Today, I have another author visiting my little blog.
*Trumpets blaring.* Nikki Katz!
*Applause and shouts of praise.*
Nikki is a freelance writer and has published books on all sorts of topics: from entertainment to games and puzzles.
Let's meet Nikki now....
Tell us a little about yourself.....
Um, let’s see… I’m a writer, blogger, mom of 3, wife, and rocket scientist. Yes, I always throw that in my bio – because that’s about all my aerospace engineering degree was good for. That and a plaque on the wall as proof.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Right now it’s dystopian. I absolutely love it! I think it all stems from the Matrix. That movie freaks me out, mostly because I think one day it could easily become reality.
Who is your favorite author that has inspired you the most?
As much as Twilight gets knocked by a lot of authors, I have to say that Stephenie Meyer inspired me to start writing again. I had written a YA novel several years ago (I call it my learning novel, because it will never see the light of day and I made every mistake possible) but then I got swamped with parenting, working, and I stopped writing altogether. In fact, I stopped reading for almost a year.
I picked up Twilight when our family friends, who are really good friends with Taylor Lautner’s parents , mentioned that he was in this new Twilight movie coming out. I started reading Twilight at the gym and devoured all four books in about two weeks. It got me interested in writing YA again. And here we are.
Have to say.. that is ultra cool.
Within the last year, what was the title of a book that completely whisked you away and you just couldn't put down?
The entire Hunger Games series. Over and over and over again.
So we know you write, when did this passion bloom?
When I was three and wrote poetry, when I was in third grade writing plays, when I was in junior high writing love stories … you get the picture J
Can you tell us about the first novel you wrote? Did you query it? What do you think about it now?
The first complete novel I wrote was a 40k YA contemporary novel. It started when I couldn’t sell my nonfiction prom planning book. I had written several chapters and I thought “well, what if a fictional girl picked up this book and used it to help her go to prom!” The story went from there. Yes, I queried it. Yes, it’s absolutely horrible. No, it will never see the light of day.
You have an eclectic array of books you have written and published. What started you on this road?
I used to freelance write for About.com and several of the Guides there had the same nonfiction agent. I queried her for some nonfiction projects and with my mathematical background she found that they wanted me to work with puzzles and games for the most part!
What made you go from writing game and puzzle books to fiction?
Fiction has always been my passion. In my own head, I’m not really an author until my fictional piece is published.
Can you give us a teaser about SHORELINE?
Sixteen-year-old Maya Georgiou is a beautiful ocean nymph faced with an impossible decision. She must choose between sacrificing Nate, the only boy she’s ever cared about, to a Greek Goddess with insane demands - or take his place instead.
Seventeen-year-old Trinity thinks nothing of her dead grandmother’s gold locket — until she slips it around her neck and dreams of the mysterious, dark haired boy whose picture is held within.
I'm going to change things up a little. You have to tell us the first thing that pops into your mind...
Best kiss you ever received?
On my wedding day from my husband (I have to go with that one, right?)
The one guy that makes you drool?
Favorite paranormal being?
Well I’ll probably have to go with an ocean nymph, although they are mythological and I’m always a little confused about what constitutes paranormal!
First thing you notice on a male?
Hair. Wait. No, eyes. No, hair.
An embarrassing moment that happened to you.
My wrap skirt came untied during the middle of a theater performance in high school. I danced around the stage, blissfully unaware that my classmates could see the hip of my underwear. Now I’d laugh it off, but back then I was mortified!!
Your dream vacation.
Hawaii. I’ve never been!
Okay, now to what unpublished writers want to know....
What sources did you use to write the winning query letter?
Oh gosh, what haven’t I used! I’ve Googled every agent blog, I’ve entered query contests on both Nathan Bransford’s site, and Miss Snark’s First Victim … and then I ran it past my critique partners ad nauseum!
Did you compose a list of dream agents?
Yes and no.
Did you get several requests from your query?
Yes, but my query morphed and changed, so the queries varied.
You snatched Bree Ogden...or maybe she snatched you...what made you think, she is the perfect agent for me?
She’s still relatively new to the industry but she’s willing to work hard, extremely hard for her clients. My big “requirements” in my dream agent were wanting someone who looked for a career client, and someone I could bounce ideas off of – and Bree does both those.
Can you tell us how many revisions you had to do before your books were ready for submission?
After Bree took me on as a client I’ve only done one major revision.
While your book is being shopped around, what are you doing with your time?
Writing another novel of course!
Any advice you'd like to share for us aspiring writers?
Grow a thick skin and learn to take criticism. This is not an industry for the faint of heart. And landing an agent certainly doesn’t mean that things get better! There are still editors out there to reject you, book reviewers out there to dislike your book, readers to judge your contents. Do your best work – your VERY best work – and be proud of yourself.
And there you have, right from an agented author.
Thank you so very much for visiting my little blog, Nikki. I hope you'll let me interview you again when your book hits the shelf.