1. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I read a lot of romance after college. You might say that I fell in love with the genre; so much so that eventually I found myself wanting to tell my own stories.

2. Did it take you long to get published, or were you one of the lucky ones?

It took me six long years to get published. Not exactly an overnight success! But I think that writing fiction is a self-taught craft. Every writer has to teach herself how to get the story in her head down on paper in such a way that others will want to read it. That process takes a certain amount of trial and error. In my case it took a LOT of trial and error!

3. How do you handle criticism?

I ignore it. There is no point in paying attention to reviews or criticism. That way lies madness for a writer! The books that some readers love; others detest. My Lavinia and Tobias stories (SLIGHTLY SHADY, DON’T LOOK BACK and LATE FOR THE WEDDING) are perfect examples. For every email that I received from a fan urging me to write more books in that series, I got one from another reader informing me that she disliked the books so much that she refused to read another Amanda Quick!
This is the way it has been my entire career. I learned a long time ago that I cannot please everyone, so I write first and foremost, to please myself.

4. You write under different pseudonyms in different genres. Why the need to change your name?

I use different names to signal to readers what type of story to expect when they pick up one of my books. You see, many readers prefer romances set against certain type of settings. They don’t want to read stories set against another backdrop.
For instance, many of my readers will only read me only as Amanda Quick. Others won’t touch the historicals and will only read my Jayne Ann Krentz books. Some only want Jayne Castle stories. And so it goes. This way they always know what they’re going to get.

5. Some people are not very fond of the Tobias and Lavinia series and they want to know why you wrote it, and not do what you’re best at: write those incredibly funny and very good historical romances?

Well, that goes to illustrate the point I made earlier. I happened to think that the Lavinia and Tobias books were among the funniest and wittiest that I had ever done! I loved writing about it and I’m now receiving a lot of email from fans who are really upset because it has ended.
As I said, I learned long ago that I can’t please everyone, so there’s no point in worrying about it. I simply tell the story I want to tell and hope that there will be some people who will enjoy it.

6. Others want to know if you as a writer can exercise pressure on the publishers to have your work translated into Dutch? Only ten of your titles are available in Dutch right now.

No, unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do to force a Dutch publisher to buy the rights to my books and translate them. The interest must come first from a publisher in your country. My U.S. publisher does not publish in other languages.

7. When you get into contact with your readers, do you get different reactions according to the genre?

Yes. Everyone has different tastes in reading. Every reader brings something different to a story and every reader takes something different away.

8. Where did you get the idea of introducing martial arts into your books?

I have been interested in martial arts since I was in high school. I think they add an exotic touch to a hero.

9. Do you work full-time as a writer?

Yes, I used to be a librarian and did my writing on the side at nights and weekends. But after I started making enough money from my books to support myself, I quit my library job and started writing full time.

10. What do you like to read? Who are your favourite authors?

I enjoy Elizabeth Lowell, Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Stella Cameron, Linda Howard, Angela Knight … I could go on and on. My favourite genre is romantic suspense. I also like a dash of the paranormal.

© 2005 Nickie Fleming/Jansan