce Boxleitner and the show Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Their fanfiction stories inspired me to attempt to write my first fanfiction.
However, the most important and recent influence was Jan Gordon, a member of that fansite, who actually took me under her wing and told me what I was doing right and wrong in my pieces. Her original fiction, Black Silk, planted the seed in my head to attempt to write my own novel. Without her, I doubt I ever would have taken the plunge. And since then, she’s continued to encourage and prod and critique and cajole me through each successive book. Anyone who reads and enjoys my work, needs to tip their hat to her.
If you could pick a celebrity to play one character in the movie version, who would it be?
Now that’s an easy one! Joe Manganielo is my ‘Kane’ and “Ryne” – they’re brothers who look almost exactly alike. When Joe M is clean shaven he’s Kane, and when he’s looking scruffy he’s Ryne. The funny thing is that I always had Joe as my mental image for these two characters long before I knew he played a werewolf on TV!
If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author, what would it be?
Don’t be too quick to publish. Find someone to give you honest feedback and be prepared to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Friends can be too nice or they might know that a story isn’t working but can’t tell you why. Even the best writer can benefit from someone reading their work with a critical eye.
What would you like to say to friends and family of writers (not just your own)?
Honour the ‘do not disturb sign’ whether it’s actually there or just a ‘vibe’ the writer is giving off. It might look like the individual is staring at the screen (or off into space), but in their head there are characters clamouring to be heard and twisted story lines that need to be untangled. Writing usually isn’t a fast or steady process and, when inspiration strikes, an author might write like crazy for hours at a time, blocking out everything around them.
And if a writer starts to talk as if their characters really do exist, just smile and be understanding, lol!
Here’s a sneak peak at the prologue for the next Law of the Lycans book, Betrayed: Days of the Rogue.” (Please note that it is still unedited.)
“Beth! Beth!” Damien screamed his mate’s name, pulling away from the hands that sought to restrain him and running towards the inferno that used to be his home. The heat from the fire hit him like a tangible object, searing his lungs, his skin, his eyes. A sane man would have stopped, but he wasn’t sane. His mate was in there. He could feel her pain; she was trapped under something, the fire was scorching her flesh… The intensity of it had him staggering, his body instinctively recoiling.
She was fighting, trying to block their mental link, trying to keep him from knowing her agony, but he wouldn’t allow it. They’d vowed to share everything; the good and the bad. He pushed back with his mind, seeking her out while he struggled to get closer. Throwing his arm over his mouth, he used his sleeve to filter the air as he forged ahead.
Behind him voices were shouting, calling his name, but he ignored them. Beth. He had to find her; had to save her. This was his fault…
Bits of burning ash, blown about by the hot air currents fell around him, stinging his skin, burning holes in his clothes. The acrid smell of smoke filled his mouth and his nose. He fought to breath, coughing as his lungs protested the unpalatable air. Through watery eyes, he searched frantically for an access; a window, a door but they were totally engulfed, flames shooting out like evil entities dancing with joy at the havoc they wreaked.
There was no way in, but he didn’t care. Taking as deep a breath as possible, he prepared to rush through the wall of flame. Sirens sounded behind him. Help was on its way, but there was no time to wait. Beth needed him now. Beth and their unborn child.
Beth, I’m coming for you. Hang on my love… He sent the words out to her and got a faint reply.
I love you Damien. I’ll always love you. Never forget…to…love… The words faded and then… There was nothing.
Beth? His mind searched for her frantically. Where was she? Had she passed out?
Beth! He mentally commanded her to answer but there was no response.
His knees nearly buckled at the sudden loss of their connection.
Damien shook his head. It couldn’t be. Not his Beth. A spirit such as hers couldn’t die. She was gentle and sweet and kind. Always looking on the bright side, seeking out the good in others.
It was a trick caused by the fire, the smoke… His senses must be skewed. He looked about frantically, searching for something, an explanation, anything… She couldn’t be gone. Not his beautiful Beth. Not his mate, not his baby…
“Beth!” Her name ripped from his throat and he threw himself forward into the wall of flame.
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