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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Books as a Start-Up Business: Author Interview with Nicole Meier

What made you decide to write your first novel? 
My first published novel, The House of Bradbury, wasn't one I'd ever really planned to write. I'd actually been in the middle of another manuscript when I stumbled across the LA Times article about iconic author Ray Bradbury's home going up for sale. Once I started viewing photos of the house, I knew there was a story there. So, I wrote an imagining of what may have happened if an aspiring writer purchased and moved into the home. It was a lot of fun.

How long did it take you to write your first book? How many rewrites did you do on it? Who helped you with the editing? 
The House of Bradbury came rather quickly. I wrote it "by the seat of my pants." I would say it took about a year to write and a few months to edit. For that book, I had an independent editor who helped with edits.

Are you active with any writing critique groups? 
Not at the moment, but I have relied on the members of WFWA (Women's Fiction Writers Association) quite a bit in the past. It's a great support group and they offer critique partners.

What made you choose to work with Lake Union Publishing?
I had been watching what Lake Union was publishing and noticing the quality of their women's fiction and book club fiction authors. When my literary agent went out to pitch my second book, I made sure Lake Union was at the top of the list. I was thrilled when they offered me a two-book contract.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? Starting? Dialog? Tension, etc?

The hardest part is the awful middle. I tend to hit a funk somewhere around page one hundred and have to reenergize my process to keep things fresh.

What does your editor remind you to do most often?

A lot of things! In the beginning, it was to put more feeling and emotion into my stories. I'm not necessarily an emotional writer so that was hard work. I think I've learned how to do it better over the years. And I like a good fragment sentence. My editors do not!

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?

When a reader says they couldn't put the story down.

We have all experienced rejection. How have you learned to write past it? 
Getting published for the first time is chock full of rejection. One time when I was seeking a literary agent (for a book that now lives in a drawer), I got a rejection email from a big agency signed, "Intern Number One." That was awful and funny at the same time. 

The important part was that I picked myself up and kept editing, working on my craft, and pursuing my dream of being published. This business is all about tenacity.

What has surprised or frustrated you the most in writing/publishing? 

Each new book I write is like launching a small start-up business. It requires the actual creation of the thing, then lots of marketing, people skills, follow up and hard work. 

What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner? 
That fear and self-doubt never gets anyone anywhere. 

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give? 
Don't write as if someone is looking over your shoulder. The reader can tell.

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add? 
Read widely. This is how I educate myself and learn beautiful language. Study what others do. It only makes the work better.

What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?

The Second Chance Supper Club
releases TODAY!!

Two estranged sisters reunite in an emotional novel of family, forgiveness, lost hope, and new beginnings. They had a forever bond, until a sudden tragedy thrust them apart. Now, each at a crossroad in her own life, two sisters’ paths are about to intersect.

Broadcast journalist Julia Frank has it all: a career, an ambitious fiancé, and the hard-won respect of her peers. Until a ruinous decision destroys her reputation, puts her job at risk, and sends her reeling toward the only soul left to turn to: her estranged sister, Ginny.

The owner of a clandestine supper club hidden in the Arizona desert, Ginny Frank has a lot on her plate. The last thing she wants is more drama—or the burden of nursing her younger sister’s wounded ego. But family is family. Besides, Ginny can use the help in more ways than one, and she’s going to make sure Julia pulls her weight.
As a tenuous reunion reopens old wounds, Julia and Ginny have no choice but to confront the pain and betrayals of the past. Will working to keep the secret supper club running be just what they need to find common ground and a path toward forgiveness, or will the increasing stress push them even further apart?

Very intriguing! If you'd like to learn more about Nicole's books, here are some links to get you started.

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