Author Interview with Nikki Lynn Barrett (Romance Author)

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As a novelist, how would you describe a writer’s lifestyle as? Crazy? Fun? Exciting?

Interesting question! I think it varies. As for my particular lifestyle, it’s unpredictable. But it’s not just because I’m a writer, it’s just how it goes.  Now inside my head- that’s the crazy part. Characters constantly nagging at me to write their story (They are FAR worse than sibling rivalry) I live like a simple person. (I was going to say normal, but I’m far from normal)

How many novels have your written so far? And how would describe the experience of having written and published so many novels?

By the time this interview is seen, I should have 12 completed works in my lifetime. Three of them will never see the light of day unless I completely rework them. One was written when I was ten, another in my teen years, and then a romantic suspense when I was in my early 20’s. Then there’s the eight I have published and the one that I’m attempting to finish as I write this 🙂

As for the experience- It’s surreal. I look at my Amazon author page and think “Did I really do this?” I’ve always had a huge creative outlet, and writing has always been my way to get feelings and thoughts out. It’s my expression.  Each story I write, I learn and grow more as an author.

Which novel was your very first one that you published? And can you tell us readers a little bit about that novel? 

My debut story was a Christmas novel titled The Secret Santa Wishing Well. I wrote this during the late summer months in Arizona…lol. I’d had a short story in mind for a while about a man meeting a family in need and becoming their ‘Secret Santa’ somehow.  What it turned into was a six year old boy making a grown up wish for his tired, overworked mother. The grumpy mall Santa (Now he has his reasons, mind you) is so touched by the boy’s wish he nominates him for an award and ends up meeting his mother. You know the rest from there…it’s a romance novel. They meet, they enjoy each other’s company, and they start to fall in love. And things happen. This story has made readers cry (that’s the only time I’m okay with making someone cry!) and it was the start to my incredible journey as an author.

Out of all your novels which one would say was your most favorite to write and why?

Oh, this question is too hard!! It’s like asking which kid is your favorite (I only have one child lol)!  Each has a special place in my heart! Secret Santa because of course that’s my debut, but Baby Stetson is about music and finally finding the courage to pursue your dreams, even at a later stage in your life. I’m a singer/lyric writer myself, so writing Avery (Baby Stetson) was so much of a blast. Then the books that follow in that series. The Masterpiece books because Becca is a reflection of two of my best friends, and I adore Hunter. See? I can’t. I can’t pick just one.

What is the name of your latest novel? And can you tell us readers briefly what it is about?

My latest which is almost done, is Fallen Idol. It’s the fourth stand-alone book in my Love and Music in Texas series.  Kyra Sanders, the heroine, broke out in the music scene as a teenager and soared to the top of the charts until an accident knocked her off the radar until six years later. She’s planning a comeback album, but her parents are injured in a fire in Texas so she goes to see them. The hero, Matt, is a single father dealing with his ex-wife’s abandonment when she finally decided to pursue her own music dreams but goes about it the wrong way. There’s a suspense element as well, as someone doesn’t want Kyra to make a comeback on the music scene.

What would you say inspired you to write your novels? How has this inspiration helped you as you progressed further as a talented author in your genre?

My inspiration comes from everywhere. An idea might spark from a news story, a song title, lyrics…I mean really…my muse is on full swing And will hit me with ideas all the time. Sometimes while writing my current books, I get ideas for something else.  I try to keep my stories unpredictable and unique.  As I progress further, I think readers are learning easily that my stories don’t fit the typical formula. There’s many layers and dimensions to my stories, and it’s because I use real life inspirations and aspects to keep them that way, but still add that element of “Escapism and fantasy’ to help readers get away from reality.

Did you always know that you wanted to become an author? Or was that something that you discovered later on?

Yes, I’ve always known this is what I wanted. Now, I moved around from novel writing to poetry, song lyrics, and then back to novels, but the writing bug has always been a part of me.

How many trilogy sets have you written? What is your advice to other writers when writing a trilogy?

The Masterpiece Trilogy is the only trilogy so far. I honestly wasn’t expecting to expand on Hunter and Becca’s story. I needed to throw a stand-alone book in between my two series, but my mind had other ideas. Halfway through writing A Masterpiece Of Our Love, I realized Becca and Hunter had so much more story to tell.  I’d read a lot of trilogies lately and thought…”Sure, why not?”  I’m so glad I did. Hunter and Becca have become reader favorites, and I love the two of them.

As for advice? Hmm…Never thought of that.  Okay, a lot of trilogies have cliffhangers (And we all know there’s a love/hate relationship with them) What I did with mine was I left some things open, but still wrapped up part of the story. I didn’t just end it in the middle of a big scene. Still, opinions vary and some have said it’s a major cliffy, some have said it’s not at all.  Oh, and don’t make the wait between books too long! I’d have made them shorter if I wasn’t in the midst of three series- but it’s still in good enough time. 🙂

Which of your characters were the easiest to write and why? And which were more challenging to write? 

Easiest character? There’s two: Avery from Baby Stetson, because I feel the same passion she does about music. Becca from the Masterpiece Trilogy because she’s a reflection of special people in my life.

More challenging?  Eric Jensen. He made an appearance in my first two holiday stories- The Secret Santa Wishing Well, and On the 12th Date of Christmas. In a reader’s review for On the 12th Date of Chirstmas, she mentioned she’d love for Eric to fix himself up and win back his ex. I was blown away by that, because Eric was never meant to be a good character. I showed that review to my husband, who challenged me to write his story. I had a conversation with the reader about how she already saw one redeeming quality in him from something he did. I was stuck on that story! I even watched American History X per my husband’s suggestion because I wasn’t sure I could redeem Eric.  His character was the biggest challenge so far!

If a writer wants to publish his or her novel in your genre, what would be your advice?

Learn your craft. And learn more. Always know there’s room for improvement.

Make your story the best that it can be. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box. Follow your muse. Make sure you have a well written, well edited book. Network with other authors.

What are your favorite tools to use that help you out as a writer?

I don’t know if I’d call them tools, but reading and watching life around you. The world is a learning experience if you take the time to look around. And reading, because you learn all sorts of different stories and ways of writing.  To me, that’s it. Simple. Easy, and right at your fingertips.

How does it feel knowing that you are working on your 9th novel?

I’m very awestruck that I’ve already made it this far. I went through a lot of things in the years before I wrote Secret Santa and published it- and that was in November 2012. Now I can’t seem to stop! (Which makes readers happy! lol) I’m just happy that there were enough people who took a chance on me that I can make this my reality!

Where can readers find your novels?

All of my books are available in eBook format on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I’m working on getting a few titles still on Apple and Kobo. Also available in print on Createspace and Amazon. I’ll be working this year to have availability on my website to purchase signed books.

What are your favorite hobbies, besides writing amazing novels for us readers?

I have a LOT things I dabble in- I’m a singer and love to go to karaoke. I love photography, especially weather. I’m also into jewelry making and am in business in that field with my mom. I’m also a book blogger with my own blog Storm Goddess Book Reviews. I just love all things creative.

Where can readers contact you about your books?

I’m everywhere! Even in your dreams! (Wait, do I even want that? LOL)

My website: http://www.nikkilynnbarrett.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Lynn-Barrett/e/B00A9UDX0K/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6583655.Nikki_Lynn_Barrett

And I have a handful of places on Facebook where you can contact/join/friend me.

https://www.facebook.com/nikki.l.barrett

http://www.facebook.com/nikkilynnbarrettauthor

Nikki’s Book Nook: a chat group about all things books! (Not just mine)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NikkisBookNook/

Nikki’s Book Stormers- my street team where readers can help promote me and my books. And we have fun, get sarcastic and sometimes do serious stuff 😉   https://www.facebook.com/groups/NikkisBookStormers/

or email me at nikkilynnbarrett@yahoo.com

I love talking with readers!

Thanks so much for letting me talk up a storm!

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