AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: NIKKI DUNCAN
Stealing time with one of my favorite bunnies…. Nikki Duncan
What is your most current work out?
Scent of Persuasion, book 2 in the Sensory Ops Series. It’s available now in eBook from Samhain Publishing and will release in print in April 2011. Book 1, Sounds to Die By, recently released in print.
Tell us a little about Scent of Persuasion, what inspired you to write it?
You mean other than it being the second book in a series? lol Okay, let’s go for an answer that isn’t an easy cop out.
I knew after introducing Breck in Sounds to Die By that I wanted to tell his story, and I knew I wanted to do something fun with the sense of scent, I just didn’t know what.
I also knew I wanted to write a heroine inspired by a good friend of mine, so Kami came to me pretty easily. Her spirit and devotion to loved ones. Her style and strength to survive.
So, after a lot of thinking I came up with a fun plot where I use DNA based perfume to basically hypnotize select targets into killing themselves. Never let it be said I don’t like a challenge when I write. LOL
It depends on the book, but generally I have a basic idea plotted out. Sometimes I only know the high points that must happen and the characters dictate how I get there. Others are more intensely plotted out.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
You know, I started writing straight contemporaries for category, but kept hearing I was being too nice to my characters, that I needed to make them more 3 dimensional, that I needed to up the stakes. So, in the first book I wrote I widowed the heroine, made her husband a suspect in a crime, and introduced a hunky detective when she was targeted by a serial killer recently escaped from prison. Then of course I had to be just as cruel to him. Somewhere along the way of plowing my way through that (not having learned how to plot yet) I fell in love with suspense. I’ve worked in other genres, but I love playing with the element of suspense or mystery.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Not really. This is like asking if I have a favorite between my kids. I just couldn’t choose between them because I love them all for different reasons.
Do you have a character that you look back on now and don’t like?
Not yet. Typically if I don’t like someone (a character) I make them a villain and kill them off. J
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Hmmm….I can’t think of anything at the moment. Is that sad?
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
Well, here are two truths no one believes about me. One – I am easily overwhelmed when I get into crowds, especially of people I don’t know. It becomes very hard for me to focus and I often forget the people I’ve met unless I get to meet them again in a smaller setting. Two – As much as I love hanging with friends and fellow writers, I am perfectly happy going for very long stretches of time without talking to other people. Days even.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
An empty house with no noise.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
It depends on the book. Sometimes it’s a quiet corner with my notepad and pen. Others, I can write on the computer with chaos and noise running about. No two books ever work the same for me.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Yes, definitely. I listen to a lot of music when I’m writing. I often find when a story isn’t working that I’m listening to the wrong tunes. As for theme songs, it depends on the book.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
I’m not sure I have an answer for this one in most cases. Though I did just finish the first draft of a new story and I could see Gabrielle Macht playing the hero. Oh, and I have another character who I could see Michael T Weiss (he was Dr. Horton and The Pretender years later) doing the role. Actually, I could see him pulling off two of my heroes. LOL
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
Sitting in the exact chair I’m in while I type this. I told my hubby, and he didn’t believe me at first. Of course, I had to read the email three times to make sure I wasn’t reading it wrong.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Younger than I will allow my daughters to be. J I think I was 11 or 12.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I have just completed the first draft of a novella for an anthology with two great friends. It will be an erotic, contemporary romance with no suspense elements. Our three stories overlap with characters and timelines and we’re having a blast with them.
I am also working on more Sensory Ops books and another contemporary romance aside from the anthology story.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I haven’t had anyone make the “real writer” comment to me yet. To the others, I just smile and nod. If they’re making the comment out of a lack of understanding and seem open to real talk, I might ask why they feel that way. There’ve been a few occasions where my taking it farther has led to a new reader.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Milk chocolate, with our without caramel and with or without nuts. I just love chocolate.