Nichole Giles, author of The Sharp Edge of a Knife, and Mormon Mishaps & Mischief. Nichole is a member of my critique group, so I get to learn from her wisdom every week. Not only is she one of the most talented writers I know, she is cute as can be, and tons of fun to be around. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
NG: Thinking back, I've always liked to write. I've had a thing for buying notebooks and pens for as long as I remember. The thing is, I didn't actually recognize the drive until about the time I turned thirty. I was reading a book in which the main character's love interest was an author and so many of the things he did were things I recognized in myself. I remember thinking, hey, maybe I should try writing. I registered for an online class and it kind of snowballed from there.
Is your book based on a personal experience?
NG: This particular one is based on experiences from my grandpa. The Sharp Edge of a Knife is based on the true story of his experience of being kidnapped by convicts on the run.
What type of research was involved?
NG: Actually there was a lot. I started with about two pages of his personal history, which had very few actual details, and dug around for newspaper articles. I happened to come across a court subpoena which gave me a case number. That particular detail was huge, because I was then able to get a hold of someone in the national archives offices in Denver and have him help me find court documents and evidence. It was tricky, since they didn't have computers in the fifties. Besides those things, a detective I know helped me track down one of the kidnappers--the only person involved in the kidnapping incident who is still living--and I talked to him on the phone.
Besides those two things, I had to research the area and specifically, details about Highway 66, which was the main road at the time, and the route by which the kidnappers took my grandpa from Arizona to New Mexico.
How long did it take you to write the book?
NG: With all the research and everything, a little over three years. Granted, I worked on numerous other things during this time as well, so it wasn't my sole focus. But I think that amount of time helped me find certain details that were very much needed to tell the story the way my grandpa wanted it told.
What books or authors have most influenced your writing?
NG: Wow. I read a lot, so that could be a really long list. Actually, I think that everything I read has some kind of impact, some take-away tidbit of influence on my work. At the time when I started writing, I'd read a lot of Nora Roberts (yes, I am a huge romance fan) and the Harry Potter series, along with other young adult books that my kids were getting into.
What can we look for next? What current projects are you working on?
NG: I have a few things in the works. Typically, I write in the YA paranormal/fantasy genre, so The Sharp Edge of a Knife was a bit of a change for me. I have three YA books in various stages of work, including one that is currently under submission in several places. I'm hoping you'll see that one on the market here before too long. The current title is Gifted.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
NG: Finishing. Rough drafts are so hard for me. After a book is drafted, I find I'm able to edit it for weeks or months, but actually getting it written is sometimes a certain kind of pleasure and torture at the same time. I could probably spend years perfecting a manuscript if I'm not careful, so the whole process is like balancing on a teeter-totter.
Do you have any advice for other authors?
NG: Never give up. It's always at the times you feel the most discouraged when good things start to happen for you. But you have to recognize the small successes along with the big ones, and know that you're headed in the right direction. These are the things that make you better, help you grow into the most brilliant, prolific author you can be. It's all about remembering your own potential.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
NG: I love spending time with my family, reading, shopping, traveling, and driving around in the sunshine (or even the rain) with my convertible top down and the stereo blasting.
Any last words you want the reader to know?
NG: Passion is what drives you, persistence is what makes you, and patience is what gives you the courage to endure to the end. ~Nichole Giles
And also, never give up.
See! I told you she was awesome. Check out my review of her latest book. Since I'm part of her critique group, I've also read Gifted, and it is amazing! Nichole has a well developed voice unlike any other writer I know. Someday she is going to make it big, and I can say, I knew her when.
Nichole is having a book launch party for The Sharp Edge of the Knife. Details below. Come and bring a friend. It's sure to be a blast!
Provo Towne Center Mall
Nichole is also holding a huge contest in connection with her blog tour. Check out her blog for details!
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