Today I'll be interviewing fantasy romance author Nicole Zoltack. I met Nicole through blogger, and I consider her one of my good friends. I'm excited to have her here today on my blog, and I recently finished reading book one and book two of her Kingdom of Arnhem series. I can't wait for book three!
Here is some information about Nicole Zoltack:website link: http://www.NicoleZoltack.com
blog link: http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.
purchase link for Woman of Honor: http://stores.
purchase link for Knight of Glory: http://stores.
Please visit her website and blog. To read my reviews of Woman of Honor and Knight of Glory, you can read them on Raven and the Writing Desk here.
Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you, Nicole.
1. Tell us a little about yourself? (How long you have been writing? The day job? Etc.)
I've been writing since I first learned how to write. Of course, back then, it started as short stories. My first one was about a family who dressed up in costumes for Thanksgiving (combining Thanksgiving and Halloween). The dad was always the turkey but the MC and the mom always choose a different part of the meal each year, only Megan (nicknamed May because I went through a phase where those names were my favorite and I couldn't pick just one) didn't know what to dress up as. She finally choose mashed potatoes, my favorite part of the meal.
Since then, I like to think my stories have come a long way. I started my first novel in the sixth grade (literally during class). It's the fantasy YA novel that I've rewritten and revised enough that I'm submitting to agents. During high school, I got away from novels and wrote a lot of bad poetry. Make that BAD. During college, one of my sisters told me about Nanowrimo and ever since, I've been working on novels again. And some short stories if I see an anthology that piques my interest.
My day job? Running after a toddler (my 21-month old son), trying to keep the house clean, running errands... I'm a homemaker. I enjoy staying at home but even so, it seems like I hardly ever have enough time for my writing. So I end up sacrificing sleep if I want to get any of my writing work done.
2. I've just finished reading your Kingdom of Arnhem series book one and book two. Tell us a little about the series?
The Kingdom of Arnhem series is set in a medieval fantasy world where two kingdoms, Arnhem and Speica are at war. The lands are separated by Glacia Stream and for centuries have been battled one another, trying to claim more land. This war will be the final war between the two kingdoms.
Book I, Woman of Honor, is the story of Aislinn, a young girl who wishes to become a knight. The final war starts in this novel. Book II, Knight of Glory, is about Sir Geoffrey, one of Aislinn's knight friends, who travels the land trying to find allies for Arnhem in the war. He and his band seek out the trolls and dwarves, while the evil Speicans have been making secret alliances as well. Book III, Champion of Valor, which isn't released yet, will focus on the end of the war, with much action, mayhem, magic, mythological creatures, and death before the dust settles.
3. I've seen the book three comes out in May 2011 with Desert Breeze Publishing. Have you already finished writing it? Or is it still a work in progress? And will there be more books after book three?
Champion of Valor is a WIP. It will be the last book in this series but it won't be the last book set in this world. There are too many characters who I want to share their stories. And the history of the world is rich, especially with the trolls or haugtrolds. I would love to write a book depicting their past. The only problem? Not all of these other stories are romances and Desert Breeze Publishing only publishes romances. I'll still write these stories, but I'll have to find a different publisher for them.
4. These books are medieval fantasy, and you have a wonderful way to bring the reader into that world. How much research did you do to write this series?
I did the most research for Woman of Honor. This book, out of the three, has the most historical slant, especially pertaining to Aislinn's knightly training. I did more research on the history of different mythological creatures for Knight of Glory, the book where I dive more deeply into the fantasy aspects of the world. Champion of Valor is going to have a slight religious slant to it. People in the Middle Ages were devout with their faith and to ignore this part of their world would be a sin. Think Crusades fought in Heaven.
5. What inspired you to write Kingdom of Arnhem?
I have always loved everything about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and have done extensive research on this time period. One question I had was if there were any female knights. And to my surprise, I discovered an entire order of female knights – the Order of the Hatchet. Women and small children were left behind in their small town in Spain. The Moors seized this opportunity to attack, but the women were able to fight them back. For their valor, the women were made into knights and were giving the right to property and to speak up in public assemblies. Aislinn mentions these women when she petitions the king for the chance to train as a knight.
6. Can you tell us about any other projects you are working on or works forthcoming?
I already mentioned my fantasy YA novel, Alexia and the Land of Imagining. This story is about a magical pen that unleashes a young teen's power to control a fantasy land, a realm only she can save from evil. Think A Wrinkle in Time meets The Neverending Story. I'm submitting this story to agents.
Another story I'm submitting to agents in Hidden in Shadows, an assassin paranormal story. Love and the discovery of a paranormal ability hinder assassin Lorna's quest to avenge her father's murder.
I'm also working on various short stories and Champion of Valor. As for forthcoming works, I have a short story in Mertales called “Beauty is Only Fin Deep”, and “A New Magical Earth” in Pill Hill Press' Daily Flash 2011. Both anthologies will be out later this year.
7. Do you have any advice to give to writers?
Never give up. The rejection letters will pile up and the waiting game seems unending, but persistence and perseverance are key when it comes to writing. It only takes one 'yes'. Hopefully we'll all be hearing that soon.
Once again, thank you, Nicole. I can't wait to read book three and more novels and short stories from you.