Hello, hello! Welcome to 2018’s FIRST episode of #AuthorSpotlight! ♥
We’re kicking the year off right with the amazing Nina Walker!
Elle: Who’s your favorite Fantasy/PNR/Dystopian, etc. heroine? Why do you love her so much?
Nina: I love Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series. She is such a great character and so easy to root for. She’s sassy, smart, strong, and she takes charge of her own destiny. If you haven’t read the books yet, you must!
E: What does your typical writing day/schedule look like?
N: I have two kids at home and I work another business so I’m pretty busy. I tend to write a little everyday when I can fit it in, but that’s a different time nearly each day. I get the majority of my work done on vacations or little weekend retreats that I’ll take up to our family cabin. I do my best work when I’m away from life’s daily demands. But still, that doesn’t work all the time, so I’m back to getting my 2k words in each day at home.
E: If you could have ONE magical power… what would you choose, and why?
N: I would love to manipulate time because I need more of it! But really, I would love to be a time traveler and to be able to slow time or speed it up.
E: That would definitely be a cool power! What is your strangest habit? (Doesn’t have to be writing related)
N: I’m having a hard time answering this question. One habit I’m very proud of that most people don’t have is that I listen to personal development books and podcasts every day. Growing myself and continually working on becoming a stronger person is very important to me and I love it.
E: How many words-per-book (and words-per-day) do you aim to write? How long does it usually take you to complete a novel of that length?
N: I try to write at least 2,000 words a day, but that doesn’t always happen. When I’m on a writing retreat, I write around 10,000 words a day. My novels are around 90,000 words and the first drafts usually take me 2-3 months, with editing taking another month. I do want to get faster at this, but I also want to keep balance in my life and honor all of my priorities. So that’s where I am at right now in my life. Once my kids are in school full time in a few more years, I expect to double my writing time and be able to go from 2-3 books a year to 5-6 books a year. We’ll see!
E: What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
N: That’s another tough one. I actually think most television these days is much better than film. So maybe I’ll start there. The HBO adaptation of Big Little Lies was incredible. The Vampire Diaries was a favorite of mine for a long time. There are so many!
E: What’s the most effective marketing strategy you’ve tried? And how did you go about implementing it?
N: Newsletter promos and swaps have been most effective for me, but not always. I think the important thing is to ask for the swaps because you never know who’s willing to help. And I’ve also grown my own list up to 15,000 subscribers, which has taken work but it’s worth it to have that in my tool belt.
E: I’ve definitely heard great things about newsletters as well. You may choose 3 fictional characters to be on your team in the zombie apocalypse…
Who are they?
N: I’ll take Hermione Granger and her wand, Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, and Rey with her light saber. We’ll make a pretty awesome girl squad.
E: Dude! I SO want to be on this girl squad too! lol What’s the best writing tip you’ve received, or would give to a fellow author?
N: I took a weeklong workshop with Dave Farland, who mentored many of the most popular fantasy authors. I learned all about how to enchant readers and simply put, it’s about writing deep. Most people write what they see and that’s it, because most people are visual learners. But if I can get the movement, the feelings, the sounds and tastes, then I can bring the reader in much easier.
As far as practical advice, it would be not to worry too much about reviews. Not everyone will like your work and you can’t be everyone’s favorite author, so don’t try to be. Focus on the genre you love and ignore the haters because they won’t get it, nor do they need to get it for you to be successful.
E: GREAT advice! In my series, The Essential Elements, the characters have the ability to control 1 of the 4 Classical Elements (Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind).
If you could control ONE… which would you choose, and why?
N: Fire because that seems the most dangerous and exciting.
E: Please tell us a bit about your latest release!
N: The second book in The Color Alchemist series released in October and book three in that series will release in April. The young adult romantic fantasy series follows a group of Color Alchemists, people who have the power to manipulate color and turn it into powerful magic. Audible bought the rights to the series and will have the first two books out soon. I’m so excited! This is a great read for people who liked The Selection, Red Queen, and Shadow and Bone.
Thank you so much, Nina!
It’s been wonderful having you on the blog!