Thursday, December 6, 2012

Author Interview with Special Guest Nikki Jefford!

As Promised I get the wonderful pleasure to sit down for an Interview with Nikki Jefford, author of the thrilling Spellbound Series and Aurora Sky and enlighten my readers to get to know her on a deeper level.

Melyssa: When and why did you begin writing?

Nikki: Fifth grade is when I consciously knew I wanted to be an author. I was painfully shy growing up. My mom remarried when I was six and we ended up moving all the time. Creating characters kept me company. I also grew up with an abusive stepfather. Reading and writing provided instant escapism. If there wasn’t a book in my hands, there were stories in my head.

Melyssa: How did you come up with the title?

Nikki: I stole Entangled from a historical romance I had outlined. I wasn’t going to use it anyway and it seemed perfect for a book about two twins stuck sharing a body. I wish The Witching Hour wasn’t taken. That would have been perfect and right away you know it’s a book about magic. Entangled seems a little cryptic to me now, but hopefully the series title, Spellbound, helps!

Melyssa: Who designed your covers?
I picked out the cover model and color schemes for all the Spellbound books. The wonderful Najla Qamber all the way in Bahrain (if you have to look at up you’re not alone!) put it all together.
I tried to come up with the Aurora Sky: Vampire Huntercover. I found a model in a parka who looked exactly how I imagined Aurora (with blond hair). Naj humored me, but, as she pointed out, it looked like a cheesy winter romance. I love what she did with the final cover. It screams Alaska and adventure. I loved the manipulation of the model image so much I changed Aurora’s hair color to black in the book. LOL

Melyssa: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Nikki: Fifth grade. My favorite teacher of all time complimented the stories I wrote for class and it went straight to my head. She made me believe in myself like no one else ever had.

Melyssa: What books have most influenced your life?
Nikki: “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery; “Matilda” by Roald Dahl; “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones; “Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh; “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen; and the Nancy Drew series!

Melyssa: Is there someone other than family that has supported or influenced you?
Nikki: Besides my fifth grade teacher, Mary Ramirez, I have to mention my mom even though you said other than family. My mom has been my greatest supporter. She bought me notebooks and pens growing up - my first laptop when I graduated from high school. She’s sent me to writing conferences when I’ve been too broke to afford them (which seems to be always. LOL). For my birthday in September she paid to put Entangled on NetGalley knowing how much I wanted to offer the book to reviewers and, again, couldn’t afford the listing fee.
I also want to mention the fantastic blogging and indie community out there. I receive such kind support from great book lovers and writers across the blogosphere. That’s turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Melyssa: Are any experiences or characters in your books based on personal experience or encounter?
Nikki: Spellbound, no. Aurora Sky hits more close to home – literally – it takes place in the city where I grew up: Anchorage. I got angry and rebellious as an upperclassman in HS. Not for the same reasons as Aurora, obviously, and I didn’t drink or have sex like she did, but I reached a breaking point where I felt extremely self-destructive. Some of Aurora’s emotions felt like they were being channeled from some deep and forgotten place within me as I was writing her during her rebellious moments.

Melyssa: What book (if any) are you currently reading?
Nikki: ReAwakened, book two in the Angel Creek vampire series by my book twin, Ada Adams. (We keep publishing on the exact same days – totally unplanned!)

Melyssa: If Entangled was optioned for a movie who would your dream cast be?
Nikki: Offhand I’d say Lucy Hale from ‘Pretty Little Liars’ for Graylee Perez (and Charlene, ha,ha) and Tom Parker from ‘The Wanted’ for Raj. (Right, so Tom’s from England not India, but when I came across him kicking off the Lightning <--- atch="" font="" here="" it="">
  music video I was like, “Raj!” He’s even playing with a match!)

Melyssa: Do you do any in-depth research while writing?

Nikki: Spellbound #3 has been trickier because it’s set in Barcelona. Never been there. I’ve been watching movies set in Barcelona, reading books set there, listening to Spanish music, and perusing peoples vacation photos online. (Love the Internet!)
One of the most helpful books I read when coming up for a new spin on vampires for Aurora Sky was a book called Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Enduring Legend by Mark Collins Jenkins.

Melyssa: Do you see yourself in the future sitting down to read the "Fruits of your Labor" for fun?
Nikki: Great question! I know many authors can’t stand to read their book once they’re done with it, but I enjoy re-reading my books. If I can’t entertain myself, I don’t know how I expect to entertain readers. I started rereading Entangled last week because I plan to finish the last book in the series by next month and I want to make sure I remember everything that happened before, especially since I’m bringing Charlene back.
Melyssa: Thank You Nikki for taking time for us from your busy schedule I can't express how much this means to us!
Nikki: Thanks for coming up with such fun questions, Melyssa!
There you have it carve some time out to read the Spellbound Series and the much anticipated Aurora Sky written by the very talented Nikki Jefford!
Happy Reading!

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