Author Spotlight


Earlier this month, I had the chance to chat with a great author, who took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us here at Joyfully Reviewed.  So, without further delay letís hear from

Nicole Austin

Did you always want to be a writer and how did you get started?
Iíve always been a voracious reader and my favorite treat would be going to the library with my mother. For many years when watching movies or reading books I would figure out how it would end early in the story then joke that I could have written it myself. With working full-time and obtaining three college degrees, there just wasnít any time for writing and I never really considered doing so until I finished school and found myself with extra time on my hands. Once I was bitten by the writing bug there was no turning back.

Do you have a ďreal lifeĒ job or are you able to focus on your writing full-time?
Iím really a vamp. *g* I work full-time on the graveyard shift at a local childrenís hospital as the Radiology department supervisor and CT scan technologist. Itís a great career, and I love working with the kids, although it can be very stressful when they have a serious injury or illness but I enjoy being able to help them.

What was the best piece of advice you received when you first started out? Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
There are two important things I was told which I also share with other new authors. First, read lots of books within the genre you want to write. Pay attention to the writing details like how the subplot is woven into the story. Second, do not give up. Keep writing and submitting your work until finding the right place for your stories.

You write in several genres, do you have a favorite and why? Is there a genre you would like to try?
My tastes are very eclectic, but if I had to choose it would be westerns. Iíve had so much fun writing the Corralled series and coming up with wild games to play on the ranch. I have an idea for a time travel story that has been playing through my imagination for quite a while. Eventually, Iíll give it a go. Iíd also like to dabble with a bit of mystery/suspense or even a thriller.

Do you have a writing schedule that you follow?
Deadlines give me the hives! For the most part, I roll with which ever characters are talking to me at the time. While I try to reach a certain word count each week, I donít stress if it just doesnít happen. There are times when I need to take a step back from writing to let things percolate.

Tell us what makes Nicole tick.
HmmÖ is there a word count limit on this? lol! Iím pretty low maintenance and laid back. I absolutely hate anything that requires me to dress up in girly clothes or high-heeled shoes. Relaxing, casual activities with friends and family keep me going. My ultimate would be to spend all my time traveling and absorbing the local cultures. People watching is my favorite pastime, then of course I make up stories about those I observe. I have aspirations to one day live on a mountain with a small babbling stream winding through the property. I can picture myself sitting near the stream to write.

Writing romance do you believe in happily ever after and have you found yours?
While I do believe in happily ever after, I havenít found mineÖyet. There have been a few attempts, but Iím still looking for my hero. Heís out there somewhere, and when the time is right, Iíll find him.

What would a perfect day for Nicole involve?
Iíd wake up from a great dream without an alarm clock blaring. Then Iíd spend some quality time with my son and maybe have dinner with friends. Instead of spam, my emails would be filled with new contracts, release dates and cover art. Later, when Iím alone and itís quiet, my muse would become inspired and Iíd enter that lovely zone where the words effortlessly flow.

Tell us some of your favorites: foods, movies, music, books, authors, colors, holidays, and any other favorites.
Food Ė Anything Italian, especially pizza (no anchovies)

Movies Ė Action, suspense, drama

Music Ė Anything except the old boot-stomping and depressing country

Books Ė Fiction Ė anything that can hold my attention

Authors Ė Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Joy Fielding, Sidney Sheldon, Tess Gerristen, Tami Hoag, Nelson DemilleÖ

Colors Ė Blues and reds

Holidays Ė Halloween and Christmas

Cars Ė Muscle cars, preferably from the late 60ís or early 70ís

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and how is the best way to contact you?
Hearing from readers makes my day! Iíve received some incredible letters and emails which I will always cherish. I love hearing their opinions on my writing and discovering what worked for them, as well as what didnít. Emails are the quickest way to reach me at

What is your perfect writing environment? Do you need an office-like setting or can you write anywhere?
I can write just about anywhere. Often when things are slow at work, I fire up my laptop and get some writing time in. Sometimes I scribble story ideas on napkins in restaurants, or take my laptop to Starbucks and sit in a comfy chair with a white chocolate mocha. I always have paper with me in case inspiration strikes, and have brainstormed stories at the beach or while sitting on a bench in the park.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Free time, whatís that? I love taking walks when the Florida sub-tropical temperatures arenít too bad. My son and I enjoy evening walks on the beach and collecting interesting shells. I make time each day to read, and enjoy watching movies.

What do your family and friends think of your writing? Are they your biggest fans and do they read your work?
My family is thrilled that Iím writing, but my brother wants me to write something non-erotic that heíll be allowed to read. Since my mother used to be a proofreader, sheís read some of my work, although large portions were blacked out.

Do you have a hard time letting go of your characters when you are finished with their stories?
Not really. Iíve gotten to know them very well, spent a lot of time making sure they find their happily ever after, and leave them to their own devices. Each one still holds a special place in my heart, but when new voices start talking, I move on. Once in a while, I do revisit them.

Aiden and Travis from my first book, Passionate Realities, make a cameo appearance in Jesseís Challenge, which releases next month. I also plan to revisit Cathy and Blake from The Boy Next Door when Tess and Jase decide to talk to me. With each new book of the Corralled series, I get to catch up with the other characters featured in previous stories.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Make sure to stop by my website each month to enter the contest for a $25 e-gift card ( The site is currently being revamped by my awesome web mistress. I canít wait until the new site goes live, and hope yíall like it.

I have several books releasing in the next few months. Jesseís Challenge, Corralled Book 3, and Enough both release in November. Restless and Trip My Switch will be out sometime at the beginning of í08. Iíve been writing up a storm, so check back often for updates.



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