Nicole Zoltack [nicolezoltack]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
The first book that I remember reading was a Sesame Street book. It dealt with a blanket, Where's my Blankie, or some such similar title. Ever since, I've read everything I can get my hands on, from fantasy to mysteries to romance to true crime. If it's a book, chances are, I'll read it.
I began to write stories as soon as I learned how to write sentences. I still have a copybook from the first grade that has page long stories in it. My mom used to encourage my sister and I to write, giving us paper and pencils.
The first to read my writing? My mom for my early stories. My sister has read some. My grandfather loved my first novel (unfortunately I finished it after his death). This novel is my baby and I'm still editing it and hope to publish it soon.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre would have to be romance. I love everything about love and romance (I have to, I'm a hopeless romantic!). Almost all of my writing has at least some romantic aspect. My next favorite is fantasy. Creating whole new worlds that the characters and I can explore. Check out www.NicoleZoltack.com for information about my works and works in progress.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Well, first, I need a story idea. Which can come from anything, a dream, a book, a movie. Relaxing in the tub. Asking questions, especially 'what if...?'
Then, I just sit down and type. If I have writer's block, I tend to opt for the old fashioned pen and paper. Sometimes I have to force myself to write. Other times, my fingers move of their own accord.
There's no method to my writing madness. Just madness. :)
What type of reading inspires you to write?
I will read anything I can get my hands on and I can find inspiration anywhere, books, television, movies, music, dreams, conversations.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Likable, realistic characters that grow throughout the story.
A plot that is riveting, fresh, and new.
A well define setting.
An underlying theme that speaks to everyone's heart.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I'll write in stories in either first person or third. Lately, I've been using third more but I like the idea of the reader being submerged into the story that you get from using 'I'.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
It depends on my mood but most of the time, I do my writing on the computer. Sometimes, though, I use a pen and paper. There's something creative about physically writing down the story.
I always print out my rough drafts for the first edit, usually at a library. I'll use a highlighter or circle words that either need to be removed (such as was) or that need to be stronger. And I use a red pen and can end up writing all over the page and onto its back. Subsequent edits are done on the computer.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I frequent several yahoo groups, especially Avoid Writers Hell and Castle in the Sky. Both are wonderful groups with amazing people who help you grow as a writer and encourage and cheer on your accomplishments.
What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on Knight of Glory, the sequel to Woman of Honor.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
First, re-read them. If it has been years, you might want to refresh yourself about them. Then decide what you want to do with them. Are they stories you could see publishing? Or has your voice and talent level risen since you wrote them? In the former scenario, you're next step is to find an honest and helpful critique partner and then an agent. In the latter, rewrite the story. Change it up, make it even better. Or just set it aside and have the story just for you. There is nothing work with having a story that is "for your eyes only".
Men versus women: do they cook differently?
I think so. At least my husband and I cook differently. I tend to be more open to tweaking a recipe, adding what I like, cutting out what I don't. My husband usually follows the recipe to a T.
Who cooks in your home?
My husband. I do the baking.
What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
I talk about my writing, reveal excerpts from my works, post writing contests or calls for submissions that other authors might be interested in, and contests that I sponsor. I am also going to open my blog to guest bloggers soon.
How did you meet your current boy/girlfriend?
Well, current and only husband.
I met him the first day of classes freshman year of college. We were both walking to the science center and just started talking. A friendship ensued and I began to fall for him. He asked me out four months later and we've been together ever since. I am thrilled to be married to my best friend.
What was your first vehicle?
A 2005 Chevy Malibu Classic.
What do you imagine yourself doing for your retirement?
Still writing. But also traveling the world, England, Germany, Italy, Greece, Ireland... there are so many great places that I would love to see. I'm hoping that some day, I'll be able to.
Did God create the world in seven days, or do you believe in the theory of evolution?
I don't see why this has to be an either/or. Why can't God have had a hand in evolution?
What books are you currently reading?
I'm in the process of rereading the Outlander series and Eragon. I'm one of those people who can read several books at once. However, since my little one was born, I have less and less time to afford to reading since I'm busy writing and promoting.
What is that special film you never tire of watching?
The Princess Bride. Watched it a million times and it never gets old.
Anybody want a peanut?
What do you use: Mac or PC and why?
PC. What I grew up with.