Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fantasy Romance Author Nicole Zoltack

Nicole Zoltack has been creating stories since before she could even write. She loves to read everything she can get her hands on but fantasy romance holds a special place in her heart. Nicole is happily married to her college sweetheart and has two adorable sons. In her free time, she loves to ride horses, collect swords, and go to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. She lives in Pennsylvania where she enjoys the four seasons but wishes that winter would stop cutting into the warm springtime.

My interview with Nicole

[Anne] Name one of your favorite books as a child.

[Nicole] I adored Anne of Green Gables. I can't tell you how many times I reread it. Anne was my heroine. She was smart, had spunk, and was my literary best friend. It took me a long time before I read the rest of the series (Now, looking back, I think I didn't want Anne to grow up in my mind), and I enjoyed the later books too.

[Anne] Do you have a favorite author?

[Nicole] I have lots of favorite authors but if I had to pick just one, that would be impossible. I love JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, CS Lewis (lol so far they all have initials in their names). I also enjoy Diana Gabaldon and Tamora Pierce, and many, many more.

[Anne] Out of all the books you’ve read, which one comes immediately to your mind? If there is a favorite scene you remember, please share.

[Nicole] I just finished reading Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers so it's fresh in my mind. I really enjoyed it, it's the story of a girl who finds herself caught between an angel and a demon, and falls for both of them. I love the message in the story about the power of love to change someone.

[Anne] Your favorite vacation spot (whether you have been there or not)?

[Nicole] Definitely Hawaii. Hubby and I went there for our honeymoon. We took a weeklong cruise to several of the islands and stayed a few extra nights on the Big Island. It was magical. We rode horses through the water, which was such a dark blue, and visited volcanoes. It was the experience of a lifetime. I would love to go back someday!

[Anne] Which would you rather have: A custom closet or a custom kitchen?

[Nicole] Oh, tough choice! I would go with a custom kitchen. So much time is spent in the kitchen to make food for your family, it makes more sense to pick that. Although if you know me, I have a ton of clothes!

[Anne] It’s Saturday afternoon and you’re home alone. What are you wearing? And yes, you must have clothes on.

[Nicole] My pj's, which is sometimes a nightgown, sometimes an oversized T-shirt. That's what I'm wearing right now as I type this - an oversized Philadelphia Eagles T-shirt.

[Anne] What’s your favorite dish?

[Nicole] Anything Italian. I could eat Italian food 24/7. Mmm.

[Anne] Other than writing, what do you enjoy doing?

Spending time with my family. Watching sports, TV shows, and movies with hubby. I love my Eagles (unfortunately hubby is a Dallas cowboys fan). I also love to read (big surprise there, I'm sure)

[Anne] You’ve just landed a multi-book contract with a major publisher! Which vehicle would we be more likely to see you driving after you’ve collected your huge advance: a Hummer, RV, truck, muscle car, or BMW?

[Nicole] I used to always want a Mustang (used to tease hubby that I wanted 2 mustangs - the car and the horse) but now I'm leaning more toward a Corvette.

[Anne] What’s your favorite television show? Movie?

[Nicole] My current favorite TV show is The Vampire Diaries. Out of old shows, that would be Lost. My favorite movie of all time is Gone with the Wind. Like books, I can list a lot more than one. Disney's The Three Musketeers, Timeline, While You Were Sleeping, The Phantom of the Opera, Die Hard….

[Anne] You’ve won a talent show! What act did you perform?

[Nicole] I would sing. I love singing, was a member of my high school and college chorus. I miss singing.

[Anne] Would you rather have the power to be invisible or be able to fly, and why?

[Nicole] To fly. Especially with the rising cost of gas!

[Anne] What was one of the most surprising things you learned during your journey to publication?

[Nicole] How huge a role promotion has, how early you can start with it, and what exactly it entails. I never really thought about promoting until after I had started to write seriously.

[Anne] What was the most interesting research you did for a book?

[Nicole] With Champion of Valor, I did a lot of research into angels. I love history and religion, so I really enjoyed this research. But what always comes to mind first was when I learned that there had actually been some female knights in the Middle Ages.

[Anne] Where do you go when you need to get inspired to write?

[Nicole] A lot of my inspiration comes from dreams. I tend to wander the land of "what if…" I'm sometimes inspired my movies and TV shows, other books, and just by living life. I love to people-gawk.

[Anne] Do you have any writing quirks?

[Nicole] I know a lot of authors can't write without listening to music. I can't. I tend to get too caught up in the music and sing along to concentrate. I do most of my writing late at night or early in the morning, when the rest of my household is asleep. Sometimes if I get stuck, I find that writing with a pen helps to get the creative juices flowing again.

[Anne] What do you think makes a good story?

[Nicole] Relatable characters, believable characters that grow and change throughout the story, a realistic plot that tugs at the heartstrings.

[Anne] What are you working on now?

[Nicole] I'm working on a ghost story for a charity anthology and the next short story installment in my What You See is What You Get series with Echelon Press.

[Anne] What's one of the more interesting experiences you've had with one of your readers?

[Nicole] I adore receiving emails from readers. I loved hearing from Shawna that one of her daughters turned down playing with a friend to read my book instead. Not necessarily interesting, I know, but it made my day! (Actually, it made a whole lot longer than a day.)

[Anne] Complete this scene: It was raining. The man came out of nowhere, and before I knew it, he was right behind me. Curse this fog, I can't see where I parked my car. I tightened my grip on my car keys, the metal biting into my palm, the only weapon I had.

I glanced at him. He wore a long trench coat, his head down. He was so close that the tail of his jacket brushed against my jeans. I stepped to the side and hoped her would pass me. It was bad enough that a terrible storm seemed to be on the way and I was a long way from home. I didn't need any more trouble.

He paused and looked at me, his eyes dark as a moonless night. "Be careful what you want," he said in a deep growl.

I blinked and brought up a trembling hand, my car key pointed toward him. "Excuse me?"

He glanced up at the dark clouds swirling overhead. "It looks like a storm's coming. You better get home."

I stared at him. His voice was now completely different, softer, a little higher pitched, his eyes a light blue. "You too," I squeaked out.

I watched him slink away, and he slowly disappeared into the fog.

It started to rain a few seconds later, and I ran to my car. I shoved the key into the lock and climbed in. Before I turned the car on, I stared through the windshield. An unsettling sensation filled me, and I slowly started to drive.

Be careful what you want.

What did I want?

At this moment, I wanted nothing more than to know who the man was and why he had said that to me.

As if he materialized out of my thoughts, the man stood before my car. I slammed on the brakes but the rain caused my tires to slid, and I slammed into him. I shoved my car into park and threw open the door. I ran to him, the ran beating onto me like pellets. "I'm so sorry, are you okay?"

The man stared at me, unblinking. With a sob, I touched his throat. No pulse. I had killed him.

A sob burst out of my throat like a banshee wail.

Be careful what you want.


katsrus said...

Hi Nicole. Really enjoyed your interview. Great questions.
Sue Brandes

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, you are good, Nicole! What a way to run with a prompt!

Christine Hardy said...

Oh my gosh, you are good, Nicole! What a way to run with a prompt!

Cherie Reich said...

Great interview and congratulations on your release! I can't wait to read it.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Thanks for having me, Anne!

Glad you enjoyed the interview, Sue!

Glad you enjoyed the prompt, Christine!

Thanks, Cherie! I hope you like Champion of Valor!

Anne Patrick said...

Hi ladies!
Thank you so much for dropping by in support of Nicole.