Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I’m Nikki Broadwell with no real claim to fame aside for self-publishing 24 books, (so far). Unfortunately I came into the novel writing business late in life, after raising two daughters and having a greeting card and silk painting business for many years. Writing has now become my life and when I’m not involved in a new work I pace and don’t know what to do with myself! I love animals and nature of every kind, including the rattlesnakes who live here in the Sonoran desert.
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
I began with a sort of ‘memoir’ about my father and mother’s life, inspired by my father’s journals kept while he was a POW during WW2. As a way to escape from the emotional turmoil this brought up in me, I began a little fantasy story—this story turned into my first 3 books. I have always had a fantasy life, and from the time when I was very young, my reading centered around Alice in wonderland and The Borrowers, as well as anything mystical or otherworldly that I could get my hands on. I’ve been an avid reader since I learned how to read. A lot of my books are either Celtic or Norse fantasy/romance or time travel. I have a 6 book mystery series featuring an amateur sleuth who can talk to ghosts, and two books about a shape-shifting coyote. Recently I revisited the ‘memoir’ and decided to redo, using made-up characters who bear no resemblance to my parents, and creating a story around my father’s eloquent words.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
Everything does—what I read, the political situation…everything.
How do you deal with creative block?
I don’t normally have a problem with that, and if I do, I wait until it passes.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Not editing properly. And forcing it when your heart isn’t behind the story.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
I always have ideas about the covers for my books—my best suggestion is to find a cover artist you trust and resonate with, and go from there.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I am very sensitive about my work, so if I do get negative feedback, I take it as a personal affront. This is because my books are intensely personal, parts of myself always exposed within the characters. I try not to let this bother me, but it is always hard—But if what they say resonates with me, as in useful criticism, I let it percolate.
How has your creation process improved over time?
My writing has improved and I’ve become more familiar with the process, from start to finish, as well as marketing, although that is always a challenge!
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
I think my recent experience in dealing with my newsletter list has been the most surprising, in a good way. Reviews are always hard to come by, and in reaching out to the people who have signed up, I have discovered kindness and interest that I wasn’t expecting. Worst? Not sure. Perhaps marketing woes, and the inability to comprehend the intricacies that go along with it…like the interface between me and what I need to learn on the computer in order to promote. Simple is the best way, IMO.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I write what I would like to read—which means ultimately that I write for my own satisfaction.
But when it comes to marketing, I’ve found that this method does not always serve me well—in many marketing ploys, books need to fit neatly into a genre, other similar authors mentioned in order to promote the work. Many of mine are cross-genre, meaning I have two and maybe three within the same book!
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Emotions are of paramount importance. Characters need to emote properly or they end up being like cardboard characters.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Not sure I understand this question, but if I have it right, I would say one of my tricks is to read and read and read! Also lighting a candle to call on the muse.
What are your plans for future books?
Right now I’m on book 2 of a Celtic fantasy that deals with a god gone rogue and his daughter who is a half goddess and is destined to bring order back to what he has spoiled. (more complicated than that, but not enough room here!)
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I had a pet groundhog when I was little. When I was writing my shape-shifting coyote story, I saw a coyote outside my office window and our eyes met. And he was lame just as my character who had been recently shot. I was raised by fairies. (just kidding, although… 🙂)