Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bags and Boxes

In my book, This Little Whatever,  my main character Jonathan owns a huge Army style canvass duffel bag that he carries everything that is important to him.  Clothes, toiletries, shoes, costumes, tackle box full of metal rings and pliers (he’s an eccentric fellow), everything, neatly folded and bagged. Unless he’s partying, it’s not far from reach.  It’s his entire world, and it fits on his back.  He lives his life surrounded by people and friends and fun, but he’s always ready to run at the first sign of trouble.  It’s the way of his core group of friends.  His “home” is portable.

Dean, on the other hand, lives in a small home on acres of land, miles from the nearest city.  Alone.  Social anxiety and PSTD has kept him almost completely homebound, save for work and solo excursions, for years.  It’s his sanctuary, the one place in the world where he feels safe.  His “home” is permanent, but isolated.

In the book, both of these gents have to reconcile a lot about their definition of “home” in order to find what they need the most, love and each other.  Jonathan’s bag is a metaphor for his trust, his heart; very few people can touch that bag and he’s constantly worried that someone will go into it and steal something.  When Dean opens up his home for that one night stand, he’s literally letting someone into his heart, showing his own trust.

I didn’t even realize that sort of significance while I was writing TLW, and I hope everyone who reads it will see it too.

The Little Whatever releases September 6th!

Whose story is this, anyway?

The first version of This Little Whatever was called Sway. Or maybe it was Shimmy.  I can’t remember.  But it was third person POV, bouncing between Jonathan and Dean’s heads.  A lot was different, the ending, the interaction between the two love birds (Jonathan was the king of topping from the bottom, so to speak).

I sat on that version for a while.  I changed the ending.  I changed side characters, making some more prominent and some vanish all together. All while I was working, a little voice gnawed at my brain, some sense of dissatisfaction that I couldn’t place.  And it got louder and louder and louder until, during other round of tweaking the story, I couldn’t ignore it.  It was screaming at me.

It was Jonathan.  And he was really insisting that this was HIS fucking story.  He’s doing the major changes, it’s his ass on the line, it’s his story.

I bawked. Shifting the focus to just Jonathan would erase some good backstory for Dean.  He didn’t care.

Well, I’ve rarely been led wrong by listening to that voice in my head (with exceptions: buy me a drink and I’ll tell you of my stint as a ‘phone actress’).  So I rewrote the whole damn thing, took out scenes, added new scenes, changed the ending (again!). Hey, limited third person POV is my specialty.

The little bastard still wasn’t satisfied.

I’m not used to writing first person.  But with the little bastard in my head, I managed to capture his voice, his cadence, his weird sayings and get the story down just the way he wanted it.  Which, to the surprise of no one in my own head, was exactly the way the story should be.  I read it again and only had to do some minor tweaking before sending it out.  The scenes worked in my head.  Dean fit in just fine, which was good, because with Jonathan quieted down, I’ve got another voice screaming in my brain.

A writer’s work is never done.


First Time Author Jitters

There’s something really satisfying about telling someone you’re an author.  Even if they had no clue what your particular genre is about.

“What do you do?”

“Well, I open other people’s mail, and I’m a writer.”

The usual response (okay, other than wanting details about that whole “other people’s mail” thing) is some version of “Oh, what do you write?” or “Do you have a book out?”

Being about to actually ANSWER those questions still makes me giddy and I’ve only been an “author with a book coming out” since January. I feel like I’ve stepped into a strange new party and I don’t know the rules of etiquette.  What if I talk too much about my book?  What if I talk too little?  What if I use the wrong fork, spill my wine and step on the host’s toes while trying to dance?

Okay, that metaphor started to run away from me there.  Sorry.

What’s strange is that the closer I get to almighty release date for the very first time, that anxiety seems to matter less (this may change the week of, so I’m making no guarantee that I won’t spend that entire Friday twitching).  I’ve got good support at home, great authors I look up to giving me thumbs-up, and more than a few potential readers lining up to watch me go with the wrong fork in hand and a wine stain on my dress. 

Look out world, here I come!

This has been an awesome week!!

I can’t stop shouting about it!!

Not only do I has cover, I has preorder link and a release date (September 6th!!!) and I haven’t stopped bouncing off the walls yet!

So, here’s the lowdown:


That’s my cover, done by the ever awesome, ever amazing Paul Richmond.  Personally I’m in love, and I want everyone to meet my boys.  The gent in the suit is Dean, and the gent falling into his lap is Jonathan, who’s brain we’re getting to ride for this story.  It’s a cute cover for a funny scene, but when it come to the theme of the story, these roles would be totally switched, because it’s more like Dean just came crashing into Jonathan’s life and changed it for the better.


Jonathan Mendoza used to live an even crazier life, partying with his tight-knit traveling performance troupe whenever he wasn’t on stage belly dancing. When his sick mother begged him to change his lifestyle, he agreed to try to live sober, but that change is hard. Neither is it easy to stop staring at Dean Winters after he nearly knocks the man over before a performance.

A former recluse, prone to panic attacks after surviving a traumatic accident, Dean isn’t Jonathan’s usual type. Still, Jonathan is irresistibly attracted to him, and decides to cure the itch with a one-night stand. But that night, he’s shaken by Dean’s kindness and consideration—something he’s not used to in a lover or a friend. His best friend, Rachel, who co-owns the troupe with Jonathan, sees Dean as a threat to their friendship and to the troupe—the dream they’ve worked together to build. She reveals a cruel and possessive streak that could do much greater damage on both fronts, and Jonathan realizes he will have to choose between the nomadic life he’s lived and the man who is stealing his heart.


Now, that link is for the paperback, and I’ve got an incentive for everyone to get it in dead tree format.


I got these from Dreamspinners yesterday.  I was very confused for a minute, but then I read the letter that came with it.  Looks like I sign these pieces of vellum, and they get mounted into the front of book over the title page.  There’s twenty of these things, so the first twenty paperbacks sold through the DSP website (see the link) will be signed!  I’m using purple ink, because well, it’s my favorite color and you’ll know the sig is really really mine, yeah?

So, I gotta get to work with this signing bit, but keep your eyes on this space for promotions and intros to my guys.  So excited!!

Everything’s coming up Nicole

At least, when it comes to all of the work involved with this here soon to be published book thing.

I have seen the first draft of the cover art.  I have a bio on Dreamspinner’s page.  I have galley proofs, and I’m so in love with them. I want to sing to them, I was to sit down and coo and make those stupid faces people do when they encounter a baby or a puppy or something.

I’m in love.  I’m proud.

I’m terrified.

I worry I will be the only person in the whole wide world who will love my baby as much as I do.  I worry about plotpoints and dialogue and name choices and tropes that will cause readers to run screaming from ever trying a work with my name on it again.

I worry about the sequel.  I worry it will never be as good as this story.  I worry because the plot bends and twist and refuses to sit still and stop changing already, damnit.  I worry there will not be a sequel.

I am ready, I suppose.  No writer getting ready for a publishing run is without being in love and scared at the same time.  It’s watching your baby take it’s first steps.  It’s amazing.