Theresa, thank you so much for having me today! I really enjoyed answering your questions!
What first got you interested in writing? What has kept you doing it?
Twin brain is what got me interested in writing. Before the twins, I didn’t have one iota of interest in writing. I couldn’t even keep a diary when I was a kid. Heck, I even tried to keep a pregnancy journal and failed. I’ve ALWAYS been a reader, never the writer. I devoured books. After the twins were born, I quickly became acquainted with an exhaustion I didn’t know was possible and with that exhaustion came the inability to get sucked into a book. I found myself picking apart books that just a few months before I wouldn’t have. My own ideas started to sprout. One day I just started writing and I was able to focus on something other than babies. I’d worked since I was 16, so becoming a stay-at-home-mom to two infants was a huge adjustment and I struggled with it. Writing became a way for me exercise my mind. Something for me. Kept me sane J
What kept me doing it? I fell in love. It’s really that simple. At first it was a challenge. Something to flex the mind muscles when the twins were napping. I didn’t know the first thing about writing fiction, so I had to start from the ground up. The more I researched, learned, the more it became a part of me. Nine years later, it’s hard to believe I haven’t been doing this my entire life. I can’t imagine not writing. I’m absolutely in love with writing.
Do you have the support of your family and friends? Has that support always been there, or has it changed since being published?
Very much so. My dad is one of my biggest supporters. Considering my books tend to have half naked men on the cover and some of the excerpts I share on social media would make another dad cringe, he doesn’t hesitate to like every dang one of them and tells anyone who will listen about his daughter’s books. In fact, he’s sold a few for me. My mom is the exact same way. Just so you understand how big of a deal this is: this is a man who grounded me for reading romance novels when I was a teen and a woman who covers the beer in her cart with other items in case she bumps into someone she knows at the grocery store. So their unwavering support means the world to me. The fact they are open about it with anyone they talk to gives them the Best-Parents-Ever award. J
The support has always been there. It has changed since I’ve become published, of course. It has to, because it’s no longer a dream, but a reality. But even before I was published, they supported me. My family believes in chasing dreams. And there is nothing you can’t do IF you really want to do it and you’re willing to work hard for it. When they saw I was dead serious about writing, the support was given freely. No questions asked. Same with my friends. As my kids have gotten older and realize what I do and how hard I work, their support is there as well, which you have no idea how thankful I am for that.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Strangest habit? Is there anything you have to do before you start writing?
LOL! Oh wow. I’m really about to reveal my freak side. I stopped writing in public because of this. Thankfully, my roommates weren’t fazed by it since I’m an animated person by nature. I use my hands to talk. *soft laugh* Well, I also do this when I write. I’m not aware of it. I’m normally deep in the scene I’m writing and I’m oblivious to my surroundings. But I’ll start to feel the emotions inside me, like fury for instance. And…let’s say my heroine slashes her hand through the air…yeah, I’ll slash mine through the air as well. Out of nowhere. Just typing away. And I’ll slash my hand through the air. Weird, right? I’ve also been known to run the back of my fingers down the side of my face because I’m trying to describe the feeling. And I mutter at my laptop. Do you see why I no longer write in public?
Coffee. I have to have coffee beside me to write. This is why I mostly write in the mornings.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Probably the same things they’ve heard over and over again. Keep at it. But I will add: Do what you need to do to perfect the mechanics of writing. Don’t let anyone tell you what you have to do to be a writer. There isn’t one way to learn to write. When I first started writing, I was told by multiple authors I had to read books on writing. It was the only way. So I went out, bought a crap-ton of books and read ONE. I didn’t retain one sentence. Why? Because I don’t learn that way. Never have. If it is not fiction, I do not retain it. I learn by doing. Having critique partners and taking workshops was better for me than hours of reading how-to books. So there is more than one way.
Also, rejections suck. Hard-core. And there’s no getting around them. If you want to be a writer, get used to them. It comes with the territory. Even after you’re published, you’re still going to get rejected. So cry, throw something, have temper tantrum, drink yourself into an oblivion…whatever. BUT the next morning, wake up, inhale deeply, release it slowly and get back to work.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
This past year. I’m not complaining, so please don’t take it as that. This year has been incredible and challenging at the same time. By December 31st, I will have put out five books this year, plus working an outside job, plus being a single mom. It’s been rough. There’s been no balance between working and my family life. I’ve worked…a lot. I am blessed with two amazing children who understand their mom is doing this for them and our future. So 2013 was about me laying the foundation for us to build on. 2014 will be about balancing.
Has a reader ever complimented you on your writing? What was the best thing you ever heard, and who told it to you?
Yes, thankfully this has happened on all my books. J As for the best…well, those would have come from Extreme Love. I can’t pinpoint just one. Extreme Love was a very personal story for me. I shared a very personal side of myself in Caitlyn. After it released, I started receiving letters from readers thanking me for writing a heroine like Caitlyn. And then they shared their stories…with me. It was very emotional for me. It’s still very emotional for me. It’s hard to even explain how it feels to put yourself out there like I did and have people reach back to you. To open up and share their own stories with you. It’s something I will never forget and I’ve cried quite a lot while reading these amazing letters from these amazing women.
What are you working on now? Could you give us a little taste?
I’m working on the third book of the A Love to the Extreme series, WINNING LOVE. This is Mac “The Snake” Hannon’s story. We’re going out of Atlanta, Georgia and moving to Kansas with this one. And it is awesome. I can’t wait to share this one with everyone. Gayle is exactly what Mac needs to bring him out of the protective shell he’s erected around himself.
Here’s a little taste, though this is still first draft, so I can’t make any promises this will make it in the final draft J
“Ah-ha! I’ve got you.”
A figure jumped from around the corner of the house and a cold blast of water hit Mac in the middle of the chest, soaking his shirt to his skin. Stunned, he stared at the woman, arms splayed wide at his side before he tugged the drenched material away from his body.
Lance burst into laughter.
The woman didn’t miss beat. Turning slowly in a circle, she kept the water gun close to her face as if she was peering through a scope. “Did you see that, missy? I just took out a civilian. You will pay for that!”
Tell us about your latest book.
Ah, Britton. You know, I’m not supposed to have favorites, and when it comes down to The Awakening series I adore both Aidan and Liam, but Britton…Britton stole my heart. I didn’t expect that. I always thought it was Liam. Nope, it’s Britton.
Over four years ago, Britton broke a sacred shifter law and was stripped of his position as head of SPAC (Shifter Protection and Concealment) and sentenced to twenty years as a human. When he met his replacement, Val Calhoun, Britton hated her on sight. Considering Britton has a huge respect for all women and goes out of his way to make any woman he’s around feel beautiful, this was a disconcerting turn of events. But he chalked it up to resentment over being punished for something he shouldn’t have been punished for. Four years later, his feelings are the same, and though he doesn’t understand them, he knows he is physically revolted by Val…literally.
After dealing with Britton’s crap for years, Val has learned how to shut him down with only a few words. What she hates the most is the fact he’s so dang yummy. Either way, his foul mouth keeps the unwanted attraction she has for the man in check. That is until she fails at a case that puts the entire shifter community at risk and the council is forced to lift Britton’s sentence and the two of them are sent off to a tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere together…and alone. As Britton’s shifter abilities start to return, he actually starts becoming a decent human being to her and she sees the man all the women drool over. Then the struggle really begins.
How can people find out more about you?
I am on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/abbynilesauthor
Website: www.abbynilesauthor.com (And I have a really killer giveaway going on right now for FIGHTING LOVE, so stop on by http://www.abbynilesauthor.com/2013/11/tell-me-your-fighting-love-story100-gc.html and enter.)
Abby is giving away a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card. Winner’s choice.
Release Date: 11/25
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Tagline: There’s a thin line between love and hate…
“I would lick that man up one side and down the other.”
Half-shifter and lead SPAC agent, Val Calhoun, has listened to women gush over the Don Juan of the precinct for the last four years. Yeah, Detective Britton Townsend is hot and has stunning blue eyes, but that foul mouth he saves only for her? What a waste of good looks. And no way does Val want that mouth anywhere near hers.
When the shifter community is threatened, Val is assigned to the case…and fails. So the High Council turns to the rogue shifter they’d sentenced to twenty years as a human–that same obnoxiously sexy Detective Townsend. And sends the two arch-enemies deep into the North Carolina Mountains-—together, and alone.
Being stuck in a tiny honeymoon cabin with Miss Castration and only one bed is definitely not Britton’s idea of a good time. But the High Council doesn’t take no for an answer. After his shifter abilities are restored, Brit is once again susceptible to the dreaded, irreversible bonding instinct, the Drall. Thankfully, all he’s ever felt for Val is intense loathing, no reason to worry. Right? All he has to do is solve this case pronto, and he can go back to his footloose Casanova ways. That is, if they don’t kill each other first. Or worse…fall in love.
About the Author:
Ever since Abby Niles picked up her first Sweet Valley High book in sixth grade and fell in love with Elizabeth and Todd, she’s been hooked on romance. By the time she reached high school, she was devouring meatier romances with pirates, cowboys and knights. She never imagined that those years of reading would one day lead to her becoming a published author.
In her late twenties, after having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started doodling stories to keep her sanity. Next thing she knew, she was actually submitting to publishing houses. And was immediately rejected. That didn’t stop her though. She found some kickass critique partners, honed her craft, and continued submitting.
And eventually sold.
Today, she juggles work, being a single mom, and writing. It’s not always easy, but hey, who said life was easy?
Abby is the author of the contemporary MMA romance, Extreme Love, the first book in her Love to the Extreme series. Fighting Love is scheduled to release in December of 2013 and Winning Love isscheduled for 2014. She is also the author of the dark paranormal romance series The Awakening: Aidanand the The Awakening: Liam. The Awakening: Britton is scheduled to release in November 2013.Both series are with Entangled Publishing. She also has a geeky romantic comedy, Defying Convention, with Carina Press.