Today I’m speaking with Carrie Nichols, debut author of The Marine’s Secret Daughter, a romance about forgiveness and second chances. Carrie’s book is published by Harlequin and will be out SOON, the paperback will be available 1/16/18 and the digital on 2/1/18.
I’ve asked Carrie to talk about her writing process, but first, here is a peek at the cover:
Carrie’s book isn’t out yet, but you can grab a copy early if you just click on THIS!
And how about a quick teaser….
This was not how her first meeting in over five years with Riley Cooper was supposed to happen. In her imagination, she was all sexy in a little black dress and killer heels after a relaxing spa day. Yeah, right; she’d spent the day cleaning and probably looked like Nick Nolte’s mug shot. So not fair! Riley was supposed to be breathless and falling at her feet, not vice versa. Stupid, stupid asthma.
Minerva Spencer: Thanks for joining me, Carrie. My first question is one authors get all the time: How long did you take to write your book?
Carrie Nichols: Years and years. LOL! The story underwent a lot of changes since I knew nothing about plotting and story arcs when I first wrote it as a series of scenes. But these characters wouldn’t let go and I’d learned enough by the 4th draft to start winning contests and to sign with my dream agent.
MS: What kind of research did you do for this book?
CN: I love research so I did way more than I needed. I researched the fictional setting of Loon Lake, Vermont, including the loons that make the lake home. I consulted several nurse friends for the hospital scenes, a friend whose son was a marine and my critique partner whose husband is a respiratory therapist.
MS: Did you have to change much during the editing process?
CN: We mostly added things during the editing process. I had already removed scenes that didn’t further the story thanks to my ever patient agent.
MS: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
CN: I’m a recovering pantser. I had the luxury of years to write and rewrite my first story but knew I had to learn plotting basics to sell on proposal. I still struggle with plotting but with the help of Laura Baker’s Turning Points and Discovering Story Magic online classes, I’m slowly becoming a plotster. I have a skeleton with the big scenes and story/character arcs and fill in the rest as I write.
MS: What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
CN: Getting to know my characters and what makes them tick. They come to me fully formed and I have to figure out what happened to them (their backstory) to turn them into the flawed people they are. And because I write romance, I love giving them their HEA (happily ever after) after making them work for it.
MS: Can you share your writing routine?
CN: I write in my home office. When my youngest moved out I cried when I walked into his empty room until I realized I had an empty room! As my husband observed, I wasted no time in making that room my own with paint and some bookcases. I am also lucky enough to not have a day job. I lost my job about a month after signing the contract with Harlequin and since my husband was already retired, I decided to join him.
MS: One last question. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
CN: Don’t give up!!
Carrie Nichols, is a hardy New Englander transplanted to the deep South, where two inches of snow can bring a city like Atlanta to its knees. She loves to travel, is addicted to British crime dramas and knows a Seinfeld quote appropriate for every occasion.
Carrie has one tolerant husband, two grown sons and two critical cats. To her dismay, Carrie’s characters, much like her family, often ignore the wisdom and guidance she lovingly offers.
USA Today called Carrie’s short story, Snowbound with the Stork, “a charming debut”
You can connect with Carrie at: