Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Greetings! Pleasure to make your acquaintance.
Thus far I’ve penned 4 novels, and several short stories in anthologies for a total of 16 and my favorite bio reads: “Nicole DragonBeck was born in California one snowy summer long ago, the illegitimate offspring of an elf and a troll. At a young age her powers exploded and she was banished to the wilderness of South Africa because her spells kept going inexplicably awry. There she was raised by a tribe of pygmy Dragons and had tremendous adventures, including defeating a terrible Fire-Demon that had been tormenting a sect of Dwarf priests. In gratitude they taught her the arcane magic of writing and the rest is horribly misinterpreted history. She reads as much as she writes, is obsessed with dragons and Italians, enjoys cooking, listening to music and can often be heard fiddling on a keyboard or guitar.”
Every word of that is true.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is “The Other World”, the fourth of a ten-part fantasy series called The Guardians of the Path. The series was inspired when I was visiting a friend at their apartment home, and heard music through the walls. And so the story of Ria meeting a mysterious guitarist and being taken to a land where music is magyc was born!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I am very reward driven, so occasionally I will set myself targets and only when I make them, I go get my coffee or chocolate. I find this is a great cure for Writer’s Block. I also tend to write while watching movies.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
It’s important to acknowledge one’s roots: Brooks, Tolkien, Gaiman, Salvatore, King, Jaques, Paolini, Rothfuss, Rowling, Lewis, Pullmen, Goodkind, Prachet, Butcher, Lawhead, Martin, and everyone else who took me to other worlds with their words and inspired me to let mine grow – a heartfelt thank you from this writer.
What are you working on now?
I am working on book 5 of the Guardians of the Path, titled “Wasteland” (said like Ireland or Switzerland, not “waste-land”). I’m very excited about where the story is heading, and the fact that some of the minor characters are getting their chance in the spotlight as the story goes forward.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Connecting with other writers on Social Media has brought a lot of opportunities to my attention, but I’m still working out the promotion side of writing a novel!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write. A lot. The tendency is to look for short-cuts and the easy way, but these seldom lead anywhere fantastic. Put in the work, write every day, get better, write some more, and then write some more.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I’m a big fan of Neil Gaiman’s commencement speak (I highly recommend you watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI)
This one from Mr. Gaiman is great too: “If you’re only going to write when you’re inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you will never be a novelist — because you’re going to have to make your word count today, and those words aren’t going to wait for you, whether you’re inspired or not. So you have to write when you’re not “inspired.” … And the weird thing is that six months later, or a year later, you’re going to look back and you’re not going to remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you wrote because they had to be written.”
What are you reading now?
I am rereading The Lord of the Rings – I’ve just started The Two Towers. I love to read new stories that catch my eye, but sometimes I just need a good dose of the familiar and beloved.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Fame, glory and riches. Or coffee.
On a more serious note, I am getting my toes wet in the marketing world. I have the first four books published in an epic fantasy that I like to think combines classic fantasy that I love with something new and fresh, which maybe you haven’t quite seen before. I believe readers of fantasy will enjoy it, and if I can satisfy one person’s thirst for a good story and a portal to another world, and they tell a friend, then I’ll consider that a job well done and reward myself with that cup of coffee.
I would love to go out on a book tour and connect with readers face to face and in the flesh. That would be amazing!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Having a large pragmatic streak, I’d say “How to Survive on a Desert Island for Dummies”.
Or: 1) The Half-Blood Chronicles 2) The Silmarillion 3) Probably A Song of Fire and Ice (I need to reread that at some point) and 4) “On Writing” by Stephen King