Saturday, May 7, 2011

Interview with Nicole Zoltack

Today our blogging buddy, Nicole Zoltack, has stopped by for an interview. The third book in her Kingdom of Arnhem series, CHAMPION OF VALOR, released May 1st.

Me: Welcome, Nicole! Can you give us a summary of your book series?

Nicole: The Kingdom of Arnhem series (fantasy romance for young adults and adults) is about the final war between two kingdoms - Arnhem and Speica.

Book I - Woman of Honor is about a young girl who wants to become a knight. Aislinn is willing to give up everything for the kingdom of Arnhem - her childhood, her life, even her heart. No matter the pain it brings.

Book II - Knight of Glory. Geoffrey leaves Arnhem to find her allies for the war against Speica and finds secrets, lies, and rumors that could tip the war in Speica's favor. He also finds himself torn between two very different and mysterious ladies.

Book III - Champion of Valor. Selliki loves the mage Gabrael but she is a selkie and love has never treated her race kindly when they love someone from the land. The final war between Speica and Arnhem is threatening the entire world. Lucifer has aligned himself with Speica and wants nothing less than to bring about the Apocalypse before its time. Only one kingdom will prevail; that is, if the world doesn't end.

Me: You're a busy mom with two small children. How did you manage to squeeze in enough time to not only write one novel, but an entire series?

Nicole: It isn't easy being a writer when you have kids. Son #1 is 2 1/2 , son #2 is 9 months (he'll be taking his first step soon!) I write when everyone else is sleeping, either late at night or early in the morning. What's wonderful is that both boys nap at the same time, so I can get dishes and other things done during the day and I try to squeeze in some writing then too, although if I'm honest, I usually try to catch up on emails and blogs then.

Me: Yes, reading blogs is a familiar addiction! What is your favorite part about writing fantasy novels?

Nicole: I love that anything goes. I can have people throw fireballs at each other. I can introduce races like selkies and dwarves. I can show dwarven women (why are they hardly ever portrayed?). I can change trolls so they aren't so monstrous and have magic themselves - the ability to dance on the wind. The freedom is what I love most.

Me: What a cool job--creating unique characters and intriguing worlds. Can you give us a small glimpse into your writing journey?

Nicole: Sure! I first learned about Desert Breeze through a publisher chat on a yahoo group. As the chat was winding down, Gail Delaney (the EIC) mentioned that she loved series, especially for fantasy and a few other genres. I mentioned to her that I had an unfinished manuscript that would be part of a series and briefly described it to her. She said to send it to her when it was finished.

The story I had mentioned was a Nano story (National Novel Writing Month when authors around the world try to write a 50K in November). I abandoned all other side projects and focused on the novel until I completed it. After finishing it, I submitted to Gail and waited. Shortly thereafter, she emailed me an acceptance for Woman of Honor.

Desert Breeze is a non-erotic romance publisher, which is perfect for me. My novels tend to have crossover appeal. Woman of Honor is a coming-of-age fantasy romance, so it's definitely for YA and adults.

Anyhow, I had mentioned to Gail about the series during the yahoo chat, and we worked together to figure out the direction that the series could take so that the entire series was fantasy romance, each book centering on a different couple. And that was that. I had sold a short story or two before this, but this was my journey to novel publication.

Me: That was quite an adventure. What quick tip can you offer fellow writers?

Nicole: Even if you can't write every day, work on your story every day. Even if that just means thinking about the characters and what kind of ice cream they like. The more you know and understand your characters, the more they'll leap off the page.

Me: Thanks for the visit, Nicole. We all wish you success with your trilogy!

Happy Mother’s Day to Nicole and all the other Mommy Writers out there. Readers, be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win some signed post cards and magnets. Each comment during the Champion of Valor Blog Tour gives you an entry for the grand prize: a copy of the entire Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy - Woman of Honor, Knight of Glory, and Champion of Valor.

You can find Nicole here: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter

Her books can be purchased on Amazon here.


  1. I imagine with small children you have to write when everyone's asleep! Great interview. ladies.

  2. Excellent interview ladies! These books sound right up my alley. They're going on my to read list. Thank you!

  3. What an awesome Mother's day interview! Very inspiring. Sounds like a wonderful series. Thank you.

  4. Thank you, Julie and Nicole.I am awed that Nicole has the brain space to write with such wee ones at home. Loved the fireball comment.

  5. I loved this interview! A fellow fantasy writer! I was immediately intrigued by the story line and have put all three books on my to-read list. Thank you for posting it!

  6. Great interview, Julie. I'm impressed how much you accomplish with such little children, Nicole. I didn't begin writing until my daughter was 4-years-old.

    Can't wait to share my interview with Nicole on Tuesday.

  7. Thanks for the awesome interview! And, btw, I absolutely LOVE the cover! <333

  8. Wow, sounds really cool! I definitely want to read these!

  9. Great interview... I definitely want to read this series.
    thx, and Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there…

  10. What a wonderful interview! So happy she found a great home for her series. :)

  11. these books sound like so much fun! thanks for the interview Julie~ :o) <3

  12. Great interview, Julie!! Nicole is wonderful. :)

  13. Gosh, I can't write and keep myself fed, let alone little ones! I take off my hat to Nicole. I love the idea of a series that focuses on a different couple each book, too, sounds amazing.

  14. Great interview, and Nicole's journey is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Hi Nicole. Following your blog tour. Really enjoying your interviews. I always had to play catch after my kids went to bed when they were little.
    Sue B

  16. Hey Julie - I have an award for you on my blog today!

  17. If I didn't, I wouldn't have any time to write! Thanks, Alex!

    I hope you enjoy them, Heather! :)

    Thank you, Lisa!

  18. Thanks, Leslie Rose! Love your name, btw.

    I hope you enjoy them, Laurisa, thanks! I love meeting and talking to other fantasy writers.

    Thanks, Theresa! I think I'm asking for it - sometimes I try to do too much for my own good.

  19. I love the cover too, thanks, Monica!

    Thank you, Su, I hope you do!

    Aw, thank you, Jeff!

  20. Thank you, Alleged Author, glad you liked the interview!

    Thanks for stopping by, LTM!

    You're a sweetheart, Sheri!

  21. Thank you, Amie! Sometimes I'm more worried with making sure that my boys get fed then I do. I'll get so caught up with my writing sometimes during their naps that I'll forget to eat lunch. Hours later, my stomach grumbles and I'm thiking, why am I hungry? Oh, yeah... whoops.

    Thanks, Nas Dean! So glad you found my journey inspiring! :)

    I'm so glad you're enjoying yourself following along with my blog tour, Sue!