Monday, 6 February 2012

Author Interview - Nicki J Markus

We had the opportunity to interview Nicki J Markus this week! Nicki's new book, Day- Walker, is now available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Make sure to check it out!  

Darci Madison seems to have found her ideal man. But mysterious stranger, Will, has a dark secret. A secret that could put her life in danger as the sun sets.

When Darci spots a mysterious stranger at her latest concert, she is instantly smitten. Will is the perfect gentleman and seems to be everything she has been waiting for. But Will has a terrifying secret and soon Darci finds herself in grave peril. Will her love for him give her the strength she’ll need to prevail against overwhelming odds?

Will is drawn to Darci Madison from the moment she steps out onto the stage. He knows he shouldn’t approach her, knows his secret could put her in danger if he gets too close. But he also realizes that he cannot live without her. When his enemies learn of Darci’s existence and emerge from the shadows, Will must fight to save the woman he loves ... even though it may require the ultimate sacrifice.

For deep in the night, creatures are stirring in the darkness; creatures that long to infiltrate the light.

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Vampire
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Release Date: 24th September 2011
Format: E-Book
Pages: 141
Word Count: 27,750
ISBN: 9781920501136



Thank you, Nicki, for taking time to answer some questions for us. I know you are extremely busy!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Actually I always wanted to write—from as far back as I can remember. My favourite thing to do as a child was to read a book and that has always stuck with me. I’ve had other dreams along the way—at one point I wanted to be a professional musical theatre performer—but the writing and the books have always been a constant in my life. For a while it was a dream only, just one of the things you say when people ask you. But then just over a year ago, I decided to really go for it and the rest is history, as they say.

How do you come up with the titles for your books?
Most titles seem to find themselves and they come to me early. In a couple of cases, it has even been the title that started the whole story. An idea, a title, would come into my mind and I’d take it from there. Time Keepers is an example of that.

You have multiple books published. Do you have a favorite?
Well, some of those previous releases are no longer available as my first publisher changed direction and returned all rights to me. Day-Walker is my only book currently available and it is one I had great fun writing. But I also love Time Keepers. This tale was published before as series of four short-story-length parts, but in a few months time it will be rereleased (first in e-book format then in print) as a short novel by Silver Publishing. I had some great responses to the original mini-series, so I am hoping readers will also take to the novel version and come to love the characters as much as I do.

Which character did you have the most fun writing? Are any of your characters based on people in your life?
I’ve loved writing all my characters—both heroes and villains. But I have a soft spot for Will in Day-Walker because he’s the sort of dashing hero any girl would want to meet. I also love Ellie in Time Keepers because she just came out so quirky and fun. Hmm. I wouldn’t say I’ve particularly based my characters on anyone I know in real life, but I am sure some elements creep in without my realising it. There is a bit of me in Darci (Day-Walker) though. She is living out my own dream of a singing career!

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I’m in-between day jobs at present. When I’m working full-time it can be so hard to find time to write. I had thought I’d have plenty of time while job-hunting, but I am also trying to fit in: editing work for Silver Publishing, studying for diplomas in editing and publishing, job applications, and all the other day to day stuff of cleaning a house, running web pages etc. So, it is hard. I don’t earn enough from my writing to do it full time, but I just fit in the odd hour here and there whenever I get the chance. I’m sure plenty of other budding writers are in the same boat.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Oh gosh, from all over the place, I guess. Often I’m inspired by something I read or watch. I find myself considering existing characters and wondering ‘what if this character trait about them was different’, ‘what if someone with this sort of personality was placed in such and such a setting’. It’s all about taking something you know and twisting it in some way to form something new. Other times, ideas come to me in dreams or just before I fall asleep. Sometimes stories are born from a mixture of the two.

What were your feelings when you first saw the finished product of your first book?
Oh, it’s a great feeling of excitement, a sense of accomplishment. It’s amazing to see your name on the cover and think that strangers may open the pages and read your words. All my books so far have been e-book only release, but Time Keepers is due to be released in print too. I am so excited about that. I think holding a physical book, with my name on the cover, in my hands will be even more of a thrill than seeing it on the screen!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure. At present I am working on a new manuscript and the story is essentially an urban fantasy/paranormal romance featuring vampires and witches. It’s pretty early days yet—I’m only about 4000 words in—but I am pleased with how it’s coming along so far. Names of characters are important to me, so I’ve been researching that a lot to start with, making sure they all have names to suit their personalities and roles. Now I can get to work properly and that will be my main focus whenever I get some time to write.

Do you have any advice for budding writers?
Just keep plugging away. I’ve been extremely lucky so far and have had a lot of contract offers for my work from e-publishers. But one day I’d like to aim a bit higher, approach some agents or bigger name publishers, and when I do, I am sure I’ll be able to start a rejections pile. At that point I’ll need to keep believing in myself in order to move forward. Self-belief is an idea that gets thrown around a lot, but I really do think it is vital for anyone starting out as a writer. Have confidence, write and send your work out there. Who knows what could happen! Good luck everyone!

Who is your favourite author and why?
I love so many that it is always hard to pick just one. So, just grabbing one of them randomly, I’ll say: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. I adore her historical vampire novels as she managed to blend paranormal romance with historical fiction, creating absolute perfection. Her novels are always really well researched and beautifully written. Definitely a writer I’d aspire to be like one day.

Do you have any hidden talents?
Well, I sing—check out my blog ‘about me’ page if your interest is piqued. I also adore languages and speak pretty fluent French and German as well as a little Czech and Italian.

What are you reading now?
I have two books on the go at present. One is in German; a fictional account of the life of Sissi of Austria. The other is an e-book ARC I got from NetGalley called A Partial History of Lost Causes—a literary fiction piece. I still have another 17 books on my ‘to be read’ pile to get to once I finish those.

Thank you Nicki!  We wish you the best of luck in your current and future novels.

Nicki J Markus was born in England in 1982, but she now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages. She has completed a BA (hons) English with French from the University of Greenwich, London and a PGDip in Translation from the University of the West of England, Bristol. She is currently studying for diplomas in Editing and Publishing.

Nicki J Markus launched her writing career in 2010 and her fiction work has been accepted for e-book publication by both Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing.

In her spare time, Nicki J Markus also enjoys many other creative pursuits including music, theatre, photography, sketching and web-design. She also has a keen interest in history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling and travel.




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