Name Nicola C. Matthews
Where are you from originally from Biloxi, MS but was raised and still lives in Laurel, MS
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I was born in Biloxi, MS in 1975. Raised in southern Mississippi, I still reside in my small hometown with my husband of twenty years, our three children, and our pet Yorkie, Lily-Claire. I love music and my favorite thing to do to de-stress is crank up the tunes and hit the treadmill. I enjoy reading as well as watching movies, shopping, and meeting new people. My favorite genres include mystery thrillers and supernatural/fantasy movies and books. I have a degree in business management, I work full time for a multi-million dollar technology company, and I also own my own publishing house, graphic art firm, and editing service.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just had a really fun, sexy paranormal romance to be released last week, The Taming of Andy Savage. This year has been a bit of a wild ride. One of my books was picked up by a hybrid press so I spent the first half of the year getting The Red Fang relaunched, followed by writing and releasing Andy Savage.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was about eight years old. It started with a love affair with Dr. Seuss and just progressed from there. When I was in second grade I remember reading about Paul Bunyan and tall tales. I was fascinated by the notion that people actually got to make up wild stories and share them with others. I immediately began writing down all the crazy things floating around in my head. When I was about nine I tried to write my first book, tried writing another one when I was ten. I would read whenever I had a few spare minutes, devouring as many as fifteen books in a single week.
Then, when I was thirteen, during an extremely difficult time in my life, I wrote my very first full length novel. From there it just escalated. I had written four or five books and dozens of short stories and poems by the time I graduated high school. I spent the last five years I was in high school sending out query letters to publishers, getting rejected more times than I could count. It was my dream to study journalism in college, but things didn’t quite work out that way.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always considered myself a writer, even when I was in elementary school. When teachers asked me what I wanted to be, I always told them I wanted to be an author. I had ever intentions of studying journalism in college. My ultimate dream was to not just become a published author, but also a field music journalist and write for a music magazine, specifically Metal Edge which has since gone out of print.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had a very difficult childhood. I read as a way to escape from a very dismal reality. When I was thirteen, I had a huge crush on someone who did not reciprocate my feelings. I wrote my very first novel as a way to get all those emotions and feelings of rejection out so I could deal with them.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m sure I do, and I recognize similar writing styles in other authors, but I don’t have a name for it. I just write. I mix up my style depending on what series I’m writing. This new series that is just releasing is a more raw, in-your-face style. It’s meant to be fun, the whole thing reads like you are inside someone’s mind while they narrate what they are witnessing. Lots of writing “rules” are broken, lots of incomplete sentences. You know? Like that 😉
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I always try to come up with a title that either has some sort of meaning regarding the book itself or the series. Some of my titles are a bit cryptic and people don’t really get the title of the book. For example, The Red Fang got its title based on a nightclub that is only mentioned in the book once or twice.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The entire BEFORE THE SUN RISES SERIES is full of hidden meaning, some of them glaringly obvious, others subtle. It’s not just about racial discrimination and extermination, but overcoming your differences to work together for the greater good, realizing you can’t keep holding on to grudges when your entire world is coming to an end. I just used supernatural beings to portray the same things which are happening all around us every day.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
None of what I write is realistic per se. I draw on all kinds of things when I’m writing, everything from personal experiences, people I’ve met or would like to meet, to personal/inside jokes between friends and readers. I think that is part of the fun of being a writer, when we can incorporate these little tidbits into our writing and hope our readers get the references. It’s like sending them on a scavenger hunt.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The experiences are not really influenced by things which have happened to me, but a lot of the people in my books are based off of real people, either those that I know, or those that I would like to get to know. I’m really bad about spoofing bands and band members because music is such a huge part of my life. I’ve named characters after real people who were heavy influencers in my life, others I named after real people as a way to pay homage to someone I greatly admire. I can’t tell you how many times Bret Michaels has made cameo appearances in my books.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There are very few books which I have read more than once, but The Talisman and The Stand (Stephen King) were some of those rare books that I read multiple times in high school. Out of all the authors I have read over the years, I still claim Anne Rice as being my writing mentor. I also was heavily influenced by Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, and VC Andrews to name a few.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I don’t do a whole lot of reading these days, but when I do stop to read, it is almost always going to be an Anne Rice novel.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I grew up on the likes of Anne Rice, and there are very few authors who write with the grace and beauty she possesses and infuses into her prose. I don’t read just for entertainment or escape, but for the love of the written word. I want there to be real meat to a story, to feel the agony and defeat and happiness of the characters. I expect epic adventures which will take me a week to get through. Deep down, I crave the journey, the adventure. I know I would probably fall in love with quite a few authors if I would stop long enough to pick up a book, but these days I have so little time.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I currently have 2 series that I am working on, the Before the Sun Rises Series and the Sweet Seductions Series. I plan to finish the second book in the Sweet Seductions Series and hopefully will move on to finish the 3rd book in the BTSR Series by the end of next year.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Wow, there have been so many readers and fellow authors who have really helped, but I would have to say that Nicci and Angel have been my two loudest cheerleaders. There were days when I wanted to cry and just give up, wondering why I keep torturing myself, but those two were always right there telling me not to give up. If it weren’t for Nicci and Angel reminding every day that I am a good writer and my stories deserve to be told, I believe I may have thrown in the towel long ago.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to be able to do this full time, but right now, the market is just too saturated. I love to write and will continue to do so in the hopes that one day it can be my full time career. For now, though, I’m content for it to be my second career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I probably wouldn’t change anything, but I do wish I could have made it longer.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I just remember that I loved reading, and was fascinated by the idea that I could write down all the crazy things that popped into my head and other people would want to read them.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is the first few pages of The Taming of Andy Savage, book 1 in the Sweet Seductions Series which just came out last week.
(this has a lot of bad language and sexual situations – if you decide not to post it that is fine)
Nicolette pushed her way through the crowd, the tightly packed bodies writhing in time to the pounding chords ripping from Jacob’s guitar. Everyone around her was screaming, but the sound could not be heard through the driving beat engulfing them all like a living, breathing thing. Andy’s voice rose above the music, deep, perfect, the sound sending many of the women in the room into a lust-filled swoon.
As the last chords of music waned, a young woman screamed out, “I love you, Andy!”
From somewhere within the darkness of the stage, a dark voice answered. “I love you, too,” he said as the overhead lights suddenly flashed rapidly. Everyone in the crowd screamed as Andy stood to the side of the stage with huge grin on his face. He dipped his head forward and then whipped it back, tossing his shoulder-length black hair back out of his face.
Nicolette felt a shuddering tingle race up her spine and then settle between her legs. She had to fight the urge to rush the stage and shove her tongue down his throat and her hands down his pants. He was the epitome of every rock star cliché all rolled into one. He was tall and had so many tattoos on his arms it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. He had enough piercings to make a Voodoo doll jealous, and he oozed more sex appeal than any man had the right to, alive or undead. His voice was deep, dark, and melodic. She wasn’t sure which she found more attractive, his voice, his beautiful smile, or his quick wit and sense of humor. He was, for lack of a better word, absolutely perfect.
White Coffin had been on the stage for nearly an hour, their set almost complete. Nicolette held onto her position to the left of the stage, wrapping her hands around the barricade. It was the only thing keeping the patrons of THE FANGGASM nightclub from rushing the stage, and from the five vampires who currently occupied it. In just three more songs the band would be through for the night, and Nicolette’s job would just be beginning.
Nicolette Vampskin was the leading field journalist for The Alternative Underground, the single most popular vampire metal magazine and blog in the industry. She had landed the job fresh out of high school. The Underground had been a fledgling magazine at the time. It was the very first publication which not only sought out supernatural musicians, but actively sent out human reporters to interview the bands. Within a year she had become the magazine’s lead reporter, and in the process she also became the biggest fang-whore in the entire country.
As the band prepared for their final encore, she moved toward the back of the stage, flashing her PRESS badge at one of the guards keeping all the groupies at bay. There was absolutely no need to do this; she was at the club every weekend and every security guard and bouncer in the building knew her by name. But, to be honest, she thoroughly enjoyed the nasty looks all the skank-whores gave her. It gave her a perverse sense of pleasure knowing she was about to sit in the company of the best damn metal band the world had ever known, while they were all resigned to hold up “I WANNA FUCK YOU ASH!” signs in hopes the bassist might look their way. She almost felt sorry for them. But then again, she hadn’t exactly made a name for herself by feeling sorry for people.
She rounded the side of the stage just as the band thanked everyone for coming out, the five of them moving so quickly down the stairs they all nearly collided into each other as Andy Savage stopped suddenly on the last step. His blue eyes locked onto her as she planted herself squarely in front of him. Those intense baby blues raked over her, taking in her ripped leggings, short skirt, shredded White Coffin tee, and the rounded mounds the shirt barely concealed.
“Nicolette Vampskin,” she said as she held out her hand.
Andy paused, much longer than was necessary for a vampire, giving his actions a very human feel.
He took her hand and shook it lightly. “I know who you are, Ms. Vampskin. When they told me we were being interviewed for The Underground, I never in my wildest dreams thought they would be sending you.”
She laughed, tossing her head back, exposing the length of her neck for a moment. The various white scars from multiple vampire bites were clearly visible on her pale skin.
Andy moved suddenly, his body quickly closing the few inches separating them. Startled, Nicolette froze as his hand moved to cradle the back of her neck. He gently moved her head to the side as he brushed a few loose auburn tendrils of hair from her neck, his eyes looking over the scars. He let go of her just as quickly as he had grabbed hold of her.
“You do get around, don’t you?” he asked, not really expecting an answer. He turned his head, nodding slightly. The other four members jumped off the steps, walking casually toward one of the back exits.
“I see my reputation precedes me,” she muttered.
“Yes, it does, but I understand the fascination,” he said as he ducked his head closer to hers. “How do you think I ended up this way?” he whispered, tilting his own head to the side. She caught a quick glimpse of the line of tiny, white scars marring the side of his neck, scars that greatly resembled her own vampire track marks.
She smiled in amusement. Obviously she wasn’t the only one who had a vampire fetish. “I assure you, Andy, I am just here on business,” she replied, even though she knew it wasn’t entirely true.
“When are you going to learn to share?” Ash Pardue asked as he turned around, walking backward as he gave Andy a large, fangy grin. He eyed Nicolette openly, causing her to squirm just a bit. She wasn’t sure how they had managed to cram so many hot vampires into one band, but there they all were, looking like a vision straight from a groupie’s wet dream.
“Next time, man,” Andy replied as his eyes moved back to Nicolette. “Promise.”
Ash laughed. “I’m going to hold you to that,” he said as he turned around and followed the rest of the band out the door.
Nicolette watched the other members leave, wondering if she should be concerned, or if she had just missed out on some major fun. About fucking right, pardon the pun, she thought to herself. Maybe Andy wasn’t into sharing.
“Nicolette, please,” she said, interrupting him as her attention moved from his parting band mates back to him.
He paused, surprised she had interrupted him.
“Nicolette,” he said her name slowly as he started again. “Thank you for agreeing to come out to do the interview. I’m not sure where we are going to do this, though. This place doesn’t have dressing rooms, and I’m pretty damn sure we can’t go grab a table in the back.”
He jerked his head toward the back of the bar as he said it, his eyes momentarily moving over the crowd still hanging around the stage. A young woman screamed as he made eye contact with her.
“Andy! Oh my God, fuck me, Andy! I love you!”
Andy chuckled, his smile growing larger. He thrust his hands into the pocket of his black jeans, his smile almost sheepish. He looked so damn young, so adorable, and so fucking sexy at the same time. It was hard for Nicolette to remember he was immortal. He acted like every other male in his early twenties, riding the biggest high known to man. He was lusted after and loved by so many, loving the attention, and yet still being mildly embarrassed at the same time. It instantly endeared him to her heart.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time, and then finding inspiration. I work a full time job outside of writing, and then there is the marketing and promotion that goes with being an indie writer. Even when I can find time, most days I have to really push myself to write because I’m already exhausted from a 12 hour day spent outside my home office.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Hands down Anne Rice. She has a very vivid imagination and her way of expressing and describing everything that is happening with and around her characters is just amazing. I know a lot of authors and readers think she is a bit of an overkill when it comes to descriptive prose but to me, THAT is what writing is all about. It is eloquent and beautiful, the descriptions so intense it makes everything about the journey inside the pages seem more realistic, everything from the scent of the magnolia blossoms on the wind to the highlights in her character’s hair as the sunlight glints off of it. Absolute perfection.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Right now I don’t. I have a few book signing events coming up next year that will require some minor travel within my home state, but for the most part I will only attend events that are within a few hours driving distance.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
With the exception of The Red Fang, Bloody Feather Graphix Team has designed the cover for the majority of my work, including Vindictus The Dark Lord, Immortal Sins, and The Taming of Andy Savage.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The sex scenes. I know that sounds weird, but once I got past being able to write fight scenes, I agonize over writing the sex scenes.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I went into writing The Taming of Andy Savage with the notion that this book was going to be funny and very over-the-top. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I discovered that I could write comedy as well as action/adventure. I’m discovering that I am able to cross over many genres. I had only ever considered myself a romance writer, but I am quickly realizing I can do many different genres and it makes me eager to start writing in other areas and stretch my literary legs.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. I know that sounds simple and it is something that has been repeated thousands of times, but at the heart of it all, you can’t give up. And you have to stay true to yourself. If you don’t enjoy writing because you are just writing whatever the flavor of the day is to make a few bucks, then you are doing it for all the wrong reasons. You can flip burgers and still be miserable and make more money. If you don’t love what it is you are writing about, then truly, what is the point? Writing is an art form, just like drawing or singing, and it has to be nurtured. Most importantly, it has to come from the heart.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Take a chance. There are many really great authors out there, but if you are not willing to take a chance on them, then we will be forced to give up. So take a chance, and when you find an author worth talking about, then TALK about them. To everyone. All the time. And leave a review! Reviews are an author’s bread and butter.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Oh heavens no, but I’m sure it was a Dr. Seuss book.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Music. Not even my beloved books have a hold over me the way music does. It’s why I am so supportive of indie musicians. It never matters how bad of a day I am having, all it takes is listening to my favorite songs to make me feel normal again.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
There are many, many people whom I would love to meet. Before I became a BVB addict, I would have had exactly one name on that list, and that is Bret Michaels. But now I’d like to not only meet Bret, but the entire BVB band. Bret has always been my mentor growing up, and I see the same fierce determination and love of music in the faces of BVB that I see in myself. None of them know how to quit, to give up, despite the odds, and they have the success to prove just how far hard work and determination can go. On the days I feel like quitting, I remind myself that they didn’t quit and neither will I.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Well, I had planned on being cremated but if I did have a memorial plaque or something, I would want my tag line to be on there. I think it sums up reading and being a writer pretty good: A thousand lives. Infinite possibilities.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Aside from reading, I love to listen to music, I like to go to concerts every chance I get, love to watch TV. As weird as it sounds, I also like doing graphic art work, and periodically I’ll make myself some beaded jewelry.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Right now I’m a huge Walking Dead Head. My favorite series right now, aside from TWD, are:
The Bastard Executioner
Pretty Little Liars
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite musical genres is rock/metal and my favorite bands right now are Black Veil Brides and Farewell, My Love and Drama Club. My favorite color is red. I just love food in general, which is why I’m now 20 lbs overweight. I tend to like non-American food: Chinese, Mexican, etc.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have been a music journalist, writing for some big-name music magazine and spending my days at concerts and interviewing musicians.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Author page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nicola-C.-Matthews/e/B00538EZEG