Today, my guest is romance author, Nicola Sheridan. Her latest release is Magical Creations from Eternal Press. She'll be giving away an e-copy of “Magical Creations” to one luck commenter! Be sure to leave your contact information!
AUTHOR: Nicola E. Sheridan
BOOK TITLE: Magical Creations
PUBLISHER: Eternal Press
The paperback will be available in a few more weeks!
Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
I’m a West Australian author of paranormal/fantasy romance and have an enduring love of magic and mythology, which led me to competing a double major in Archaeology and Anthropology at University. I’m a mother of two, married with two cats and a geriatric dog. In my spare time (what spare time?) I enjoy drawing comics, 4x4ing, gardening and spending time with my family.
Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.
“Magical Creations” is the second in a three part series about Genies. It’s based on Omar, a sub-character from my debut novel, “Magical Gains”. It’s set in a world where magic and magical creatures are real and just considered minority groups. However, when magic is a commodity to governed, traded and stolen, just like any other, certain magical beings become valuable and both Omar (a Genie) and Antigone (a Nephilim) take great pains to keep their nature a secret. Suffice to say, nothing ever runs smoothly, and when both are captured by the Magical Mafia, their lives and loves are put to the test. I loved writing this book. It was a lot of fun.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I could write. I was forever jotting down stories to entertain myself as a child, and at high-school spent countless hours writing to entertain my friends with what I realize now were quite fun but crude fantasy romances.
What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
I blame my dad. He is a great story teller and regaled stories of industrious ants and angry Mr Wind whenever we asked. He also read us the Hobbit, and I think that drew me into the world of paranormal/fantasy. “Magical Gains” was my first published novel, and I was inspired by a biscuit commercial to write about Genies. In the commercial, a woman has a gorgeous Genie to do her bidding, and all she wants is a packet of biscuits that never ends… Really? I thought, I’d ask for a lot more – but then the Government would find a way to tax it. It was with that thought that the world of my “Magic” series came to life.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
No I don’t outline. I’m really terribly disorganized. I tend to just think about what I want in the novel and write it and hope for the best!
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
Hmmm. Great question. I think my characters come first. I love names, so usually I think of a name first, then a ‘being’ (a Nephilim, a human, a Genie, a Siren, whatever) and then I build a situation around them.
Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
I don’t think I hate any of my characters. Even my ‘baddies’ have their reasons. Although I have to say in my current WIP (Magical Redemption) I really dislike the character of the ‘Bomoh’, he’s a Malaysian witch-doctor, and he is absolutely nasty. I probably pity Omar the most, he’s had a really rough time and deserves his happily ever after! As for love, I don’t know, I think I love them all!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing the book is probably, finding the time to do it. Making sure the world and its characters are consistent in each book is also difficult, and as I don’t keep notes on anything, I tend to have trawl back through previous books to check facts etc. That’s hard and time consuming.
Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?
Yes, I do a lot of research into the myths and magical beings in my stories and often sketch out images of them to clarify the image. It takes roughly a year to write a novel for me.
What are some of the challenges in your writing process?
Critically revising my own work is challenging for me. I tend to just get re-absorbed in the story and read it, rather than edit it.
Describe your writing space.
I sit in my study. My desk faces an ochre-colored wall, on which I have a pin board covered in notes and sketches. I often take a breather and turn my head slightly to right and stare out the window. It’s a lovely a corner window looking out over my garden and the street. At the moment (it’s spring in Western Australia) the garden is heavily laden with flowers, and the trees are very green. It’s a gorgeous little view. My two cats often sit there in the sun and stare out over the street with me!
What books or authors have influenced your writing?
I don’t think any authors have really influenced my writing, but I do really, really love Kresley Cole at the moment. I can’t put her ‘immortals after dark’ series down. Heaven’s knows what I’ll do when I read them all. I also really like Karen Marie Moning. Her heroes are gorgeous.
What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?
I think e-publishing is probably going to get even bigger, which is sad for the little bookstores around the world. I happen to love bookstores, so I hope that they can survive the e-revolution.
What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release?
“Magical Gains” and “Magical Creations” are out now (although the paperback will be available in a few more weeks). I also have a novella “Mimosa Black” coming out in December through Eternal Press.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Keep trying, keep writing and keep sending your manuscript out. Rejections aren’t personal, no matter how personal they feel. Also enter some competitions to get some feedback and get yourself a good critique partner who has the guts to tell you where you’re going wrong.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
I have a website, www.nicolasheridan.com, a blog, http://www.magicalgains.blogspot.com (where I spend a fair amount of time). I’m also on Twitter and Facebook so you can follow me there too!
Thanks so much Penny for having me. I’ll be giving away an e-copy of “Magical Creations” to one luck commenter!
Sometimes freedom comes with a painful price.
Omar is a ‘masterless’ Genie and freedom has given him an Achilles heel no enemy can miss. When desperation drives him to search for services of a Nephilim – with the ability to see, touch and take souls - Omar finds the sassy Antigone Watson who is running from demons of her own.
With magic a commodity to be governed, sold and stolen just like any other, the Magical Mafia are always on the look-out for new talent and soon the hunt is on. Together, Omar and Antigone realize that weakness of the flesh can be remedied by strength from the soul and true love can be born of dreams…
Omar turned to face her, his dark, impassive eyes absorbed every inch of her now rumpled jacket, moisture-stained trousers and broken heel. His eyes narrowed and he walked towards her.
Before Antigone was even aware of it, he loomed in front of her, larger than life. Involuntarily, she stumbled back and collided with the shop window behind her. Omar was an inch or so taller
than her and his face was a masterpiece of masculine perfection. Antigone’s cheeks reddened at the sudden unbidden thought. She realized dimly that instead of feeling shocked and horrified,
Omar’s close proximity was turning her feelings to something much more pleasant.
How is that possible?
The thought was cut short as he leaned forward. The pressure of him pushed a confused gasp from her lips, and her eyes widened.
“You look disheveled,” he commented, his breath blowing gently against her hair. “Allow me to rectify the situation.”
Before Antigone had time to process his meaning, smooth, shimmering arms of red smoke wove themselves around her. They smelled warm, spicy, and intoxicating. She closed her eyes
for a brief moment and when she opened them again, Omar had moved away and she was standing alone, leaning back on the shop window, feeling a little dreamy. An annoyed flush of embarrassment
threatened to bloom on her cheeks, but with substantial willpower, she forced it down.
“What did you do?” she snapped, and stepped away from the window. Omar’s black eyes flashed as he observed her with interest. On the first footstep, Antigone realized that the heel on her
sweet Jimmy Choo was mended, so she took a cursory glance at her jacket and trousers. She was as neat as a pin once again.
“How did you do that?” she asked incredulously.
Omar shrugged. “It’s a talent.”
NOTE: Antigone is pronounced "An-tig-uh-nee"
NOTE: Antigone is pronounced "An-tig-uh-nee"