Let's make Nicole welcome
and thank her for joining us for this interview!
Q. It's rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a day job other than writing, and if so, what is it?
A. I've freelanced and often worked part time my entire life! Currently I freelance write for various magazines. I also work as a part time personal trainer, and as a Creative Writing teacher.
Q. What are some other jobs you've had in your life?
A. I video taped the news, game shows, talk shows, a little sketch comedy and won two Los Angeles Emmys for shooting the anchors of the LA Marathon. I also shot camera for the United Nations of the General Assembly and Security Council. I have directed and produced a little as well. I wrote a commercial spot that was produced and ran on NBC regionally in California for almost two years.
Q. Have they influenced/inspired your writing?
A. All of the arts, whether writing, painting, or camera have composition and story telling in common.
Q. Can you share some writing experiences with us?
A. Sometimes getting published has to do with subject matter not only talent or style. If you happen to hit the right topic, suddenly an editor will be interested. This has happened with several of my published short stories.
Q. Tell us briefly about your book and what you feel is the most important topic/sub-message you share.
A. The Kids of Dandelion Township is about friends who learn they have similar emotions and thoughts although they are from different backgrounds. They experience enchanted moments together and discover creative ways to do their homework assignments. The most important topic is to be open to learning about your differences and similarities in a positive way. Also to accept that if something magical or spiritual happens, it is sometimes best to sit with it rather than assume others will react in the same way at first.
Q. Like all authors you have had your fair share of rejection letters. You obviously did not let the letters deter you. How did you keep your determination without getting discouraged?
A. My mother was a literary agent many decades ago. She advised me that it only takes one editor to like your work and get published. She says the same thing about men “it only takes one” so I guess she has a point.
Q. It has been my experience, some things come quite easily (like creating the setting) and other things aren’t so easy (like deciding on a title). What comes easily to you and what do you find more difficult?
A. Sometimes I write fast and I like the story so much that revisions are minimal. Other times I edit a lot, and write a hundred revisions.
Q. Please describe to us your relationship between you and your editor. What makes an author/editor relationship a success?
A. To me an author editor relationship works when there is mutual respect. A successful experience usually derives from respect, each standing their ground when they are right, and each being flexible when there is room for it. In the long run, when the goal is to improve the story and marketability, we are one.
Q. What inspired you to write?
A. I began to put together words creatively when I was very young.
Q. Do you consider yourself a born writer?
Q. Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read?
A. I do not have a favorite author or genre - there are many.
Q. When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your books and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?
A. I hope they will find my writing universal and that it will bring the spirit of joy and compassion to any time period.
I hope they say my creativity gave the world some new areas to discover and expand.
Q. Where you have lived and what you have experienced can influence your writing in many ways. Are there any specific locations or experiences that have popped up in your books?
A. I have lived in New York City, Los Angeles, Madison WI (college) Palm Springs CA, and now Boca Raton, FL. I have spent summers and/or weekends in New Jersey, Connecticut, and a short stint in Jupiter FL.
While my stories are often inspired by memories in New Jersey, there are also experiences with friends in New York growing up and in Madison in college that have stimulated dialogue.
Q. Is there any particular book that, when you read it, you thought, "I wish I had written that!"?
Q. Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If yes, how did you ‘cure’ it?
A. At moments. My friend Patrick Horton does a great workshop in California that is very helpful to release any fears or blocks. Also Julia Cameron The Writer’s Way, suggests simply writing daily. I also went to a career counselor named Linda Buzzell who gave me the freedom to write. Sometimes we think it’s not our right - how funny is that?
Q. Have you had any training to become a writer?
A. I took courses in writing at Madison Univ of WI, then I took several workshops and more courses in various colleges to include USC and UCLA. I had inspirational teachers in high school too.
Q. What type of books do you mostly write?
A. My first book was a picture book, this book is a chapter book. I have two more chapter books under way and a young adult novel too. I like variety.
Q. Does your family and friends inspire any of your books, characters, or plots?
Q. Can you share with us a little about your current book?
A. The book is about friendship and dealing with the challenges of sensitivities and wanting to do well in school and yet have fun. I share the benefits of being a kid while enjoying nature and freedom with a child’s sense of wonder. It’s very important that children enjoy their youth.
Q. What do you like most about writing?
A. The process of inventing characters who relate with one another in a story where the reader learns about a different way of looking at life.
Q. Do you find it hard to balance your personal writing time with your other job(s)?
A. Yes it’s always a struggle.
Q. Tell us about your writing space?
A. I have a great big desk which I rarely use. After purchasing a laptop I sit at my dining room table and enjoy a great view or foliage.
Q. Is there anything you'd go back and do differently now that you have been published, in regards to your writing career?
A. Nothing in fiction.
Q. Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand?
A. Either - it switches around.
Q. How do you see the future of book publishing, both traditional, electronic, and print on demand?
A. I think we’ll be writing and publishing on holograms. I have no idea.
Q. What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
A. I am usually in the middle of several stories. I may write notes, scenes or story outlines or I may just come up with a character and start writing what they are doing or saying first.
Q. Do you do a lot of research for your books?
A. There is always some.
Q. What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
A. Usually third so far.
Q. Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
A. I don’t often participate but I did revise a comedy routine in a book called Archangel Shecky by the great comedy writer Gene Perret, and won an Honorable Mention.
Q. What advice would you give to a new writer?
A. Like your style first, then sculpt it.
Q. Do you have any book signings, tours or special events planned to promote your book that readers might be interested in attending? If so, when and where?
A. I would love to but Lisa my awesome illustrator lives in New Hampshire. So at the moment we haven’t arranged any.
Q. Tell us more about who you are. Anything you want your readers to know. Where can we find your books, any blogs you may have, or how a reader can learn more about you and writing.
A. We will be up on Amazon books. There will also be links to the book on our websites,
There is more information about me and writing samples on my website.
I thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about being an author.