Sunday, May 8, 2011

Nicki J Markus - Author Guest Post & Interview!

Welcome Nicki To Were Vamps Romance Blog! 
I am so happy to introduce you to the readers here!

Greetings everyone and thank you, Melissa, for having me on your blog. What can I tell you about me and my writing?

Well, I am a 28 year old English-born girl who moved across the world for love. Yes, that's right, I am in my own romance novel! I was backpacking in OZ when a guy sat next to me on the bus. We got chatting, he asked me out, and love was in the air. Within a month I had cancelled my plans to go home and began the arduous immigration process. I am happy to say that this particular fairytale worked out. I am now a permanent resident here and marrying my prince in October this year.

 Even as a child back in the UK, I loved reading and wanted to write my own books. It was one of those things that you say but then do nothing about - until last year. I left my government job because I was extremely unhappy there and decided to take some time off before I found work again. It was then I decided enough was enough - I should have a crack at writing now or I'd never know! A writer friend read a short story I was going to submit for an anthology and advised me to send it to one of her e-book publishers instead. It did and I had a contract from Wicked Nights Publishing in my inbox within a couple of hours. It was such a thrill and I was bursting to tell the news by the time my fiance came home from work. The first few days I even kept thinking it had been a mistake and that the publisher would email again and say "no". But then I got the cover art and reality sunk in - I was going to be a published writer.

Awaken to the Night has been my best seller so far. It was followed by a fantasy novella called Dragon's Heart, and now my Time Keepers mini series is coming out. This is a four part paranormal series (each part around 3500 words) with a new part released every month to continue the story. Parts 1, 2 and 3 are out now and the fourth and final part comes out in early June. I also recently signed a contract with Silver Publishing for my vampire paranormal romance, Day-Walker, which will be released in September this year. My latest WIP is a more standard thriller, though I would say my writing tends towards the paranormal genre the majority of the time. I can't do without my vampire fix! I do have an idea brewing for another vampire romance that I hope to start working on soon. In the meantime, here is a little more info on Time Keepers for you:

Book 1 ~ Book 2 ~ Book 3
Of Time Keepers Series

 Time Keepers - Part 1 - Running Blind

"It seems like any ordinary day as Nick waits for the train, but then a chance encounter with a young woman turns his world upside down. What is it that she is running from and will helping her jeopardise his own secret, making him a target too?"

Time Keepers - Part 2 - The Beast Within

"With Nick’s secret now exposed, he and Ellie must run for their lives, pursued by the Governor and his Time Keepers. Will they be able to stay hidden or is their time nearly up?"

Time Keepers - Part 3 - Consequences

"Nick and Ellie are cornered as the net of the Time Keepers closes in around them. Can Nick find a way to keep Ellie safe or will she succumb to the will of the Governor?"

These books are available from OmniLit, Smashwords and Amazon. You can find more information on me and my writing (including book trailers and buy links) at my blog. I love to chat to readers and other writers, so do stop by and say "hi".

You can also find my author page on Facebook:

The Interview:

PhotobucketCan you tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I am 28 and was born in Kent in South-East England, but I now live in Adelaide, South Australia with my fiance. I previously trained as a translator and am now studying to be an editor/proofreader - something I can do alongside my own writing.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I have loved books since a young age. Reading a book won out over playing with dolls every time! I was always reading (and still am). I've said for many years that I wanted to be a writer - it took a while, but it finally happened!

What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?

I guess for me the surprise was to have my first piece accepted within a few hours of submitting it. I was expecting rejections etc. But it's early days and I'd eventually like to move from e-book to print and I imagine a few rejections might come pouring in then! I've been lucky to have had it fairly easy so far!

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

No, I don't use a formula and I rarely plot in the strict sense of the word. I get an idea - usually for a character first - then I start to imagine a story around them. I have a rough idea of what will happen, but when I start to write I just see where the story and the characters take me.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Engaging characters certainly draw me in as a reader and that is what I would hope to create as an author. Also a nicely paced plot is important to hold the reader's interest.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

My latest releases are my Time Keepers series. Parts 1, 2 and 3 are now out and the fourth and final part will be coming out in early June. This is a paranormal mini-series (each part is short story length) set in the near future when the world has become aware of the existence of paranormal creatures and the government is trying to catch them. One day Nick meets Ellie on the train as she tries to escape pursuit and soon they are both in danger and on the run.

How long does it take you to write a book, and did you have any writer’s block along the way?

I wrote the whole of Time Keepers in about 4-6 weeks, but I wasn't working then. My September release, Day-Walker, is a longer piece and took more like 3-4 months while I wasn't working. Sadly I needed the cash and had to return to a day job and so now I have to squeeze my writing in when I get time around work, study and planning for my wedding. My current WIP has been ongoing for about 3 months already and I only just finished the first draft, but I'll get there eventually!

What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?

It was pretty exciting. I've loved all my covers so far, but seeing the first one for Awaken to the Nightreally made it sink in that it was real and my book was actually being published.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I wouldn't say I write any of my stories with a 'message' in mind. I think there is a sort of message inTime Keepers (I won't say anything to give away the story), but it came about of its own accord and was not intentionally written in.

Melissa, thanks for having me over to your blog. It's been fun!


Nicki J. Markus / Asta Idonea said...

Thanks for having me on your blog!

Melissa said...

No, No, No... Thank you for coming! You are Awesome, and I loved working with you!

Denise K. Rago said...

Your story of meeting your husband is so lovely! Thank you for the interview.

Toni said...

What a great article. Romance, love and a writers career!! I wish you the best in your career and I'm adding you to my list of authors to check out. Congrats on your upcoming wedding!

lindalou said...

I loved reading your interview... especially the part about meeting your future hubby. Thank you for being here...
Linda T.

Nicki J. Markus / Asta Idonea said...

Many thanks to everyone for the kind comments and the congrats on my wedding

tears_of_fire said...

The Time Keeper series sounds really interesting.
Everyone needs there own romance :) Hope your wedding goes smoothly.

Chelsea Rafferty said...

That is so cool that you had your own Prince by traveling :D How awesome is that :D I'm really happy you got published after so little time! That's completely awesome. How do you like living in Australia? I bet your soon to be hubby has a sexy accent! :P

Nicki J. Markus / Asta Idonea said...

Thanks tears_of_fire

Australia is good thank Chelsea. I miss being close to Europe and the history of European countries...but the lifestyle in Australia is much better!

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