Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

West Midlands Attending Author: Nicola C. Priest



  1. Can we start with your name and where you’re from?
    I write under my given name, Nicola C. Priest, but people tend to call me Nicky. Midlands girl, born & bred.
  2. Most authors love reading, is this true for you and if so who was/is your inspiration?
    Completely true.  When I was younger, I used to love reading Stephen King and James Patterson, mainly because my mom loved to read those authors so I picked up her books, but now I’m predominantly a romance girl and love to read Nicole Edwards and Kristy Bromberg
  3. What genre do you write in or do you cross over into many?
    Most of my books are contemporary romance, but one of my in progress books, Perception, leans towards the Crime genre, with a touch of romance thrown in.
  4. If you could take any character from someone else’s book and make him/her your own creation who would it be and why?
    Just one character? Don’t think I could do that, but Id happily take all seven of the Walker Brothers from Nicole Edwards’ Alluring Indulgence series.  Seven hot, sexy cowboys; what’s not to love there?
  5. When did you first start writing?
    I’ve loved writing since I was in school. Our creative writing classes were always my favourite.  I started writing fanfiction based on various TV shows but it wasn’t until a certain trilogy came out that I decided to have a go at writing something original. I figured if she could do it, then so could I.
  6. Do you plan every inch of your books or do you just let the words flow?
    I do plan to some degree, but I tend to just write and go where the characters take me.  I never know how a story is going to end until I get there. Two of the books I’ve released ended in completely different ways to what I originally envisioned.
  7. Who is your favourite character and why? (your own character)
    Tough one, but I’d have to say Jackson MacKenzie out of Somewhere Love Remains.  I won’t go into details, but there are parts of that book that mean a lot to me and I’ll leave it there.
  8. Was there an event in your life that triggered a particular book, or even a scene in a book? If so what was the book and what was the event?
    Somewhere Love Remains.  I had an armed forces penpal back when I was a teenager.
  9. Are you working on anything at the moment? If so can you share any tasty morsels?
    Yes.  I’m working on the sequel to Heart & Soul, called Mind & Soul which has a couple of twists people won’t see coming.  The second I’m working on is Perception, which is a little different to what I usually write.
  10. What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting out?
    Just write.  I’m a firm believer that everyone has at least one book inside them, but you won’t get anywhere unless you write.  All the editing and formatting comes after, just get the words on the paper and the rest will follow.
  11. What do you do when you’re not writing?
    I work full time as a financial services contractor so that takes up most of my day.  When I’m not working or writing, I go to the gym and catch up on my reading list.
  12. What is the hardest part of the whole writing, editing, marketing process for you?
    Definitely the marketing.  Getting a new book out there is hard and I hate pestering people or posting repeatedly on pages/groups.  I know how it makes me feel seeing the same post over and over, but then I remember that this person is trying to do the same things as me, they’re just being a bit more forward lol
  13. We all have those friends or family members who make sweeping statements about our writing or the process, which is your particular bug bear?
    I hate it when people assume that just because I have a book on Amazon, I must be raking in the cash.  I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard “You’re an author? You must be loaded” or words to that effect.  I wish I was loaded, but as most of us indie authors can attest, that’s just not the case
  14. What is your idea of happiness?
    Being able to give up my full-time job so that I can write for a living instead.  I’d love to be able to earn my living as an author.
  15. For this one I want you to showcase your creativity by painting me a picture, with words, of your ideal setting to write in.
    For me it would have to be a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, with an open log fire and huge armchair.  I’d have a glass of my favourite wine next to me with the fire roaring, warming the room and casting a soft glow over the furnishings.  I’d have my Macbook on my lap and just let the words flow.
  16. What makes you laugh/cry?
    I’m a big softie.  Anything that my nieces and nephews achieve always has me in tears, and they’re not even m kids!  My niece recently took park in the Children in Need choir which was televised and when I caught a glimpse of her on the TV I teared up.  I’m a sucker for sappy movies too.
  17. You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take three men/women who would they be and why? This can be practical or purely sexual in nature. Hmmmmm.  I think I’d take the inspirations behind my leading men.  Henry Cavill inspired Alistair Lockwood; there’s just something about him and I could look at him all day.  That man can wear a suit like no other.  Canadian actor Yannick Bisson inspired Jason Harper, again, very easy on the eyes, but also a fantastic cook so he’d be able to keep all of out energies up.  The last one, and I’m not giving a name here as it’s personal, is the inspiration for Jackson MacKenzie.  He’s a good friend of mine and has helped me through some tough time.  I wouldn’t be without him in my life.
  18. What is your most annoying habit?
    I’m the queen of the saying “I’ll do it in a minute.” It drives my husband mad as whatever it is never gets done and he ends up doing it himself.  My memory is terrible so unless I do something there and then, I completely forget about it.
  19. Please tell me about your books? For each one please send a pic (kindle cover would be perfect)
    I have three books out at the moment: Heart & Soul is part one in the Heartland series.  You have Alistair Lockwood, Hollywood moviestar and heartthrob, you meets clerical assistant Samantha Westfield during a meeting.  There’s an instant attraction, but both have dark secrets that they want to keep hidden.

Somewhere Love Remains tells the tale of Olivia and Jackson, two people who connect when Olivia places an advert for an armed forces penpal.  Throughout the years Olivia falls for Jackson, but he falls for someone else and they lose touch.  Jump to 14 years later and a chance encounter has them reconnecting, but they’re both different to what the other remembers.

Chase the Knight is a novella you can read in 45 minutes.  Abigail’s life is threatened by her dad’s shady work dealings so he hires Alexander Chase, and undercover cop, to protect her.  Can’t really say much more without giving it away.

Mind and Soul & Perception are currently in progress. Mind & Soul carries on six weeks after Heart & Soul ended with Alistair and Samantna trying to move on with their lives.  Perception is a little different to the other books in that it is a crime book where several girls have gone missing, with two turning up later, apparently murdered.

  1. Lightning round
    Tea or Coffee? Tea
    Cash or credit? Cash
    Cats or Dogs? Cats
    Beach or Mountain? Beach
    Summer or Winter? Summer
    Sweet or Savoury? Savoury
    Early riser or late riser? Late Riser
    Morning or Night? Night
    Christmas Tree – real or fake? Real
    Sex – Lights on or off? Both

    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.
    Please leave Facebook, Twitter, Website links so we can check you out further.


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Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Black Friday Book Sale



Black Friday is a new thing in the UK but sales are not. We have historically always enjoyed the Boxing Day and New Year’s sales and the usual end of season bargains that can be picked up. Where this is different is that this is a ‘before’ sale, a month before Christmas giving everyone a chance to spend their hard-earned money and allowing it to go further. It can also be a chance to buy items that you would normally not have been able to afford, luxury items not part of the monthly budget. Either way we all love a bargain even for those of us who can’t stand the physical side of being in a rugby scrum environment.

As an author I also have a product to sell although it is a sad reflection on where we have come as a society and as an industry that many people believe that I should give it away for free. Let’s put aside for the moment all the long hours I have put into the writing, any research that I’ve undertaken and the agonising over characters that have a mind of their own. I have overheads when I publish whether that be via Amazon Kindle or Createspace print on demand which is available via Amazon.

The three books that I currently have on the market are short stories, novelettes and I have kept the kindle price down to 0.99 whether that be UK or US and any other country that it is feasible to have it at that price and that nets me a tiny profit per sale. The paperback copies are more expensive because print on demand is just that – you want a copy, a copy is printed and sent to you. The big publishing houses can lower prices because they print in bulk and all the retailers want the authors they represent. I haven’t gone down the route of approaching local shops as I don’t think the small books would be of interest to them, however I will look into this once I release my novels but I know this will involve me jumping through more hoops than an acrobat on a training session. The market is small for me and sales are pitiful but I get the most intense satisfaction out of each one. I filed my tax return for my writing and was able to declare a loss – which comes back to my overheads.

I have beautiful covers but they cost money, I am fortunate enough to have the services of a fabulous designer who doesn’t charge much, but £45.00 for one cover is still money I have paid out. I also need an editor (I tried to publish without one to start with I’m ashamed to say, but she has now polished all three for me) she also charges me for her service. Of course she does it’s a business and she needs to earn a living.  Lets call it approximately £40.00 for one novelette. So that is £85.00 that I have spent to package and make it acceptable to you the buying public.

I receive approximately £0.29 for each kindle copy I sell and slightly more for a print copy. In order for me to recoup the cost of my expenditure I have to sell 293 kindle copies or slightly less print. Remember that costing is per book. Between all three of my books I have sold a grand total in nearly two years of 240 copies. So I haven’t even reached the target to break even for one book out of the sales of three.

So when you think that an author should allow you to read their work for free think about the above. I love writing and my dream would be to be able to make a living from it instead of having to work a 40+ hour week to pay the bills and then write when I’m exhausted. I didn’t cover the endless hours of editing and formatting and promotion that goes into this role.

I would love to sell my books at their full price but if the wave of popularity for discounted (but not free) items helps me to sell a few more copies then I will sell the print copies for less for the Black Friday sales.

Why should you buy my work? I’m an unknown quantity and we all like to buy things we know will give us value for money and enjoyment. If we never try new things, read books by unknown authors then how do we know what we’re missing out on. We think nothing of buying a new flavour coffee at well-known coffee chains for £3.50. A short burst of pleasure and its gone, the same price for a book and you get a longer period of enjoyment and you can re-read it. How much do we pay for manicures and pedicures, to get our hair done? We don’t think twice about it because it gives us a feel good factor-so does a good book. You can curl up with it anywhere and it will take you out of your life and place you into the one that an author has created. What we pay for books isn’t a fortune, it isn’t that luxury item it’s affordable. If you want to buy from an unknown author like me, go to Amazon and you can read a sample to get the flavour of the writing.

For Black Friday only my paperback copies will be priced at £3.00/$4.00/€3.30.

Suitable for Christmas or Birthday stocking fillers