Hey guys. Thank you for joining us at the Coffee Time Romance & More. Today we have the lovely Ms. Nicole Morgan here with us. Since this is my first interview, I hope all of you bear my silly mistakes with good humor. I promise to try not to make too many of them *winks*.
Ok. Now let us begin the interview. Ms. Nicole, please first help yourself to the yummy sweet and salty goodies in front of you and with your favorite beverage ranging from coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to delicious shakes and smoothies, (I felt it was too hot to only offer hot beverages).
Thanks for having me, Jeriha. These smoothies are absolutely to die for, and don’t even get me started on these pecan clusters. I will have to hit the treadmill extra hard this weekend, but it will all be worth it!
I admit Sweet Affliction was the first book I read written by you and from the first line it totally pulled me in. *I love hardcore action*.
Tell us a little bit about Nick and A.J’s story, what makes the lead characters ‘tick’ and how it connects to the previous books in this series?
Nick and AJ come into each other’s lives when neither of them are looking for a relationship, what’s more is that their attraction really couldn’t come at a worse time for either of them. He is literally running for his life, while trying to find out who is out to kill him. While she is trying to spend as much time as she can with her father whose health is failing. Despite all of these things they can’t deny the feelings that are building for one another. Throughout the course of some action packed days they discover just how much they mean to one another as the person behind the hit on Nick’s head is revealed. A culmination of events set in place years earlier on a mission that went wrong in Colombia years earlier pulls his former teammates into the intrigue as they all fight to protect their families and survive.
Was it hard for you to write scenes in which one or more of your characters are fatally wounded?
It actually is extremely hard for me to write. Being a huge supporter of our military, both past and present, I have a difficult time portraying them being injured in any way. The reality of war is real enough. We see it in the news, in the papers and even in the movies. Putting it into one of my stories is not something I enjoy writing, but I felt it was important to the setting of the story and for realism. Navy SEALs may be elite warriors, but they bleed red just like every other human being.
I absolutely love action heroes who are a combination of tough, deadly to caring, and protective. I also love to know the background information and inspiration behind a particular story. It makes the story more real. I am sure the readers would feel more connected this way too. Hence my next question… How much about the Navy Seals in your books is fact and fiction based on your research and what is the inspiration behind Nick & A.J’s character?
Anything that pertains to the SEALs, their training and specifics regarding missions is factual. While I write fiction I make every effort to make sure I am portraying them accurately. Since I wrote the first book in this series (Sweet Redemption) in 2009 I have been blessed and privileged to meet some of these real life heroes. Many of them have been supportive and offered their ear and keyboard to me on more times than I could count if I ever needed a question answered. As a matter of fact, anyone who reads this book will find a special dedication at the beginning to a couple of these men who I am honored to call friends. In addition to that, they’ve taught me that while Navy SEALs are sensationalized by media today, they are but men. Men who are capable of compassion and who above all else wish for the end to war and hope for peace.
What is the strangest inspiration you ever got for a story idea or characters?
I would say the strangest inspiration would probably be The Bristows. They are an old Irish couple who appear in a few of the books in this series. They are incredibly sweet, yet sometimes overbearing with their well intended advice and have the cutest accents. I was inspired to add them after coming across a couple just like these two years earlier.
How do you come up with the character dynamics and interactions? I mean is it planned or the characters guide you?
In this book, the 4th in the series the camaraderie between the four SEAL brothers was easy. Their personalities came to life in the previous books so I knew almost immediately how they would interact with one another. The same could be said for the heroines. They all had their unique personalities and they complement their leading men so well that their conversations sort of took on a life of their own.
I noticed you initially started out as an erotic author. How/why, did you decide to merge erotic with suspense? Moreover, is it difficult to integrate erotic scenes into a suspense story without spoiling the flow of the story?
LOL. You noticed that, huh? Actually, truth be told the very first book I ever wrote was Sweet Redemption which was romantic suspense with a hint of erotic romance. It just happened to be released later than my initial releases. I have always been a fan of romantic suspense. I love reading them just as much as I enjoy writing them. Erotic romance has always been a huge part of who I am as a writer though. I personally find some erotic things to be actually romantic and beautiful. When with the right person, erotic words and moments can be very intimate and heighten the closeness the couple share. With all that being said, I don’t believe adding erotic scenes spoils the flow of a story. If the characters choose to have a more erotic than sensual moment I trust my muse to guide me in a way that makes the scene work.
What do you consider to be, the key elements of a great suspense story?
I think there needs to at least be three things when writing a successful suspense novel. First, you need a conflict. Then you need the ever important twist, you know the one that no one saw coming. I think those are important to the reader to keep them on their proverbial toes and those surprises are one of my favorite things to write. Lastly, I believe you need a believable resolution. One that explains things and seems possible, not one that leaves the reader shaking their head doubting the outcome.
In the dedication section, I noticed you mentioned that a part of the books royalties would go to the non-profit organizations dedicated to providing educational assistance and support grants to families of wounded and fallen United States Navy Seals. Can you tell us about these non-profit organizations; how they go about the process of helping families of Navy Seals out? I mean does not the government provide proper grants and facilities for them? (Sorry about my ignorance) and how did you get involved with them?
As my book states: 10% of the author royalties on this book will benefit nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing educational assistance and support grants to families of wounded and fallen United States Navy SEALs.
I chose to donate the proceeds to SEAL Legacy Foundation. I first became familiar with their organization through some of the men I met along the way while doing my research. The government, or rather The Department of Defense does pay survivor benefits to families of the fallen. However, sometimes that money never stretches very far. In today’s age things are more and more expensive. To send a child to college can nearly bankrupt some families. When someone is taken from their family while serving their country and protecting the American people, as well as the world, I think it’s important to do all we can to help those left behind. The reason I chose to donate a portion of the proceeds of this book to a charity is simple. Ever since Osama Bin Laden was killed Navy SEALs are everywhere in the media and entertainment industry. Very rarely do people who are profiting from the use of their name ever give back to the very entity which they are portraying. It was important to me that I do so and in turn hopefully more people will follow my lead.
Are you planning to write or currently writing more books in the Sweet series? If yes, can you give us any “brief peeks” of them?
This is a question I have been asked a lot and even pondered it several times. At this time I would say I simply do not know. When I wrote Sweet Salvation, the second in this series I believed that would be the last one. Here we sit though discussing book 4. If I were a betting woman, I’d say there will probably be a book 5 in the future. However, if I do take on that next installment I would mostly likely branch out to some supporting characters who are not SEALs. For instance, there are Army Nightstalkers mentioned in the 1st book and there are 2 police officers who recur in several of the books. I think it would be nice to tell their stories.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there interested in this genre? Any personal experience you want to share with them about your journey?
The most important advice I can give anyone is to keep trying. Rejection letters come with the territory and are a part of the merry-go-round of the publishing world, but some of the most successful authors were rejected several times before they finally made it. Another important thing to remember and one that I am thankful for is to listen to critiques and learn from them. No one likes hearing negative feedback, but sometimes that same feedback can make you a better writer. A majority of my books are with Siren Bookstrand and I have been blessed to work with them. They have some amazing editors who really have helped me tweak my work and improve on areas that I needed to focus more on. Throughout the years I’ve become a better writer because of my ability to have a thick skin and not take the comments to heart, but instead use them to my benefit.
Any last comments or message for all your readers out there and us, here at Coffee Time Romance and More?
While all of my current releases are with Siren Bookstrand, on July 14th I have the first book in my Incessant Passion Series, Impetuous being released through Silver Publishing. This is my first book with Silver, but the experience has been wonderful and I’m happy to be on board with them. As a matter of fact the 2nd book in that same series, Tempestuous is scheduled for an October 2012 release. Be sure to watch for those two, I have a feeling that the characters in these stories will make you laugh and cry, all while giving you an intense erotic romance of people who find each other in the strangest of places.
Thank you so much for taking time out to spend time with us here at Coffee Time Romance & More and giving us more insight to your books and writing. I hope you will join us again. Best of luck and success to you. Readers I hope you also enjoyed as much as I did. Thank you for your time. See you next time with another great new author.