Publisher: Nicky Wells and Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: 1 November 2013
Format: Paperback and e-book
Spirits of Christmas: A Rock’n’Roll Christmas Carol
At one time, up-and-coming rock singer Jude had it all: a great band, a platinum record, a loving girlfriend. This Christmas, however, he is well down the road towards spontaneous self-destruction.
Unwitting at first, Jude
has progressively alienated his band and driven away the love of his life. Tonight, the night before Christmas Eve, he has broken the final taboo during a disastrous gig. Yet Jude doesn’t see how badly his life has derailed, not until a ghostly procession
of legends passes through his bedroom with a series of vivid and powerful wake-up calls.
Will the Spirits help Jude put the friendship, love, and rock music back into his Christmas?
Spirits of Christmas is
a modern-day rock’n’roll adaption of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. This novella will enchant romance readers, rock lovers, fans of ghost stories, and everybody who adores the festive season.
Series: Rock Star Romance Trilogy, Part 3
Publication Date: 5 September 2013
Her rock star is waiting in the wings, but will he get a second chance?
It’s all change for Sophie Jones—only this time, there is more at stake than just her happiness.
Rock star extraordinaire, Dan Hunter, has been her patient and caring friend through the highs and lows since her
wedding day, but now he figures it is time for her to start over. By stealth, the rock singer draws Sophie into the behind-the-scenes work for his band’s latest album. Through the days and weeks spent together at the mixing desk, Sophie discovers whole
new horizons for her life, yet before she can even begin to explore them, she faces the very real threat of losing her rock star for good.
Join Sophie and Dan in Sophie’s Encore to find out how their journey will end…
Series: Rock Star Romance Trilogy, Part 2
Publication Date: 7 February 2013
Format: Paperback and e-book
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-fiancé, 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. Or does she?
Series: Rock Star Romance Trilogy, Part 1
Publication Date: 5 September 2012
Paperback and e-book
So the rock star wants to marry her, but she’s already engaged…
Slapper? Slut? Adulteress? Sophie Penhalligan's life and moral universe is turned upside down when rock star Dan proposes to her in full knowledge that she is already engaged. She has always loved Dan, in a remote-crush kind of way. She thinks
she loves her fiancé, Tim. What is she to do?
It's all happening because her past has come to tempt her. Nine years ago, she met her teenage idol and rock star extraordinaire, Dan Hunter, up close and personal. Well, almost!
Now Dan has crash-landed back in her life just as Sophie is happily embroiled in a relationship with Tim, her boyfriend of two years. Until recently, she was confident Tim would eventually propose. But while his persistent inaction is beginning
to cast a cloud over their relationship, Dan's sudden reappearance poses a whole new dilemma.
Having accompanied Dan's band to Paris, Sophie suddenly finds herself engaged to Dan while her erstwhile fiancé Tim is... well, doing whatever
it is Tim does back in London. Torn between the dream-come-true and the sensible-thing-to-do, Sophie concludes her inadvertent journey of self-discovery with an ending that surprises herself, and everyone around her.
Sophie's Turn is a
glamorous contemporary fairy tale that will make chick-lit and romance lovers laugh, cry and rock along every step of the way.
So, let's get the interview started, Nikki.
Can you tell us what prompted you to first start writing? What was the first thing you wrote?
Great question, but not one with an easy answer. I started writing when I was about ten. I know—cringe-worthy standard answer, right, but it happens to be true. I’ve been an insomniac for as long as I can remember, and as soon as I could
string words together, I used to hole up in my bedroom after lights-out and write stories in a little notebook by the light of a small torch. I can still see my scrawly handwriting in green biro. The first story I ever submitted to a publisher (at age twelve)
was called ‘The “Its” from Jupiter.’ It was about little alien creatures on Jupiter surviving on biscuits but facing extinction, and taking recon trips to earth to figure out how to change their barren planet into a beautiful flower
haven. I received a very kind rejection letter from the publisher, telling me that whilst they were a publisher of children’s books, they didn’t actually publish books by children. Go figure, right?
Can you summarise your latest
work in just a few words?
My latest published work was a novella titled Spirits of Christmas. It’s Charles Dickens meets rock’n’roll—a modern-day adaptation of the Christmas Carol featuring an unhappy
rock star, a love interest, and a series of rock-legend ghosts.
What was the inspiration for this book?
What can I say? I love Christmas, I’m a romance fan, I am heavily addicted to all things
rock music, and A Christmas Carol is one of my all-time favourite stories. It seemed natural, inevitable even, to fuse it all together!
How do you decide on the names for your characters?
I trawl the
internet for baby names to get inspiration. I have only one golden rule: It must not be the name of someone I know, unless it’s someone I haven’t seen in twenty years or so. Ironically, when I picked ‘Sophie’ for my first leading lady’s
name, I had only ever met one girl by that name, and that had been briefly, at college, for only a few weeks. It seemed a safe bet.
Since then, one of my closest friends named her daughter Sophie; one of my son’s best friend’s
mothers is called Sophie; and there are various Sophies dotted about my life in other places. How’s that for life imitating art?
What are you working on next? Do you have a WIP?
My WiP is titled Fallen
For Rock and is due for release in the summer of 2014. Here’s the blurb:
Love, life, loyalties. Nothing stays the same when Emily gets drawn into the world of rock…
Glossy and sophisticated,
professional high-flyer Emily has no time for nonsense such as the rock music her ex-boyfriend Nate adored so much. Yet when she unexpectedly comes into possession of VIP tickets—access all areas—for new rock band phenomenon, MonX, she can’t
resist the temptation.
The fateful gig turns into more than one night and Emily finds herself strangely drawn to this new and unfamiliar, glittery world. However, only weeks later, MonX and her own universe fall apart, with devastating
consequences for all. When MonX lead-singer, Mike, appeals for her help, she reluctantly embraces a new opportunity. But she soon discovers that while she may be a rock chick after all, a groupie she is not… Or is she?
Just exactly where do her loyalties lie? And what direction will her life take now that she’s left behind everything she treasured?
Did you do any research for the book?
Always. I like
to add that little touch of authenticity, that little nugget about the music industry that lets the reader peak backstage behind the scenes as if they were meeting a real band.
This book draws heavily on research I did for the Rock Star
Romance Trilogy. There, I collected insights from a number of people in the music industry about touring, recording and contracts. Moreover, I was lucky enough to secure VIP backstage passes for one of my favourite bands and used the opportunity to observe
a lot of backstage action such as sound check and meet’n’greets. (Plus I asked about a gazillion questions of the drummer, the manager, and some of the roadies. My husband was getting a little embarrassed but hey, it’s all in the name of
Fallen For Rock benefits from this research in many ways, for example for descriptions of backstage parties, the ins-and-outs of contractual obligations for band members and managers (we’re talking
spectacular fall out here!), plus the day-to-day tasks of a rock star’s publicist. Watch this space!
What has been the best part of the writing process…and the worst?
The best part of the
writing process is seeing the characters grow, develop, blossom and, occasionally, go off on their own. Even though I’m an obsessive planner—more on that below—my characters sometimes choose their own route, or add scenes that I haven’t
foreseen. That really is the absolutely most amazing experience. I’ll be typing fast and furious, hanging on to my every own word because I have no idea what’s going to happen next. When I’m onto a good thing, I get that tingly feeling in
my fingers, and I can’t stop smiling. It’s almost as if I’m reading the book while writing it, if that makes any sense.
The most stressful aspect of writing is polishing the book to perfection. I typically go through several
rounds of edits, both from myself and from the publisher, plus at least a dozen rounds of proofing. My first novels were very long and had to be cut to size quite drastically, which was hugely painful. I have learned since to spot ‘excess material’
as I go along and have reduced the length of a first draft, so the cutting is a little less bloody these days.
Most writers have some quirks – what are yours?
I can’t write when my desk is
untidy. I need to take a small break (usually involving a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit) every about forty-five minutes. And I talk to my characters out loud; sometimes I even argue with them.
Do you plot your novels or allow
them to develop as you write?
I’m a compulsive obsessive plotter. I work from a one-line pitch to build a one-page outline. From that, I create a massive hand-drawn flowchart. We’re talking huge here—I use a roll
of paper so I get a continuous sheet that stretches the length of our dining table (about 2 metres!), and I put on it everything I can think of: plot points, subplots, notes about locations, research pointers, character pointers, questions…
That accomplished, I go away and do the research and answer my questions. The results get transferred into a Word-based flowchart, after which point I write a one-page crib sheet for each major section or plot event, usually about twenty in all. When
I write, this is what I refer to. Each page of my crib sheet yields typically between two and four chapters of ‘real book.’
There. Obsessive, or what? But it works for me!
If you were stranded on
a desert island and could only take three books with you, what would they be and why?
Catherine Alliott—The Old Girl’s Network. First ‘chick lit’ I ever read, and I still laugh out loud when I reread it!
Katherine Neville—The Eight. One of the most fabulous books ever written, with layers and layers of meaning and new nuances to pick up even when you read it for the fifth time.
The collected works of Shakespeare—because
I feel I really ought to read them all in full one of these days.