1) Did being an only child inspire you to become a writer?

Absolutely. I learned how to entertain myself at a very early age using only my imagination. I may have been alone at times but I was never lonely. I was always surrounded by a constant parade of imaginary friends. I also "pretended" a lot with some of my best friends who shared my healthy imagination. And reading was a huge part of my life. I made so many other "friends" between the pages of my favorite books. I was also an Army brat so we picked up and moved every five years or so. As difficult as it was to leave my real friends, I was always able to take my books and my imaginary friends with me.

2) You were only 21 when you got your first novel published. How old were you when you wrote your very first book?

Actually I was 21 when I started my first book LADY OF CONQUEST and 26 when it was published. It took me a year and three months to write the book, another year and three months to sell it, then the publisher took 3 years to publish it. (I didn't know at the time that it should have only taken them a year.)

3) Why did you choose historical romance as your subject?

I love the passion of the historical era. You're allowed to be a little less politically correct in a historical. A hero can throw the heroine on the back of his horse and sweep her off to his castle. In a contemporary, if a hero stuffs the heroine in the back of his Corvette and sweeps her off to his condo, he's probably going to end up with a restraining order. I also love that I can switch between different time periods in historical romance instead of being stuck in the same time period. It's like having my own personal time machine!

4) Did anything in your youth work as a source of inspiration for your later books?

I was always a romantic. I first fell in love with Kurt Russell in THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES when I was six and so many of my fantasies, even at that age, revolved around a romantic relationship. I was always more interested in movies or TV shows if they had a romantic element. Two of my favorites were BEWITCHED and I DREAM OF JEANIE. I loved the combination of paranormal and romance.

5) How do you go about the research for your stories?

Since I've written in just about every time period, I buy a lot of books to keep at my elbow because I never know what specific details I'll need. I tend to return to my favorites over and over again like THE REGENCY COMPANION by Sharon Laudermilk and Teresa L. Hamlin and JANE AUSTEN'S TOWN AND COUNTRY STYLE by Susan Watkins. The internet is fabulous for looking up quick details but you have to make sure the site is accurate. Sometimes it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

6) How does it feel to be a best selling author?

Fabulous! If you're like me, you've dreamed about seeing your name on the cover of a book since you were a child and the thrill of that never really goes away. Achieving bestseller status just gives you a way to validate that dream. But I try to never forget that the people I meet and the readers I reach with my work are far more important than any number on a bestseller list.

7) What do you do about criticism?

To be honest, it stings. I don't think any of us could do what we do if we weren't a little sensitive. But if I go back and read some of the negative reviews for some of my absolute all-time favorite books and movies, then it helps to remind me that not everyone shares the same taste and that some people have no taste at all <g>.

8) In A KISS TO REMEMBER cats play an important role in the storyline. How fond are you of cats?

I adore cats! We had four of them for fourteen years. We're down to two right now, one from the first lot and one "transitional kitty." I got the little one, Buffy, when I was struggling with the deadline for ONE NIGHT OF SCANDAL. She came into my life just when I needed her and I don't know if I could have finished the book without her. She was a constant source of mischief and amusement and she brought so much desperately needed delight into my life.

9) Are you planning on writing more books around fairy tales, like CHARMING THE PRINCE, THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST and the above mentioned A KISS TO REMEMBER?

My first semi-comical Regency vampire historical is coming out in September AFTER MIDNIGHT and I'm currently working on a sequel to that one, but after that, who knows? I try to bring a sense of whimsy to all of my books and you can certainly get away with that when you're doing a fairy tale theme.

10) Besides reading and writing, what do you love to do?

I love to ride my bike, play my piano, and bake. If I weren't a writer, my fantasy occupation would be "master pastry chef" (But I hate to cook!).


© 2005 Nickie Fleming/Jansan