hey everyone! today, i’ll be interviewing nicole from a myriad of books! she is going to be giving us a little info on her WIP, currently titled The Black Season! i’ll also be leaving little notes/responses below her answers to the questions!
1) hi nicole! tell us a bit about yourself, and share the link to your blog! also, feel free to link us to any other social media you have!
I’m Nicole and I’m 27-years old. I’ve been married for 3 years. I’m a fur-parent to a 2-year-old Shih Tzu named Ollie. 🙂 I graduated college in 2011 with a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing. I’ve been writing and reading since I was in elementary school but I never started taking it seriously until I was in college. I’ve always loved to do both but diving into the book community on Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads has reawakened a deep love for all things books and writing. You can find me here:
Twitter & Snapchat: wemapthestars
2) give us the title (if you have one) of your current WIP and a little summary/synopsis!
I’m actually working on two books but I’m actively working on one. I’m horrible at titles so the tentative title for my current WIP is The Black Season. It tells the story of Eirian, the daughter of a duke and relative of the king and queen, who gets caught up in a plot to overthrow the monarchy and get rid of the aristocracy. Her father, the duke of Ferula, wants nothing more than for her to marry well but when an extremist group targets her family and friends, Eirian knows she can no longer sit by idly. A string of harrowing events, including a revelation about her own heritage, cause Eirian to rethink her world and her role in it and she learns she has to take control of her own life lest she lose everything in it.
soph: wow. that is… wow. when can i get this book in my hands??
3) how long have you been working on your novel? when did you start writing it?
I’ve been working on the novel above for almost 3 years. In reality, it may be shorter than that because there are dry periods in my writing (I’m talking months without writing). I struggled with it a lot but I’m amazed how one simple decision to make the character choose something else has caused an explosion of writing. It makes me happy though!
soph: that is awesome! i wish i put that much time into writing! good for you, especially since it makes you happy!
4) do you have a favorite line from your novel?
Hm…a favorite line? It’s tough for me to pick something from my own work but… I do have some favorite parts, haha. It doesn’t seem like anything extra special but in my mind and the plans I have for my characters make this part fun:
He climbed on the horse and offered his hand to Eirian. She stared at it.
“I can ride alone,” she said.
“It’s best if we ride through the city like this. You can ride alone once we get close to the palace,” Damien said, his hand still extended. She didn’t take it and he suddenly laughed. “Does the thought make you uncomfortable, your ladyship?”
“Of course not!” she blurted out, perhaps too quickly. She took his hand and shrieked when he pulled her up in front of him. She let go on his hand and quickly tried to pull down the skirt of her dress. “I’m just not accustomed to riding with someone.”
“No worries, your ladyship. I think I can manage,” he said.
Eirian felt his breath on the back of her neck. It smelled like mint and Eirian was suddenly conscious of her lack of hygiene. She pursed her lips and winced at the pain. His body was warm against hers and she tried to push herself away from him without being obvious. She heard him chuckle low and under his breath. She didn’t want to dignify him with a look over her shoulder so she gripped the pommel of the saddle as the horse started forward.
soph: SWOOOON. is it bad that i don’t know much about these characters and already ship them?
5) in what genre would you categorize your WIP? are there any certain things that contribute to the genre? (ex: fantasy, because the novel includes magic)
I categorize my work as Young Adult fantasy. There’s magic but it’s only lightly explored. It will play a larger role as the story progresses.
6) let’s hear about some characters you’ve created- give us a few fun facts about each one!
So here’s a list of a few of the characters in my WIP.
Lady Eirian – Kindhearted, always wants to see the good in people, naïve (a bit of a character flaw), loves and cares fiercely. Her mother died when she was young and her father, the duke, isn’t the kindest man. She looks after the estate, meeting and working with the tenants on their land. She wants to make sure everyone is happy and there’s nothing to complain about but she struggles with the pressure her father places on her (his idea of “knowing her place in society”).
Declan, Duke of Ferula – Eirian’s father. Brash and cold. He loves his daughter but doesn’t know how to show it. He was devastated after his wife died and that has caused a break in his relationship with his daughter. What he considers “the best” for his daughter is for her to marry well. He’s always aware of social propriety and their place in society. First impressions and looks matter to him a great deal.
Damien Conley – tenant living on the duke’s land. His family has been here for years and years. He doesn’t appreciate what he views as “charity” that Eirian offers. He’s a hard worker and an overall good person but he has a distorted view of the nobility and monarchy due to past events in his life. He tries to be grateful but it sometimes comes off as sarcasm and discontent.
7) where does your novel take place? does the location have any special meaning to you?
My novel takes place in a fantasy world I created. It’s actually a tie-in with my other novel but that’ll be for later… Eirian lives in the city of Ferula. Her father is the duke of Ferula so he owns a great deal of land and the buildings on the land. The king and queen live in Readlyn, the capitol. There’s a major port city, Seleca, which plays a role in the story. They live on the Northern Islands, surrounded by a crystal blue sea. There’s magic but it’s limited to only those who were born with it in their blood (as my main character will soon discover) and their role in society is valued and prestigious as there are so few people with magical blood. There’s a societal hierarchy: king and queen, a slew of nobles, and then the working class. There’s the in between, like merchants and traders who make a great deal of money but don’t have a title to their name. I shaped the society after my love of Victorian & Edwardian English society so most of my stories involve kings and queens and the like.
soph: any victorian-era society immediately has me hooked! (victorian english society, victorian london society, etc)
8) who are some authors you look up to, if there are any, and why? have they/their writing inspired any part of you story?
Like I’ve said, I’ve always loved reading and writing. I read Tamora Pierce when I was younger and she greatly influenced the startup of my other WIP. Fantasy has always been my go-to genre because you can be pretty liberal with the world you create. Of course, there are always limitations thought. Some of my favorite authors include: Marie Lu, Marie Rutkoski, Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah J Maas, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, and Virginia Woolf. If I could have a smidgen of their talent, I might feel a little better about myself, haha! My love for British royalty and the hierarchy of the 1700, 1800, and 1900s have influenced my writing, too.
soph: i LOVE sarah j maas, marie lu, and marie rutkoski! still want/need to read stiefvater, bronte, austen, and woolf!
9) has any part of this novel been published? (ex. on wattpad) if not do you plan on publishing it someday?
I haven’t published any part of this novel. I don’t have a Wattpad and don’t plan to get one. I’ll just try to publish the old-fashioned way, haha. My goal is to have the 2nd draft finished in the next couple of months, have some beta readers, and then do a large editing overhaul. I’m hoping for a final version by the beginning of next year!
soph: yay! if you ever need me to beta, i would totally do it! 😉
10) are there any events from your life that have impacted the novel? if so, how? did it affect the writing, plot, mood, etc?
Since this is fantasy there isn’t much from my own life that has greatly impacted the work of the novel unless you count my love for fantasy novels. ❤ I think I just try to create characters that I aspire to be (despite the character flaws). As I said before, my love for late 1800s and early 1900s British society has influenced my writing. I try to capture some of the emotions and major events during the time period, working them for my own plot use. I’ve been fascinated with the large divide between royalty and working class, especially in a time when the working class didn’t have much of a voice.
soph: i love the fact that your characters are who you aspire to be! that is definitely a very unique way to create characters, i love it!
11) last but not least- sell us your novel in 5 words!
5 words?! Ah! Um… Fantasy, magic, romance, royalty, explosions! Or something like that… 😉
HUGE thank you to nicole for volunteering to do this interview/discussion! i am extremely excited to read your novel when it is published (and trust me, this will be published!) and hopefully learn even more about it soon!