One of my favorite things is talking to other writers—I love to find out how they think, their creativity and what they write. I met Nicki Salcedo a few years ago; she’s cool under pressure, always has a smile, and one never knows exactly what’s going to happen around her—Personally, I want to be on her side when the Zombie apocalypse occurs because things will be done in style….
Let’s find out more about this fabulous writer!
What genres do you write in? Why?
NS: I write book club fiction. All of my stories have a romantic element, some end happier than others. I also dabble in sci-fi and paranormal. My first book was a historical romance. I write everything. Writers are advised not to do that. So please keep my secret! I might not write book length fiction in every genre, but a good short story in another world or voice is like a palate cleanser before diving into next longer project. All of my stories are about how we navigate complex relationships.
MVF: I have never heard a description of genre described as book club fiction—that is different. I want to agree, but at the same time I want to say your writing is at times hard to define (in a good way). To me your writing has a literary quality as you weave your characters together—it is something to be savored but at the same time one can’t read just one page…
What drew you to your current story?
NS: I love reversals on fairy tales, and I wanted to write something that might appeal to romance readers, literary fiction readers, men, or women. ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS tackles social issues like how we perceive race or gender or class. I hope my novel is entertaining, but I also hope the book generates conversations.
MVF: I love reversals of fairy tales and new spins—I know you have questions for this story. I find this fascinating, you mentioned that you want to generate conversation, but did you have these questions in mind when you wrote it? Or were these questions generated after the writing?
NS: I started with the gender reversal. What if the beauty was the man? What if the beast was the woman? The other questions came along as I wrote and revised. How do our siblings impact us? Our parents? What happens if the woman is the wealthy one and the hero had been poor? I like questions, but I don’t want the story to have one answer for any of the questions raised.
MVF: This is intriguing—and I like that you want the reader to internally contemplate these things.
How long did it take you to write?
NS: It took me a short time to write this book. Maybe a few months. The long part was revising. I’ve been revising this book on and off for almost 9 years.
MVF: Wow! It’s like you dived in and wrote it then stepped back. I think it’s wonderful you didn’t give up on this story.
Tell us about your story (blurb)
ALL BEAUTIFUL THINGS
Seven years ago, Ava Camden endured a vicious attack. She survived, but her face was brutally scarred. Now Graham Sapphire is determined to clear his brother’s name and win her trust in a desperate search for the truth.
She’s the beast. He’s the beauty. It’s a love story with a literary feel.
What was the hardest thing to write in this story?
NS: I changed the original ending to include more suspense and drama. My editor had complete faith in me and my characters. I honestly walked around for days seeing the world through my main character’s eyes. Ava needs to make a difficult decision, but I wanted it to be realistic. I hope readers are surprised, because I was as I wrote the ending! It was hard to write, but also good to see how far I could push my characters and my writing.
MVF: I love when that happens—the surprise for yourself, and for your characters. Did you mourn having to end this book?
NS: I didn’t mourn the end. I was so happy. I was thankful. I love this story, but I need it to be released into the world so I can get feedback from readers.
Name five books that have influenced your writing:
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
Paradise by Judith McNaught
MVF: You realize I am writing all these down. I swear, I am going on a reading marathon….
Name five movies that have influenced your creativity:
NS: You are going to think I’m kidding, but I’m not!
Pride and Prejudice (BBC)
MVF: These are awesome! I have watched some of them…Aliens, Terminator, Pride and Prejudice—love the BBC version! But Amelie and Boomerang don’t strike a chord—I’m adding those to my Netflix queue…
NS: Boomerang is great. It’s another reversal type story. Race and gender are central. It’s a comedy with Eddie Murphy. Amelie is a French film. It’s like watching a poem of color filled with life observations. You should watch both of them.
You are a Star Trek Fan; Tell me, which Star Trek do you like the best: Original, the spin-offs, or the brand new ones with Chris Pine? Or all three? Why?
NS: I still very much enjoy The Original Series. I’m letting my kids watch it. All the colors and action. Phaser fights. Spock. Love all of it. I also hold The Next Generation close to my heart. I’m a Worf girl, and it’s impossible not to love Picard. He knows Shakespeare, AND he lives in outer space. The new movies are wonderful, but the TV shows gave you a chance to really get to know the characters. With the new movies I’m still Team Spock!
MVF: I remember watching the original series as a kid and loving it; I will always have an affection for it—(I have to admit my all-time favorite episodes of the original Star Trek series was the “Trouble with Tribbles” and meeting Khan). Unfortunately I didn’t get exposed as much as I wanted to the Next Generation (I was late to the show…). We totally should have T-shirts made “Team Spock.”
If you could meet any character in any book or movie who would it be and why?
NS: Boo Radley from To Kill A Mockingbird. He watches everything. I imagine he would not say much, so we’d just sit and watch the world together.
MVF: Wouldn’t that be something? I like this and it makes me think myself—who would I just sit with?
You are one busy woman, you have a family, a full time job, and so many things going on, how do you write? Early morning, late at night?
NS: I write on the weekends. I don’t have any time during the week. I might be able to write for an hour at night when all the stars align, but my creativity is best during early morning hours.
MVF: You amaze me—I have tried early mornings, it’s hit or miss. When you write only on weekends, do you make notes during the week, ponder the story?
NS: Every free minute I have all week is spent thinking about writing. I write a little any chance I get with bigger writing blocks on the weekend.
Do you write in huge bursts or have it planned? Which leads me to: Do you plot? Wing it? Or mix it up?
NS: No planning. I write when I can, as fast as I can! I don’t plot until after I’ve written a good bit. I generally have a sense of beginning and end with the key scenes between.
MVF: This strikes as something you internalize (the story)—I envy this. Yes I do.
What is one quote you keep in mind when life gets tough?
NS: I have two quotes. I say them daily!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
“People who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing, are nothing. They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live. Chained by their attitudes they are slaves; they have forfeited their freedom. Only a person who risks is free.” –Anonymous
MVF: Absolutely beautiful. I love these. Thank you for sharing them.
Ok, for fun—Favorite and why? Recipes encouraged.
NS: I’ve only recently started drinking coffee. It took having four kids to break me down. My favorite drink is still steamed milk with almond. It is like dessert. Warm comfort in a mug. This is my recipe:
10 oz. Whole milk
1 tsp Sugary substance (honey, raw sugar, or the fake stuff)
¼ tsp Almond extract
Dash of nutmeg
Heat milk. Add the rest. Enjoy! Now I need to go make one.
MVF: I do think I will!
Thank you so much for stopping by Nicki. it was a pleasure and I hope you come by again.
GIVEAWAY: One book (ebook) will be given to one commentator (Please put your email as: Name at whatever dot com). I will post the winner in this blog: CONGRATULATIONS! Jennifer won the book! :)
Author Bio: Nicki Salcedo is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English and Creative Writing, was born in Jamaica and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of Romance Writers of America© and a Past President of Georgia Romance Writers. Nicki is a two time recipient Maggie Award of Excellence and Golden Heart Finalist.
She lives in Atlanta with her four children, husband, and a cat. Nicki thinks everyone should write and loves connecting with readers. For more information got to: www.nickisalcedo.com
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