Oh boy. Well, I’m still terrible at math!
My strength lies in other places. I’m one of those creative types. I draw,
paint, and craft. I also love to read. I can’t remember when I started reading,
but I do know that it was early. I guess that the combination of my imagination
and my love of reading would inevitably lead to my need to write. When younger
I would get lost in day dreams (often in math class, of course) and those
stories would consume my mind. Eventually I realized that the only way to get
them out of my head was to put them down on paper- or computer screen, as it is
now. If there is one thing I hope that people, especially the young adult
readers can take away from my experiences, is that it is okay to not be good at
everything. That isn’t an excuse to give up, rather a challenge to find ways that
your strengths can help you.
2. That is a great philosophy and one that I think we as parents should encourage as much as possible. Your debut novel Mortal Obligation
represents, to my mind, all that is good about the YA paranormal genre in that
it is populated by accessible characters - people could be as famailiar as our
next door neighbors - and situations that have a cinematic, almost epic feel to
them. How did you balance the two did you find it a challenge to keep them
I wanted the reader to be able to truly
imagine themselves being caught in the middle of something that was so unbelievable.
For me to get lost in a story, I have to be able to relate to the characters.
The decisions need to feel real, the reactions need to feel authentic, and the
interactions need to feel genuine. I believe that those things are the keys to
balancing a large, intense scene. If your characters are genuine to themselves
and to real life then that should translate in their actions during extreme
3. Your central protagonist, Ree McKenna is such an engaging and fully rounded heroine in the story. Who
or what was the inspiration for Ree and how did she develop from your initial
"sketchings" of her as a person.
Honestly, Ree came to me just as she
appears in the novel. She isn’t based on anyone that I know, but rather an
image that developed in my crazy imagination while driving through the downtown
area with the radio playing. In my mind I saw a blonde teenager walking through
one of the lush green squares that fill the city center. She was walking with a
purpose, checking over her shoulder with a look of determination. I knew
instantly that she was aware that someone was coming for her, and that she also
knew she was going to have to make a stand. From there I had to know what was
coming for her, and how she was going to defend herself. It’s hard to explain
in a way, that I saw so much in her imaginary expression, but something there
4. The story and place in which you situate Ree is almost sumptuous in it's
detail. As a reader, I found your style to be evocative of imagery and emotion.
Did these qualities develop organically for you whilst writing the story or did
you have a fully developed structure before you began with a good idea of the
visual and emotive elements?
Thank you, Dean! I felt Mortal Obligation as I was writing it and I’m glad that the
emotion translated to the reader. Honestly, though, Savannah lends itself to
beautiful, yet creepy scenery. The backdrop for this story is a character in
its own right. So many of the historical spaces here are beautiful in the
daylight and more than a little sinister at night. I had an outline for the
novel, but I had wiggle room for things that might develop as I wrote. I think
that because I had room for the characters to do their own things, it gave the
book a very natural flow.
5. That was one of the things I loved the most about the book - it's natural flow - that is an awesome descriptor. You've introduced a mythology into
Mortal Obligation that hums with presence and feels complex and well
researched. Did you do any research into mythical archetypes and if so what
formed the basis for the characterizations in the novel?
I’ve always enjoyed mythology and I think
that I had a pretty good base of information to start my research. The gods and
goddesses have characteristics of the stories that have made them famous (or
infamous) through history. I introduce a different set of mythological
elements, so wanted the more familiar ones to be recognizable. I did spend some
time researching African deities, and Native American religions that was
completely enthralling. I hadn’t delved into those particular subjects before,
and may bring some of the information I learned into future stories
6. Now you're a wife and mother with big
demands on your time and inevitably, forces competing your time to write.
You've bedded down the first in the trilogy. How do you find time to write each
day and do you employ any particular strategies to squeeze as much quality
First, I have to get the toddler in bed! I
only get uninterrupted writing time when everyone else in the house is asleep.
My husband is incredibly supportive of my writing, and I occasionally escape to
a coffee shop (I know, terribly cliché.) on weekends to write. I have found
that writing down notes as inspiration strikes really helps too, even if it is
only a short clip of a scene. That makes it so much easier to sit down and pick
it up from there when I do get to write.
7. I'm totally with you there. Having a note pad surgically attached to my hip is something I'm looking into right now. I've garnered from your tweets recently that you are a Star Wars
fangirl. Is this correct and where have you been all my life? (insert canned
Yes, yes I am. And I’m not ashamed of it!
Now, can you please explain to my husband how awesome that is? Seriously, I
managed to marry one of the only men in the world that doesn’t appreciate my
love of all things Star Wars. *shakes head* Go figure!
8. I think I married one of the only women in the world that doesn't appreciate my love of all things Star Wars. Shall we elope now? Seriously though, what's next for Nichole Chase and how is that "what's next" coming
The next thing for Nichole Chase includes
more writing. I am currently working on book two of the Dark Betrayal Trilogy.
Mortal Defiance will be available in December of this year and I am really
excited about it. Once my first draft is finished, it is off to my beta readers
for a read through. Once it is ready for editing, I will send it to Anne at
Victory Editing and start the process over for book three!
Nichole, it's been a pleasure having you stop by today and I wish you all the best for the upcoming 2nd installment in the Dark Betrayal trilogy. I've already reserved space on my reader for it.