Nicole Ireland has her debut novel on the shelves. I invited her to visit my blog and let us in on the secrets behind A Second Chance. Since I hate speeches, read below:
Me: Nicole, give my friends the skinny on who you are and what you do.
Nicole: During the day I juggle being a mom with working from home all while feeling like a member of the walking dead. (Insomnia’s a bitch!)
Workwise, I’m the Reality TV Curator for MySpace. (Yes, that’s right. I said MySpace. It’s still around. And better than ever, in my opinion.)
I’m also a freelance writer, as well as a compliance coordinator and administrative assistant for a pizza dough production company.
At night, that’s when I let my hair down and frolic with the people who live inside my head. They’re a rowdy bunch.
Me: I think interviews should always have an icebreaker, so here’s mine; “What is the craziest thing you have ever done?”
Nicole: That depends on your definition of crazy. I’m not generally prone to moments of craziness. Well, I do talk to myself on a frequent basis, but that’s normal for writers. Right?
Honestly, the craziest thing I’ve ever done was when my brother, my best friend and I decided to snoop around the farm behind my parent’s house. We decided to check out the farm’s old guest house that no one used. While we were in there, the entire building started shaking. What caused it, we’ll never know. But I can tell you we high-tailed it out of that house in record time. We were, as the saying goes, scared shitless.
Me: Recently you released your novel A Second Chance. A review by "Doubleshot Reviews", gave it their highest ranking, a Quad Expresso Shot which means:
You don't already own and have read this book multiple times? What's wrong with you?! Put down the coffee and go buy this book!
How did you go about finding the right people to review your work?
Nicole: I’m just so damn charming they come to me, like a moth to a flame. LOL!
Seriously, though, I have made some amazing friends over the years who understand who I am and what I’m trying to accomplish with my writing. A lot of the reviews you see are ones they wrote on their own accord, which I’m grateful for.
As far as the review from "Doubleshot Reviews", I’d actually sent Heather Faville a copy of A Second Chance for her to read and give me her insight on. At that point I was actually questioning whether or not I should publish it. I was afraid it sucked, and I needed the opinion of someone who I hadn’t known for years to tell me the truth.
So imagine my surprise and delight when I read her review. I can honestly say I broke down into tears. Hell, during moments of uncertainty over the past couple of weeks I’ve returned to that review for a pick me up.
Some of the more recent reviews have come from fellow authors that I’ve asked to review my work because I felt they’d give their honest opinion and not just say what I wanted to hear.
And while I’ve been lucky thus far, I’m dreading the day I get the hated one-star review. I know I’m not exempt from them. No one is, so I hope when my turn comes, I can focus on the positive ones I’ve received and not let the one-star one bring me down.
Me: The next two questions are things many writers wonder. The first is fun. The second is more, technical.
From where do you draw your inspiration? Specifically, where did you pull the inspiration for your main character, Annabelle Dixon?
Nicole: I draw inspiration from my own life, as well as from stories I’ve read, my friends, my family, my children, TV and my own dreams.
As far as Annabelle Dixon is concerned, the inspiration for her was me. I know some authors frown on basing characters on one’s self, but I’ve experienced a lot in my life, and I think sharing some of those experiences could help others.
As for Annabelle’s battle with cancer, all of the emotions and fears she experienced are ones I felt while awaiting biopsy results a few years back. It was a really rough time. I kept looking at my children and asking myself all sorts of “what if” questions. The last thing I wanted was to leave my babies without their mom.
In addition, I also drew on experiences from fellow family members and friends, some of whom one their battle with cancer while others weren’t so fortunate.
Me: How would you describe your writing process? For instance, some writers just sit down and go. Others need to develop an outline, a back-story, and character histories. How was A Second Chance put on paper?
Nicole: It depends. I’ve outlined stories in the past, but I’ve found that more often than not, the stories always undergo a significant amount of change from their original concepts, so now I shoot from hip, so to speak.
Me: Finally, my blog is full of random facts about me. I believe people are interested in not just a novel, but also the person who creates the story. In that spirit, tell me five unique things about Nicole Ireland.
1- I once was a junior firefighter for our local volunteer fire department.
2- If I could be any mammal I’d be a dolphin.
3- I’m parts French, English, Irish, Native American and Norwegian.
4- My favorite food is Japanese, followed by Italian.
5- I’m a country girl at heart. Big cities, traffic and smog are not for me. I need wide open spaces, green grass, tall trees and clean air.
Me: Thank you so much for joining me on Cat Get Off My Keyboard. I know several people who want to purchase your novel, so where would they go to get a copy?
Nicole: Thank you for having me, Nick. It’s been a pleasure. I just hope I didn’t bore everyone too bad. (Me: You did not. You clearly kicked ass.)
As for where you can purchase A Second Chance, it’s currently available via Smashwords and Amazon. I’m still waiting on PubIt!, Barnes & Noble publishing platform. Once it’s available on B&N, I’ll post it to my site, so for those who want to wait to purchase through B&N, I suggest stopping by every few days to see if it’s available. I will update my site as soon as it is.