Name D. Nichole King
Where are you from Iowa, United States
I was born and raised in the great Midwest. I graduated from Central College, a private liberal arts college in Pella, Iowa, with a degree in Psychology and Chemistry. As of this June, I will have been married to the love of my life for fourteen years, and together we have four children and currently reside in central Iowa.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
It’s been a long time coming, but I’m currently wrapping up the final book in my YA urban fantasy series, The Spirit Trilogy. I’m super excited to share this last book, The Soul, and I hope fans of the series will love it as much as I do!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been an avid reader. In fact, I can’t remember not having a book in my hands. During high school, I’d even read as I walked from class to class. Yeah, I was that girl. Sometime in jr. high, I thought, “Why not?” So I grabbed a notebook and pencil and started writing. After I finished that one (I’m not sure I ever actually finished it, to be honest) I went to the next one, but after that I gave up and stuck to reading. I didn’t lose my passion, I just didn’t think I was any good at it. Fast forward to 2008, after my second son was born. A story popped into my head again, and I couldn’t let go of it. So I sat down at the computer and began to type. The Spirit poured out of me, and I immediately started in on The Body. But then life happened, and I set them both aside. It wasn’t until January of 2013 that my husband reminded me of these stories and said I should pursue publishing them. I worked hard on edits and rewrites of book #1, then started sending it out to agents and publishers. In December of 2013, I received two offers of publication. The next month I signed, and lo and behold, The Spirit was published by Limitless Publishing in April 2014. I haven’t stopped writing since.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t know, really. I guess maybe when I got a publishing contract. The moment was so surreal. I couldn’t believe anyone would want to publish something I had written.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
As crazy as it sounds, a weeping willow tree. It was dusk and I was driving home from my in-laws house with my kids in tow, and there, on the corner of their property, sat two weeping willow trees. And I thought, “What a perfect for a ghost to sit and contemplate life.” The story grew in my mind, and The Spirit Trilogy was born.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I write how I think. I consider myself the narrator of my characters’ stories. I write what they see, how the feel, what they experience. I get into their heads. Style-wise, I let the characters dictate that. It’s their story, not mine.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are funny things for me. Sometimes the title is so obvious and other times I have the whole story finished before something hits me. I have a few stories in my head that are just titles at the moment.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Hope is always a big theme in my books. Hope is such a beautiful thing, and in the midst of pain and suffering, sometimes it’s the only thing we have.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think there’s always a piece of someone I know in a character. Sometimes I’ll have someone specific in mind that helps me better understand one of my characters, and sometimes I’ll need a specific trait or personality that someone I know has, and that can help me build the character better. As for experiences, the answer is yes and no. Some personal experiences I’ll use, but I’ll twist it a little.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
So many! But in the world of writing, I always, always come back to one author who has been my biggest influence, my greatest inspiration–Lurlene McDaniel. I grew up on her books, devouring them as fast as I could. It was because of her and her books that when I went off to college, my original plan was to major in pre-med, then go on to medical school to become a pediatric oncologist. I didn’t go in that direction, but now, as I write, I still credit her for my love of reading and the direction my books take. I want to inspire people the way she inspired me.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Oh goodness! How much time do we have? LOL! I almost feel cliché to rattle off my list of Colleen Hoover, Kim Holden, Amy Harmon, K.A. Tucker, Cheryl McIntyre. They have this awesome ability to draw you into their stories and make you feel for the characters.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The first people who come to mind are my writing group. They are such a talented group of authors, and I’m in awe of their skills—Sunniva Dee, Laura Thalassa, Angela McPherson. The are always there for me, good or bad, and I can talk to them about anything. I don’t know if I’d be writing if it weren’t for them. It would definitely be much more difficult, that’s for sure.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
For me, it’s a career, it’s a hobby, it’s my own personal form of therapy. I can’t not write.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I always want to change things about my books. I feel like with each book, I get better, I learn more about my craft. There’s always, always room for improvement.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? (I’ll skip this one, if that’s okay, since I answered it in my long-winded paragraph above. LOL!)
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Of course! This is from The Soul, the last book of the Spirit Trilogy.
“I look like Godzilla’s wife,” I said to myself, peering into the full-length mirror behind my bedroom door. I picked at the blue graduation gown that was big enough for me and my Siamese twin. I pulled the material out at my sides as far as it would allow to prove my point to the mirror. The reflection seemed to agree with me. Unfortunately, the Villisca school board did not.
Fashion fail of the century.
Seriously, these robes needed to be redesigned a hundred years ago. I mean, I understood the whole school spirit thing, but why couldn’t I wear one of the fifteen Villisca Blue Jays t-shirts I’d inherited over the course of my one year here? That would demonstrate more school pride than this atrocity.
Besides, graduating today was not my idea. I had no intention of walking across a stage to receive my diploma. Rumor had it, if you didn’t show up they’d mail it to you, so I didn’t see why the fanfare was necessary. The hell that was last month was still fresh on my mind and this whole graduation celebration didn’t seem worth the mental effort.
Especially when tomorrow I’d be leaving.
I slipped my feet into white flip flops, giving nothing but a passing glance at the new two-inch footwear Mom had requested. I might as well be comfortable at the very least.
I did a little foot-modeling at the mirror. “That’s more like it.”
I took one last glimpse at my tent-reflection, grimaced, and swung the door open. Lucas, with his fist raised to knock, stood on the other side. His glowing green stare ran the length of my body and back up before he lowered his hand.
“Now that is sexy.” He nodded his approval, a small smirk the tell-tale sign of his teasing.
I glared at him. “Oh shut up.”
“No, I’m serious. Very hot.”
I went to slug him, but he disappeared and I hit at air. From behind me, strong, cool arms circled my waist and pulled me against a solid body. He dipped to my neck, and his lips brushed over my skin.
“I love you, Carrie,” he said out loud. Then, in my head he added, “You don’t have to come with me tomorrow. You can go home with your mom.”
Since we’d returned from Jessica’s funeral, Lucas hadn’t let an opportunity to convince me to stay behind while he ventured off to North Carolina pass by. He wanted to protect me, and I knew that. It was sweet. But I had proved time and time again that I could take care of myself—with a little help.
Plus, Lucas’s soul-search wouldn’t only affect him. Half of his soul now resided in me. He needed me.
“Not a chance. I’m going with you,” I said, like I had every time. “I meant it when I said we’d do this together.”
I spun around in his arms, facing him. I lifted up on my tip toes and kissed him. “I love you, Lucas Reynolds, and I’m not giving up on this. We’ll find your soul and we’ll find a way to be together.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Each book comes with its own set of challenges. In finishing up a series, I think the most challenging part was making sure I answered all of the outstanding questions, didn’t have any contradictions from book to book, and that I tied a nice, pretty bow at the end.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I haven’t so far. I’ve down a few local signings, then last year I few down to Savannah, GA for a signing there. I’ll be in St. Louis this September for Penned Con!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The Spirit Trilogy Series had dual designers. Eden Crane Designs did the first cover, and Ashley Byland of Redbird Designs did the second cover. My publisher arranges these, and the cover for the third book is not yet ready. I’ll give a small hint though: I’m requesting it be green.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
For this book, time. We recently moved to a new house, so finding the time to simply sit down and write was super challenging.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The Soul has a big forgiveness theme, and there’s one line in the book that really stuck out to me after I wrote it.
“The hardest part of forgiving someone is convincing yourself that you need to.”
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Some really, really great new actor/actress. J
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write. Write more. Keep writing.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your patience in waiting for this last book. Thank you for taking a chance on a new author. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading Addiction by Angela McPherson last night, and then on May 2nd, I’m starting a buddy read of Night Shifts Black by Alyson Santos.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book that made a big impact on me was Matilda by Roald Dahl.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I cry at everything, seriously. I’m such a crier. My kids make me laugh, as do cat videos and videos of people injuring themselves (sorry!) on YouTube.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d love to sit down and have dinner with Jane Austen. She was an amazing woman whose books have impacted millions.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
There’s always hope. Because there is. J
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love to sing and dance. I’m also a huge scrapbooker, and like most scrapbookers, I’m waaaaaay behind!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My family absolutely loves The Avengers movies. Well, superhero movies in general. I like action and fantasy. When I’m by myself, I do quite enjoy a good chick flick.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I like good food, and I like a good variety of food, but I’ll never pass up a medium-rare steak gilled up by my husband. My favorite color is blue, and I love all genres of music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d go into marriage and family counseling.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
www.dnicholeking.com Go check it out!
The Spirit (Spirit Trilogy #1): http://www.amzn.com/B00JX4EM6C
The Body (Spirit Trilogy #2): http://www.amzn.com/B00NMY10PK
Love Always, Kate (Love Always #1): http://www.amzn.com/B00JGWV3WW
Love Always, Damian (Love Always #2): http://www.amzn.com/B00XQGSRUK
Eight Days: A Love Always Novella: http://www.amzn.com/B00QXO0YCQ
Breaking Through: http://www.amzn.com/B016YPU2IY