Jenn: Tell us about your journey to publication.
Nicole: I wrote my first novel five years ago and, after querying a few dozen agents and getting a lot of rejection letters, I shelved it for a few years. It was a couple of years ago when I first started hearing about self-publishing and began doing some research. After deciding this was the direction I was going to take, I uploaded my book, held my breath, and hit publish. It was terrifying. However, after ETERNAL EDEN started gaining some momentum and I was actually generating a reader following, I continued to write and self-publish. A few books and another year later, CRASH was generating a lot of publisher interest in the UK, and then HarperCollins made their offer in the US. I was thrilled to have a series picked up by a couple of traditional publishers and overall, the experience was very rewarding. I'm thankful for both self and traditional publishing and my goal is to maintain a presence in both worlds.
Jenn: What's the best thing that's happened to you as a result of being published?
Nicole: A couple of things. The first thing would be having a way to get my books on actual book store shelves. That is something I can't do on my own and something I've dreamed of since starting this writing journey. The second thing would be the editing process. I learned so much from my editor and believe it's made me a stronger writer overall.
Jenn: What's the most surprising thing?
Nicole: The stress and long hours! Once CRASH and CLASH were purchased, we were adhering to extremely tight deadlines and there were plenty of nights when I'd get a hundred pages of edits and need to go through them, make changes, comments, etc. and have them back by the next morning. It was intense and I think I lived off of caffeine and stubborn resolve for a couple of months back in the fall.
Jenn: What's the hardest thing about being an author?
Nicole: I always feel like I'm working in a way. My mind never quite shuts off. It's always working on a storyline, or trying to work out a plot twist, or agonizing over a particular sentence. I'm getting better at it, but I still struggle with trying to balance life and career. It's a work in progress.
Jenn: What are some of your favorite New Adult novels?
Nicole: I've got so, so many. I love Steph Campbell's GROUNDING QUINN, Colleen Hoover's SLAMMED series, Tammara Webber's EASY, Abbi Glines' WHILE IT LASTS.
Jenn: What other good books have you read lately?
Nicole: I just started reading BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver and I'm really enjoying it. I love Sophie Jordan's Firelight series, ON THE ISLAND by Travey Garvis-Graves, and I've got a TBR that's insane (including several of the books written by the lovely authors on this tour!). I'd love to take a month long vacation where all I do is relax on a beach and catch up on all of the great books I have yet to read.
Jenn: What's next for you?
Nicole: I'm working on a mature YA/NA book titled, LOST AND FOUND. This is a title I'm self-publishing that will be released on May 7th. It's about a tortured, troubled girl and a sweet, swoony cowboy. It's about self-descovery, moving on from your past, and letting love into your life. It's three parts sweet to one part steam. It's a story I'm very excited to put out into the world! After this, I'm planning on continuing to write stories and characters I fall in love with and can't get out of my head.
For the latest on Nicole's books, visit her blog at nicoleawilliams.blogspotcom!