Good afternoon Ms. Nicholas, and welcome to Coffee Time Romance. My name is Lori (Lototy), and I am thrilled to speak with you today about one of your newest releases “Bait”. What a fantastic read for anyone who loves a heady romance with sexy vampires, and non-stop thrills and chills! Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today.
Thanks for having me, Lototy.
We love to get to know a little about our favorite authors, and you have quickly become one of mine. Can you give us a sneak peak into the life and times of Annie Nicholas, maybe a bit of family history, and how you came to this point in your life?
Sure, I don’t mind sharing. I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. Surrounded by so many different cultures in this city really helped me learn about people. Our differences make us unique but we all have something in common which makes us human.
We all want to be loved.
As a passionate reader I devoured all kinds of books which taught me the art of storytelling. Writing a book had always been a dream, but life got in the way and I never came up with a story I felt passionate enough about until I met Connie Bence in my head one night.
Residing in Vermont must be a huge inspiration in itself, with all of the lush and verdant landscape. Do you take advantage of this splendor, or do you find traveling really gets the creative juices flowing?
I love Vermont. The people are down to earth, kind, and family oriented. I take every advantage I can of the Green Mountains. We hike in the warm weather and ski in the winter. While everywhere else people groan because of the snowfalls, we wait eagerly for it to head our way.
This place really does help inspire me. I have a long commute to work and need to through these beautiful mountains to get there. Many, many of my stories are born on this trip.
You speak so lovingly of Budapest in your novel Bait. It is not a city I ever really thought about until reading this book, and now it is someplace I would love to see! Is this somewhere you have been, or would like to travel to?
I have never been to Budapest, BUT it’s on top of my list of places to visit. A friend of mine lived there for a couple of years. The stories he brought back and the pictures changed my ideas of this area. When I decided on writing a vampire story I started researching different cities. When I came upon the pictures of Budapest lit up at night, I thought ‘Bingo!’ If I were a vampire this would be a beautiful place to live, surrounded by the lights in such a dark existence. The age of the place, the castles, and history fit so perfectly.
Your characters have incredible depth of emotion and feeling. The pain of loving and losing is a crushing force, and you portray it amazingly well. How do you study or research for this kind of sensation, and be able to pull that feeling out with the voice of your characters?
I wish I could say it was an easy process but it wasn’t. I struggled with Connie’s black moment. It needed to be powerful. I’d written it and sent it to my CPs, and they all told me they needed more.
I spent a weekend reading every sad part, of every favorite book I owned, looking for that despair. Drowning in sorrow I pulled from my own experiences and found Connie talking to me. Once it all came out I had a good cry. LOL
The best compliment I’d ever received was someone told me I’d made them cry when they read that chapter.
Your catch phrase is “Paranormal with a twist”. Is this what you have always written? And do you see yourself in the years to come writing within this same genre, or do you have other directions you want to branch out in?
I love my vampires. Even if they go out of fashion, I’ll still be writing about them. As long as the paranormal opens the doors to my imagination I’ll be writing it but I do love space operas as well. It’s not a big cross over for a paranormal writer to step into sci fi. Instead of monsters there are aliens. I wrote my first space opera, Red Dawn, last summer and enjoyed the process. I hope to continue the series.
Bait has so much to offer the reader. It is chock full of deception, action, and romance, but what I found most captivating was Connie’s struggle to follow her heart or her sensibility. This is one character that really draws the reader into the depths of her despair, and then swoops you up in a frenzy of passion, and yet can still make you laugh with her dingy and clumsy antics. She is no dumb blonde, but she can play the part with exquisite skill. Where did the inspiration come from for such a dynamic character, and did it take long to really flesh her out?
What I’m about to tell you could get me committed into a hospital. J I met Connie in a bar. She told me what she did for a living and I told her she was crazy. We had a drink while she told me about her life. Of course this all happened in my head one evening.
Rurik is no slouch either. He has more heart and soul than most any vampire hero you will read today. He is not just your typical hot body and alpha male, although he does try to pull that attitude on Connie (without much success). Do you deliberately set out to give your characters a sense of humor, or do they tend to morph into their roles as the story progresses?
I wish I could say, “I planned it all.” At some point, usually by chapter two or three, the characters become real enough to give their opinions. The plot doesn’t really change but the story does morph around their reactions. Little things I planned for Rurik changed. I wanted to give him a shiny new sports car. He said, “Why would want something so complicated to drive? I still have my first car.” This led to a ton of research on the first cars developed in Europe after WWI and him driving a rust buck.
In writing about vampires in this book, you included a separate or ancient species called the Nosferatu. What prompted you to make this distinction, and will we see more of the Nosferatu in upcoming books?
Yes, they will definitely be in my upcoming books. I wanted a governing body of vampires, someone that would strike fear in the immortal hearts who could enforce their laws.
There is so much going on behind the scenes, especially with Connie’s boss Colby and the ancient vamp Tane, and not everything is revealed in Bait. Can we hope to see an explosive combination like these two as a couple, or do you stay strictly with M/F combos as your lead couples?
I can’t tell you how much I struggled with the Tane/Colby relationship after the book was written but Colby wouldn’t budge from his heterosexual ways so it will remain only a crush. I have other plans for them.
Tane is a mysterious dark horse throughout this book; whose side is he really on, and where does Rurik stand in the whole scheme of things. Did you plot this from the start, and will those answers be forthcoming in the future? And do you always add a key mystery element or character to your novels to keep the reader guessing?
Tane is my favorite of all my characters: Low tolerance for silliness, intelligent, and sexy. I get nervous when I write him because he’s smarter than me. J Tane will have a larger role in the next book and more of his story will be revealed.
This has been so much fun! I love digging into the nitty gritty of how and why authors torture their characters the way they do. And you are especially masterful at this, as well as keeping the reader begging for more, while being completely satisfying in the process. I hope you had as much fun as I did, and I welcome all of our readers to check out your blog and website. There are some very yummy vamps running around on there. Thank you again!