Friday, June 26, 2009

Introducing our special guest, Nicole North!

by Carol Burnside

Please join us in welcoming Nicole North. Nicole writes sensual and erotic romance novels, novellas and short stories. She has seen several of her short stories published in national magazines and has sold her first novella, Devil in a Kilt to Red Sage Publishing for inclusion in the Secrets Volume 27 anthology due out July 2009. The second novella in the series, Beast in a Kilt will be in Red Sage Secrets Volume 29 anthology. She has recently sold another novella, Kilted Lover, to Red Sage. Her works have finaled in over a dozen writing competitions and won several awards. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and three chapters. She teaches online writing workshops and her writing articles have been published in many chapter newsletters. She is proud to be represented by the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency. Her favorite hobbies are reading, candle-making and jewelry making. She and her husband live in the Southeast.

CB: Nicole, thanks for being our Guest Chef this week and may I just say, I love your cover art!
NN: Thanks!! I'm thrilled to be here! Glad you like the cover art. The guy looks so devilish, doesn't he? ;)

CB: Yes, he does. Congratulations on your impending release from Red Sage, Devil In A Kilt (Great title!). Can you tell us something about the story and when it will be available for purchase?
NN: Thanks, Carol!! I love talking about my story. LOL Here's the blurb.
Devil in a Kilt (Secrets Vol. 27 Untamed Pleasures): A trip to the Highland Games turns into a trip to the past when modern day psychology professor Shauna MacRae touches Gavin MacTavish's four-hundred-year-old claymore. What she finds is a Devil In a Kilt she's had erotic fantasies about for months. Can Shauna break the curse imprisoning this shape shifting laird and his clan before an evil witch sends Shauna back to her time? The book should be released July 1. It's available for preorder online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon, but I'm not sure when the ship date is. (Soon, I hope. LOL)

CB: Ooh, a yummy Scottish hero. What's not to like? I've seen the pictures from your visit to Scotland on your blog. They are gorgeous and it SO makes me want to go there. Why do you identify with Scotland, and how does it inspire you use it as a setting?
NN: Glad you liked the pictures! My love of Scotland grew slowly over the years, thanks to a friend who was gaga over Scotland before I was. Reading a lot of Scottish romance novels added to that. As far as I can tell, some of my early ancestors were probably from the Lowlands of Scotland. I'm not sure if it's in my blood or some kind of past life connection. But there is something about the breathtaking landscape that is awe inspiring. To me, Scotland (especially the Highlands) is the most hauntingly beautiful place on earth. Add to that the native people who lived in Scotland hundreds of years ago, their long, tragic history along with colorful myths and legends and you find a fascinating place and culture. One of my favorite quotes describes it nicely: "There is only mist, wind, rain, the cry of the curlew and the slow clouds above damp moorland. That is the real Scotland; that is the Scotland whose memory rings the withers of the far-from-home; and, in some way that is mysterious, that is the Scotland that even a stranger learns to love". H V Morton. Using Scotland as a setting feels natural to me and I always enjoy creating the descriptions.

CB: A lot of writers have several creative outlets in addition to writing. Do you, and if so, how do they help (if at all) with your writing?
NN: I've always had too many creative outlets. LOL I have a minor in studio art. I used to paint, make pottery, and do photography, etc. Later, I went through a crafting phase with floral arrangements. Garden design and amateur photography have been hobbies I've dabbled in since my college days. More recently, I've gotten into jewelry making. I suppose a parallel would be that I'm a visual person. Visual arts have always interested me. And I try to carry that over into my writing through vivid visual descriptions of people and places like painting with words.

CB: Wow, that sounds like great writing. Do you write any non-Scottish stories?
NN: Yes, I started out writing contemporary romantic suspense. I write in three subgenres of romance: paranormal, historical and contemporary. And I like to add dashes of suspense, a pinch of humor, and of course sexy hot scenes. One fun thing about Devil in a Kilt is that it incorporates every aspect of writing that I enjoy. I used genre blending to the fullest. :)

CB: You also have another yummy cover on your website for Kilted Lover, also from Red Sage. Tell us a bit about it too, please.
NN: Thanks! I love that cover too. The artist, Rae Monet, created something even better than I'd imagined. Kilted Lover is a contemporary erotic romance novella with a touch of the paranormal...
When kilted caber-tosser Scott MacPherson tosses Leslie Livingston over his shoulder to rescue her from two armed thieves trying to steal her priceless amulet, they are thrust into a deadly but sexy adventure. Though Leslie already has a lukewarm, uninterested boyfriend, her attraction to Scott is white-hot and undeniable. She wants to lick this tall, muscular alpha male all over and explore the depths of eroticism with him. But will he want anything more than one night once the danger is behind them?

CB: You also teach classes, I understand. Do you have any coming up that our author readers might be interested in, and if so, how can we find them?
NN: I'll be teaching three online classes this fall. In September, I'll teach Writing Hot Delicious Love Scenes for
Yosemite Romance Writers. (Then I'll teach that one again in November for a different chapter.) In October, I'll teach Turn Up the Heat! about creating sexual tension in romance for Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. You can find the links on my website. and then click on "Workshops" on the menu. There are detailed descriptions of these two classes along with student testimonials.

CB: Our readers and even the PFHT blog sisters are inquisitive folks. Would you mind popping in a couple times throughout the day to answer a few questions?
NN: I would love to answer questions! Bring 'em on! :)

CB: Nicole, we've enjoyed having you here. and it's been a pleasure talking to you. Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
NN: Thank you, Carol! This has been wonderful! You ask great questions and don't mind when I go on and on about Scotland. LOL Anything else to share? Hmm... well, I should share with you guys that we received a 4-star review from Romantic Times. "Few anthologies give as much bang for the buck as this one."—Devon Paige

Thanks again everyone!!

CB: That's a terrific start, Nicole. We should all be so lucky!

Readers, Nicole has book trailers posted on her website if you'd like to pop over and check them out. Also, she's graciously offered to give away a pair of her fabulous, handcrafted sterling silver and semi-precious stone earrings. A winner will be drawn at random from those who comment on this post. Good luck!


Debbie Kaufman said...

Morning Nicole:
Thanks for blogging with us today! What isn't to love about Scotland? And a man in a kilt...'nuff said.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Hi Nicole,

I'm curious about your other interests. Do you think jewelry making/photography and other tasks give you a break from writing or are you secretly plotting your stories while you do these things? What is your writing schedule like?

Thanks for chatting with us today.

Marilyn Baron said...


Thanks for blogging with us. I was especially interested to learn that you write in a number of genres. I also write suspense and like to inject humor into my stories.

Your background in art is interesting. My younger sister in Florida is also an artist and we just started a collaboration on a book. She's not a writer per se but she is really making the transition. I think her background in visual arts has been vital especially since our main character is an artist and I think there is a similarity in painting and painting word pictures.

Also, my daughter just started writing an YA book, actually she just finished it with her friend who is an artist and it was the artist's painting that inspired their story.

I had a question. You mentioned that you write short stories for national magazines. What is the approxinmate word length for a short story? Or what is the range?

Thanks again. Your new book sounds wonderful.

Marilyn Baron

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Thanks for stopping by, Nicole. For those of us who like to write about exotic places but don't always have the money to travel there, do you think it's essential to visit a place you're writing about?

Just curious,

Nicole North said...

Hi everyone, thanks so much for the warm welcome!! And thanks to Carol and the ladies of PFHT for inviting me!!

Debbie, absolutely! Hot man in kilt + Scotland = A fun day. :)

Nicki, I had to think about this one. I think those hobbies give me a break from writing. Photography does especially because I concentrate fully on the setting or whatever I'm taking pictures of. My writing schedule is all over the place. LOL I like to start writing around 9 or 10 am and go until around 5 pm. Sometimes I'll write late at night too. Often things like promotion or teaching workshops takes some of that time.

Marilyn, Suspense and humor seem like strange partners but they can really work great together! That's so cool about your sister. It does seem if a person has developed their artistic talent in one area they can often transfer that to other areas. That's awesome that your daughter has written a book too! Your whole family must be talented! The short stories I write are usually between 3000 words and maybe 8000 words. Most fall somewhere in the middle of that range. They're fun because they don't take very long to write. So it's a nice break.

Sally, I wouldn't say it's essential to travel to each place you write about but it can certainly help a LOT. If you don't go then extra research might be needed. I wrote Devil in a Kilt before I went to Scotland and chances are if I'd written it after, I would've changed a few things about the setting. But I think it works fine the way it is because part of the hero's curse involves a drought. And I didn't mention much water or rain. Scotland is actually a very wet place. Lots of rain and water standing on the ground in peat bogs. That's the part that surprised me even though I'd read it. I hadn't really grasped it because it's so different from here in the US. That's an example of how going to a place can be an incredible help to you as a writer. I have another story set in a certain US city and I know I'll have to go to that city before I'll be able to write about it. I haven't been able to capture the essence of the city yet, even after researching it and talking to people who live there.

Thanks for the great questions!!

Chicks of Characterization said...

Excellent interview, Nicole! Devil in a Kilt sounds like a wonderful story, and I know how you feel about being ga-ga over Scotland, its definitely got a hold on me too! And not only are you a gifted writer you seem to be TALENTED is so many other areas! Best of luck with DEVIL!

Andrea :O)

Nicole North said...

Thanks Andrea!! It's so nice to know others who are ga-ga over Scotland like I am. Makes me seem almost normal. LOL!


Nice book covers! Cute, cute titles! Very clever. Hot guy. Can't wait to get my hands on one (book that is).

Nicole North said...

Thanks Kelly!! So glad you like the covers and titles. I do have fun naming things. :)

Leigh Court said...

Ooooh, Kilted Devil is definitely on my "to be bought" list! What's not to love about a muscled guy in a kilt??

I'm thrilled to be in the Secrets, Volume 27 anthology with you, Nicole!


Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Excellent blog, Nicole, and I love the quote. There is something magic in the mist that certainly inspires writers in every century.

Nicole North said...

Thanks Leigh!! Hope you like my kilted guys. ;) I'm thrilled to be in Volume 27 with you too!!

Thanks Gwynlyn!! There is something haunting in that quote and really gives a good visual image and feel of Scotland.

Donnell said...

I cannot wait to read Devil in a Kilt. I think many of your readers should know that Nicole gives fantastic workshop on sexual tension no matter if you write erotica to tame love scenes. She's multi-faceted. I wish you every success Nicole ;)

Nicole North said...

Thanks, Donnell!! You're so sweet to say that! I'm thrilled you like my workshops! :)

Liane Gentry Skye said...

Wonderful interview, Nicole. Having had the pleasure to read about your kilted heroes...all I can say is hubba, hubba! :) What's not to love?

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Great story, Nicole!!! You're not giving away a trip to Scotland??? I'm ready to go. Love your stories, Nicole. Can't wait to sink my teeth in another. (I'm thrilled to get to see the releases before the releases. :))

Nicole North said...

Liane, thanks!! So glad you like my hubba-hubba heroes. LOL! And I'm thrilled we're in this anthology together!!

Terry, thanks!! I wish I could give away a trip to Scotland. LOL That would mean I'm extremely rich. :) We must go to Scotland together sometime. What a blast that would be! I can't wait to read your latest wolf tail... or is it tale? :)

Carol Burnside said...

Hey, Nicole! I really enjoyed doing the interview with you and can hardly wait to get my hands on Secrets, Vol 27. Will you be signing it at Nat'l this year? (Please say yes!)

Nicole North said...

Carol, thanks again for interviewing me!! Yes, I'll be signing it at nationals. Woohoo!! :) Can't wait and look forward to seeing you there!

Joseph Hayes - said...

Nicole, please tell your fans and anyone interested in writing about Scotland that we have an entire section devoted to the subject at The Burry Man Writer Center -

Glad to see an Inked-In member get such a nice turnout!


Nicole North said...

Absolutely, Joseph! I love Inked-In and your Burry Man website. I enjoyed learning that the Burry Man is literally a man covered in burrs. An interesting and unusual Scottish tradition in South Queensferry.

Sheila said...

You said you have fun naming things. Do you come up with a title to go with your story idea first or do you name it after you have written it? My WIP is currently untitled, I hope it comes to me soon!

Nicole North said...

Hi Jenn, I sorta do both at the same time. As I'm brainstorming and coming up with characters, backstories, what could happen, GMC, etc. some part of my mind is coming up with what we hope is a clever title. I honestly can't remember why I chose Devil in a Kilt as a title but it comes from the fact that Highlanders in kilts were often seen as outlaws, lawless, wild or such bad boys that some people called them devils in kilts. The way I used it in my story is that the hero is rumored to be possessed by the devil or the devil's son. But he is merely cursed with the ability to shapeshift. People do fear him but he is misunderstood.

The title Kilted Lover is a take off on jilted lover which figures into the story in sort of a reverse way.

Nicole North said...

I'm so excited! I just learned we received a 5 ribbon review forSecrets Vol. 27 review at Romance Junkies!

Carol Burnside said...

Sweet news. Congrats! Looking forward to seeing you again.

Sheila said...

Congrats Nicole. I saw a man in a kilt today and thought of you, unfortunately I don't think he fit the description of the men you write about! LOL The only thing he had was the kilt. Then I wondered if he had underwear on or not!

Carol Burnside said...

Nicole, don't be so modest. Junkies mentioned you specifically. Kudos!

"Scottish highlanders are a favorite of many romance readers and Nicole North’s adds an exciting paranormal element that truly captures the imagination. This is Ms. North’s first published story and I’ll be anxious to see what she comes up with next.... The Red Sage SECRETS anthologies have long held space on my keeper shelves. Like its predecessors, SECRETS VOLUME 27 - UNTAMED PLEASURES contains four tales of varying genres that deliver on readers’ desire for something more erotic in their storylines. Each of these authors delivers a captivating story full of intense scenes guaranteed to have you in search of more writing by them. " ~Chrissy Dionne

Nicole North said...

Aww thanks Carol for posting that!! Woohooo!!! I'm so thrilled she liked it!

Jenn, you should've asked him. LOL!! Just kidding!

Tami Brothers said...

Wow!!! I'm on Google Reader at work and they blank out the pictures. When I got home and saw this cover I immediately started drooling!!!

I will definitely have to find that one. (btw they even blocked your website...grin.... Wouldn't let me open it.... Now that I'm home I can totally see why. LOVE the pictures!)

Thanks a ton for blogging with us today. I learned a ton of information I didn't know before.


Nicole North said...

Tami, thanks!! So glad you like the cover! Google knows where the naughty, eye-candy pics are. LOL! And thanks also for allowing me to be here. You guys have such a fun, awesome blog!

Calista Fox, Author said...

Sexy, sexy kilted devils! I love it! Secrets V27 is going to be smokin'-hot!!!

Nicole North said...

Calista, thanks for dropping in, lady!! Hope you like my sexy devil! LOL I can't wait to read Object of Desire!!

Pat McDermott said...

Nicole, I'll be visiting Scotland for the first time this summer. Will listen for the cry of the curlew. Congrats on your 5-Ribbon review, and good luck with "Devil in a Kilt" and all your writing.

Maxine Davis said...

Thanks for the post! I've been to very few places, but one I have been is Scotland - Well, Isle of Skye is where I stayed. Loved everything and I can't wait to read Devil in a Kilt and all the rest. They sound wonderful!

Nicole North said...

Pat, Thanks!! And I'm so jealous!! I want to go to Scotland and listen to the curlew. :) Have a wonderful time!!

Maxine, Thanks!! Isle of Skye is awesome, isn't it! Wish I was there now!