For this month’s featured Q&A session we are joined by Nicola Hebron. She is an indie author who, like many, I connected with through World Indie Warriors. We even managed to meet in person, before the zombie apocalypse, at an event held at Ingram Sparks’ print facility in Milton Keynes. Today we are discussing Nicola’s Wiccan Romance series, the first of which I have already reviewed and you can read here.
Writing has been calling to me for years. I often worked on stories in my spare time since my school days, where I frequently spent my lunch hour sitting in the library scribbling away. The initial premise for my current series came to me as an idea when I was supposed to be writing a History coursework during a snow week.
As a child, I loved reading fantasy books and the Harry Potter novels were my favourite. I remember being so excited when each novel was published to get a copy on the day.
I am an avid reader and have a vast collection of books, whilst my bookshelves are filled with thrillers and romance novels now. This was not always the case. I still have all my Harry Potter, Roald Dahl and C S Lewis books in a box in the attic.
Despite my love of writing, I initially followed another career path, heading to the University of Huddersfield to study law. This was inspired by watching Legally Blonde as a kid and deciding to be like Elle Woods. Before deciding to pursue writing full time, I worked in a couple of different law firms as a paralegal and worked as a fraud analyst at a bank.
Getting to Know You
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Originally, I wanted to get a publishing deal but when I started researching the best way to get a publisher; I stumbled across self-publishing. When I realized I would get full control of my novel, no one can tell me to change bits because it won’t sell, I knew self-publishing was for me. I’m proud of my novels and I wouldn’t want to change the story as it was what I needed to tell.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I’m not writing you can usually find me watching T.V., I love crime dramas — Criminal Minds is my favourite show and I’m currently watching it from start to finish. I also love watching the England cricket team and I am known to get up at silly o’clock to watch them play.
I’m an avid reader — my favourite genre is romantic suspense — I love a good mystery that needs solving an watching characters fall in love. My favourite author is Nora Roberts and over the last 15 years, I have collected all of her books, including some that were written in the early 80s and are now out of circulation.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love it when the story comes together. I always have thousands of ideas running through my head and when I actually get them on the page and I can see the book coming together, that’s the bit I love the most.
The Writing Process
What is your writing process?
I’m a planner, I can’t write without a plan as I lose my train of thought and get distracted or blocked, so I need a detailed plan to follow. My plan includes character profiles and the basics for each chapter. I also do a lot of research before I write, to make my books as realistic as possible. Once I have my plan and research, then I will simply sit in front of my desk and write.
How do you get inspired to write?
This is a really hard question. I often get ideas in my head and have to write them down — they come from everywhere so no one thing particularly inspires me — it’s more like everything inspires me and I pick the ideas I like best and make them into a story. One thing that I have found inspiring is watching England Cricket, I nearly always get an idea while I’m watching the cricket and I do a lot of my work while it’s on in the background.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
I don’t have much advice for aspiring writers other than write the book you want to read and to keep going, no matter what you do keep writing.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Three Fates by Nora Roberts: This was the first adult book I read, I found it at a family gathering and remember just getting lost in the story. The characters were so vivid I remember picturing them so clearly in my head and the storyline was gripping, I couldn’t put it down. I’ve read it a few times since and still get drawn in. My favourite characters change occasionally, but I will always love this book.
The Reef by Nora Roberts
Have You Seen Her by Karen Rose
On The Line by Brittney Sahin: I’m not normally a big fan of books written in the first person, but there is something about this book that draws you in from the first moment. The characters are so real and complex; you feel like you are part of the story. I get so emotional while reading this book, there are moments when I actually put it down because I get angry.
Sudden Death by Allison Brennan
How do you discover the books you read?
Originally, I got book recommendations from my mum and aunt as they also love romantic suspense, but now I get recommendations from Fantastic Fiction, Goodreads and a couple of Facebook groups I’m part of.
What books are on your reading list this year?
There are so many books on my book list this year, the highlights include Legacy by Nora Roberts, Chasing the Storm by Brittney Sahin (this is the final book of her fantastic Stealth Ops series), The Sentinels: Saving Lives by Cassidy Reyne and Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan.
Wiccan Romances – Amelia’s Story
Amelia, Ben, Charlie and Sam Taylor have just learnt that they have inherited magic powers from their dad. Join them as their powers grow and they battle a long-term family enemy, all while navigating their school and love lives.
In book 1, we follow Amelia as she adapts to her powers of telekinesis and control over water alongside her new relationship with her brothers’ friend and long-time crush Aidan.
Will their relationship withstand the obstacles Lia’s powers cause or will she end up with London-based suitor Edward who claims it destined them to be together because of an ancient family promise?Nicola Hebron
What inspired you to write Wiccan Romances – Amelia’s Story?
The original idea came to me while I was reading a supernatural book about a witch. I was supposed to be writing my History coursework so was procrastinating in the best way, and the idea just hit me. It was partly inspired by the Wizards of Waverly Place and Charmed, which were two shows I was hooked on at the time. However, life intervened and the couple of thousand words I had written got ignored for years until a coworker suggested writing as a method of controlling my anxiety. It took a little while, but I pulled up the old document which was amazingly still around and read through it. Only the names survived, but I used the idea to create Amelia’s Story and I liked the family so much I decided it couldn’t be a standalone book, which is how the Wiccan Romances series came into being.
Is there going to be a follow up to Wiccan Romances – Amelia’s Story?
Yes, Wiccan Romances is a four-book series, the second book Sam’s Story is available to buy now and Charlie and Ben’s Story will be out soon.