Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
I am currently working on my family saga: The Double J Saga ‘Texas Heat’ releases May 24, 2019, the book two in the DAMC series ‘Hush’ is set for October 26, 2019. I am also working on a cozy cupcake mystery and a cozy PNR right now.
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
Raven, from my paranormal romance ‘A Raven’s Faery Tale’ series. She insane and so unpredictable.
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I dabble in everything but erotica.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I am a plotter. My stories are too complex to try and pants them. I use 3×5 cards and plot out the basic outline chapter by chapter, and then I have a plot wall covered in sticky notes for timelines.
What is your best marketing tip?
Make friends and build your tribe. It will help you in the end with marketing.
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
I find it a hindrance. Too much drama on it.
Where is your favorite writing space?
I have this spot on my couch that has been nicknamed the ‘Bunny Hole’. It’s a space that it overrun by stuffed animals, fluffy blankets and pillows.
Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?
OMG yes, and my waistline is telling me all about it. What don’t I nibble/scarf on?? Popcorn, cupcakes, pecans .. coffee… ugh
In all honesty, it does a bit of both. I get so energized from the thinking, creating and writing. But the mind is a funny thing and once I/we (my editor and me) are down to the nitty-gritty edits, it starts shifting towards my next project. Ideas start popping up and I have to hold them down. This is often the time when I also wake up in the night and think…I made a mistake and then I lose sleep over that one mistake. Often I get up in the night and make the change, then I can’t go back to sleep. Does this make any sense?
But writing does give me charge.
2. What is your writing Kryptonite? I want to say my dog because he is always wanting to go for walks but then when I walk I get energized and my mind frees a bit and thoughts come through. So that isn’t really true and I don’t want to blame him anyway, he’s too good a dog. Well sometimes. I know that coffee and chocolate are my reverse Kryptonite’s. Maybe being with friends?
3. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I haven’t really thought about that. Right now there is no need for me to do that.
4. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have tons of author friends. I dog walk with Karen Spafford-Fitz and Debby Waldman and I eat dessert or talk about eating dessert with Natasha Deen. I get together with Sharon Jennings, Karen Bass and so many others when I’m in Toronto. They all help me because they write such amazing books and reading their books makes me better. And talking about plot problems, character problems or even publishing problems is really helpful.
5. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I have done both. I have written series. In fact the 4th book in my One-2-One series has just been released and all the characters are connected through their high school Best Buddies group. But I have also written stand-alones and have one pitched as I’m writing this. No confirmation but it is pitched. I also take on the odd non-fiction project. I’m currently writing a 40th anniversary Oilers book which has been a huge project as I interviewed so many people. Just different work.
6. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Years ago, I took a trip to the NWT and I paid out of my pocket but it was such a great trip and gave me insight into my characters and their landscape. I went to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk and it has stayed with me. Years later I went back to the NWT with the TD book tour and loved it all over again.
7. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I loved to read as a child and my mother really encouraged us to read. I remember reading Anne of Green Gables and I loved Anne so much. The scene with Matthew and the puffed sleeves has stayed with me for years. I also loved Trixie Beldon and wanted to be in the Bob Whites of the Glen.
8. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
That is a super hard question because I don’t think any novel is under appreciated but I know what you are asking. You know, I can’t answer this question if I’m honest. I’m thinking and thinking and to me all the books I’ve read and loved are appreciated by me. It’s a hard business and sometimes as a writer you wonder why your book doesn’t get this or that, why you don’t get foreign sales or front spots in Chapters, then you get an email from a reader who tells you how much it meant to them. That means it was appreciated.
9. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Wow, you ask really amazing questions. But they are hard. I’ve never thought about this but once I went to a shaman and he said perhaps I was a deer in a past life. So maybe a deer. Because sometimes I need to slow my work down, and fill the holes. I’m a fast worker and I like to get to the end so it would be helpful to slow down every now and again BUT deer can get moving too when they have to and can they jump!
10. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Tons. I have a few adult mysteries, an early reader, a middle grade reader and a couple of teen novels. Boo hoo. No one wanted them. Oh, and I have a one-act play and a screenplay.
11. What does literary success look like to you?
This is something that keeps changing as I raise the bar for myself. At first it was to get published. Then it was to get a second book published. Then it was to try a non-fiction and a teen novel. Now I want to maybe do a teen thriller, something completely different. I would also love some foreign sales. BUT…all that aside, what is important to literary success is the reader telling you they read your book and got something from your story. I think in the end that will be my definition of literary success.
12. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I do a lot of research. How long I spend depends on the book and what I know or don’t know about the subject matter. I can research for months before starting a novel.
13. How many hours a day/week do you write?
This really depends on my travel schedule. I travel a lot, and do a lot of author visits to schools and sometimes this disrupts the writing. When I’m home, at my desk, I can work 4-5 hours on a new project before I have to answer emails and questions like I’m doing now. Lol.
14. How do you select the names of your characters?
Names just come to me. Although once I wrote an entire novel knowing I didn’t like the one character’s name and when I finished it and was doing my second draft I changed it. And the name worked.
15. What was your hardest scene to write?
I wrote a bullying scene in a novel titled Born With (One-2-One series) and it was hard to write because I know that it was mimicking reality and that made me sad. My character getting bullied was gay.
16. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I write in many different genres because I’m always trying to improve my writing and challenge myself. For instance, I’m writing this Oilers project which is non-fiction and I’m almost nearing the end – woo hoo- and I can’t wait to write a middle grade novel I signed a contract with Orca. Did I tell you I can’t wait to go back to fiction??? So exciting.
17. How long have you been writing?
Since I was little. I took a break in high school to play sports and be a jock and in university to get a science degree. But I did write a lot when I was young.
18. What inspires you?
Everything and anything. My mother wrote poetry and loved books so she is a huge inspiration to me.
19. How do you find or make time to write?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. I call it procrastination. I just make time to write because I can’t not write. Even when I wasn’t published and was getting rejected and wanted to quit. I just couldn’t not write.
20. What projects are you working on at the present?
I have my non-fiction Oilers book which will come out in the fall, and I’m currently doing photo captions for. I will go back to my work as soon as I finish this questionnaire. (Nice break.) And I just had a teen novel A Time To Run: Stuart and Sam be launched, so I should do some media stuff and get my website updated. I have a middle grade I’m going to write for Orca Currents in the spring and another hockey book in my Amazing Hockey Series.
21. What do your plans for future projects include?
Not sure. I’ve pitched a couple of teen novels and I’m playing around with a teen thriller. Not sure where it will go. It’s fun sometimes to play around.
Lorna Schultz Nicholson has published over thirty-six books, including picture books, middle grade fiction and non-fiction, adult non-fiction and YA fiction. (She is currently working on a 40th Anniversary Edmonton Oilers book.) Many of her books have made the CCBC Best Books list, been Resource Links picks and been nominated for awards. Her children’s books are about kids and their diversities and friendships and school and family life and emotions and feelings and… the ups and downs in life. We all have those ups and downs, and we’re all different, which makes us all special. Lorna lives in Edmonton with her hubbie and two dogs, a whiny Bichon Shih Tzu, and a naughty, hyper puppy she rescued from Mexico. Well, he’s not a puppy anymore but she treats him like he is. Over the years she has been a television co-host and reporter, radio host and reporter, theatre and murder mystery actor, fitness coordinator and rowing coach. Now she is full-time writer. She travels to schools all across Canada to inspire children about her love of reading and writing, and she loves talking to adults about writing, and leading writing workshops. She remembers her before-published days and wants to encourage writers to keep pursuing their dreams. Being an author is a dream come true.
Usually writing energizes me. I absolutely love it. Even those moments when I’m exhausted from my day job, as soon as I force myself to dig in I’m so happy I did. I love to get lost in the worlds that I’ve created with characters that truly do surprise me.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
If you mean what can deter me from writing, it’s being so tired that I can’t properly focus or having a migraine, which I unfortunately get too often. Creatively, I’m lucky that I don’t really have anything, except on the rare occasion when I’ll get stuck on a plot point (usually unsure where to go next in the story), but it usually means that my character isn’t doing the right thing for the story. I usually talk it through with my amazing writer friends and my husband, who has quickly become the best person to talk through plot with (and he’s not even a writer).
How does having friends who are also authors help you become a better writer?
We keep each other accountable, talk through all of our issues on and off the page, and root for each other. No one else fully understands the highs and lows in this business, so it’s so comforting to have them. We critique each other’s work and have become our own little family over the years. We joke about starting a writing commune.
Do you want each book you write to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I have a few series on the go, but all my books share commonalities. I write gritty, dark stories that explore human motivation and how well you really know the people in your life. I have currently two books in The Pretty Wicked series published and I’m writing a YA witch urban fantasy that’s a ton of fun. The Wicked books can be read as stand-alone novels, though they do complement one another and the reader will get the full story arc if they read both. The YA series will be sequential and need to be read in order.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I recently read two books that I think people would love but don’t really know about. UNEARTHLY THINGS by Michelle Gagnon and THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY by Stephanie Oaks. They happen to both be YA books but they will be loved by all if given the chance. Unearthly Things is a modern reimagining of Jane Eyre complete with a creepy, haunted mansion, a misplaced orphan, a turbulent love story and dangerous liaisons. It’s great. The Scared Lies of Minnow Bly was so beautifully and hauntingly written that I was actually angry when it ended. I don’t even want to say anything more as to not ruin it. Go look them up.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have two finished but unpublished novels, one half-finished book, and I’m currently completely replotting and reworking another novel that was complete but I realized was all wrong.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I do a ton of research. I read articles and books as well as watch documentaries and movies on the subjects I’m interested in. I’ve even travel and tour places when I’m able. I interview experts in the different fields I’m looking into/studying. I usually do a lot of heavy research before the bulk of my writing starts, but it continues throughout the writing of the book as other things arise.
How many hours a day/week do you write?
Typically, I try and write or research 4-5 days a week anywhere from 1-4 hours per day. I work Mondays to Fridays so I cram in what I can in the evenings and on weekends. I’m also trying to get more reading in because I find it helps my own words flow a bit easier. It’s like a primer.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I often look at baby name websites, though sometimes I look up the meanings of names and their ancestry to make sure it fits the character. I will also jot interesting names down in the notes section on my phone when I hear them. I work at a school with 600 kids, so that also helps.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I’m drawn to certain genres to read and by extension I want to write my own stories and create my own worlds in those genres. For me it’s thriller, horror, and urban fantasy. I love reading and watching some historical but refuse to research that much or I might delve into that. I’d love to write a gothic or Victorian horror—for that I might fall into the research hole.
I balance them by writing one at a time. I have friends that can write anywhere from two to five different books at once. I prefer to get lost in one world from start to finish. I get very focused so the only time I’ll veer off is if I’m editing, then I can split time writing something else.
How long have you been writing?
I think this is year twelve or thirteen. Though I’ve had to take some huge breaks for various degrees I’ve gone back to school for. It’s difficult to keep up on school work and write for me.
Share a link to your author website.
I love to connect with readers and writers. Here’s where you can find me:
Pretty Wicked, is a mature YA novel that follows a fifteen-year-old girl named Ryann Wilkanson who has always known she’s a little different than most people. Early on she recognized that she had a darkness inside of her that she didn’t see in her friends or family members. She becomes obsessed with serial killers who she refers to as “The Greats” and decides that she wants to join their ranks. Lucky for Ryann, her father is a detective and she has made good use of her visits to the station, paying close attention so that she can get away with murder. In this series, Ryann is the protagonist while the detective hunting her, who also happens to be her father’s partner, is the antagonist.
14. What about the sequel, Wicked Fallout?
Wicked Fallout was a natural extension of the first book, though it takes place twelve years later and is classified as an adult novel. I didn’t feel ready to leave the characters and world behind and felt there was a lot more to the story that I wanted to explore including how possible it is for someone to change drastically as they mature, how well can you trust your own judgment and how all of your life’s experiences culminate to inform everything that you do. The book shares a point of view with Dr. Nancy Clafin, a forensic psychiatrist, who is hired by Ryann’s new and formidable defense team to evaluate her to determine if she should be released when new evidence comes to light.
Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. Kelly has a degree in English Literature as well as a Social Work degree. She has worked as a hairstylist, youth outreach worker and education assistant. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
We all have our favorite TV series, whether current or past but what makes them appeal to us? The writing has to be excellent with a strong plot line and characters we can love. I admit I’m behind the times in watching Breaking Bad (my main evening pursuit is writing!) but I was persuaded to watch one episode and got hooked. Rather than empathizing with Skylar, the mother figure, protecting her children, I really loved Walt and disliked the wife. This seems to be a common feeling among the audience and one that surprised the writer and producer.
When I thought about Walt, I remembered that I loved J.R. Ewing not the sappy Bobby! Do we love a villain above a goody two shoes? Obviously, the style and writing of these two programs is vastly different but both had bad boys that were the main characters. An alternative is Dr. Who, always the hero of the story, no matter how he is portrayed in his numerous guises.
Writers have come and gone in many long running series, but keep to the main characteristics (most of the time!) so we continue to love our favorite characters. We become engaged in their ‘lives’ and miss them, as if they were real when the series ends or is discontinued. Take for example my impatience to watch the last season of Dexter. I know it is the final one but I miss the character a lot.
Another series I found was Weeds, which is, to my mind, a tongue in cheek story line. It is obviously unrealistic as drug runners are not as accomodating as the one’s encountered during Nancy’s naive pot supplying antics. It leaves many questions unanswered in why a surburb housewife would be able to do what Nancy does and for the most part get away with it. If you view the episodes light-heartedly and as a piece of fun then it is enjoyable.
Which TV series do you find compelling – past or current?
What makes them your favorite?
Fun Day Prompt:
Write a scene using your favorite character from a series you love or loved.