I got a
little make that a lot, sidetracked with the A-Z Blogging Challenge and haven’t done a Take Five With… interview in a while. This week Nicole MacDonald, author of The Arrival is my guest at the Depot. Here goes…
Tell us a little about The Arrival and how you came up with the plot.
The Arrival is the unintentional journey that four women make to find their soulmates. And it was inspired by meeting my own 'soulmate' at 18. For an independent young woman I can honestly say it was the last thing on my mind and I fought rather hard against it. Love, however, persevered and at some point I simply had to accept what really is the best thing in my life. And for a somewhat egotistical Leo, that's saying something. So I decided to 'rewrite' my history the way I'd wanted it to happen. And that's what The Arrival began as… then I kinda let my imagination loose and had one heck of a good time with it *grin*
The Arrival is the first in a trilogy. What happens in the next story?
Well The Arrival is my first full length story period. Prior to this I'd just written English essays so I had no idea when I plotted The Arrival that there was absolutely no way it'd squeeze into one book… or two (I tried, I really did!). It was one hell of a shock to discover I'd actually written a 'novel length' piece and I was only up to one of my major plot points. So books two and three are direct continuations of the story. Book Two, Awakening, is when some major truths are revealed and life as the girls know it, is turned upside down. The threat from the South still exists and only gets stronger as the entire realm begins to prepare for a war, which will not only threaten the girls existence, but everyone on Sytas.
Your books are free on Smashwords for a limited time. What is the thought behind that?
It (hopefully) creates a larger audience. I write because I love it. Yes it'd be fantastic to earn a living off it and I sincerely hope I will one day. But in the interim I want people to read and enjoy The Arrival. If they do enjoy it then the chance of them wanting to read Book Two is far greater. And as I'm not relying on the income it's really not too much of a gamble at this stage.
What is the most challenging aspect of Indie publishing?
That word. Indie. A matter of pride for those who've had the guts to do it and often a term of derision from so many others. Indie doesn't equal bad but at the same time, I've read my fill of books that I can't recommend. It's very much like American Idol in that I just wish people were more honest with each other (politely!) and themselves. Everyone has a voice, but not everyone can sing well. Most people can write, not so many can write well.
When is your next book scheduled for release and is there anything you will do differently in terms of promotion when it comes out?
I intend Awakening to be available in December. And that's as close a date as I can give *grin*. Promotion wise I'd love to do a blog tour and hopefully have people tweeting/facebooking/blogging in support of it.
What would be your biggest dream come true in terms of your writing?
To be able to write fulltime. And if we're talking BIGGEST dream then I'd love to see The BirthRight Trilogy on the big screen ;p With the special effects by Weta (naturally). Weta is the NZ company that did the special effects for Lord of The Rings as well as many other incredible blockbusters.
Are people big on books in New Zealand and are they buying a lot of ebooks on that side of the world?
There are tons of avid readers in New Zealand, but at a regular price of $35 books are a luxury. There are libraries everywhere though and I believe as e-reader prices drop more and more, people will change to them. You can buy quite a few e-books for $35!
What is your writing environment like and what is your working style?
At home I have my own room which I share with our three furbabies. For some reason they always invade my room over Glenn's. Otherwise wherever I decide to drag my battered old Toshiba notebook. I do love to write at Borders (we get to keep ours in NZ!!) in the café where I can people watch too.
In book one I wrote pretty much in order. This time round (having experienced re-writing ;p) I'm writing whatever scenes occur to me then working on slotting them into the plot.
Do you believe in outlining?
Yes, absolutely. It doesn't have to be hugely detailed but I want to know the gist of the beginning, middle and end. Then I let loose.
Do you prefer to write longhand, on a typewriter, or on a computer?
Longhand on the computer or laptop. If we go to our cabin in the bush then I'll begrudgingly write by hand but I try to plan to do editing up there, my laptop battery only works for a couple of hours and is waaayy too heavy to lug on a two hour trek.
What is your goal as a writer?
To write stories people love to read and read again!
As stated in the interview, Nicole has been gracious enough to offer her work free on Smashwords. Apart from The Arrival, (Fantasy/Paranormal) she has also produced a novella, A Wet and Wild Night (Erotica/Action/Adventure). If you want to support her writing habit, you can also download the book from Amazon. I know I will soon cuz I don't want my eyeballs to bleed from reading off my computer screen and I so wanna read it on my new Kindle.
Feel free to share any questions, comments or thoughts you have for Nicole.