Nike, your newest novels, The Veronica (Ronnie) Ingles and Dawson Hughes Series, is a departure from your historical suspense novels. How hard was it to transition from Sanctuary Point to modern-day Texas and New York?
HARMFUL INTENT is set in both Texas and New York, but the remaining novels in the series will be set in many different locations. It wasn't hard at all to transition from writing historical novels. In fact, I didn't even know I was writing a contemporary novel. It started with a writing prompt which was supposed to grow into a short story. Then the characters went rogue on me and it morphed into a novella, then a full-fledged novel. The thing that took the most time was research. Then again, I always do lots of research and actually like researching. I had to research west Texas customs, culture, and topography for HARMFUL INTENT. I didn't think of that as difficult, simply as part of writing a novel.
Don't you just love it when characters develop minds of their own? Ronnie and Dawson are fairly young. How did you research the younger generation, and how did you handle this in your books?
I haven't given them specific ages, but to have achieved a certain level in their careers, I imagined Ronnie in her mid-to-late twenties, and Dawson Hughes in his early-to-mid thirties. Neither of them follow the crowd, so I didn't have to immerse myself in the culture of that generation, but I did have to figure out what music they listen to, and so forth. Dawson likes country music, and Ronnie has no taste for that, to put it mildly. Ronnie listens to soft jazz. My birthday is the first week in July, and I'm not in my late-twenties. There were times I caught myself having Ronnie or Dawson use an expression too old for them and I had to change to something more contemporary. Since I'm going to be thirty-nine, yet again, for my birthday, I'm going to give away a Kindle copy of HARMFUL INTENT to the person with the most interesting and exuberant comment.
Ahem…as to the birthday giveaway, since I can't (won't) tell you how many times I've been thirty-nine, we can also include inventive in the criteria.
Ahh, the 39th birthday...those are fun no matter how many times we have one! I can't wait to read some of the great comments. How do you juggle the promotional aspect of writing with the actual task of writing?
I become frantic and lose my mind. ~ Seriously, it can be daunting, as you well know. The most difficult thing is knowing what is effective. I've heard that rolling postings to Facebook groups is effective. Then I hear that's considered spam. So, there's a lot of conflicting advice out there. There are many groups that specify you can post one promo per day. So, on those groups, that's not spam. I have to use my best judgment, and I've made mistakes. Certain marketing strategies can be evaluated. I can look at my blog's stats and can see where traffic is coming from. I think it would be safe to say book sales are probably coming from the same source(s). HARMFUL INTENT rose into the top 100 sellers in Amazon's mystery > private investigator category. I was pleased because this is a pretty big category with authors such as Lee Child, James Patterson, and Stuart Woods.
Wow! Congratulations on now being one of Amazon's Best Selling Authors. Any words of advice for novice writers?
Take advantage of online writing courses. Get into a serious critique group with authors who are already published or working toward that end. And most important of all, read the top authors in your genre. Don't copy them, rather study them.
Excellent advice. Do you set a writing schedule for yourself? What challenges do you face in keeping to a writing schedule?
Actually, I don't have a writing schedule. I do push myself to write but I'm seat of the pants in that area. I find that family and life events get in the way of my writing. If I've skipped a few days, I'll make myself sit down, and I'll get into a writing marathon. On the other hand, if I'm writing at a goodly, but sane pace, I won't try to fix what ain't broken.
Thank you so much for sharing a little about your writing processes with us on Sleuths and Suspects. Where can readers buy Harmful Intent?
Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She is a member of Christian Indie Novelists (CHIN),American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers.She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction.
She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. She writes monthly book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine.
Her recent contemporary detective story HARMFUL INTENT has garnered acclaim and has been called: sassy, witty, gritty, charming, and yummy.
Her historical suspense Sanctuary Point series brought on a crime wave that swept the south shore of Long Island during the 1940s (BURNING HEARTS, GOODBYE NOEL, PERILOUS SHADOWS, DARKEST HOUR) won acclaim and awards.
Nike may be found at her website: http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/, on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nike-Chillemi/e/B0050ZD44O#; on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/109581882468482/?ref=br_tf
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The winner will be announced on July 12th. Good Luck!