Author Interview with Nicole Highland

Author Interview with Nicole Highland

One Very Merry Night: A Short + Steamy Holiday Romance
Welcome back to the blog. Today, we are getting the chance to get to know the wonderful Nicole Highland. She writes steamy romance novels. They tend to take about an hour to read, so perfect to read on your lunch break. I do. It’s the perfect escape.

Nicole’s Bio from the back of her book:

Nicole Highland is a fiction author from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Having her start as a romance writer, she knows life doesn’t always give us a happy ending, so that’s why she creates her own.

When she’s not writing, she’s most likely using her creativity in some other fashion. She graduated in 2011 with an associate degree in Graphic Design. She currently works full time as a graphic designer and does freelance design work and writing in her spare time.



Interview:

When did you start writing? What inspired you to start writing? When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing when I was a child, but it wasn’t until 2018 that I decided to take the plunge and write a full manuscript! I think that was when I truly realized I was officially a writer! 

What advice would you give to a new writer, someone just starting out?
 Learn as much as you can, and stay true to yourself. Don’t ever let someone tell you your story isn’t worth writing. 

How do you handle writer’s block?
 Honestly, the best way I’ve found to handle writer’s block is to brainstorm. I like to create lists of potential scenarios that my characters could encounter and then sift through the list to see what’s the most viable option.

What comes first for you, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?
 Usually, the plot comes first to me, and then I have to develop my characters around it. As a discovery writer, my characters tend to take on a life of their own once they start forming on the page.

Describe your writing space. What do you need to have to be productive?
 Well, my writing space is pretty lovely and pink with trinkets galore. But despite the array of glitter and baubles, I keep my desk pretty clean. I keep an assortment of pens on hand, paper, a few writing-related books, and of course, my desktop!

Describe a typical writing day for you.
With working full-time, and freelancing part-time, my writing time is limited to evenings only once I have all my other responsibilities out of the way, but my weekends are pretty open and consist of a lot more writing time. 

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
 For the most part, the hardest part is simply finding the time with my busy schedule. 

How do you do research for your books?
I find my way over to Google if I have a question about an occupation or something along those lines, but for the most part, I don’t typically do a lot of research before I begin writing. 

What writing tools do you use?
Other than my computer and my planner, I don’t use much else! (Except for maybe a caffeinated beverage!) 

What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the publishing journey?
I think one of my favorite parts is the ability to do my own cover. Having that creative control is extremely important to me as a graphic designer. I would say my least favorite part is the marketing side. There’s been a lot of trial and error, and I’m still trying to figure out the secret sauce to it! 

Describe your perfect book hero or heroine. My favorite hero is the old-school, gentlemanly type; the type of hero that still opens the door for his lady in Chapter 30 as he did in Chapter 2. I always gravitate to compassionate souls. 

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Who is your favorite character? I have a total of nine published romances, one of which is currently part of an anthology, though it will be available aside from the anthology in March of 2020. Though it was controversial, I would have to say my favorite will always be my first book, Sweetest Release (now part of the Sweetest Love trilogy), as it was my first book, and it captured the essence of what it’s like to fall in love for the first time. I don’t think I would’ve been able to rediscover myself had it not been for writing that book. Devin, the hero of the story, will always be my favorite, as he was modeled after someone I loved dearly. 

Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with your readers? I have at least three stories in the pipeline for 2020—one of them falling under the YA romance realm, and I’m super excited about all three! 

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say? Do you read all your reviews?
I never read my reviews, so unless someone contacts me directly, I will not see them. When I have received emails from readers, the feedback has been positive.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
The best place to find me is at my website, www.nicolehighlandwrites.com, or on Instagram, @nicolehighlandofficial

PERSONAL QUESTIONS

Who is your favourite author? It’s a tie between Alessandra Torre and Lisa Kleypas! Two very different realms, but fantastic writers all the same. 

What are you reading now? 
Right now, I’m reading Timekeeper by Alexandra Monir. 

What's your favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source)?
In staying with the writing theme, this Jodi Picoult quote is one of my personal favorites: “You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page.”

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m reading, playing with my cat, shopping, or snapping photos! 

What was your dream job when you were younger?
I went through many phases as a child. I went from wanting to work for NASA, to wanting to be a vet, to wanting to be a fashion designer. I didn’t travel down any of those paths, but as a graphic designer, I can Photoshop an outfit on a cat floating in space, so that has to count for something! 

What’s your favorite food?
Probably ice cream. Or cupcakes. 

If you could choose three people to invite for a dinner party, who would they be and why? Aside from family, I would choose three of my closest friends. We always have a great time together! 

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
A remote island where the temperature always stays around eighty degrees sounds perfect to me. 

Finally, to settle the great debate among writers and readers. What is your beverage of choice while writing?
 Most of the time, I usually drink soda. I like to think the fizz helps my brain conjure up ideas! 

Book Blurb of One Very Merry Night from Goodreads:
Returning home to Dunford after ten years should give Sienna Weatherford some comfort, but not when it means facing everything she left behind… including Brayden West. After he broke her wistful teenage heart to pieces, she did everything in her power to chase her dreams and leave the life she had firmly behind her. But when she arrives back in town for the holidays and old desires are sparked anew, will she keep her distance? Or will she succumb to the temptation of one very merry night?
**Please note: This is a steamy, 18+ novella and approximately an hour-long read.**


Book Review: 

This was a very cute second chance romance. It is set right before Christmas as Sienna goes home to repair her relationship with her mother. She doesn’t expect to run into the one man that broke her heart. 
The book itself is short. I read it over my lunch break. 
I enjoyed the characters. They made me smile as they traveled throughout the story. Both of them were injured by each other and had to learn to love each other again. Brayden was my perfect hero. The ending was perfect. 
I also loved the cover. It is colorful and sensual. Great job Nicole. I picked this book up on KU, where she has the rest of her books.

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