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Nicola Cornick Intervewed By celticreign

CSM: Please help me welcome Harlequin Historical Romance Author Nicola Cornick to Romantic Crush Junkies. Nicola, thank you so much for stopping by. I know my readers and I are so psyched you’re here.

NC: Thank you very much for inviting me! It’s a real pleasure to be here.

CSM: Tell us more about yourself. Readers love learning new and interesting things about an author, and this would give you a chance to make them feel close.

NC: Well, I’ve been married for 21 years to a man who can still surprise me and make me laugh, I have a cat and a dog and I live in the English countryside in a cottage that is 250 years old. When I’m not writing I work as a historian in a stately home. My other interests are travelling, wildlife, and training guide dog puppies!

CSM: If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?

NC: I would take my dog for a long walk on the hills. I love being out in the fresh air. It gives me a chance to think.

CSM: What kind of books do you love to read? Why?

NC: I love to read all sorts of things. I only read romance when I’m in between books. When I’m writing I tend to read crime and thrillers, though I don’t like anything too violent and bloodthirsty. Contemporary and historical fiction, and biography and historical non-fiction are also my reading of choice.

CSM: What type of music do you relax to?

NC: Beethoven, Tchaikovsky… Anything classical but romantic!

CSM: Besides being a total book junkie I’m also a music junkie. When I’m writing I have a sound track playing either in my mind or in my cd player. What’s your sound track? What type of music is on it?

NC: I was disappointed to discover that I can’t have music playing when I’m writing – I have to work in silence. But I do have a theme song for each book I write and I created a whole playlist for the Brides of Fortune Trilogy. Amongst other songs it featured Real Wild Child by Iggy Pop, Sunday Girl by Blondie and Believe by Cher.

CSM: What is your favorite stress reliever?

NC: A massage.

CSM: What is your favorite food?

NC: Chocolate éclairs.

CSM: Describe yourself in one word?

NC: Loyal.

CSM: What’s your biggest regret in life?

NC: I try to not dwell on regrets too much. As is the case for many people, there have been several bad things that have happened in my life but they have all contributed to make me the person I am. My biggest regret is probably the fact that I can’t have children. It’s been very difficult to come to terms with that. I feel as though I have missed out on something very precious.

CSM: What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

NC: Driving across Africa or dog sledding in the Arctic are probably the most physically adventurous. Otherwise, giving up a secure day job to become a full time writer!

CSM: How would readers find out more about you?

NC: Well, they can email me at [email protected] if they would like to. I love hearing from readers and chatting with them. There’s lots of stuff on my website and my blog, or at the Word Wenches Blog or on Facebook!

CSM: When did you write your first book?

NC: I started it when I was eighteen.

CSM: How long did it take you to write it?

NC: It took twelve years! Then there were another three years before it was published. I’m no overnight success!

CSM: Did you encounter any obstacles in writing?

NC: I did and I still do. Full time work, family commitments, life in general can often get in the way. Sometimes the writing flows and at other times it feels as though I have to pull every word out of treacle. Each book feels different to write and although I have more experience now, sometimes I forget even the most basic things that I have learned and make lots of mistakes.

CSM: What do you think about editing?

NC: I’m all for it. I work with a wonderful editor and her comments, observations and suggestions always improve my manuscript. I’d be lost without her.

CSM: Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books?

NC: The book I’m revising at the moment is a classic example. When I sent it in to my editor I thought the first part of it was good but I knew that there was something wrong with the middle. The problem is that when I get to the end of a book I’m usually too close to it – and too tired! - to see all the faults and I need an objective view. My editor put her finger on the fact that the pacing slowed down half way through because the hero and heroine backed away from one another. Once she had pointed it out to me I was able to keep them together, up the conflict and keep the tension going in the pacing.

CSM: Where and when do you write?

NC: I try to write every day even if I’m not feeling particularly inspired or if I have other things clamouring for my attention. I start early in the morning and carry on until lunchtime. After lunch I take the dog out for a long walk and then I do other writing-related business like answering emails or updating my website. I try not to write in the evening because if I do then the story is still buzzing through my head at bedtime and I probably won’t sleep. Unfortunately if I’m on a roll with my writing I just can’t stop and I write all the hours there are – and barely sleep at all and only then with exhaustion!

I work in my study, which is upstairs in our cottage and has a fabulous view out across the fields and hills. It’s both inspiring and distracting.

CSM: What books would you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot structuring, dialogue, etc?

NC: First of all I’d suggest to aspiring authors that they study the type of books they would like to write and analyse them to see what it is that appeals to them about the characters, background, dialogue etc. If they are interested in writing romance then I recommend Kate Walker’s fabulous 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance. I’ve also found Write Away by Elizabeth George to be very useful. I love reading biographies of authors because they often contain useful tips. Margaret Forster’s biography of Daphne Du Maurier is very interesting as is The Private World of Georgette Heyer by Jane Aiken Hodge.

CSM: What is your must-have book for writing?

NC: On Writing by Stephen King.

CSM: What is your advice for aspiring writers?

NC: Never give up. Believe in yourself.

CSM: What genre(s) do you write?

NC: I write Regency Historicals for HQN Books at the moment. In the past I’ve also written historical romance for Mills & Boon/Harlequin Historicals including books set during the English Civil War and also the Edwardian period. I’d like to write more historicals set in other eras when I get the chance.

CSM: Among those that you’ve written, which is your favorite book and why?

NC: That’s a tough choice! I love my current book, The Undoing of a Lady because I identify so strongly with the heroine, Lizzie Scarlet. I’m not in the least bit like her (or vice versa) but I drew very heavily on my own background and experience when I was writing her story and so it really resonates with me. Plus she is a totally outrageous girl and I admire that!

CSM: Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook in case you forget?

NC: I get my ideas from all sorts of places. Often when I’m researching a book I’ll discover snippets of historical information that give me ideas for other stories. I love visiting historic houses, castles, costume collections, museums… Anywhere and everywhere can generate ideas for me. Even though I write historical romance I get a lot of inspiration from current magazines and newspaper stories, from conversations with my friends and family and even from things that I overhear. I think just about everything is grist to a writer’s mill!

CSM: Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why?

NC: I never base any of my characters on real people although quite often my characters will possess certain traits that I’ve observed in people I know. My heroes often possess the qualities of honour and integrity that I admire in my husband but none of them are actually modelled on him.

CSM: Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you?

NC: Probably Mr Churchward, the conscientious lawyer who features in almost every story!

CSM: Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why?

NC: Again it’s very difficult to choose! I love writing rake heroes and of those I think Miles Vickery in The Scandals of an Innocent was the strongest and sexiest of all but Ben Hawksmoor in Lord of Scandal deserves an honourable mention for being so bad and dangerous to know. Of my heroines, I’ve already mentioned that I love Lizzie Scarlet and I think that Alice Lister in The Scandals of an Innocent is very lovable too. She’s the sort of person you would want to be your best friend!

CSM: Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters wanted to go in another direction. What did you do in such a situation?

NC: That happens to me quite a lot. As the story develops and I get to know my characters, they often set off on a course I hadn’t intended. I’m a very instinctive writer and not much of a planner so if this happens I tend to go with it. If it feels right my instinct tells me to follow the characters and not try to force them to change course.

CSM: Tell us more about your current release by HQN “The Undoing of a Lady”.

NC: “The Undoing of a Lady” is the third book in my Brides of Fortune trilogy set in the Regency village of Fortune’s Folly. As I’ve mentioned, it features one of my most unconventional heroines, Lizzie Scarlet. I absolutely adore Lizzie because she is both outrageous and vulnerable. In part her bad behaviour springs from the fact that she is unhappy but she also acts unconventionally because she has the wealth and freedom to do as she pleases so in that she is spoilt. Lizzie has a lot of growing up to do.

Lizzie and Nat Waterhouse are childhood friends and she has always taken Nat’s presence and support for granted until he tells her he is about to marry. Basically her possessiveness can’t take it - she’s always seen Nat as her property – and so she kidnaps him on the night before his wedding to prevent him from going through with it. Then their latent attraction flares into life and they seduce each other and are obliged to marry to save Lizzie from scandal. The book looks at how they transform a wild attraction and a rather difficult friendship into a strong and lasting marriage.

CSM: Any new projects, works in progress?

NC: I’m currently finishing the revisions on my next book, which is a Regency historical set in London and the Arctic! I like writing different settings and this was great fun in terms of research. It’s the first book in a new series coming out from HQN next summer. In the meantime I have a new short story, The Elopement, in an anthology called Loves Me, Loves Me not, which is out next month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

CSM: I want to take this time to thank you Nicola for stopping by and sharing with my readers and myself a little bit about yourself. This sure has been loads of fun. I hope you enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed having you.

NC: Thank you so much for inviting me! I’ve had a great time!

About celticreign

C.S. Morehouse lives in upstate New York with her four children. She loves to take long walks around the lake and mountians and feels they're a great source of inspiration for her writing. She is a constant reader and enjoys many genres. But she is most particular to romance and erotica in its many genres and sub genres.

As for now she is constantly writing for her two review blogs-- Romantic Crush Junkies and Erotic Book Junkies and loves hearing from her readers.


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