Monday, May 13, 2013


Hi everyone. I'd like you to join me today as I interview Nicky Wells who's volunteer this week to be on the proverbial HOT SEAT as I ask her questions about her , her writing, and of course, herself.
Robin Leigh Morgan: Please introduce yourself.  Nicky Wells: Hi! I’m Nicky Wells, your ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, I write Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door. 
    My books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity ~ rock, pop, movie or other ~ you’ll connect with my heroes and my leading ladies!
    Like my first leading lady, Sophie, I love listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When I’m not writing, I’m a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant. Rock on!
Robin Leigh: Tell us about your latest published novel.   Nicky: Sophie’s Run. My second book baby… *sighs wistfully* Bringing you glamour, glitz, intrigue, romance, betrayal, a fire, an exploding cake, a dashing male nurse and, of course, the gorgeous rock star! What a labor of love. Here’s the blurb:
    Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…
    Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even?  Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but.  
    So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet.  But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy.  Rock star and ex-fiancĂ©, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful.  A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal.
    Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change.  Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.

Robin Leigh: What are the two latest books you’ve already published? Give us about a five sentence description for each.   Nicky:  Well, I’ve given you the blurb for Sophie’s Run above. Here’s the blurb for Sophie’s Turn, my first published novel. 

So the rock star wants to marry her, but she’s already engaged…  
  One fine day in Paris, Sophie Penhalligan suddenly finds herself engaged to her teenage crush and love-of-her-life-from-a-distance, rock singer and star extraordinaire Dan Hunter.
But there is the small matter of her very recent, but very prior, engagement to Tim. Reliable, honest, trusting Tim, her boyfriend of two years stashed away safely in his mews house in South Kensington while Sophie is drinking rather too much champagne with Dan in Paris. This contemporary romantic fairy tale describes how Sophie gets into her impossible situation and how she turns it around.

Robin Leigh:  What can you tell us about your current writing endeavor?    Nicky:   Ah. Interesting! See, I’ve just finished the third book in my rock star romance trilogy. Sophie’s Encore will be published on 5 September! So that makes my current writing endeavor my fourth novel. 
    So, my current WiP. It is a completely new story; no more Sophie and Dan; instead, you’ll meet Emily, Nate and Mike. Don’t worry, this isn’t a love triangle. It’s way more sophisticated than that but I don’t want to give too much away until I’m confident that the plot develops how I want it to. Suffice it to say that there’ll be a rock star in this book; possibly two!
Robin Leigh:  Can you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite scenes in your latest novel?    Nicky:  Here’s one of my favorite excerpts from Sophie’s RUN:
    Abruptly, he handed me four dresses. The magical blue one wasn’t among them. “Try these on,” he commanded. Fingering one of the dresses lightly, I sighed heavily. They looked divine. And expensive.
    I stepped back, my arms folded across my chest. “I don’t think I can afford these.”
    Dan rolled his eyes as though to say, “Not that old chestnut again.” Grabbing a random dress off the rack, he disappeared in a cubicle and pulled the curtain shut behind him. This got the personal shopper’s attention. She jumped up from her chair and walked over to me swiftly, eyes swiveling between me and the cubicle. She cleared her throat, uncertain how to handle this.
    "Did he…did he go in there?” she confirmed unnecessarily.
    “It looks that way,” I offered, trying not to laugh at her disconcerted expression.
    “He’s not—is he trying the dress on?”
    Err, yes.” I breathed. “Why, is that a problem?”
    Meanwhile, Dan had run into trouble in the changing room.
    “I need some shoes,” he shouted woefully. “Could you get me some shoes to match? Size ten please, for me, and size six for the lady as well. Please?”
    Confronted with a direct request, the personal shopper sprang into action. “Schuhe…” she murmured. “Size forty-four and size thirty-nine…. Hmm…” She bustled off.
    Finally erupting into laughter, I bounced into Dan’s cubicle. I was going to ask him what he was doing, but the words stuck in my mouth. There he was, in a bright orange, low-cut, floor-length dress with a big bow at the front. He had filled in the missing curves using his socks, and he hadn’t managed to do up the zip. He looked disturbingly attractive in ladies’ fashion.
    “Will you do me up?” Dan turned his back to me and tugged experimentally at the fastening. I swatted his hands away and closed the zip to halfway up Dan’s back.
    “It won’t go any further,” I informed him dryly. “By the way, did you know your dress is called GaGa?” My eyes had caught on the flashy black-on-orange label sown inside the back.
    “I didn’t, but it makes sense. It’s a wild dress.” He gave a little twirl. “What do you think?”
    “I think you’re nuts,” I snorted. “You be sure not to ruin this dress or else we’ll have to buy it.”
    “Never fear,” he grinned wickedly. “It would look much better on you, though.”
    I shook my head. “I don’t do orange. Not if you paid me.”
   A discreet cough disturbed our whispered conversation.
  “Excuse me, sir? Madam? I’ve got your shoes…”
  “Great,” Dan enthused and stepped out of the cabin. “Let’s have them.” He took a pair of orange flats out of the assistant’s hands and regarded them critically.
  “I was hoping for heels,” he announced with a straight face, and I almost peed in my pants with laughter.
  The assistant was now in professional mode. “I can’t offer you heels in this style in your size,” she announced, “but I do think we have some silver-colored shoes that would work with the dress. The heels are—” She looked attentively at Dan. “The heels are probably about six centimeter stilettos. Would you like to try them?”
  “Why, yes!” Dan enthused. “I most certainly would.”
  The personal shopper went off to fetch the silver stilettos, and Dan grinned his wicked boy smile at me.
  “Do you reckon she’ll let us take a picture?” he wondered out loud.
  “Hm…possibly, why?” I wondered back.
  “It’d be cool to stick up on our website, don’t you think?”
  I regarded him critically. He was most probably joking, but with Dan you never did know.
  "Yeah. But perhaps you ought to tuck those socks in more carefully,” I suggested, tugging playfully at a black-and-pink striped heel that was protruding from his chest area. “It does rather kill the look.”
   He peered down his front appraisingly. “D’you reckon?” he asked. “I think it has something, this unexpected flash of black sock.”
  “Well, it does rather go with your hairy chest,” I conceded. “If you’re serious about the dress, you might consider shaving.”
   “I thought you liked my chest hair?” Dan mock sulked.
   “Yes, but it doesn’t work with a dress. It’s just wrong.”
   “That’s sexist,” Dan declared, then changed the subject abruptly. “Here, try this.” He handed me the divine-looking blue silk creation. “It’s perfect for you.”
   I gave in.
Robin Leigh:  What was the inspiration for your latest novel?   Nicky:  Let me tell you about the inspiration for the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. You see, this is all my husband’s fault. He knows I have a ‘thing’ for rock stars. He’s made his peace with the notion. Yet sometimes, he can’t resist teasing me. So imagine the scene. Here’s Nicky, over eight years ago, heavily pregnant, watching something on the telly involving one of her favorite stars. Nicky swoons. “Cor, if he ever proposed, how’d a girl turn him down?” Nicky’s husband, deadpan: “Good job you’re married to me then.”
    We had a laugh about this but it got me thinking. What would I do if Jon Bon Jovi knocked on my door tomorrow? Well, nothing, is the answer. But in a different life… and there, the story was born.
Robin Leigh:  How did you decide what the title of this book would be? If this book is part of a series, then the books in the series.  Nicky:  Interesting question! Sophie’s Turn was born under the title “Full Circle” and lived as such for nearly six years. It was only when I was trying to figure out a cover design that I realized the title didn’t work. It lacked a certain… panache. My husband pushed me and pushed me, trying to distill the nugget of the story—which, in essence, is about choice. Well, the title “Sophie’s Choice” was very much taken so I opted for “Sophie’s Turn” and the title works on so many levels… it was just perfect.
    “Sophie’s Run” and “Sophie’s Encore” followed on naturally, both playing on the key ideas of the respective book. Although my personal favorite is, I have to say, “Sophie’s Encore”. You’ll have to read the book to find out why… Did I mention it’s out in September?
Robin Leigh: Would you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?  Nicky: Plotter. Compulsive, obsessive plotter. Iterative plotter! From nugget to hand-drawn plan on one-page, to hand-drawn page on two-meter piece of paper, to Word outline, to detailed chapter-by-chapter crib sheet and research notes. I use colored post-its to track character development and sub plots. Yes, I am a plotter.
Robin Leigh: What made you decide to become an author?   Nicky:  Um. I didn’t really decide that, it kind of happened. Maybe I was born that way, because writing in some capacity or another has been the core professional theme in my life. Maybe I simply got lucky and had the opportunity, when the time was right, to get writing fiction… and keep writing. Either way, it’s a life-long ambition, a dream come true. And it gets me excited to ‘go to work’ every day!
Robin Leigh: In your latest novel, who’s your favorite character male/female? Tell us why.   Nicky:   That would have to be Dan, the rock star; referring back to the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. I want one of him. Kind, caring, highly talented, good-lucking, powerful, musical, smart, funny, not to mention sexy… with just a hint of naughty in there for a bit of excitement. *swoons*
Robin Leigh: Do you have a set aside a specific amount of time to write, write/answer emails, and market/promote your book[s]?  Nicky:  Oh yes. I can only pursue my authorly existence during the school day, between 9 am and 3 pm during term time. Holidays are a different matter and I won’t bore you with the detail.
   So, between 9am and noon, I write. I don’t do anything but. No phone, email, Internet. Just write. (Oh, and I drink copious amounts of tea!). After lunch, I catch up on emails and do all the promotion I can squeeze into the available time; yes, that means Facebook, Twitter, blog and so on.
Robin Leigh: Do you read books outside the genre you write in? What are they?   Nicky:  I read almost anything. I don’t particularly like science fiction or horror, but apart from that, I’m game. Firm favorites outside of the romance genre are crime and travel books.
Robin Leigh: What must you have around you when you write; food, drink, music, etc?  Nicky:  Tea. Milk, and two sugars please. Biscuits. And a cardigan; my office is an ice box, even in the summer!
Robin Leigh: When you were an aspiring author you needed advice, what advice would you give to those aspiring author in those shoes today?  Nicky:  LOL, Robin, in many ways I’m still an aspiring author. Yes, I have books published, but I still want to write more, grow my readership, improve my craft… I think it’ll take another twenty or so years before I consider myself ‘accomplished’! J
    But in answer to your question… here goes.
   1) Build an author platform as early as you can. Blog, Facebook, Twitter—you have to
           have a presence, a means to connect with readers.
   2) Build a brand. What is it you write? What makes you unique? Be clear about your
           brand—it tells your readers what to expect.
   3) Don’t oversell. In fact, don’t sell, as such. Build relationships. Make friends. Let your
           friends know about your books. Honestly! Think about it. When is the last time you
           bought a book because an author told you every five minutes in your Twitter stream,
          Buy My Book? Exactly. It turns you off. So don’t sell. Be you, live your books, your 
          excitement, and share that with your friends and potential readers.
  4) Write, and keep writing. The ONLY way forward is to keep writing, to show the world
         what you’re made of.
Robin Leigh: If there’s anything else you’d like to briefly tell us about your book, your writing, or yourself.   Nicky:   Did I mention I love rock music? Ha ha ha, I bet I did. Robin, I think I’ve said enough and I can’t thank you enough for your time. I hope your readers enjoy meeting me here today!


Where can we find your book?

Where can we find you on:

Robin Leigh: THANKS for your time in allowing me to interview you.   Nicky:  THANK YOU, Robin, it’s been a pleasure!

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