Monday, 2 November 2015

Indie Hour - Nicola Haken

I'm so happy to welcome Nicola Haken to Indie Hour today! She's an author of both contemporary and LGBT romance, and I'm a huge fan!

TK: Hi Nicola and welcome to Indie Hour! So glad to have you as my fabulous guest!
How are you? I know you had some heath trouble over the recent months and got us all worried! Glad to see you on your feet and writing again.

NH: Thank you for having me! Thanks to a cocktail of medications, I’m feeling way better than I was. I’m still waiting for some tests and appointments because I’m proving to be a bit of a medical mystery at the moment! But, now anything sinister has been ruled out, my head is back in the game. Woohoo! 

TK: Tell me about your new book The Making of Matt. It’s the third book in your Souls of the Knight series, right?

NH: It is and, for now, the end of the series, but I never say never to anything. Matt was never supposed to have his own story, but readers saw something in him that, at the time Being Sawyer Knight was released, I didn’t. Several asked for his story, which at first I dismissed because this was an M/M series and Matt was not only straight, but a complete whore! Once the seed was planted, however, it continued to grow, and, now, here we are. I can’t see any other way for Matt anymore.

His story, of course, stays true to the personality everyone fell in love with. Matt continues to be immature, sarcastic, unwittingly offensive, and sometimes downright stupid. I’m biased, obviously, but it’s hard not to love those things about him. He’s an arsehole, but an adorable one! In this book, though, we see Matt Carter is also so much more than that. Beneath the humour lies a sensitive, caring, sometimes vulnerable man. He has some pretty tough things to deal with in his story and he doesn’t always react to them in an ideal way at first, but the important thing is he learns as he goes along. As a person, I think he grows a lot throughout this book. I doubt he’ll ever ‘grow up’ so to speak, and really, I wouldn’t want him to. I kinda love him!

TK: Congratulations on the enormous success of the book – it’s been in the top 100 of the entire Kindle paid store ever since it was released, along with a few other MM romance books released around the same time. How do you feel about the success of the MM genre in recent months?

NH: Holy freakin’ crapballs is all I can say to that! Matt’s success has blown me away and I can’t thank everyone who helped get him there enough. Anyone who follows my posts will have seen that I’ve been just as excited to have my fellow m/m authors there with me last week! I’ve only been a part of this genre for 18 months and it’s already grown so much in that time, which is AWESOME! I’m so honoured to be a part of it. I’ve met some of the best people in it, made some incredible friends, and I’m beyond happy that more people seem to be finding us. Next step for the m/m genre? Take over the world! 

TK: I know you write both MM and MF romance books, which I think is awesome. There’s a stigma attached to authors who openly cross genres, however. Have you been affected by it?

NH: Oh there definitely is, for some people at least. When I released Being Sawyer Knight I had my fair share of ‘this is why mf authors shouldn’t write mm’ comments. I refused to give those kind of statements a second thought. I write about people falling in love. If I can write one man convincingly in an m/f story, I can write about two in an m/m/. If they didn’t enjoy the story, they didn’t like my writing style, they thought it was a pile of crap, I accept that. No book is for every reader. But what I’ve written previously shouldn’t come into it.

I’m of course only referring to a few people there. On the whole, this genre and the people in it – authors, readers, and bloggers – are amazing! I’ve gained so many new readers and discovered some fantabulous authors too. All in all, I’m surrounded by awesome people and I try my best to concentrate on them and ignore anything negative. 

TK: Do you plan to go back to writing MF romance or are you more likely to concentrate on MM in the near future?

NH: As much as I love my m/f characters, and the readers and friends I made while writing them, I feel like I’ve found my home. I’ve always written in dual POV and even when writing m/f, I always enjoyed writing from the guy’s perspective more. I connect with them better somehow, I always have. I tell people this all the time, I genuinely had no idea the m/m genre existed until around two years ago when I accidentally stumbled upon a Kindle Alexander book. As soon as I read it, I felt like I’d been searching for this genre all my life! But it does, and I love it, and I’m afraid you won’t get rid of me easily! 

TK: How do you manage to run your own business – because let’s face it, being an indie author is a business, and it takes a lot of time and effort to run it – around your family and your kids? I only have one kid and I can barely breathe some days, let alone find time to write! What’s your secret?

NH: My secret is very little sleep! I have four kids aged between 12 and 3 (yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either!) so I do most of my work when the two smaller ones are asleep at night. I don’t often go to sleep before 2AM, but I’m lucky to have a husband who works nights and does the school run when he comes home in the morning so I get to lie in till a whopping 9AM some days haha! Also, I’m not what you’d call a domestic goddess. I make time for all things work related by ignoring all things housework related :D 

TK: Is your family supportive of your career choice?

NH: Very. I wouldn’t be able to do this alone. My three boys are at school during the day, so my mum takes my daughter during that time so I have those hours to do my author thing. She also helps out with the things I never get around to, like washing, ironing, and cooking at weekends lol. In fairness, I’d probably never do those things anyway even if I wasn’t busy writing, but don’t tell my mum that ;-) 

TK: Do you like being an indie author? Have you considered publishing with a publishing house?

NH: When I first started out, like a lot of new authors, it was my dream to be traditionally published someday. But now? I’m not sure. I like the control I have over my own things. I’m happy (and tremendously grateful) for the success I’ve had on my own so far, and I also don’t cope well with deadlines or being told what to do lol. But I guess I can’t say for sure without ever having a discussion with a publisher. I’ve heard good and bad stories from both sides of the fence. But for now, I’m happy and proud to be an indie author! 

TK: What can we expect from Nicola next? Do you have any publishing schedule planned or are you taking it in stride?

NH: I’m not good with schedules! I’m well over half way through my latest work in progress which I plan (or should that be hope?!) to release in March 2016. It follows my new boys, James and Theo, and is worlds apart from Matt’s story in so many ways. New characters, new country, my first time writing in present tense… Also, these guys have a difficult, emotional, story to tell and I can only hope I do them justice. 

Right, it’s all fun and games until the Lightning Round!!!!

·         Do you prefer to be right or liked? Whichever causes the least drama!
·         Superman or Batman? Superman (come on, the dude can fly!)
·         Do you sing in the shower? I sing everywhere (much to the detriment of others!)
·         Are you a night owl or an early bird? Night owl
·         Who’s your dream mentor? I admire such a long list of people I couldn’t possibly choose!
·         Your phone or your kindle? Phone (although I have a kindle too!)
·         What’s your favourite food? Potatoes (cooked any way!)
·         Did you ever read a book because everyone else was reading it? If yes, which one? The only book I’ve ever done that with is Fifty Shades of Grey because I needed to see what all the hype was about. For the record, I loved it!
·         Pizza or sushi? Veggie I’ll go with pizza because the idea of sushi weirds me out, but I don’t really like either.
·         TV series or full length movies? TV series. I usually end up falling asleep through movies, yet I can binge watch TV shows for hours!

TK: Thank you, Nicola, for being such a brilliant guest!

NH: Thank you for having me!

If you want to get in touch with the fabulous Nicola, or just stalk her for updates about her new books, here's how: