Presenting…Nicki Greenwood

nicki2Please join me in welcoming Nicki Greenwood. Hi Nicki. We’re so glad to have you visit with us today. I’d like to ask you a few questions for you so my readers can learn a little about you. Let’s get started.

Can you tell us who your favorite authors are? The ones you read when you should be doing something else? And why do they appeal to you?

I read all sorts of genres and authors, mostly fiction. Julia Quinn is always on my list of romance authors. Most recently, I have been reading the Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland, alongside my son. All fiction is fair game, because I love diving into a separate world.

Mark Twain said, “Southerners speak music…” Do you have a favorite southern saying you can share with our readers?

For me, the draw is not so much in the words as the rhythm in which they’re spoken. I’m from Upstate New York (not the city), and Northerners seem to hurry, hurry, hurry all the time. Many years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in Lexington, Kentucky, and fell in love with the area and the people, who really knew how to slow down and appreciate life. Southerners know how to savor time.

How many hours a day do you write, where, any specific circumstances help or hurt your process?

I don’t box myself into a schedule. Instead, I give myself a page-a-day minimum, wherever I can fit it in. As a wife, mother, and holder of a day job, I have a lot of demands on my time, so this easy-to-reach minimum works best for me, and I often produce more than the minimum. I can work in a lot of different conditions: noisy, quiet, TV or music on (or not), outside, inside. Once I get going, I am very good at focus!

What are your thoughts on the standard writing advice, “write what you know”?

I think that’s a good mantra for a beginning author who’s already wrestling with mechanics, structure, and flow, and just needs a plot on which to hang it. It’s easiest if a new writer can speak confidently on a subject while honing his or her craft skills. For a veteran author, this could easily get quite dull. I think as we grow, authors tend to write what they want to know. This is why I set stories in places I’ve never been. I would love to travel more than I’m able, so putting my books in Montana or Shetland is one way for me to explore those places.

Were books an important part of your household when you were growing up?

We didn’t have a lot, growing up, but we did have books. My mother, a single parent of three, took us to the library every Saturday. I thank her for that every day, because it opened up a whole world of possibilities for me. I wouldn’t be who I am without that early introduction to stories.

Did the classics have any effect on you in your formative years?

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES comes to mind right away. I love the mannerisms of the Victorian era, the hardworking ethics, the frugality, and the beauty of the gardens and fashions. The way Anne dreamed fearlessly paved the way for me to chase the things I love. I’m just as enamored of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the wit of Shakespeare. I’m quite certain I was born in the wrong era!

Have you bought an e-reader? What is your overall impression of electronic publishing?

It’s definitely not going away. I knew e-books would be huge as soon as they were introduced. People love having a whole library in their pockets (and OverDrive is the coolest thing that ever happened to books). I do still enjoy the feel and smell of a real book in my hands, and I think many readers feel that way … but you can’t beat the convenience of “E.” My son has a Kindle, and I occasionally share that, but most often, I read books on my phone. I also try to be environmentally conscious, so I like the fact that you can go paperless.

How do your characters “come” to you? Are they based loosely or closely on people you know?

A lot of times, they wake me up in the middle of the night and won’t stop “talking” until I have written something down! Those are my favorite characters – the ones who just speak while you write. I have taken elements of people I know and used them to round out some characters, but no one character is a perfect analog to a real-life person.

Any books on writing you have found most helpful? Or classes you’ve taken?

I have a whole list of them on my website (http://www.nickigreenwood.com/writers). I also highly recommend Margie Lawson’s Deep Editing class.

Why do you write?

The short and simple answer: I can’t not write. The longer answer: Writing is as natural to authors as breathing. We get a little neurotic if we don’t have that catharsis available to us. Humans are unique in their need to create art, and the wonderful side effect is the ability to share our art (our stories) with others. It tickles me to learn that something in one of my stories made a connection with someone else whom I’ve never met. That, right there, is why I do this crazy writing thing.

Great, Nicki. Now, tell us a little about your newest book, FIRE: The Elemental Series, Book Four

fire_w10797_750

Is love worth the risk of getting burned?

Ethan Sutter is good at running, but he can’t outrun himself. Rootless and reckless, he prowls the country, able to abandon everything except his hated Fire Elemental power. Then he lands in Pickering, Vermont, out of gas and out of options, and meets New Age curio shop owner Gypsy Ronan, an even bigger misfit than he is.

Gypsy knows Ethan is trouble. However, none of her tarot cards or tea leaves could have prepared her for their undoubtedly dangerous mutual attraction. More shocking still is the discovery that he possesses an incredible power, and he wants her help getting rid of it.

Ethan needs a normal life. He’s sure a woman like Gypsy couldn’t be part of it, but she sets his blood smoldering. Gypsy knows there’s more to Ethan than he admits, even as she fears for her heart.

Excerpt from FIRE

“No. I’ve said ‘no’ to him three times, and it’s ‘no’ to you, too.”

She stilled her fidgeting. The response spilled out of her. “Is it?”

His gaze shot up to meet hers. The sudden intensity there set her blood racing, and the chain reaction started all over again: wanting him, then fearing what might come of it, then drawing back into herself.

Ethan swooped up out of the chair. He stalked closer, not predatory in his motions, but wary. “What did I do to you that bothers you so much?”

She let her bag slide off her shoulder to hold it in front of her, a poor shield against the heat in his eyes. “I…I wanted… It was…”

He loomed so close she couldn’t think. Lowering her gaze from that dangerous look in his eyes only brought his broad chest into sharper focus. Looking away from that gave her a view of sculpted biceps. His arms were faintly scarred here and there, like the rest of his body when she’d seen him without his shirt. A glorious body, made to make a woman forget herself. Oh, goddess… “You should volunteer,” she blurted. “It’s not regular pay, but you do get a stipend per call. You could use the extra money for your bike parts, and doing chores around my house isn’t going to put enough in your pocket to—”

He stepped still closer, stopping her talking, close enough to breathe her air but not touch her. “I don’t give one good goddamn about volunteering.”

She looked up then, bursting with affront for him. How could he devalue what he’d done for the Buswells so easily? “You saved lives last night.”

“Yeah, that’s great.”

This close, Gypsy couldn’t help breathing Ethan’s scent—a pleasant blend of sawdust and something smoky that strummed her nerve endings in a constant chord of awareness. And then she was right back there with him on her living room rug, wondering what would have happened if they hadn’t been interrupted. Her knees turned to water. “Please,” she whispered, unsure what else she meant to say.

“Please…?” he prompted, his husky voice wrapping around her. His body heat drifted against her exposed skin, or maybe she was imagining it.

Desperate, she fumbled for her last shred of willpower. “Pickering needs good men like you.”

“Am I?” He canted his head. “A good man?”

She swallowed. “I think so.”

He ducked his head toward her. Her heartbeat drummed against her ribs, frantic in anticipation of his kiss, but he paused mere inches from her lips. “That makes one.”

And then he was gone.

Gypsy touched her fingers to her lips, unsettled and sure of only one thing: she’d be kicking herself forever for missing that chance.

About Nicki Greenwood

Nicki Greenwood graduated SUNY Morrisville with a degree in Natural Resources, which of course has nothing to do with writing novels. She has also worked in a bakery, an insurance agency, a flower shop, and a doctor’s office, which have nothing to do with writing, either. She did spend an awesome two years as an assistant editor for a publisher, and now does freelance editing on the side. Nicki still holds down a day job, which manages to get her out of the house once in a while. Since 2010, she has written eight novels, including the award-winning Gifted Series.

Nicki lives in upstate New York with her husband, son, and assorted pets. If you can’t find her at her computer, you can always try the local Renaissance Faire.

Nicki on the Web:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BAB3CFS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nicki.Greenwood.Author/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/greenwood0798/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickigreenwood
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/nickigreenwood/videos
The Wild Rose Press: http://tinyurl.com/twrp-nickigreenwood