Happy Friday Bloggers! I have a very special guest! Nicki Elson who wrote Three Daves and was publishing by Omnific Publishing!
1. What is Three Daves about (Let me guess - You only dated guys with the first name Dave?)?
Haha. The main reason I chose the name Dave was because in the 80s my campus (Eastern Illinois University) was littered with them. And even though I knew a bunch of Daves, I never actually dated one, so that also made it a safe choice, if ya know what I mean.
The story is set on a 1980s college campus and centers on a young co-ed’s relationships with three guys all named---guess what? She struggles with exploring her sexuality while maintaining her “good girl” values and strikes a rather unconventional balance.
And by the way, Jen, I get the feeling you’re going to love my MC’s first name. ;)
YAY! Now I have to read this book since I'm the MC!
2. How was your journey to writing? Had you always known or did it fall in your lap?
It was definitely a slow, roundabout journey for me. I studied finance and worked in investments, where I found writing and editing the quarterly reports was my favorite part of the job. I eventually left that world and became swept up in mommyhood and domestic goddessing. All along I had stories and plot lines in my head, but never took the time to write them down.
Then the final book in the Harry Potter series came out and left my heart breaking for one of the characters. I developed a story in my head, something to make his storyline less pathetic, and this time decided to write it down. Just a few scenes, I figured, but then I was curious about how things got to that point…and what would happen after…and several hundred million hours later, I had a novel-length fanfiction that was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to read.
Along way I fell in love with writing. I knew I couldn’t quit. So I tried my hand at an original—a crazy 80s college love story that had been playing in my head for decades...
3. How is it working with a smaller publishing house? Did you query for agents are just dive right in sending your query to the house itself?
I’ve had a great experience with Omnific Publishing, which is also a very young company. Three Daves was among their original five releases, and it’s been so much fun to have been there from the beginning---there’s a great energy among the staff, like we’re all in this together, and that sort of support is priceless and something I don’t imagine exists at a bigger firm. Meanwhile the company has a complete staff including editing, graphic design, and marketing. One thing a lot of smaller companies don’t have is distribution, so getting into the big bookstore chains is something you have to work your butt off for.
A few years ago, right after I finished the manuscript, I queried a dozen agents. I hated it. The whole thing. I reworked that stupid one-page query letter so many times, and I’m sure each and every version was crap. After getting about two rejections, I was done with it. The process was killing the joy I’d found in writing, so I stopped querying and turned to on-line writing websites, where I got to share my stories immediately and get feedback directly from readers.
I had some success there, winning an original short story contest and having one of my novels nominated for an award. I’d also done editing for other writers, so when Omnific was lining up its staff, they initially contacted me to be an editor (which I currently am). Then the owner, Elizabeth Harper, told me she’d love to see any original work I had, and voila—Three Daves was resurrected.
So I guess the moral of my story is: Go ahead and quit, and you’ll succeed anyway…? Nah, I think it’s that when something is meant to be, it will be. If one pathway doesn’t feel right, try another.
4. Are you a genre hopper or do you prefer to stay in one? What genre do you choose?
Eighty percent of what I write falls in the romantic chick-lit category. But I can feel myself moving toward women’s fiction, and I like to dabble in comedy, horror, and middle grade.
5. What made you come up with the pen name? How did you decide?
I found that I quite enjoyed having an alias in the on-line community, so I figured, Why not? My real last name is Nickelson, so Nicki Elson is a play on that. Cute, eh?
That is adorable and creative! LOVE IT!
Fun & Random Questions!
Celebration spot: My mom’s and dad’s house
Favorite book: Gone With the Wind
Pizza Joint: Can I say a burger joint? Yes? Well then, Portillos.
Cat or Dog: cat, Cat, CAT!!!
Lion or Panda: Lion. Pandas belong to my sister.
Soda or Coffee: coffee, Coffee, COFFEE!!!
Panster or Plotter: I’m not exactly sure, but I think I’m a lazy plotter. I generally have a skeleton of the entire story in my head before I begin, and I always know exactly where it’s going, even if the getting there has some wiggle room. But I’m not much for writing outlines or character sketches. I keep that in my head. Although, I did just type out a timeline for a story I’m working on, so that mean’s I’m either getting a less lazy…or more easily confused.
Thanks so much, Jen! I’m honored to have been interviewed on one of the most happenin’ spots in the blogosphere. :)
Isn't she an absolute doll and blast!!! Do check out her book trailer it is probably one of the cutest I have ever seen!!!! And make sure you stop in and say hello to her!