Sunday, July 6, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Nike Chillemi

Please welcome Nike Chillemi to Sleuths and Suspects. In fact, while you're here, why don't you wish her a happy birthday and come up with a unique comment to be entered for a chance to win a Kindle copy of Harmful Intent.

Harmful Intent

Nike Chillemi

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?

Author Bio:
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:, on Amazon:; on Facebook:

Purchase Harmful Intent on Amazon

To be entered into the drawing for a Kindle copy of Harmful Intent:
  1. Leave a comment
  2. Leave your email address - you may spell it out, if you'd like.
The winner will be announced on July 12th. Good Luck!


  1. I hope you wore a pink tiara on your birthday, whichever 39th celebration this was!

    1. Lisa, Actually, I think my husband would've beaned me with it had I tried that. I'll reserve the pink tiara for the ladies of the NE ACFW Zone Group.

  2. Pardon me, but this is the third time I've tried posting here -- hope this page isn't mad at me.

    Marcy, excellent interview! You hit a home run on your debut contribution here.

    Nike, Harmful Intent sounds like a great book. I think I critiqued one of your other stories a couple of years ago on ACFW's critique blog. Pardon me for not entering, but between my role as a contributor and the fact that I'm a dinosaur who says "Eeee!" when I see E-books, I'll pass.

    As far as birthdays. my view is you're only as old as you act. In that case, I'll be a teenager any day now.

  3. Lisa, I love the idea of a pink tiara! So cute. Jeff, thank you for the kind comments!

  4. Thirty-nine, for you, no mystery
    Your age, not your beauty, stalled
    When characters choose to go rogue
    No sheriff must be called

    Whether you are in the city
    Or somewhere way out west
    When you have some time to kill
    A good book is the BEST!

    Happy Birthday!

    1. Cenlydia, Great little poem. Enjoyed it.

    2. Cenlydia3 could you send your email addy to marcy (at) marcydyer (dot) com? As the winner, we'll need it to get your book to you!

  5. Hiya, Nike, congrats on the birthday and the success of a great book. It might not be historical in era, but it has one of those great pulpy noir, but positive, feels that you're so good it.

    1. Lisa, You hit it on the head. That's what I'm trying for...a pulpy noir feel that's still positive.

  6. I used to think 30 was old. Now that I'm more than twice that, I wish I were 30 again! Happy #39!

    1. Morgan, I remember thinking 30 was old. Was I out of my mind?

  7. A great book by a great friend and author. You go, Nike! Hugs!

  8. Love those 39th birthdays and may this year be the best ever! Oh how wonderfully frustrating it is when characters go rogue - been trying to kill off one of mine for nearly 6 months-he just won't die!

    1. Susan, Interesting, you have a character who won't die. That's intriguing.

  9. By the bye - good time to plug our Crime Writers Panel on Google+

  10. Cenlydia3 is the winner! Congrats! Please send your email address so we can get the book to you!