About author, Nikki Mahood: Nikki Mahood was born in Dublin, moving to the UK in the late eighties as a child, she has resided in North Yorkshire ever since. Distance didn’t just make her heart grow fonder, it made her mind grow too, her grandmother provided the stationary, usually adorned with Ponies of some sort and they wrote to each other regularly. So began her writing career, starting with silly poems to send her family and nurtured by a love of reading, her overactive imagination and an obsession with Josephine March of Little Women.
Without setting out to write a book, a taster course for The Open University brought Fallon Magee into Nikki’s imagination, followed shortly by one Abner Hagarth-Smythe and suddenly what started as a character exercise became a novel.
After two years of unsuccessful submissions, the idea of self publishing was raised and so began the evolution of Fallen from a manuscript, to a novel, to a Kindle, hopefully yours too.
Nikki works full time and writes whenever possible, watches far too many movies and dedicates a good hour a day to scrolling through Pinterest…
Why do you write? I write because I don’t know what to do with myself if I don’t. I work full time and write whenever I can. I think Josephine March (from Little Women) really inspired me, my Mum gave me the book as a child and I’ve read it at least once a year ever since. I see a lot of myself in Jo, not least the writing side of her.
Who is your favorite author? Hmm, this is difficult, I’ve met so many awesome authors lately, via social media, I read everything that Carey Heywood writes and am a huge fan! Historically I devoured every Patricia Cornwell and Freya North book going and I still read Freyas. I guess I can’t nail one down universally, it’s absolutely subjective to my mood on any given day.
What was the writing/editing/publishing process like for you? I went into the whole self publishing thing after a frustrating couple of years of submissions. I was so proud of myself for completing Fallen that I thought the pro-forma letters sent by Agents very tough. With Fallen I was very arrogant, stuck it on Lulu, made family buy it and didn’t really do much else, expecting people to find it, buy it and make it into a movie. Being accepted into Chicklit Goddesses has helped me realise that I’m responsible for a lot, editing and proofing, something I’ve done alone so far and my reviews proved it to a detriment to my writing. I’m going to do it properly this year with Forgotten!
Hard/paperback or eBooks? Any books!! Any media, reading is what’s important. Whatever you read, reading can only expand your mind and give you a drive to do things you might not have tried otherwise. I know that if I have children I will do exactly the same as my Mum did and get them reading Classics from a young age.
Where is your ideal writing location? A coffee shop, my laptop on the table and a steaming mug of coffee in front of me! Sunday mornings used to be great for that, but my lactose intolerance put pay to my latte habit!
How many drafts of your books do you typically write before they’re published? I’m kind of strange, I write blocks in documents and try sew it all together at the last minute, I’m learning that isn’t maybe the best way of doing it! I do change each chunk on a daily basis, a lot of evolution happens to my characters from the initial writing to the completion of the story.
What’s on your desk? Notepads, a 8/9 inch pile of them! A folio I bought on a whim too! Oh and graffiti, my desk is an old school desk, with the lid and storage bit and all!
If you’re not writing, then you’re probably…: Watching a movie, reading or at work, not in that order!!
A writer must have…: Incredibly supportive friends and family, who do stupid things that you can rip off for your books. Most of the silly stories in my books are real things that I’ve altered to suit. That and a lot of equipment, I use my phone, tablet, laptop and notebooks all the time, that’s why it takes me so long to write a book. Because I’ve got stuff everywhere!
What is your favorite word? I don’t know if I can swear here, if I can, its Bollocks, I love that word and if I can’t, its Epic, which I overuse and sound stupid and undereducated doing so!
Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects? I’m starting to knit together the third book in my series, Forgotten, I’m hoping to release it in the summertime, its sticking with Fallon and Abner, but skips forward about five years from where we left them in Forever. A lot has changed for them, and its happening again, possibly worse too! Its become a labour of love as I’m not sure I’ve made the right choices for my characters, because I forget that they aren’t real people. I’ve connected with a lot of people who have suffered major brain traumas via the charity Headway. They’re inspiring and I hope to be able to do them justice, there are a lot of people out there living every day with the devastating effects of traumatic brain injurys.
**Additional comments by Nikki!: I want to thank Isabella for having me here and for founding the Chicklit Goddesses group on Facebook. I can’t say enough the value of having a network of such supportive and inspirational writers to bounce ideas off and even just to moan at. There’s no underestimating the power of that when you’re the minority in your friends and family, even community.