1. Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer?

Not at all. I played with writing stories and poetry when I was a teen, but didn’t think of it as something I might do as a career. As the years went by I began to think I “ought to write a book” and I began writing little scenes and stories just for fun.
Once it bit, though, it bit hard. My friend went on to get her masters in social work; I couldn’t stop writing.

2. How long did it take you to write the novel “The Loner and the Lady”?

I don’t remember, to tell the truth. These days a short contemporary takes three or four months.

3. Was that your first book, or did you write more before that? I know lots of authors who finished several manuscripts before actually selling one.

Oh, my first sale was definitely not my first book. I’d written five others – two science fiction, a peculiar hybrid between a long contemporary and a mainstream novel, and a historical romance.

4. Do you employ an agent? If so, can you explain why this is important?

I have an agent, yes. She’s been invaluable. She helps with career planning, editor nagging (when an approval or contract is late), and industry contacts & contracts. She arranged the novella deal that grew into my first single title, for example.

5. What would your general advice to beginning authors?

I’d say the most important thing is to write, write, write.

6. How are the reactions to your books? Do you sometimes get nasty ones?

I adore hearing from readers. Sometimes the letters are touching; many of the ones I received about my cancer survivor heroine (MIDNIGHT CHOICES) moved me deeply. This year most of my mail has been about the characters introduced in “Only human”, the novella in LOVER BEWARE which grew into my first single title. Readers wanted to know if they could get more about Lily & Rule. I was delighted to be able to tell them yes, they could, last October in TEMPTING DANGER.
I only remember one really negative letter. A woman was appalled that the hero of one of my books had long hair, which she seemed to think contributed to the moral decline in our country.

7. Your books are translated in twelve languages, I read at your website. Are they available in Dutch?

Several of them have been translated into Dutch.

8. Do you as an author have a say in where the books are going to be published?

Harlequin/Silhouette has an incredible foreign distribution system, but authors don’t know which countries will publish our books until after the fact.

9. You have travelled a lot. What is your favourite country?

Aside from the U.S., you mean? I’m madly in love with England.

10. Do you have any favourite authors of your own?

Too many to list them all <g> I’ll mention a few I’ve read quite recently: Linda Howard, Barbara Hambly, Eileen Dreyer, Jennifer Cruisie, and Nora in her J.D. Robb persona.

© 2005 Nickie Fleming/Jansan