I’m incredibly pleased to have a friend and fellow author, Nichole Chase, on the blog today. Nichole is the author of the paranormal young adult series, The Dark Betrayal Trilogy, and has had great success with her debut novel, Mortal Obligation. She scored another hit with the follow-up, Mortal Defiance, this past month. Nichole, thanks for being here!
1. Thanks for agreeing to this interrogation! Now, I know you are an adult-type person (or you pretend to be one in public), what attracted you to writing Young Adult fiction?
I’m an adult! Mostly. I’ve always known that I wanted to write YA. Don’t get me wrong, I have some adult novels planned for the future as well. However, there is something incredibly dynamic about the YA genre. It’s always changing. The characters don’t have the same type of emotional baggage that adults do, and they feel things so very strongly. It makes them so much fun to write. There is something inherently interesting about coming of age stories. Things that happen in our teenage years have a profound effect on who we are as adults. I think that is also one of the reasons that so many adults like to read YA.
2. I love the blending of gods and monsters in your work. I also like that you include a variety of world mythologies. Have you done a lot of research for the Dark Betrayal Trilogy?
I did have to research some of the mythology that I am less acquainted with and I loved it. I’m a bit of a research geek, (I can hear my friends and family snickering right now) and loved finding out little details about Japanese gods, African deities, etc. I didn’t want to focus on one type of mythology. It seemed to me that if they were real, there was no reason that the others weren’t real as well.
I’m also lucky that the majority of the Dark Betrayal Trilogy happens in the area that I live. I didn’t have to research roads, locations, etc. Though I did spend a few days for each book, walking around the historic district to make sure I had everything right. It was a lot of fun to imagine my characters walking around the places I know and love.
3. What has been the most unexpected thing about publishing your books? Good or bad.
The support. There is a massive amount of support from other authors, bloggers, and readers. It’s such an important factor too. Sometimes things happen to knock you down, or cause doubt, and the support of other people helps pick you up and dust you off. Or better yet, tell you to stop your moaning and write the next book.
4. Which is harder, first book or second book, and why?
They are equally difficult, but for different reasons. The first book was hard to write, because in a lot of ways you are walking around in the dark. There’s a lot to learn while writing your first book: technical stuff and learning how to trust your inner voice. The second book was difficult to write for reasons I never expected. Suddenly there were people out there waiting for the next book, that were invested in the story and characters I had created. That added a massive amount of pressure to the writing process. I didn’t want to let anyone down.
5. There are a lot of stereotypes about writers. What is the most stereotypically “writer” thing about you and what is the least? (Consider this your opportunity to confess the raging addiction to Redbull and chain-smoking, Nichole.)
My work clothes are my pajamas. It’s true, so true. In fact, that’s what I wearing right now! Not very professional, huh? Unless I’m leaving the house, I’m going to be comfortable. So, when you imagine an author sitting at their computer wearing night pants and a big fluffy robe? Just add some funky, mismatched socks and you’ve got me. (I take some of that back. I did a radio interview and put on real clothes and cleaned the house. Not that it isn’t usually clean, but I clean when I’m nervous. My husband came out to the living room and asked, “You do know that it’s a radio interview, right? They aren’t going to be able to tell you dressed up and vacuumed.” Sigh.)
I definitely don’t fit the chain-smoking, Redbull guzzling stereotype. I hate smoking and don’t like Redbull. Though I will drink a giant glass of coke, or down a bunch of coffee.
6. What is the nicest/strangest/most back-handed compliment you’ve ever received? About anything, not just writing.
Not writing related, but when in high school (the dreaded institution dedicated to teenage torture) someone told me that I was ‘friend pretty’. What the hell does that even mean? (AN: I have no idea.)
7. You know I’m very torn (and kind of feel like a dirty old woman) about the tension-filled love triangle in the Dark Betrayal Trilogy. How do you normally feel about love triangles? Love them? Hate them? Only write about them because people seem to love them but really you wanted to write a Ree/Roland lovefest? (That last one may have showed my hand a bit…)
You feel like a dirty old woman? Try writing the kissing scenes! Ha.
I’m actually iffy on love triangles. Weird, right? They have to be done correctly and I really hope that I have managed to do that in the Dark Betrayal Trilogy. When I was planning the story, Roland made it very evident that he had strong feelings for Ree, but I just couldn’t understand why. So, at first, I fought his character and tried to force him into a position that he didn’t want to be in. (Yeah, my characters are real, vocal people that live in my head. Got a problem with that?) Eventually, I gave up, blew a raspberry at the monitor (not helping the adult issue, huh?) and wrote it the way he wanted. About halfway through the first draft, the skies opened up and light shined down on me. Because, that’s what all epiphanies look like. I suddenly understood what they had all been trying to tell me. Of course, I can’t really say why here, because it would ruin the mystery, but I can say that I think he has a good reason for his feelings. And Ree has a real reason for feeling so torn. It’s not because she wants them both to herself, or because she wants lots of guys drooling after her. The gods have manipulated their situation for a reason, and having two delish guys in love with her is just part of their plan. Whoops. I might have said too much…
Thank you, Elizabeth, for having me on your blog. I can’t thank you enough for your support and friendship!
And thank you so much for being here! You can catch Nichole on Twitter where she is @NicholeChase, her Facebook profile, or her blog, www.NicholeChase.com. I also highly recommend her books if you enjoy paranormal fiction. They’re really enjoyable for all ages, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t tend to read a lot of YA. Set in Savannah, Georgia, the series follows an extraordinary girl and a well-developed cast of supporting characters who are thrown into a world-changing conflict. Buy links for Mortal Obligation are here, and for Mortal Defiance are here.
Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Nichole Chase for being here today!