Nicki Scalise lives in Colorado with her husband, Jon. They share their home with four dogs and a chinchilla. When not busy dealing with the chaos her four-legged critters bring, she spends her time reading, re-watching Firefly, and gazing out the window at the scenic mountain landscape… or staring at the wall.
Website/blog link http://www.nickiscalise.com/
Smashwords purchase Link https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/362554
Barnes and Noble Purchase Link http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/prayer-for-the-dead-nichole-scalise/1117016860?ean=9781492741114
I try to write between two to four hours a day, sometimes more if it’s the weekend or my work schedule allows it. I can’t say that time is always spent productively, but I stay parked in front of my computer regardless. I could probably get a lot more accomplished, but I’m like everyone else and fall into that major time-suck which is Facebook. I can’t help it. I loves me some Grumpy Cat.
Tell me about one of your characters and how that character was born.
One of my characters was born from a Facebook conversation. In the midst of penning Prayer for the Dead, a discussion about character traits happened between myself and a few friends. We came up with a bunch of ridiculous physical attributes to give to a character, who wasn’t supposed to be anything more than an unnamed, background player. He began as a scummy guy in bar with a mullet, who wore L.A. Gear shoes and Sassoon jeans. I think we may have added in a Member’s Only Jacket too. Someone jokingly told me to do anything I wanted so long as he wasn’t a hipster. I thought it would be funny to make him just that. So instead of the pitiful and pathetic 80’s guy, I wrote him as a British, hipster grim reaper. What began as a way to extend the inside joke, turned into the character demanding page time and a name, thus Zane came into being.
At first, he was meant to be obnoxious and the typical player guy trying to pick up chicks. However, the more I wrote for him, the more enduring he became to me. The original plan was to have him make a brief appearance in one chapter and that was it. However, I became attached, and without giving away too many details, he wound up playing a pivotal role to the story. Now he’s a huge part of the second book in the series, remains one of my favorite characters to write, and I have plans to write his backstory as a spinoff novella at some point in the future.
Why do you write?
The simple answer would be because I enjoy it. I’ve always had an overactive imagination and it’s nice to get those wacked out little daydreams out of my head. My mind gets cluttered otherwise and it’s distracting.
What struggles have you had in publishing?
The first struggle has been trying to connect with readers. With so many amazing books and authors out there, it’s a challenge to be found. Facebook used to be the place to do it, but they are making that increasingly difficult. As someone who isn’t naturally outgoing and constantly second guessing every post she makes, social media is a tough path to navigate.
The second struggle, but probably the biggest, is overcoming the “stigma” of being an indie author. In the six short months since the release of my novel, I’ve already faced negative backlash for being a self-published author. I dedicated every waking moment and then some, for almost a year, penning my first novel. Friends and family were alienated, sleep was lost, tears of frustration were shed, and more times than I could count, the towel was almost thrown in because I doubted my abilities as a writer. To have someone say that my work isn’t legitimate is frustrating and hurtful. I chose to be an indie author because I’m a control freak. If I fail, I’ll have no one to blame but myself, however, it’s not helpful to have people rooting for it to happen either.
What is the biggest reward you’ve gotten as a published author (i.e., personal satisfaction, monetary gain, networking)?
Writing was a dream I allowed to wither until it almost died. To see my title appear on Amazon and to hold my paperback was so gratifying. There were many days I wanted to throw the towel in, but soldiered on and followed the project through until the end. Now that novel is one of my proudest achievements.