I am at the IRC (Indie Romance Convention) in Lebanon, TN. Sitting here with me is Author Nikky Kaye .
What genre do you write?
Well, most recently I got back into writing by trying to write erotica, but the characters kept yapping and getting in the way. So then I thought I was writing erotic romance (or maybe romantic erotica, depending on the story). But then the characters kept making people laugh. So now I guess I’m writing erotic romantic comedy? That doesn’t sound quite right—like the pervy reader is getting off on the meet cute (oh yeahhhhh, she tripped over that dog in the park, just like that—oh god oh god oh god, not grass stains on the khakis, aaaaaahhhhh!).
One reader who emailed me inadvertently created a new genre for me with a typo: “fuction.” So there you go—I write funny fuction.
Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and do you read the same genre as you write?
Oh boy. I started writing romance in the last millennium. I took it very seriously (at least as seriously as one does at age 24), learned lots, networked, somehow snagged a powerhouse agent, had manuscripts requested by editors, etc. Ultimately, my voice was maybe too quirky to fit anything at that time, and moving to a different country for a PhD program kind of derailed my writing. Fast forward 18 years or so—more moves, marriage, kids, etc., and I decided that I wanted to try writing and self-publishing a niche non-fiction book. It was the process of doing that this past spring/summer (2016) that reinvigorated the romance bug. It’s like malaria, I guess. Once you have it, it’s always in your bloodstream.
I like to read stuff similar to what I write, but I have to be careful not to read too much of it when I’m deep into my own work. I’m one of those people that always subconsciously starts mimicking the accent of the person with whom I’m speaking. I never want to do that accidentally in my books with the voice of the author I myself am reading!
Other than romance, I love historical mysteries, non-fiction books about history, cultural studies, things like that. One of the best books I read in the last ten years was a book about the history of taxes. I am not kidding; it was absolutely gripping. I still like to read in my academic area too, even though I’m no longer teaching any college other than the University of Parenthood (our motto is “Do as I say, not as I do”).
What inspired you to write in this particular genre?
I always read it, and what’s more I respected it. By the time I was 9, I was immersed in Little Women, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Laura Ingalls Wilder. In retrospect I suppose I liked reading about women with thoughts of their own. Ultimately, that’s what romance is, or should at least aspire to be.
As a teenager I had a job at the public library, and one of the perks was being able to take out books with no due date. I grabbed every new release that came in from Avon, Harlequin, Berkley… I trolled the used bookstores, and then by the mid-1990s (oh my god, I’m dating myself here) I discovered fan fiction. I never really looked back.
But my writing back in the late 1990s is different from my writing now. I aged and experienced and learned things in that hiatus. Say what you will about a writer’s intrinsic voice—life can and will alter it.
Actually, I’m just too lazy to plot mysteries or research SEF. Does that answer the question?
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Western Canada, and my husband and I returned to our hometown in 2006 (after I was elsewhere for grad school and he was yet somewhere else for a fellowship). I spent a lot of time in England growing up, and I’ve also lived in Philadelphia, Paris, Oxford, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
I have a real soft spot for Will from Once Should Be Enough. I started that story originally from Cassie’s POV (although her name was Bailey at the time), and really thought that she was my muse. But it turned out that Will was the one driving that bus. I also had a lot of fun with Sarah from Do It Yourself, because I could relate to her on some different levels.
Do you have a special formula for creating characters’ names?
I come up with titles for books first, strangely enough, or perhaps a vague concept. Then I’ll come up with characters’ names to fit the concept of the story.
Once I made a chart with four columns: Book title, Hero’s Name, Heroine’s Name, Possible Lastnames; I’m still working off that a little. I’ll think about names that are classic or different and how they might fit the characters, or check popular baby names in the year they would have been born (or thereabouts). I’ll consider if their parents were traditionalists or more creative types. I’ll mix and match, play with it a little. Some names you associate with certain things, either on a personal or a cultural level.
The heroine in Once Should Be Enough started as Bailey, but it never really worked. The heroine in DIY didn’t have a name until I was done the story. In my current book, the hero has a pretty formal name and is a bit rigid himself. He calls the heroine by her full name instead of her nickname (unlike everyone else). But these things say more about their characters than their names.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
It’s always challenging. On some visceral level, every character is myself. And yet, each character becomes himself or herself in the course of writing the story. The most elusive to me so far has been Chris from Do It Yourself, because the entire story was from Sarah’s POV. I found that harder to do than I thought it would be.
Chris is getting to narrate a short holiday story that will go exclusively to my mailing list subscribers, however, so he’ll get his chance to speak. J
What is your motto?
Uh, “mottos are for people who can’t come up with their own inspirational words”? Just kidding! As a new parent of premature twins, I had two mottos—“this is all just temporary” and “every day is the new normal.” On some level I still try to remember that. And my husband always tells me “work smarter, not harder.”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Depends on the day. Yesterday it was Pumpkin Spice Oreos. J I will always eat M&Ms if they’re offered to me. But mostly my biggest guilty pleasure is napping. I flove spending time in bed, and not sexy time. Just me time.
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
For the former, I would love to see my grandparents again. For the latter—I’m still working on getting to know myself, much less anyone else.
Tell us your latest news?
I’m working on a new full-length novel, which I’ve been having a lot of fun with and plan to get out in late December. After that is a sequel to Once Should Be Enough, with a third installment to follow in the New Year. And I’m hoping to have a few other surprises up my sleeve as well.
Oooooh, and I am planning a series for 2017 that I think is going to be really hot and fast and funny. Other than that, I have four other standalone books outlined and a handful of erotic shorts I want to play with. Basically, I’ve scheduled myself until 2019 and yet keep coming up with more ideas. If I could write 10,000 words a day, I would. In fact, I’m trying some strategies to up my daily word count so I can get out a book a month.
I freaking love doing this right now.
Thank you Nikky Kaye for taking the time to answers these questions.
Books by this Author:
About the Author:
Nikky Kaye is almost the real name of a former professor who decided to take what she learned from working with movie stars and the United Nations to write stories about people who make questionable decisions. In addition, through parenting young twin boys she also has experience with greed, sloth, envy, wrath, and gluttony. She leaves the lust for her books.
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