Here’s an interview with the talented Nicki J. Markus, one of my fellow Wicked Nights writers. Nicki is an OmniLit.com bestseller for her short fiction Awaken to the Night, and the first part of her Time Keepers series has just been released.
Great to have you here, Nicki – now, on with the questions!
1) How did you get into writing?
I’ve loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember. When my mother asked us what we wanted to do at playtime, my sister would always demand to play with the Barbies, while I always wanted to read a book. For years I have said that I wanted to be a writer but then did nothing about it. I got into fanfictions for a while then that disappeared too when I moved to Australia 3.5 years ago.
Finally, last year, I left my job under difficult circumstances. When I took a step back to assess things, I decided it was now or never. Either I gave writing a try or I didn’t. I took some time off before looking for another job and threw myself into writing. I took a Creatuve Writing course and bashed away at the keyboard nearly every day for several hours. With encouragement from my friend and fellow writer, Julie Lynn Hayes, I sent a short story to the publisher and it was accepted.
2) Do you feel drawn to the paranormal genre for any particular reason?
I have loved vampires for a long time, since I read L J Smith’s Vampire Diaries when I was about 14. I began to read lots of works by other vampire authors and expanded to other supernatural themes from there. I guess I like the escapism of the paranormal genre and also the sensuality of creatures like vampires. At 16, I was in love with Lestat from the Anne Rice vampire novels, but now I’m a bit older it is St Germain (Chelsea Quinn Yarbro) and Eric (Charlaine Harris)!
My current WIP is my first piece entirely without supernatural elements, though my next idea will take me back there again. One of the joys about writing paranormal is that you can make and break the rules. The setting can be historical, contemporary or futuristic; the rules that govern the creatures can be created at will. It is a wonderful freedom for a writer.
3) How long did it take you to write your Time Keepers series, and how many parts are there going to be?
Time Keepers is a four part series. Parts 2, 3 and 4 will be coming out one per month between April and June. It took about 3 weeks to write and edit the entire series. I can the whole thing completed before I offered it to the publisher. My previous two pieces have left the endings open enough that people have asked if I plan to write sequels. I imagine those people will say the same of this series. In my mind, it is ended, but who knows…perhaps the characters will go on and appear in another piece in the future. It all depends on if and when a good idea hits me. I wouldn’t write sequels just for the sake of it – I’d only do it if I felt I really had something new and exciting to say.
4) What’s next for you?
I recently completed a somewhat longer (26,000 approx word) piece of paranormal romance with my favourite vampires. It has been submitted to the publisher but I am anxiously waiting to hear back from them. Hopefully they’ll like it, but I’ll have to wait and see. Now I am about 1/3 through a horror/thriller. I’m hoping to have that ready for the publisher to look at by the end of April at the latest, depending on my work committments. I also have an idea beginning to form for another vampire story after that….
My website (http://www.nickijmarkus.org.uk) has links to my blog, Facebook etc, so check there for news on my future releases.
5) Which one of your publications are you most proud of, and why?
I would say my first release – Awaken to the Night – because it was the first piece I had accepted and it seems to have done well. I haven’t seen any sales figures yet, but it reached as high as number 3 in the overall best seller list at OmniLit.com and has still been hanging around that top ten ever since, even though it’s 2 months now since it was released. I can’t wait to see how many copies actually sold when I get some figures next month!
6) What one piece of advice do you think has helped you most as a writer?
When my friend, Julie, told me to submit Awaken to the Night to Wicked Nights. I had been planning to send it to a competition for Australian vampire short stories but she suggested I send it to Wicked Nights instead. As you know, it was accepted, and it launched my writing career. So that was a great piece of advice. Thanks, Julie!
And thank you, Amy, for inviting me to your blog today. It has been a pleasure!
Visit Nicki’s website at http://www.nickijmarkus.org.uk/, or grab Awaken to the Night, Dragon’s Heart or the Time Keepers series at Wicked Nights.