Everyone likes to know about the authors, and I'm no exception. One reason why People Magazine and others are so popular is because they let us go inside the celebrities. Personally, I want to know what makes someone tick. As they would say on tv, "I sat down with Nicola and we chatted about things you might be interested in." Here goes. I think you'll enjoy knowing more about her.
1) Readers love to know about writers, so tell us a little about yourself, family, dogs, cats etc.
Some say life’s a competition. I say, Yeah, maybe, but since we all cross the same finish line, why not buzz along with family, sports, blossoms, suspense and chocolate? You see, I’m the sixth of eight Furlongs. In horse-racing parlance, that drops me just round the last bend. Where the thoroughbreds break for the finish line. An exciting spot. Fits me like a lucky horseshoe. My siblings around me, my goals large and looming, and my hands on the reins. Anything can happen. In my fiction, it does. Game to find out?
2) What are some of your favorite activities?
I’m kind of a summer / winter gal, activity wise. During the sunny season, I’m on my bike wheeling round the rural roads of my seaside town or digging about the gardens, tending my favorites, like poppies, bamboo and succulents. When the days shrink, I duck inside an arena thrice weekly, streaking along a sheet of ice after a flat little disc, stick handling past a bunch of old-timers. I love scoring against the guys!
3) What made you want to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading and stories, encouraged by both parents from an early age. Happily dove into the battered green Penguin mysteries handed down from my father, via my older siblings. After my dad died in the mid eighties, I yearned for a creative outlet and thought he would be proud if I scribbled a whodunit.
Now, after having written a number of mysteries, I’m embracing the challenge and opportunities offered by writing the Sisterhood of Shepherds, a family saga with quirky characters, inspired by members of my family.
4) If you could do anything that you are not doing now, what would it be?
A 2D mixed media artist. My university degree is in Fine Art and I’m often hankering for another chance to create life with more than words. I’m now fiddling with landscapes, crafted from a combination of ceramics, nutshells, bamboo and poppy pods, and calling them ‘growing scenes’.
5) If you could live anyplace besides where you live now, where would it be?
Nowhere else on earth is better than southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be born or brought up on the isle considered by most as the Canadian Mediterranean, but now that I’m planted, nobody’s ever gonna ever dig me up.
6) Are you a morning or evening person?
Depends on what I’m about. For creativity, morning is dandy; for blowing off steam and calories, afternoons are peachy; and for indulging in chocolate fudge, nothing beats the evening. Any evening. Dare I say, every evening?
7) What do you like best about writing?
Having total control of a distinct world, of giving life to anyone you wish, and jamming them into tricky situations and watching what erupts.
8) What do you dread most about writing?
Marketing. Trying to flog your own work is a disagreeable task. Makes me feel like a slimy mix of Uriah Heep and Vincent Crummles, two of Dickens’ most unctuous characters.
9) How many times have you been known to re-write a scene?
Not that often. I usually have a plan in mind for the beginning, middle and button-end of a scene, so find extensive re-writing thorny. I will admit to some self-inflicted fine-tuning, and if forced by a prickly editor or publisher, will sigh start over.
10) Do you read your manuscript out loud?
Often, especially the dialogue. It’s shocking how dreadful poorly-written sentences sound and how grueling they are to read. When the words sing, though, you hear a heavenly choir.
11) If I met you for the first time, what would I like best about you?
This’s tough to answer. If pressed, I hope it would be for my ‘go for it’ attitude, though it’s hard not to immediately cotton on to someone who hands out chocolate fudge.
12) If you could pick a time to live, when would it be and why?
I’m blessed to live right here, right now. Though past epochs, like the early nineteenth century in Great Britain, are alluring, I couldn’t brook the shackles society adopted to hobble and diminish women.
I am free to work, compete and play alongside men and women, and though roadblocks and discrimination persist, I know I am more privileged than my female forerunners.
13) What is your favorite vacation place?
As you may already guess, Vancouver Island is truly super natural with a plethora of vacation outings within easy reach, but a smidgen of my heart will always beat on my mother’s birth place of Prince Edward Island, unfortunately located on the opposite side of Canada.
14) Do you have a bucket list? Can you tell us a few things in the bucket?
I have an ad hoc list of stuff to see and do, though I accomplished much in my youth. I backpacked round Europe and Great Britain reveling in many travel icons, like gaping at the spectacular beauty of the statue of David in Florence, unsuccessfully tracking down 221B Baker Street in London, sprinting along the beach at Biarritz, and dropping a peck on the Blarney Stone in Ireland. Other check-marked activities include growing Himalayan Blue Poppies, writing published mystery novels, and mushing with sled dogs in the Canadian Arctic.
Still lounging in the bucket are tramping through the Grand Canyon, spotting a cougar in the wild, piloting a long boat through English waterways, and playing with the Canadian Women’s Hockey team in the Olympics. Yeah, I know. Some are more reasonable than others.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Nicola. You can purchase her book at Amazon, most book stores and www.mantlerockpublishing.com. Thanks Nicola for a great interview.