Welcome Nicki Scalise to the blog tour! Scalise lives in Colorado with her husband, Jon. They share their home with four dogs and a chinchilla. Prayer for the Dead is her first novel. You can connect with her through the following:
Current Book Title (s) Prayer for the Dead
Other works include: Paranormal Anthology with a Twist featuring the short-Little Tchochkes
Apocalypse: An Anthology by Authors and Readers featuring the short – Cheyenne Mountain
Stalkers Anthology featuring the short – Damaged People
Within the hour, the party was well underway. Everyone was drinking and having a good time. The gift table was filled to overflowing with shiny boxes and bags for the birthday girl. From the moment I arrived, Isaac centered all of his attention on me. But, oddly enough, Portia became very annoyed by it. Not in a jealous sort of way, but more as if she felt my attention was needed elsewhere. Isaac and I would be right in the middle of a discussion and she’d pull me away for some random, menial task or question. The first couple of times, I let it go, but after the third, I brought attention to it.
She apologized, claiming she hadn’t meant anything by it and hadn’t realized she’d been doing it. I resumed my conversation with Isaac, and she left us alone.
Isaac owned a really nice pool table and challenged me to a game of nine-ball. I was only mediocre at pool on my best day but, in my party dress, I downright sucked. The bodice left little room for breathing, let alone bending over. The upside was it made for a lot of laughs, which I had been in desperate need of for weeks.
I sank the cue ball for the tenth time and was getting ready to give Isaac a high five, when my attention was drawn to the door. My hand dropped, before making contact with his. My heart leapt into my throat as I watched my worst nightmare breeze into the room.
When I asked Scalise what draws her to the genre she writes within, she said that she likes the escape it provides. She said, “I love the idea of a relationship between two characters who are either otherworldly themselves or have otherworldly forces working against them.” She explained to get from start to finish when writing her novel, that Prayer for the Dead began as A NaNoWriMo novel, the structure and challenge of that really pushed her. After November was over, the driving force was mostly her fear of failure. She said, “Even if no one reads my book, there’s still the bragging right to say I completed writing one.”
Regarding research, Scalise said she did “Lots of Google searches, some of which, I’m sure, landed me on an FBI watch list or two. I also did research on different religious views of purgatory and the afterlife.”
She shared one of her characters with me also. She said, “Olivia Brennan is my main character. She’s a homebody and considers herself to be a geek. She over analyzes everything and carries a lot of weight on her shoulders. She tends to not make friends easily and those she does, she holds onto for dear life. Oh… and she’s dead.”
Authors that inspire her? She said this, “The author who inspired my love of writing was Anne Rice. I first read Interview with the Vampire in my junior year of high school. I carried that book with me to class, and as soon as I hit the chair, it was open with my nose in it. I loved the world she created and the poetry in her words. Even though I was in a class room, she managed to transport me away into Louis’ world. Although, I haven’t kept up with her later works, Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Chronicles will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Scalise started writing mostly in high school. Between inspiration from Anne Rice and a creative writing class, it became a love. At first, she wrote god awful, teen-angsty poetry, but that led to short stories. She explained that she continued to write until my mid-twenties but never submitted anything. However, around that time, she convinced herself that she wasn’t good enough and gave it up. She told me that she didn’t write anything more than a check or grocery list for almost a decade. She went onto say, “My passion for writing was only rekindled a year ago. I never realized how much I missed it and needed that outlet until I started again. Now I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s part of who I am. It’s a little depressing to think it took me so long to figure that out. Let that be a lesson to all the kiddies- never give up on your dreams, but if you do, then realize it’s never too late to come back and fulfill them.”
Her wish is to be a best selling author and to be “well-received” by her readers. She supports and fosters senior dogs through Izzy’s Place. She explained by saying, “Animals are a great love of mine. Anything I can do to give back to them, for the unconditional love they give me, is well worth my time and efforts.”
Nicki Scalise comes up with the ideas for her work mostly through conversations with friends and family. She said, “We tend to talk about a lot of random stuff and that will generally spark the ideas for my characters first. From there, I figure out what situations I want to put those characters into.” As for the most important thing she wants people to know about her and her work, she said, “While I may not be the best gauge for my writing talent, even if I’m no good, it fills a void within me, but also allows some of that darkness to seep out onto the page. The best compliment I could receive would be that a reader could relate to that darkness, or even better yet, enjoyed it.”