Four friends cast a love spell and wake on a foreign world. Love might stand a chance, if they deal to a psychotic sorceress out for their blood.
Will love be enough to protect the four friends on their journey though the world that is alien to them? Meet these four friends and learn about their adventure in ‘The Arrival’, as author Nicole MacDonald, joins me to chat. Love, adventure, a scary sorceress, Nicole your book has it all, so what inspired you to build all of these elements together into this tale?
Watching a thunderstorm over the Wellington, NZ, harbour. BOOM! Brain got hit with the first fight scene and that was it. I couldn’t stop.
What a way to begin a story! How did the characters who appear in that first fight scene and beyond come to life after that thunderstorm?
Friends/co-workers/characters from favourite shows/books, and of course a decent dose of myself.
I’m sure that ‘decent dose of yourself’ also included some events from your life. What personal experiences of yours made their way into the book’s pages?
Meeting my soulmate at 18. Was NEVER my intent. I intended to be single for life, breaking hearts for fun. I meant to write this as a “if I got to be single” and yet he still bloody showed up in the book. Freaking true love; great for ruining singleton plans.
*Laughs* Can’t even get a book of singleton to yourself! Maybe you’ll manage to have a little singleton jaunt in another book! What did you learn about as you wrote this book?
To be true to yourself about your characters, and not to tame them due to worries about what others might think.
What was the most important untamed message you wanted the story and characters to share with readers?
Women are strong and entirely capable of saving themselves, and crying doesn’t make them weaker, only stronger. Genuine love means a relationship that allows you to be your truest self.
Do you feel that the topics like love, events and situations in this tale are of our time, or will be more important in the future?
Perhaps. I think strong minded women leading a story will always have a place. And yes, it could be considered “of this time”.
Are there people who shouldn’t read the book?
People who don’t like women who kickass (literally…).
What steps did you take to prepare yourself to write kickass women?
Reading is what prepares you. Overthinking it will make your brain explode.
Over thinking is dangerous. Have you tried joining a writing group to connect and get tips from other authors about how they write without over thinking and making their own heads explode?
I have been involved with a few groups, but I find many people have preconceived “rules” regarding how/when/why etc they write, and that is very constricting to me. Writing is something I do solely for myself, but I love that there is an audience out there for almost anyone- even me!
As you write for yourself, I’m guessing that you’re probably not thinking about your readers as you write. What are you thinking about?
My characters. I’m wanting to be as true and honest to their physical and emotional journey as possible.
How did you learn to write like this?
From daydreaming lots. And then being brave enough to start writing. And then being batty enough to share it. The rest is history. (Seriously, if you want to write, just start. The hardest part is starting.)
How has your writing changed or improved as you first started, and then kept writing?
I no longer fear people disliking my work. Which is a great freedom. It allows me to write without fretting at the idea of a plot point that people will HATE. Freedom is key to creativity.
How have readers responded to the freedom and creativity of your writing?
People don’t really know what to expect, yet frequently discover a fun tale with themes that remind them both of fairytales/traditional epic fantasy, and modern urban fantasy like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I had a friend once tell me I wasn’t a real writer. Now, I laugh such nonsense off, then however, it seriously hurt. Which was what they were aiming for, so bravo to them. The best compliment is when a reader takes the time to contact you, to tell you they enjoyed the world you created. That’s utterly fantastic and always makes me smile.
There are always one or two stick-in-the-mud people who just can’t see the awesome worlds writers create, so I’m glad to hear that the readers who really matter can’t stop smiling from reading your fantastic words. Has this positive feedback from readers enticed you to create your own author brand?
I have created one, but most the time I find it fairly tiring. With an intensive fulltime role, my author brand is really my Instagram now. But even that is more me than my books.
It might be small, but it’s a good place to start building interest for your work. Another way, which I can see you’ve really invested in, is the use of a great book cover. Where did you get your artwork designed?
I have a fantastic artist, Jenn Depaola, who creates the artwork. Then a good friend, Tim Brown (check out The Unhappy Medium if you like quirky British urban fantasy) helped me get the background/fontwork etc right. These two people are invaluable!
They’ve done a great job getting your story to come to life! And after putting so much effort into your work, both the readers and myself would love to know if there’s another story coming from your pen soon? Are you writing anything now?
Yes, a trilogy that follows my first science fiction novel: Prometheus, A New Dawn.
Three times the fun! Nicole, I can’t wait to hear more about it soon and I hope readers enjoy reading and re-reading ‘The Arrival’ as they wait for the new trilogy to hit the shelves.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘The Arrival ( ASIN: B004HD5WAE )‘.
Want to find out more about Nicole MacDonald? Connect here!