Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Erin Nicholas.
Erin, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
Erin: My current work in progress is the sexy, contemporary third book in a three-book series following a set of siblings. The first book, Just Right, will release in April. The manuscript I’m working on now is about the youngest sister who’s been in love with her brother’s best friend for years. He’s a lot older than her and her brother knows way too much about his wild past to be comfortable with letting his little sister be with him! Still he can’t leave her alone and the heroine isn’t above using every weapon in her arsenal to get what she wants!
Debra: Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?
Erin: Great question! Some days it’s harder than others, isn’t it? I read, read, read, for one thing! My children and husband also help. They love the stories mom makes up for them at bedtime (after writing steamy love scenes, it’s a great stretch for me to have to make the stories rated G J). I also think my “day job” keeps me constantly creatively revived. I’m a physical therapist, so can satisfy my scientific “left brain”, which seems to allow my creative “right brain” to recharge! Plus, working with people all day every day gives me lots of great chances to be inspired and rewarded!
Debra: Yes, it can be. Writing can be isolating. Reading is so important as is getting out among people.
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Erin: Absolutely. Actually, until that happens I feel like I need to get to know them better! They pull me into conversation a lot in the shower and in the car… the only two places I’m ever truly alone! J
Debra: Alone time is essential to the writing life.
Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?
Erin: I write contemporaries, so I haven’t come up with a language (yet! J), but I do play with words in creating and getting to know my characters… giving them phrases they use a lot or a way they speak. Some of my favorite authors are brilliant at that! I also constantly create places. I love the small towns of the Midwest and many of my books are set in fictional towns I’ve created from bits and pieces of towns I know and love. I also have multiple characters and stories that involve the medical field (my November release is about a physical therapist!) and so I create the hospitals where they work, which is again, bits and pieces of the places I’ve worked myself!
Debra: Being a midwest gal myself, originally from Ohio, I can relate to your fictional towns. :-)
For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?
Erin: I have dreamed scenes or a premise before and that’s like finding a winning lottery ticket without spending the money! I mean, wow, I’m sleeping rather than staring at a blank screen and suddenly this idea is just there? How great is that? More than that, though, is when my characters show up in my dreams. Not always in the context I’ve put them in on the pages, but mixed in with my real life. It’s kind-of fun and I take that to mean that I’ve gotten to know them pretty well by that time!
Debra: Yes, it is like winning the lottery! When the stories show up in your dreams you know you were meant to write them.
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Erin: Oh, absolutely! My dad was an English teacher before he became a high school Principal (yes, my high school Principal! J) and he introduced me to the original Alice in Wonderland (not the Disney version), A Wrinkle in Time, The Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia… oh, wow, talk about fabulous worlds!
Debra: What an awesome dad to give the gift of stories. I'll bet he is proud of you.
If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?
Erin: I love the fact that it seems more and more the world of romantic fiction is just wide open! I think the only limitation is… me! J
Debra: So much truth in that one. "the only limitation is me" So true.
Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?
Erin: I think that dreams and the imagination allow us to do two really huge things: hold on to the “what could be” in life and connecting with others. Fiction, at least the fiction I love J, is about the good things: love, triumph over adversity, bravery, faith, truth, justice, sacrifice, loyalty… the things that we all really want and deep down have to believe in to keep going. It is absolutely amazing to me that not only can a writer create something purely from within them, but once it’s out there in the world it touches others and they learn from it and it lifts them up and entertains them. It’s such a hard thing to explain, but it’s so fantastic the way our souls can speak to and touch each other!
Debra: It is something of a miracle the way stories can touch lives, isn't it?
Erin, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Erin: Thanks for letting me share a Monday with you!
Debra: You're quite welcome! It's been a pleasure.
Readers can visit Erin at:
Debra's News/Debra is watching:
I took last week off to visit relatives over the holidays and got to meet my beautiful niece Maggie who was only one week old.
This week is for catching up on things and getting back to the two manuscripts I'm working on.
I'll be out in Vegas Dec 16th to 22nd to visit my youngest son and really looking forward to seeing him again.