Sunday 30th September 2012
A huge welcome to the first guest on my new-look blog, Nicky Wells, author with Sapphire Star.
SOPHIE'S TURN - Nicky Wells
Budding journalist Sophie Penhalligan has it all on the surface. A job she enjoys, loving parents, a close girlfriend to confide in, and a boyfriend she loves. But then fate throws her past back at her in the form of a rock-star she had a crush on, and when her boss sends her to cover the come-back tour of the rock-star and his band, Sophie's world is turned upside down, and she somehow manages to become engaged to two men at once - solid, reliable, but ever so predictable Tim, and the sexy, very unpredictable, Dan. The characters are so real that it's easy for the reader to empathise with Sophie, and to share her dilemma, to try and will Sophie to opt for their choice. As someone who was as unsure as Sophie, I found the ending hugely satisfying, and look forward to the next book of the series.
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QUESTION AND ANSWER WITH NICKY
Do you have a visual for your heroes? If so, do you vary it, or is there one person who you see all the time, like an actor playing different roles.
Livvie, that’s a really interesting question. I do have a sort of mental image of my characters, all of them. It’s pretty clear in my head but it’s hard to match up with real people. I’ve been asked a few times who would be my dream cast in Sophie’s Turn, the movie, and while I do have an answer, the actors I picked are not perfect matches.
The ‘visual’, the mental image stays with the character through the novel and, in fact, through the entire Trilogy. They grow and develop alongside the characters, but essentially they remain the same.
Is the rock-star focus incidental, or do you have a penchant for that type of hero/story?
Oh, no coincidence. I have a total thing for rock stars. You know how in my guest post here today I talk about having a thing for men with long hair? Well, that’s really shorthand for having a thing for rock stars (with or sometimes without long hair). Where that has come from, I don’t know. I think it’s a combination of loving the music and seeing the vulnerable side in these ‘tough’ guys through their lyrics and their vocals. A rock star was an obvious choice for my male lead character. Sophie’s Turn is, after all, my own personal all-time favourite daydream-slash-fantasy.
Who should play Christian Grey if/when there's a movie?
Psst, can you keep a secret? I must be the last person on Earth not to have read the Grey books. So I really couldn’t comment!
Who, or what, inspires you?
Music inspires me, as well as little snippets of life (whether experienced by me or observed in my environment). Sometimes, food inspires me to write a scene in a particular way, and very often, smells trigger emotions or thoughts that translate into my writing. So I guess you could say that almost anything can trigger an idea, a scene, a whole plot.
Your favourite novel?
Where to start? I have so many! Catherine Alliott’s The Old-Girl Network is a firm favourite; it’s the first chicklit novel I read and it still makes me laugh. I also like the Ken Follett books (Pillars of the Earth and sequel). Right now, we’re coming up to the pre-Christmas season and I’ll be digging out Josten Gaarder’s The Christmas Mystery. See, I can’t limit myself. I’ve read very few books that I have actively disliked, that’s the problem!
Your favourite fictional hero?
Oh, again, must I chose? Ok, then. I adore Jack Reacher. He’s the man to have about in a crisis, that’s for certain. I figure he’s very attractive too, and tall. He’s a bit of a low-tech superhero (i.e. he very rarely has the full array of technological gadgets at his disposal, it’s all down to wits and cunning), there’s nothing he can’t do.
What advice would you give to a new/budding author?
First of all, keep writing. Don’t give up, don’t be deterred. Don’t question yourself. Be patient.
When you’ve finished writing, make sure you give your work to a few people with no vested interest (i.e. not family or friends, who will probably enjoy your work but not feel able to tell you the honest truth!). Find a writer’s group of some description and source your beta readers from there. If you get criticism, don’t be destroyed. Take it on-board and let it simmer for a while. If you can see the merit of making a suggested change, do it. If not, don’t. Unless, and this is where it gets tricky, unless several people comment on the same thing. If more than two or three readers have an issue or a specific suggestion, chances are, all readers will pick that issue up. In that case, you’re better off reconsidering a scene or a chapter.
Lastly, if you are serious about publishing your work, be serious about polishing your work. Have it proofread and professionally edited. If you’re self-publishing, enlist help from a professional cover designer. And keep writing!
What makes a charismatic hero and heroine?
Humour. Vulnerability. Mistakes. The ability to laugh at one’s own mistakes. And the ability to rise above oneself and see the bigger picture. Oh, and love and consideration for others.
Strictly or X Factor X Factor
Twitter or Facebook Twitter. No, Facebook. No Twitter.
Corrie or Eastenders. Err, neither. Too depressing. What is it about British soaps that they’re so depressing? I mean, take the Christmas special, right? Tears, death and destruction. Huh? My favourite soap is Everybody Loves Raymond!
Kindle or Print Both. Sorry. Love my Kindle and use it all the time, but also love and will never cease to love the feel and smell of a freshly printed book.
Chris Evans (UK) or Chris Evans (USA) (I adore one of these ) UK.
Roald Dahl or Enid Blyton Enid Blyton. I blame her one hundred per cent for my deep and lasting love affair with England!
Dogs or cats Cats
Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter Tough. Tough. It’ll have to be… Lord of the Rings. It’s a classic.
Misfits or Inbetweeners Misfits
Tea or coffee Tea. Milk and two sugars, please! XX
Tea coming up! And to chip in, am totally with Nicky on Misfits, but very disappointed in her Chris Evans answer!
If you would like to win a copy of Sophie's Turn, please leave a comment on the blog : http://livbet.webs.com/apps/blog/show/19161654-sunday-30th-september-2012" and tell me what name you would choose if you were a rock star. I'll let Nicky choose the winner.