About Nicola Sinclair:
I am the author of the Australian contemporary romance series Peters Junction, and I have been delighted with the positive feedback I have received from readers from all over the world. For the moment I have taken a break from Peters Junction and I am working on a new series, Stonebridge. Don’t worry though, if you haven’t had enough of Peters Junction, I will be returning to the little outback town to help some of the other locals find their happily-ever-afters very soon.
I have always been a daydreamer, and even though it took some time for me to work up the courage to put my fingers to the keyboard and actually commit my stories to the page, I rarely went a day without dreaming about my characters. Whenever I wasn’t working (and sometimes when I was!) I would get lost in my thoughts, dreaming up new characters and plotting the twists and turns of their lives.
Although I am a romantic and a strong believer in true love, and this is reflected in the stories I write, my reading tastes are widely varied, Ranging from fantasy to crime to romance, and drifting from poetry to biographies to non-fiction texts, as long as I have a book (or e-book) in my hand, I’m happy.
On a personal level, I am a wife, mother to four children, and I live with my family in a small rural town on the outskirts of Adelaide, South Australia. I love animals and although I currently only have two dogs, we are building up our property in preparation for chickens, alpacas and goats.
What inspires you to write?
Most of the ideas for my books come from watching random people. I’ll maybe see two people having a conversation in a coffee shop and I’ll start imagining what brought them there, how they know each other, how long they’ve known each other, etc. I’m probably only exposed to the actual people for five minutes in real life, but in my imagination we become great friends as I slowly build up their characters.
Likewise, I also take inspiration from TV, movies, books or the news. Perhaps I’ll see a celebrity and even though I know nothing about them, I’ll start plotting dramatic life events for them. Then I’ll pair the celebrity inspired character with another character that I’ve dreamt up based on something I’ve read or seen on the news.
Tell us about your writing process.
Every story, every scene, every conversation, ALWAYS begins with a daydream. I’ll spend hour imagining what my characters are doing before I even put my fingers to the keyboard and commit my words to the page. My family calls this ‘zoning out’, but I like to call it ‘plotting’.
Once I have an idea for the story I try to plan out the skeleton of my book in just a simple, one page document which is BORING to read. It really just says “this happened… then this happened”.
It’s only when I start writing that the fun begins, because then my characters just turn their collective noses up at my planning and take me on their own journey, completely ignoring my attempts to pull them into line. Still, I wouldn’t give up my one page outline for anything because, at the very least, it gives me a starting point. If I didn’t have that the task of writing a book would be too daunting for me to bother with.
I do plenty of editing while I write because I’m constantly changing things as I come up with new ideas. However, when I’ve finished my first complete draft, I put my book away and don’t touch it for at least a month. That way, when I go to review, I can see the story with fresh eyes and it’s easier to edit. Only after I’ve reviewed the book at least once (but often 2-3 times) do I pass it on to an editor.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Basically, I tell my characters what to do and they completely ignore me and proceed to do exactly what they like. Mostly, I just let my fingers walk over the keys and hope my characters know themselves better than I know them and that it comes out on the page. In the end, I learn about my characters the same way my readers do, page by page.
What advice would you give other writers?
Get help! You may be on your own to actually write the words, but you’re going to need a group of readers to critique what you’ve written because they’ll spot things you’ve missed. Then there’s the editor and the proofreader, and you’ll definitely need help with marketing, even if you go through a traditional publisher. Of course you’re also going to need customers and to get customers you’ll want reviewers. The list of people involved just keeps getting longer and longer and I’ve probably skipped a few steps here. Don’t even think of trying to go it alone, not if you want to succeed.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish for two reasons:
1) I got tired of waiting for traditional publishers to respond and then, when they did, it was going to take a year, minimum, to get my books published.
2) I’d heard of people signing with publishers, not getting a lot of support, and not making much in royalties. Then it was a matter of the publisher having the rights to their books for several years and the authors couldn’t even try and sell them on their own, or they could, but would only get a pittance in royalties because of the contract they were on. I figured I’d try things the other way around. I’ll try on my own first and if that didn’t work, I’d look more seriously into getting a traditional publisher.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think e-books will play a large part in shaping the publishing industry, but I don’t think paper books are dead. While I personally love the portability of my e-reader and my ability to carry dozens of books at once, I also enjoy reading a traditional book from time to time.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Contemporary Romance and Rural Romance
What formats are your books in?: eBook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.