Interview with Nicky Charles


1. What inspired your writing?

My initial ‘writing bug’ came from discovering and watching an old TV series called Scarecrow and Mrs. King.  When I ran out of episodes, I started to write my own.  Through a fan group for the show I met my friend and editor, Jan Gordon.  She wrote an original story called Black Silk and an idle comment about it sparked my imagination and it turned into my first story, Forever In Time.

2. Who are your favorite characters?

I love all my characters. They’re like my friends. However, if I had to pick it would Ryne and Reno.  They’re both ‘bad boys’ who are reformed (a bit) by the love of a woman.

3. How did you decide that you would publish your work for free?

I started publishing for free because I really never considered doing otherwise.  The concept of ebooks was quite new to me then.  When I realized there was a market, I briefly considered selling my stories but decided it wasn’t for me at this time.  First of all, since I live in Canada, there’d be tons of paperwork dealing with out-of-country income tax and I’d have to hire an accountant to help me deal with it.  Secondly, this is my hobby.  If people are paying for the books, there’d be a certain pressure to meet demands and expectations.  I want writing to be something I do for relaxation.  Finally, I have a good day job and don’t really need the money.  I’m by no means rich but I have a roof over my head and food on the table and a bit for ‘extras’ – what more do I really need?  I like the idea that my books are actually doing some good in the world.  Hopefully, those readers who can afford it, are following my suggestion and making donations to animal shelters and food banks.  It’s sort of a ‘pay-it-forward’ kind of concept, I guess.

4. If you were able to be one of your characters for a day who will you choose?

I think I’d be Mel.  I’d like to live in the woods and hang out in a house full of hunky males.  And, of course, then Ryne would be my mate!

5. Please tell use 5 things about yourself, that not everyone knows?

  • I hate dusting!
  • I like old romantic comedies like the ones Cary Grant starred in.
  • I love sitting outside and listening to the sounds of nature and daydreaming.
  • I wanted to be a jockey when I was little and had all the Black Stallion books almost memorized.
  • I love Key-lime pie!

6. In the idea stage of a novel which comes first, the characters or the plot?

I think the characters come first.  I usually have a vision in my mind of what they look like, what their personality is, their job or where they live etc.. But the basics of the plot are tied pretty closely to that character and sometimes they come to me as a package deal.  I usually know how the story will start and end soon after I think of the character.  It’s the middle of the story that is slower to develop.

7. What inspired you for writing Law of the Lycans?

Law of the Lycans started as a one chapter short story. I’d written Forever In Time but it wasn’t getting much attention so I started to wonder what was ‘selling’ and discovered it was vampires and shifters.  I’d never read about shifters until Jan’s Black Silk and found the idea quite fascinating.  I wrote the first chapter of The Mating on a lark and made it quite…er…steamy.  I posted it at a writing site, thinking people might notice it and then it would lead them to Forever In Time – it was sort of a marketing gimmick I guess.  The feedback for The Mating was overwhelming so I added another chapter and then another. Pretty soon I discovered I’d written a whole novel.  Near the end of The Mating, Ryne appeared and he intrigued me and my readers, so I wrote about him next.  Near the end of The Keeping, Cassie appeared…  It seems whenever I’m almost done a story, a new character walks in and demands their own book!

8. Would you like to be part of your characters life? If yes, what role would you take? Alpha? Beta or some other part?

I wouldn’t want to be an Alpha – it’s too demanding.  A Beta might be more interesting. You’re still in charge but the weight of all the decisions isn’t on your shoulders.  My Betas are a bit more nurturing or supportive, too.  They back up the Alpha but also help pack members with problems.

9. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Be prepared to rewrite over and over and over.  And get some good feedback, not just friends telling you how ‘good’ you are.  While I curse my editor under my breath when she tears my chapters apart and I have to ‘rebuild’ them, the final story becomes so much better because of it.  If someone makes a negative comment, move past the hurt ( and yes, it does hurt) and look for grains of truth in what they are saying.  If something isn’t working for the reader, then you need to figure out what it is and if it can be fixed. Perhaps they just don’t like the genre but it could be a flaw in your writing technique.  Good luck!

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