Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Interview of Author Nicole Zoltack
Latest Book: LOVE BEFORE HONOR
Nicole Zoltack loves to romances, whether fantasy, paranormal, or regency. She's also a freelance editor. When she's not writing about knights, superheroes, or gentlemen, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic young boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they're unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She'll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV show is The Walking Dead.
Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: I do strive for a certain amount of words each day. Even when I'm not writing, I'm thinking about the story, the characters, what's going to happen next. Writing is my passion. I just can't stop.
Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: All of the female characters have at least a small piece of me in them. Most of my characters have at least a little of a friend or relative. I think it makes them more human.
Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: Oh, that's an evil question! I think I have to go with Ivy, the barbarian princess from BLOODLUST. She's feisty and strong and will not back down from what she knows is right. She kicks ass and is badass. Love her.
Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: I like to eat nuts while editing but I don't eat when writing. I get too into writing to remember to eat. As for music, I never used to until one reader told me that my writing reminded her of Two Steps from Hell. Ever since, I've been writing them and oh, I'd been missing out!
Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: With historicals, I try to mostly use period names. With fantasy and the different races that come with it, I might create names. Sometimes, the meaning of the name is why I picked it. I may have picked a few last names from random friends on Facebook.
Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: I've been lucky with covers so far. Since I'm either self published or published with smaller publishing houses that give authors more say with their covers than some of the larger ones. A few covers I asked the cover artist to tweak some and all of them I'm very happy with. If my arm was twisted and I had to say which is my favorite… either BLOODLUST or THE TEST OF TIME.
Q: If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
A: To start tracking my daily word count a lot soon. Last year, I wrote over 500,000. The year before almost 650,000. Before that, I would write in spurts and then take long breaks. By writing a little bit every day, I'm so much more productive.
Q: What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: Science fiction. Considering I'm published in fantasy, paranormal, and time travel, and have written steampunk, I've tried almost every kind of speculative fiction there is outside of science fiction. Hopefully one day, I'll get a good scifi idea!
Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
A: The beginning. I write as the story comes to me so the beginning gives me the most fits since I don't know the characters as well yet. The end is the easiest. So far, I hardly ever have to change much with the end of a story.
Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: Too many to count! I have a folder that has many story ideas in it. Some might be a line or a character or maybe a few pages. I keep all of them. Why not?
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Christmas because of family time and harmony and togetherness. It's just a wonderful time of year.
Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I'm not quite 5 feet tall (4 11 3/4) and I love to dress up. I wear dresses throughout the spring and summer and I'm slowly growing a collection of sweater dresses for fall and winter.
Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A writer, but also an actress, a model, a paleontologist, a doctor…
Q: Favorite food.
Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: My wedding day.
Q: Favorite drink.
A: Non-alcoholic – water. Alcoholic – chocolate martini.
Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Definitely hot summer days. I'm counting down the days until winter is over!
Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: To go to Europe.
Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: I'd love to have superspeed so I can write and edit and read all of the words and still have a clean house and a happy family.
Where can we find you?
Facebook Fan Page
Honor. Truth. Loyalty. Love. All of these matter most to Sir Gerald. To avenge his love's death, he challenges her murderer to a duel. Her twin, however, feels that Alice never loved Gerald and gives him a tea. Alice had also given him teas, which enhanced his love for her, but this tea is different. This tea sends him to into the future, to the Regency era.
Lady Vanessa seeks a Christmas treat when she hears something outside the manor. Upon investigation, she sees a man dressed in armor. Unwilling to turn away a confused man with the approaching holiday, she convinces her parents to house Gerald until the new year.
Scandal has forced her parents to accept William as their daughter's best chance at marriage. Although rich, he does not understand her or her love of books and only sees her for her looks, whereas Gerald listens to her, confides in her and she him. With the approaching holiday, nothing is certain - not whether Gerald can discover a way back to his duel, whether he can move on from Alice, and not whether this Christmas will be a happy one for either Gerald or Vanessa.
Honor. Truth. Loyalty. All noble. All good.
Most of the time.
Sir Gerald sharpened his blade, the clashing sound of metal on metal, the sparks flying pleasing him. He had never dueled before, but a few hours' time and that would change.
Blood pounded through him, hot and steady, a constant reminder of all he still had and all his love had lost.
"I can do that," Edwin said. Shadows from the flickering flames within the smithy covered his hand that reached toward the sword.
Gerald merely glared at his squire. Competent, yes, if a tad overeager. "I do believe I told ye several times now that your services are not required this day."
"I will not leave ye." Edwin lifted his chin. A gesture of both defiance and loyalty at the same moment.
"The blade willna sharpen more." The blacksmith picked up a hammer. Evidently some aspect in the fire told him the temperature now burned hot enough to temper new weapons.
With a great deal of reluctance, Gerald handed the fourteen-year-old his sword.
The blacksmith nodded and returned to his work.
The smithy felt like the gate to Hell, the heat immense and growing ever hotter. Still, Gerald did not move, mesmerized by the licking, greedy flames. It had been a fiery night when he first met her. Ever since, he stopped by the smithy daily, paused whenever he saw a flame, and lingered by the dying embers of his campfires.
It was she who necessitated his duel.
"Are ye certain about this?" Edwin asked.
A question the boy had asked many a time after Gerald laid down the gauntlet.
"Quite." Ever his reply. How could he not? As a knight, duty dictated his actions.
"But…" Edwin shifted his weight from side to side. Always boundless energy. His tongue never stopped wagging. It could cause him trouble down the cobbled road if never did he learn to appreciate silence.
For now, at least, Gerald would humor him. "Go on."
"Ye and she… Ye were not even promised to one another."
True, but in their hearts they were. The problem lay with that, that and jealousy.
Gerald filled his broad chest with a strong inhale. "One day, ye will understand. Honor, truth, and loyalty will only get ye so far. Love, though, it lifts ye up, alters your very outlook on life, changes your life itself. Love is all that matters."
Anything else you’d like to add?
The best part of being a writer is connecting with readers. I'm so appreciative for every email and review. It means the world to me.