About Nicole Sewell:
Nicole Sewell was born in California, raised in Michigan, and now lives in Georgia with her husband and growing brood of children.
She wrote her first story at the age of four (a Frog and Toad fan fiction), and wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of eight (titled Murder!).
When she isn’t writing, she’s working, chasing children, grocery shopping, or cooking. She has no formal writing credentials, hates commas, and loves chocolate milkshakes.
What inspires you to write?
Characters with a solid voice inspire me. They come to me randomly but, they don’t always come with a story. Characters that are fully developed and feel real to me compel me to write a story for them, even if it takes years to develop the right plot.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a bit of a hybrid when it comes to my writing process. Once I have the main characters all fleshed out, I decide how I want the story to end. Once I’ve figured out what the final scenes will be, I write a “blurb” and send it off to my critique partners and ask them what they think of my story idea. Based on their feedback, I tweak the “blurb” and then fill in some of the blanks until it resembles more of a synopsis. After that, I get to work on the first chapter. Once the first chapter is written, and I feel like I’m off to a solid start, I create a secret board on Pinterest and pin all kinds of things that help me visualize my story, including photo representations of the main characters. Once the first draft is finished, I make the board public and send a link plus the first draft to my critique partners. It usually takes me four or five edits to get a story into shape. Then I send it to Beta Readers.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The one thing I’ve learned is that you cannot make your characters talk if they don’t feel like it. I listen to my characters and do as little “leading” the story as possible. This way it keeps the voice authentic and the story doesn’t come across as forced.
What advice would you give other writers?
Self-editing is your friend! Learn the difference between telling and showing. And limit your use of filter words. And find the most brutal critique partners and beta readers possible. Seriously. If they aren’t picking you apart, they aren’t really helping.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I attempted to publish the traditional route. I queried a couple different manuscripts, got some very kind feedback, but ultimately didn’t get anywhere. Annoyed, I was going to self-publish. My cousin was also considering self-publishing and we decided to take it a step further and start our own publishing imprint. Originally it was just to publish our stories, but now we’re looking at helping other authors get their work out there. It’s been a lot of fun!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the the big publishers who have ebooks out there for sale at $8 and $12 are going to have to lower their prices if they want to get in on the booming ebook market. At the same time, I don’t think print book publishing is going anywhere. I still prefer a print copy over an ebook any day. A lot of reviewers won’t review ebooks.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: YA, NA
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.