Visiting Authors & Readers Book Corner today is author, Nicole Falls. Falls is a contemporary Black romance writer who has “become the Russell Westbrook of Black Indie Romance” written on her vision board. She is also a ceramic mug and lapel pin enthusiast who cannot function without her wireless Beats constantly blaring music. Other things she loves include Trevante Rhodes, Kofi Siriboe; both of whom she’s willing to risk it all for. IT. ALL. When Nicole isn’t writing (or lusting after chocolatey actor baes), she spends her time trolling her friends and family while drinking coffee and/or cocktails or checking off yet another of these great United States visited in her quest to see some land! She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago. She stopped to share her publishing experience and to share her current title, Smitten.
A&RBC: Tell us about your publishing journey.
It happened by chance. Well, not completely…but mostly. I’ve been writing and/or making up stories since I was a young kid. I had aspirations of being published by a major publishing house in high school, but resigned myself to it never happening in college. Along the way though, I kept writing. Whether it was academically, on my personal blog, or in various writing exercises with friends who were aspiring authors, the fire dimmed, but never was fully extinguished. In early 2016 I was listening to a Deborah Cox song “The Morning After” and an idea for a short story came to me. I jotted down a skeletal idea in an app I used for writing at the time and commenced to writing it a short while later. I shared the idea with a friend and she was intrigued.
While writing the short more and more things about these people were revealed to me, so I decided to not put restrictions on its length and just kept writing. What resulted was a novella length work. I shared (most) of it with exactly three people. They really liked it, but they were also my friends so I felt they were contractually obligated to say they did, LOL. The same friend with whom I’d shared my initial short idea was killing it in the indie publishing lane, so I got on board with releasing this via Amazon very quickly after conversation with her. After some hemming and hawing (& a profanity laced threat from more than one friend), I hit publish and Nicole Falls was born.
I’ve only been published for just under a year now and honestly? It has been one of the most rewarding periods of my life. One of my love languages is praise, so it is very exciting to have people read my work and let me know that they enjoyed it. Readers of indie black romance are some of the toughest critics and to know that they’re rocking with me? It’s a high not easily replicated.
A&RBC: What genres do you write in?
For now, I only write contemporary romance. I’ll probably dabble in women’s fiction at some point when I have a bit more time to focus on longer projects.
A&RBC: What are 4 things you believe every writer should have when starting a writing career?
– The desire to tell a story: This seems so basic, but if you are not writing because you were led by a gnawing desire to tell a certain person (or people’s) story then what are you even doing here?
– A well-stocked bookshelf: It doesn’t have to be plentiful, but it should be varied. A mix of fiction and non-fiction, a variety of genres and writers. You should be exposed to many writers and varied writing styles. This will be key in helping you develop your own style, imo.
– An unwavering faith and confidence in yourself: This is something with which I struggled at the beginning of my writing career. I’m talking about before even completing and finishing my first work. It took way longer to come out than it should have due to me not completely being confident in my place in the literary landscape. Be sure you know who you are and what you want to attain via writing. This will help sustain you if/when you receive bad reviews, ahaha!
– Writer Friends: I cannot even put into words how it is important to have a community of peers around you. Non-writers don’t always get it. Having people around you who understand the “voices in my head”-ness of it all keeps me sane. It’s also aspirational when you see your writer friends outchea killing the game with each release. There are so many who inspire me to keep going and push through when I feel like throwing the towel in.
A&RBC: Do you believe every author should be an avid reader?
Absolutely, as the proverb says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” As I stated earlier, I believe that reading writing across a broad variety of genres greatly enhances a writer’s skillset.
A&RBC: What has been the most challenging and rewarding thing for you as a writer?
The most challenging thing has been beginnings. I often go into a project knowing the meat of it, but not really where it all began. I’ve actually been stalled on a project because I tried starting it in several places and none of them seemed to be right.
The most rewarding thing is complete strangers connecting with my words. It’s one thing if your friends and family read your work and compliment it, but when someone who doesn’t know you from a hole in the wall identifies with your characters or says such and such part made them feel any range of emotion…there’s no greater high. My favorite thing ever is being tagged in social media posts or receiving messages from readers.
A&RBC: Tell us about Smitten.
Smitten is a typical boy meets girl story. Coming off of Adore You, I wanted to write a story about strangers with undeniable chemistry connecting and seeing what came of it. Celena made an appearance in AY and she stuck with me, so I knew her story would be next.
A&RBC: Tell us about Celena Payne.
Celena is the anti-Nicole, LOL! I told so many friends that she really caused me to stretch the bounds of my writing because some of her actions and reactions are so unlike how I’d comport myself in similar situations. She is sweet, unflinchingly loyal, and ultra-forgiving.
A&RBC: Tell us about Karim Holt.
Karim is a boss. There’s no hesitance in his actions. He’s a man who is sure of himself and what he wants for his life. He adores his mama, but isn’t a mama’s boy. He’s remarkably solid, self assured, and compassionate.
A&RBC: What new projects are you working on?
I’m in the process of putting together a semi #sekrit project that will hopefully be out in the world by the end of this month. If you’re following my website, you’ve gotten a small taste of what’s to come. I wanted to challenge myself to do a certain thing and then it spawned an idea for a whole project.
I’m also plugging away at Celena’s sister Pat’s story. She and her hero are giving me a bit of a hard time, but I’m hoping they’ll be ready for y’all by the end of Q3 of 2017.
A&RBC: Tell us where readers can find you.
Currently on social media hiatus right now, but you can find me on the interwebs at. . .
More on Smitten
Celena Payne was heartbroken. Ghosted by her most recent ex, she was over the whole “romance thang”. Instead she was focused on her career, family and friend, until…
Karim Holt had recently moved back to his hometown to help his mother care for his ailing grandmother. Between family obligations and opening a new business, he was a busy man, with little time for socializing. A spontaneous night out led to…
A chance meeting. Sparks flying. Romance brewing. Celena and Karim’s undeniable chemistry alter their lives in ways neither could have imagined.