About Judy Nickles:
Judy Nickles is a retired teacher, genealogist, traveler, British crime-drama fan, ghost tour- taker, and writer who has been spinning tales since she could hold a #2 pencil in her fat little fist. She writes “vintage romance”, stories spanning the First World War through the 50s, and also contemporary romantic suspense and cozy mysteries. After 5 traditionally-published books, she “went indie” with two series. She is proof that an old dog can learn new tricks—her laptop and her Kindle Fire are her favorite possessions. She is not aging quietly but rather having her adolescent rebellion 50+ years late: witness her forking over to fly in a World War II B-24 bomber built the year she was born. (You figure it out!). She has an alter ego as Mimi of four, one of whom had better turn out to be a writer before years of filed clippings and ideas make a bonfire for her less-imaginative sons.
What inspires you to write?
The world of storytelling is a wondrous place. I write much as I play the piano–to release my feelings about life. Having always dabbled in writing, I decided (after I retired) to see if I could get published. My “name on the cover” has provided an immense satisfaction and self-fulfillment.
Tell us about your writing process.
Sometimes I plot; other times I fly by the seat of my pants. A combination of both seems to work well for any given project. I usually make notes about the basics: setting and characters (including names), and then I do a great deal of research on whatever era is spotlighted in the book.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh, yes! Is there any other way? My characters (most of them anyway) are my best friends for life! When they do something not in keeping with who they are, I’m the first to know it. I smile when they’re happy–and when I kill them off, I weep.
What advice would you give other writers?
Develop your natural talent and desire to share the stories in your heart and mind. Listen to others who have gone before you. But don’t be a slave to the so-called rules. Rules are made to be broken. If your story works, it works–by the rules or as a maverick. You must always remember the first draft stinks, but get it down on paper (or computer) before you begin tweaking it. If you don’t have something written, you have nothing to work with!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
In the beginning, I wanted to go with a publisher and was fortunate to find the wonderful Wild Rose Press. I learned so much from the patient editors who worked to turn the manuscripts into readable works. I went “indie” only because I wanted to get all six volumes of a cozy mystery series out in a prescribed amount of time–lest the first be forgotten before the sixth came around. That approach for a series is sensible for someone who isn’t a “name” author. However, I felt being traditionally published gave me some credibility as a writer I might not have had if I’d gone into indie publishing cold. I plan to do a combination of both–traditional and indie–as long as I continue to write.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Ebooks are here to stay, but print books won’t go away, at least not in the foreseeable future. With so many indie-published books flooding the market, authors who choose this route are going to have to be better than the best if they want their sales to flourish.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: contemporary romance, vintage romance, cozy mystery, romantic suspense
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print