Nikki Jefford is one of the funniest girls I know. I “met” her when I was taking a Romance writing course from Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Since then I’ve gotten to know this wonderful woman! Her blog posts make me laugh out loud, as she tells it how it is! I have had the pleasure of reading her book, Forbidden Footage, and loved it! She is an amazing writer, and I am honored to have her as a guest!
When did you start writing? From the moment I could hold a pen. My stories really started improving once I learned to form words.
What is your genre, and why? More and more I’m becoming a genre juggler. I’ve written short stories, a memoir, historical romance, erotica and now young adult. I’ll tell you what I love: Romance. I was an entertainment reporter back in Anchorage trying to break in as a literary fiction writer. Then I realized I wasn’t having fun doing either. When I wrote my first historical romance it was a Eureka moment. This is what I love to do!
Congratulations on your book. I noticed you’re under a pseudonym, Louise Harvey. Why? Thank you. I chose a nom de plume for my erotica because I wanted to keep that genre separate from my – I’ll call it true pursuit – and especially not use the same name when I’m writing spicy content for adults on one hand and material for young adults on another. I dipped my pen into erotica as a way to bring in money (or try bringing in money), but it’s not the genre I want my name associated with. Don’t get me wrong, erotica’s a blast to write!
How long did it take you to write your first book? My first fiction novel was finished in a month. I’d just read about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but it was February and I was too impatient to wait till November so I did it on my own, unofficially, in April 2005.
Why did you choose online publishing? Online publishing offers many more opportunities. As far as online marketing, it’s easy to post links via blog and other social media outlets. You can spread the word instantly and I have to say, I love the quick turnaround.
How did you go through the editing process? In the case of my erotica, my editor made the edits. I was never given a chance to look them over. Let that be a lesson to everyone: Take the time to research the publisher you go with. Funny enough I had doubts after reading the contract and never signed it. Then one day I received an email saying the stories were going live. I stressed over it then finally decided to basically write those stories off. Ultimately you learn, let go and move on.
What’s a day like for you? I’m lucky in that I only have to work part-time. At the beginning of the year I had Tuesdays and Wednesdays off and it was the most productive writing time in my life. I wrote two novels, two short stories and one novella in three months. Ever since I changed my day job in July I’ve been working five hour shifts five days a week and lost my most productive time: Mornings. I know I should get up early and write before work, but I don’t feel like it. Sleep is a priority for me. As is a 3 mile+ hike with my dog, a home cooked meal and spending time with my husband. No exceptions. Starting in January I’ll be forced to take a 2-3 month hiatus from my day job and I’m already anticipating another round of crazy awesome productive writing time.
Who is/are your favorite writer(s)? I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. I consumed her novels like candy in high school. For historical romance: Susan Carroll, Philippa Gregory, Candace Camp (excluding her latest series – so disappointing!), Sherry Thomas, Sophie Jordan and Loretta Chase. I love Michelle Moran’s books based on past events and people like Nefertiti and Cleopatra. Bill Bryson and David Sedaris are both a hoot. For chick lit: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding!
What are your greatest strengths in writing? Humor and dialogue.
What are you weaknesses in life? Food! Particularly bread, sweets and snacks. I treat all symptoms with food: angst, boredom, depression, stress, sorrow, fatigue, joy, happiness… When my husband first met me he thought I’d done time in prison because he’d practically get stabbed in the hand by my fork anytime he took something off my plate.
What would someone be surprised to know about you? My last name changed four times before I reached 20. I went to 13 different schools before graduating from high school. My mind has always been in the gutter. In fifth grade my teacher had to talk to me about bringing a naughty picture book to school. Shame on the snark who ratted me out! Very uncool.
Where do you see yourself in five years? On Orcas Island in a home of our own, growing veggies and at least a dozen books published!
What would your perfect day consist of? The house to myself all morning with five hours of uninterrupted time to write. Really good leftovers or takeout and a chewy chocolate chip cookie at lunch. Reading on the couch with a cup of tea and dog by my side. A hike with my husband, our good friends and our dogs (in the warm sun). Dinner out with everyone (dressed up) and two glasses of champagne
Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, explain. Heck, yeah! I’m jazzed about my latest YA romance: Entangled. It’s a dark comedy with magical elements. A condensed version of Entangled will be included in the anthology Death By Chocolate, a selection of six lip-smacking YA paranormal romance stories we chocolatiers plan to self-publish and release for Kindle Valentine’s Day 2012.
I’m especially excited about the release of Bob Friel’s The Barefoot Bandit: The True Tale of Colton Harris-Moore, New American Outlaw (available March 20, 2012). The chance to be Bob’s research assistant was the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only was this one of the most outlandish true stories I’ve ever heard, but Bob’s writing puts you right in the action and his humor cracks me up.
Do you consider yourself a writer? Totally. Writing is one of my only skills. And it does wonders for boosting self-morale when you bounce from one crap job to another: When you’ve got eight screaming kids climbing up the walls or Cruella De Vil snapping at you to schedule her facial or a grumpy old millionaire watching as you weed on his plantation and making you paint the floor of his meat locker or having a woman throw her bill in your face at the reception desk… you drift off into dreamland and tell yourself, “This is only temporary. I am a writer.”
**For more information on Nikki Jefford, visit her blog: