Friday, March 18, 2011

Three Daves by Nicki Elson

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!


Katie O'Sullivan said...

Thanks for a great interview! Will definitely be checking out this book!
And I totally agree with the "coffee, Coffee, COFFEE!!!"

Have a great weekend!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Wow, great interview Jen!!!!

Unknown said...

fun interview. i'll check out the book and her site.


S.A. Larsenッ said...


I love your road to publication! It's filled with hard work, yet you DECIDED not to let the process steal your joy for writing. Go you! Thank you for sharing this. It's really helped. I'll definitely check out the book!!

Nicki Elson said...

Hey, thanks everyone for reading and for your kind comments. :) I'd love to see you over at "my place."

Jen - thank you for doing the interview and for being a delightful person all around. ;) (AND for having an awesome name) I've got a little somethin' for you at my blog...

Joanne said...

Thanks for the interview. I like her advice that if one pathway isn't right, another will fit. When we love what we're doing, we find the way!

Anne Gallagher said...

Great interview Jen. Love the pen name Nicki. Cute.

My Bff in high school only dated guys named Steve. Really. She married John.

Jess said...

Loved this interview (great questions, Jen)! The book sounds super fun (I remember the 80s fondly and would enjoy reading any references to a decade that passed way too quickly). Thanks ladies!

Theresa Milstein said...

A campus littered with Daves? Too funny! For me, it was Michaels and Jennifers. I had 4 Jennifers on my soccer team!

I too hate querying.

Great interview! Have a great weekend!

P.S. I'm having a contest at my blog, if you'd like to visit.

Jillian said...

another fabulous interview! And hello a cat lover!! me too!!!

have a great weekend Jen. You deserve it!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Jen, Hi, Nicki!

So cool to learn more about you Nicki.... This is a terrific interview!

I'm having another HP blogfest ladies ... I hope you'll enter!

Have a great weekend.

Nicki, I hope to see you at the end of next month for that BIRTHDAY drink in Chicago!


Nicole Zoltack said...

Fun interview!

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss jen and miss nicki! for sure i love interviews. this was way cool. i like how miss nicki said the "process was killing the joy I’d found in writing" i hope lots of writers see that cause i see thats happening for lots of writers. that dave book is too old for me but my sister could love it so im gonna tell her. i hope miss nicki does some mg stuff like she said.
...hugs from lenny

Anonymous said...

Always so interesting to an author's road to writing and publication. Great interview Jen and nice getting to know you Nicki!

Matthew MacNish said...

I love your interviews. I've been stealing those questions at the end ever since I first saw you do it.

Elana Johnson said...

Oooh, lazy plotter. I like that. This sounds like a great read! And what a fun interview. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great backstory, Nicki. I like being with a small publisher as well.

Arlee Bird said...

In my book Nicki rocks! Now if I can only get that book published.
Sounds like a great story. Loved the interview--these stories about the birth and growth of a writer are great to hear.

And Portillo's! That's what I've been trying to tell people--some of the greatest hot dogs anywhere. I craved them for years and then they opened one here in Southern California. I went and got my fix, but, alas, its really too far for it to be practical for me to go very often.

Jen, another great interview.

Nicki (loved how you came up with the pen name), I look forward to your Monday post and to following your writing journey in the future.

Tossing It Out

M Pax said...

I dated a Dave in the 80's. Weird coincidence.

Was fun to learn more about you Nicki.

Unknown said...

Great interview, Jen and Nicki!

I love the idea of a campus littered with Daves. Too funny :)

Sondrae Bennett said...

Great interview! I loved finding out how you came up with your pen name. So clever!

Elena Solodow said...

Great interview. I love how everyone's route to publishing is a little different from the next person's.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

oh so funny! I spent way too much of my time writing fanfiction before I started writing novels. Love it!

Talli Roland said...

Great interview, ladies! I love Nicki's blog, and 'Three Daves' sounds so cool!

Jennifer Lane said...

Wonderful interview! I hadn't known about the Harry Potter beginning of Nicki's writing. As another Jen, I highly recommend this book about Jen sorting through all the Daves in her life! I had a clear favorite of the three and Nicki even has a quiz on her website about which Dave you'd be most compatible with.

LTM said...

what a fun interview! Nicki's right--querying does take the joy away. But I don't know. For now I think of it as part of the process... for now. ;p

Three Daves sounds great, and I had that thing where I knew a buncha Daves as well. Funny... Best of luck to Nicki! And you, too! xoxo

Unknown said...

Great interview. My husband has a similar sounding job in the investment industry, but I can't see him writing a novel. Heck, he doesn't even have time to read them.

Jemi Fraser said...

Terrific interview. I remember voting for the trailer for this one in Diane's trailer contest. Fun concept :)

Myne said...

Hi Jen, I just sent out the book you won through Talli, hope you get it soon.

Sarah Allen said...

Wonderful! I always love interviews, they make me feel less alone and part of something amazing. Thanks for this :)

(my creative writing blog)

walk2write said...

Hello, Jen, and thanks for stopping by to say hi and welcoming me to the April challenge. Nicki, anything to do with the 80s and inspired by Illinois has to be good. Your success story has given me hope.