Name: Nicole French
Age: Oh man. Should I say? Let’s just say old enough to have real fun.
Where are you from:
Seattle, although I’ve lived all over.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have degrees in English (B.A. and M.A.), and I’m actually an English teacher in “real life.” I’m also married with three kids, so my life is pretty busy.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Lots coming down the pipeline! I’ve set a release date for my second book, Legally Mine, which will be out on June 28th–my birthday!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a little kid. Seriously. I still have the first “book” I wrote in the first grade. I’ve been an escapist forever with a very active imagination. Writing is my way of getting all of that out.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I probably didn’t think I was a “writer-writer” until I was in college. I majored in creative writing in school and took part in a bunch of fancy-schmancy workshops. Some were helpful, some weren’t, but it gave me a good sense of the discipline it takes to be really good. I published my first short story (under another name) when I twenty-one, and even though I didn’t publish anything else until I put my book on Amazon, it was the first time I felt like I could genuinely call myself a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Honestly? I had a dream about the meet-cute, where the two protagonists meet for the first time. It was one of those dreams that felt so real, and I woke up in the middle of the night and started scribbling. Two days later I had a full outline, and a month after that I had a basic draft of the whole thing.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Hmm…not sure. I write romance, so I’m definitely working with conceits of the genre. In terms of my own style, I suppose I strive for smart but vibrant. You would probably know better than me if I’m reaching my goal there.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I find titles really difficult. I knew this was going to be part of a series, so I wanted something that called out elements of the book (which is about two lawyers) but could be built on to connect the stories together. It wasn’t until after I published it that I realized there was another novel of the same name, so I have some regrets there, of course. Won’t be making that mistake again!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Sort of. Romance is a genre that gets a lot of flak for being unrealistic and, particularly, anti-feminist. I wanted to show that it could be. I wanted to write a story where the characters took some common tropes (rich, successful alpha-male, young ingenue) and flipped them a bit. That female characters could be as strong as the male characters. That male characters could be strong and sensitive at the same time. And that an “alpha-male” doesn’t need to be a jerk or shower a woman with gifts in order to get her to like him.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Definitely some. I tend to write about places I’ve been or lived. So, for instance, I went to graduate school in Boston, so I am able to write about that experience and city really well. Most of the places where the characters go are places I’ve been as well, so I can add specific details that have actually happened. And there are definitely characteristics of people that I know, but on the whole, I would say most of the characters in this series are definitely out of my imagination.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
This is probably too hard to answer. But these are some of my favorite writers whose work I love: Diana Gabaldon, Elizabeth Kostova, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Heather C. Leigh, Corinne Michaels. I love writers who write emotions and details really well.
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?
Lately I’ve been super into Kennedy Ryan’s work–she is doing some really important stuff with writing race in romance that I would like to emulate with my next series. Grip is probably my favorite novel of 2017 so far.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’m not sure what you mean by entity. If it’s a person, I would probably say my circle of friends in Seattle. I’ve lived here on and off for a long time, and I loved having a strong community of people around me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Hopefully one day. That’s the dream.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
See my answer above about writing as a kid.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
My characters. They are really headstrong and often do things I don’t particularly approve of.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet. One day, maybe.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Transitions. I think the big emotional scenes are the easiest. They stick out in my mind and come really organically. It’s the mechanics of the scenes–the moving between houses, the timeline, the stopgaps–that I find tough.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a lot about what it’s like to be in law school and graduate. Luckily I have several friends in Boston and Seattle who are lawyers and could give me a lot of great ideas about what kinds of details to include in those scenes.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Oh…that’s hard. In my head, the main character of the Spitfire Trilogy looks a lot like Paul Walker, who is unfortunately no longer with us, so that wouldn’t work. I think I’d like to see unnamed actors, but Ryan Reynolds might work for Brandon Sterling. I don’t know who would work for Skylar. I haven’t seen any actresses whom I think fit the bill there.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just write. Every day. Even if it’s just a few hundred words. But everyone has stories to tell, and you’ll never be able to tell them if you don’t practice.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I try to read a book a week. Right now I’m indulging in Elizabeth Kostova’s newest release, The Shadow Land. I also just finished Amy Daws’ Harris brothers books, which were pretty fun.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Oh man…I remember the first chapter book. I was in first grade, and I read Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH. And I was SO proud of myself for finishing it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Real emotion. Love, happiness, pain, fear. People are their most beautiful when they allow themselves to be truly vulnerable. That makes me cry, but out of happiness.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I definitely can’t name just one. But…hm…Queen Hatshepsut. She was a serious badass. Or Queen Elizabeth. I’d like to see how these women managed power in a world that really, really didn’t want them to, and on top of that, managed to make their people love them for it. So fascinating.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Ha. Just kidding. I have three kids and a day job, so hobbies are pretty much nonexistent these days. But when I do find the time, I enjoy playing the piano and the guitar, hiking around Seattle, and sometimes playing soccer when I discipline myself enough to go running.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m not a huge TV-watcher, but sometimes I’ll indulge on whatever is streaming. I just finished the last season of Girls, which was excellent. I also really liked Jessica Jones (on Netflix) and Mozart in the Jungle (on Amazon). The last film I saw in theaters was Moonlight–that should be required viewing for every man on the planet.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I’m a sucker for anything out of the ordinary. The last really delicious thing I ate was grilled octopus at a pub near me–so good! I’ll wearing anything that is crimson, black, or mustard yellow. In terms of music, I like literally everything, genre-wise. I post a lot of music on my Facebook page, actually, so readers can go there to see what’s inspiring me right now.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’m a teacher too, and that’s probably my other calling. In another life I would have done what my parents wanted and gone to law school.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Author Pages