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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
(www.nicoleaustin.net). 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.