7 Questions With Author Nicole Knight
Nicole Knight is the author of Emerald Dreams, the first book in the Dream Traveler Series. She is your average twenty-something, who before writing, averaged reading two to three books a week. She mainly reads in the young adult, fantasy, and romance categories. She’s more likely to read a book that falls in all three categories. For that reason, her recent book falls in those three categories. She only writes something that she would want to read.
She also tries to stay off the beaten path. She won’t write about something super saturated in the market. When she is not reading or writing, she works full time in the insurance industry (yawn) and is ‘human’ to two cats, and uses her green thumb to garden. She is an army wife, and may one day test the waters of writing a military inspired piece of fiction. She is also looking to get into blogging about books in general and reviews.
For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther Rabbit, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re interested to know all the tips & tricks surrounding the process From Writing To Publishing Your Novel, you’re only a click away. For writing and marketing tips consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a pantser who actively tries to be a plotter. I know when I start a book where I want it to go, and the key things that I want to happen. However the journey to those points is often written by my pantser side. If I need to connect some dots, I do that in my multiple proof reads.
I like to plan, but my creative side gets the best of me. It’s hard to plan creativity and it often comes to me when I am not sitting down writing. I often have to make a quick note in my phone or a notepad, and I come back to those as I sit down to write, or to edit my book.
What were some major setbacks of this profession?
One of the major setbacks is the time investment without the guarantee of it paying off. If you are writing for enjoyment, this may not be as important. But for someone who wants writing to be their side gig, or their main income source, it’s a large risk. Then once you write the book, you have to spend just as much time marketing it. Time is the largest set back.
Another setback is the negative opinions of others. Unless you are a best-selling author, others may look down on you. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and no one becomes a best seller overnight. Sometimes ignoring the doubts or negative opinions of those around you can be difficult.
What’s your definition of the first draft?
My definition of the first draft is the document that tells the story start to finish. While I am a fan of using a skeleton for academic writing, I am not a fan in my creative writing. I feel it is too restricting, in a place where I am supposed to be creative. Usually my first draft is about half of the book in terms of length or word count, but is the plot start to finish.
As I read my first draft I add thoughts or little extras into the work to polish it, maybe I’ll add another character’s narration when it is needed. Also in my opinion your first draft should have so many red squiggly lines it’s overwhelming. This happens to me when I’ve thought of this great idea, and I have to put it to paper, or computer, before I forget it. Then I can come back and make all the corrections. The red lines tell me this was something I was excited about while writing it.
What are some common stereotypes related to the genre(s) you’re writing in?
I write young adult, and young adult fantasy. One of the largest stereo-types I run into is that young adult books are only for a young adult. I loved young adult and fantasy books as a teenager, and now that I am in my mid-twenties, I still love them. I guarantee in my forties I will still love YA.
Another stereo-type is that every YA fantasy book is about vampires. While they do saturate the market, there are plenty out there without the leaches, if you are looking for a read without a bite.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
Make sure you are confident in your work. I second guess myself a lot like many others. However, you aren’t going to want to promote a book to your friends and family unless you are proud of it. So do what you need to do to make you proud to promote the book. I ran into this with my first book written under another name. I published it with a company who did a great cover, but did a sloppy editing job.
Now it is out there for the world to see, typos and all. I am much more likely to recommend my new book, which I self-published. I remained in control through the whole process, and if I see something I don’t like, I change it.I would also tell myself to set my expectations low, but celebrate the wins. When you release your first book, don’t expect to hit it big, especially if you don’t spend a large amount of time marketing it.
Invest the additional time in your work, and you will see that help your profits. Once you start marketing, set small goals and then celebrate those goals. To reach the stars, first you have to build the rocket ship; and NASA has never build a rocket ship in one day.
My last word of advice would be to have at least a handful of good quotes within your book that will resonate with readers. That quote may bring them back for a re-read, or make them feel relatable to a character and make it more likely to be recommended to a friend. Also, who doesn’t like a sassy quote that makes you laugh?
What should readers expect from your next novel?
My next novel will continue telling the story of Violet Brown. She is now Queen of the Morthlands, and her troubles are only beginning. Her problems from her hometown are starting to follow her. Someone attempts to kill her, and she suddenly becomes responsible for much more than she ever anticipated. Along the way she has to navigate her relationships with new family she has discovered, and her friendships back in her hometown.
Her biggest relationship struggle is with her boyfriend Axel. They both have a hard time adjusting to their new roles. Axel’s sole job is to make sure she and the Kingdom are safe. Violet has her own expectations for herself, which sometimes put her in danger. It drives them both crazy that they can’t agree on how to proceed with those differences. Violet must navigate the new problems that arise while her life and relationships hang in the balance. After all, she’s not done living up to what is expected from her in the prophecy.
This series will have at least one more book. While I decide on the direction of the third book, if I see more of the story that needs to be told, I may consider a fourth book. There is also room for spin offs if I feel that the story and timing are right.
Do you have any tips for authors who are looking into getting more reviews for their novels?
Yes, contact me! I would love to read and review books in my genre, or even a good romance book. Bonus points if the book is on Kindle Unlimited. I may try to make a blog specifically about Kindle Unlimited books in the near future. I think the concept of Kindle Unlimited is great, and helps make reading more affordable for those who don’t have hundreds to drop on books. It also makes readers more likely to give new authors a try.
Readers are always looking for a good book. It’s not a one and done product, so why not help each other grow? I am looking to grow my brand, and help others to do the same, at no charge. An honest review for honest review might be one of the best ways to grow your reviews starting out. You can reach out to me on my Facebook page if you are interested.
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And check out Lost in Amber: An Out Of This World Paranormal Romance if enjoy girl power, adventure & a toe-curling love story.
She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.