Hello to Nikki, author of Crazy, Undercover, Love into the Minxy spotlight.
1. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
I live in beautiful Dorset not too far from the sea. By day I'm a Human Resources professional and by night I turn into an author... though I'm not sure my brain ever really switches off from the writing lol
I have two kids and love spending time with my family and friends. I'm definitely an extrovert and I love meeting new people and trying new experiences. I'm also a devoted reader, when time allows! I'll read anything covered in words – my reading tastes are very eclectic :)
2. What number book is this? First? 100th? 200th?(Nora only!)
I've had three short stories published in the last few months but Crazy, Undercover, Love is my first full length book. I'm very excited!! And I hope this is the first book of many :)
3. What inspired this book?
This will probably sound a bit weird but I had a dream one night about a couple stranded in a cabin somewhere up north, arguing about career versus love ... I woke up with the characters in my head, begging for their story to be told. I started the book a few days later - almost four years ago now - and the storyline has grown and evolved loads since then, with the book undergoing an unmentionable number of rewrites (unfortunately I'm a total perfectionist). It's also now mostly set in a hotel over a weekend in Barcelona, a city I love. I feel - and hope - I've done justice to those characters (Alex and Charley) and their story.
4. Who or what was the inspiration for your hero?
I read quite a lot of Harlequin Mills & Boon romances in my early teens (so it's a thrill that one of my short stories A Night to Remember has been published in the HM&B / Romantic Novelists Association anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply) and my favourite type of hero tended to be Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director/business men. I think there's something about dynamic men in suits that's very attractive! So it was no real surprise to me when this story emerged that the hero is a CEO but I wanted him to be a bit different to the more traditional arrogant, driven, obstinate CEO types I've read before. So Alex is a fairly down to earth, relaxed guy when he lets his guard down, who actually would rather not be a CEO if given the choice!
Inspiration wise physically? Ooohh... yes, please! I never miss a chance to drool over hot men! Originally Alex was a cross between the actor Ryan Reynolds and David Boreanaz from the TV series Bones. More recently he's less Ryan and mainly David but with hints of Henry Cavill. What can I say... the man (HC) is beautiful!
5. Have you any burning ambitions to write a story in a different genre?
In a word – yes! I would love, love, love to write a New Adult book. It's a great age, when you're transitioning into an adult, and there's loads of material to be written about in terms of the experiences people tend to have at that age. I'll be emailing my editor at some point about it (watch out Charlotte!) Lol
6. In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
I'm not sure yet as I've not been published very long and I don't yet know what the response to Crazy, Undercover, Love is going to be. But I suppose what I hadn't really anticipated is that weird time when you're promoting one book while writing another. It's difficult to juggle two different books and the practical aspect of promo versus the creative flow of writing. It's right versus left part of brain. But I'm not complaining! I've worked hard to be published, am disciplined about juggling everything and am mega-excited about finally being a published author :)
7. Do you have a writing routine? Do you write every day, and is there a time of day that works best for you in terms of being productive?
Sadly I don't write every day even though I'd love to, but I do try and do something writing related every day. It may be connecting with people through social media or writing blog posts or preparing posts for other authors to appear on my blog.
When I do write, especially a first draft, it's in the evenings and it's fast and furious. I can be quite productive late at night. To be honest I can write pretty much any time, anywhere and on anything, be it a laptop, tablet, notepad or a scrap piece of paper!
8. Are your family and real-life friends supportive? If so, in what ways? If not, do you have another support network for your writing?
My family and friends are very supportive. I'm soooo lucky in that no-one ever said to me I wouldn't get published or that writing was a waste of time. Quite the opposite – they know how much I enjoy writing and how passionate I am about it and all pushed me to keep going. They've been very excited about my publication credits! My work colleagues have also been very supportive, which is lovely.
I also have a support network through my membership of the Romantic Novelists Association. It's an amazing organisation full of tireless, warm and encouraging people including authors, publishers, agents. Being on the New Writers Scheme for the last few years definitely helped me on my journey to publication. I can't rate the RNA highly enough and would thoroughly recommend it for any aspiring romance author, no matter what genre they write in, be it historical, contemporary, saga's, rom-coms or anything else that comes under the romance/women's fiction umbrella.
9. Do you connect with your readers at all, and if so which is your favourite platform for reaching them?
I try and connect with readers through a variety of social media including Facebook (I have both a personal and author page), Goodreads, my blog, Google+ etc I have to say that Twitter is my absolute favourite although it's so quick its easy to miss a lot. But I do like the speed and ease of it and that you can RT and 'favourite' interesting articles, reviews etc and also thank people for their support very easily :)
Uber-feisty career girl Charley Caswell-Wright travels to Barcelona for a weekend assignment as PA to the gorgeous Alex Demetrio, CEO of Demetrio International.But she's there under entirely false pretenses: to get her life back on track. Having lost the job she worked so hard to earn, she’s determined not to give it up so easily, especially when she didn’t deserve to lose it in the first place.Mr Dreamy CEO is her only chance of clawing back her career – and her reputation. So she has to keep things strictly professional… boy, is she in trouble!
Crazy, Undercover, Love is available from Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and Sainsbury's.