(OH! And in case you had nasty thoughts of not reading the whole thing, make sure you do, because there's some vitally important information at the very end!!)
Nikki Godwin is a Young Adult/New Adult author. She is a city girl who can't live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, Hawthorne Heights, and candles from Bath & Body Works. When not writing, she's not-so-secretly stalking her favorite bands. She may or may not completely love One Direction.
DSP: For starters, tell us a bit about you, we like to get to know our authors as a person!
Nikki: My name is Nikki. I’m a city girl, a vegetarian, a music junkie, a surfer fangirl, and a groupie wannabe! I’d be lost without the band Hawthorne Heights, I never leave the house without black eyeliner, and I’d die without caffeine.
DSP: Nice to meet you! So tell us, where did you find the inspiration for your most recent book?
Nikki: So many things inspired this book! A game from my childhood with my best friends played a part. “Enchanted” by Taylor Swift played a part. I always knew I wanted to write about a ‘dead’ surfer as well. I just blended a lot of tiny ideas into one elaborate book.
DSP: So, do you have any kind of ritual for writing? Such as, you have to write with music on, or you can only write when you’re completely alone, etc
Nikki: I can write with or without music playing. Sometimes it helps, other times it’s distracting. But I do have to have a playlist for each novel I write. I like to have a song that fits each chapter. If I’m about to work on chapter 7, I like to listen to the song that coincides with chapter 7, just to get in the mindset of what’s happening and set the scene. I usually write better at night. Sometimes I burn candles.
DSP: Who is your favorite character in your book, and why? How about the character you had the most trouble with?
Nikki: My favorite character is definitely A.J. Gonzalez. He’s the type of character I’ve been waiting to write. He’s edgy, a bit too wild, and very realistic. I like characters who feel real and jump off the page. For me, those are usually the edgier characters with a lot of flaws. The character I had the most trouble with was Reed. I adore Reed. He’s a genuine, good-hearted guy. To me, he was boring. I referred to him as “flat” multiple times while writing with him. Yet I’ve had the majority of people tell me that Reed & Topher are their favorites, so apparently Reed was better than I thought!
DSP; Now, when you sit down to write a book, a paragraph, or whatever you‘re working on at the moment, do you just sit down in front of the computer, or do you need an outline of some sort? Is there any other prep you need in order to organize your thoughts either before you write or in the process of writing?
Nikki: I outline like crazy. I generally spend 2 months planning a story before ever writing it. I spend a month developing characters and a month plotting the actual book. My outlines are very detailed and usually the length of about three chapters. (So around 6000 words, as my chapters range from 2500-2000 words) I absolutely cannot function without an extremely detailed outline.
DSP: Do you foresee any more books to continue this story? If so, do you think we can get a taste of what’s to come?
Nikki: Originally, Chasing Forever Down was meant to be a stand-alone novel (and it can stand alone). My sister was the one who provoked the idea of a series. She had too many questions about the secondary characters and what happens to them. We plotted most of CFD’s sequel while driving to Florida last summer. I really love the surf world/culture, and there are so many fun characters to work with. I’m definitely writing more novels (and novellas!) within the Drenaline Surf world in the future. I don’t have anything officially written on them just yet to tease with, though!
DSP: Other than this most recent story, do you have any ideas for different books that might be published in the future? Care to give us a teaser?
Nikki: My current project is a YA contemporary romance titled American Girl On Saturn (due for release in August!), but it’s under tight secrecy right now. I have another project that I hope to release in November. It’s untitled and being referred to as #CircusStory (thanks to my usage of that hashtag too often on Twitter). I’m actually planning on doing a “Teaser Tuesday” for this story this upcoming Tuesday (5/21) on my blog! It’s set in a post-modern-day world where electricity is near extinction. I don’t have an official synopsis written for it yet, but here’s the gist:
When the circus she works for sells her to a brothel, Haven and her best friend Cricket (a 6'10" clown) hatch an escape plan to run away before she lands in the brothel's possession. Their plans go awry thanks to an intoxicated assassin, who quickly enlists himself and his right-hand man to protect the runaways from the brothel and ex-employer. Haven knows she's going to have to fight for her freedom, but freedom always comes at a cost. And this cost is more than Haven ever imagined.
DSP: Do you have any aspirations to be similar or comparable to another author? Why?
Nikki: I love this question. When I first started writing with the goal of publication, I constantly compared myself to other authors. Like Sarah Ockler – her books are brilliant. She’s my favorite YA contemporary author. I always felt like I’d never be able to get on her level as far as writing. With LGBT books, I felt that way about J. H. Trumble. But then I realized that I had to stop worrying about what other authors were writing and worry about my own books, my own writing style, and just be me. It was hard to overcome it, but after publishing CFD and hearing that people loved MY story and MY characters, I definitely would rather write like me than anyone else.
DSP; What has been the biggest high since becoming a published author?
Nikki: I received a Facebook message from a young girl who is an aspiring writer. She had so many great comments about CFD and wanted to know about its sequel. It was the first time someone read my book and reached out to me to let me know they loved it. She also praised A.J., so that was awesome! LOL
DSP: What is your greatest fear about being an author?
Nikki: Being invisible. There’s a huge sea of awesome indie authors out there, and it’s so easy to drown or for readers to swim right past you. Taking the indie route for publication is a choice I definitely am glad I made, but it’s a lot of work, and it’s hard to get noticed.
DSP: Which of the characters in your book do you feel is the most like yourself, and in what way?
Nikki: Vin Brooks. He’s too serious, pretty intense, and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He worries about things he can’t change and wants to protect everyone. He always has everyone’s best interests at heart but doesn’t always show it in the right way. This is very much like me. I’m pretty introverted and serious. I take everything way too seriously, stress too easily, and just need to freaking chill out sometimes. Vin was a very easy character for me to write, haha!
DSP: From the first word to the moment it became available for purchase, how long did it take you to write and publish this most recent novel?
Nikki: I started writing CFD in June of 2011. The first draft was finished on June 22, 2012. I published it on March 14, 2013. So… one year and nine months.
DSP: What is your favorite song?
Nikki: Of all time, “Rooftops” by Mest. Of the moment, “State Lines” by the Story Changes.
DSP: What’s your favorite candy? Ice cream?
Nikki: Blue raspberry Jollyranchers; Cookies-n-cream ice cream.
DSP: Would the 8-year-old version of yourself kick your ass or praise you for what you’ve done with your life?
Nikki: Praise me. I was super shy as a kid and was too scared to even speak to other people. I’ve come a very, very long way in life!
DSP: What is the last song you listened to?
Nikki: “Lightning in a Bottle” by The Summer Set
DSP: Do you have any talents you haven’t shared with us?
Nikki: I’m a professional fan girl. I can squee with the best of them!
Excellent! A big huge thanks to Nikki for stopping by and showing us some insight into her world. As an added bonus, you can also grab a copy of Nikki's book, Chasing Forever Down, free May 16-18! Go get your copy now, and join us tomorrow (5/17/13, for those who need dates, Friday if you need the day) for a guest post by Nikki herself! Hope to see everyone tomorrow. Heck, I hope to see everyone every day...hehe. Make sure you check out Nikki's links below, and happy reading!
Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Forever-Down-Drenaline-Series-ebook/dp/B00BUUL06C
Amazon Author Profile: http://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Godwin/e/B00BUXE30Y/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1