Nicole Storey is an award-winning author of MG fantasy and YA paranormal books. She resides in Georgia with her husband and their two children.
How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you?
I write in the genres of MG fantasy/paranormal and YA paranormal. The genres definitely chose me. I’ve always been intrigued by things that can’t be explained, Cryptozoology, magic, the “boogeyman”… LOL! I was the child who never wanted to take the Halloween decorations down.
I know that autism awareness is very important to you. Can you talk a bit about this and how you have included autism in your books?
My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. His middle school years brought social problems, the realization that he was “different,” and bullies. I wanted to create a series where kids could learn about autism in a creative way. I hope, after reading the books, they understand that special needs kids want the same things they do: to have friends and be accepted. I also wanted to show autism in a realistic light and give special-needs kids his or her own hero to cheer for. After all, not all heroes wear capes.
Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?
I was relieved when I received my first negative review. It authenticated my work and justified my place as a “real” author. If you put your work out for the public to read, bad reviews are inevitable. You simply can’t please everyone. My advice is to ignore them and move on. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.
We all know the old saying; you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true. However, how much importance do you place on your book cover design?
For me, cover design is just as important as the story. The cover is the first thing readers see. It should mesmerize them, grab them by the throat and insist they take a closer look. I’m actually obsessed with beautiful covers. I love to browse online and in book stores.
How would you define your style of writing?
I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of writer. I don’t use outlines; I refuse to color between the lines, and I’m not afraid to poke sleeping bears.
Do you know anyone who has ever received any auto DM on Twitter (with a link) who was happy about it?
Ha ha! No, and I hate those myself. If I want to like your Facebook page, download your book, or meet your sweet adorable dog, I’ll do so. I don’t need a message with instructions.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known five years ago?
That being signed with a traditional publisher does not equal bags of money and a house on Easy Street. That many small press “publishers” have no idea what publishing is. That blurbs were invented by Satan, right after he finished creating edits. J
What is your latest book?
I recently republished a MG fantasy series, Grimsley Hollow, but my latest book is the first in my YA paranormal series, the Celadon Circle. The book is titled, Blind Sight, and the series is loosely based on the popular television show, Supernatural.
It has done well, winning several awards and also hitting the Amazon paid bestseller list in two categories a while back. The second book is due for release this year.
If you were to advertise your book on a bumper sticker, what would it say?
Dive in, Shut up, and Hold on!
What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?
I think the greatest misconception is that we can’t write.
Self-publishing platforms are wonderful in that they allow writers to bypass traditional avenues and get their work into the public eye. The problem lies with those who refuse to have their books professionally edited. They give the rest of us a bad name. Just because your best friend, who is an avid reader when she isn’t passing out shoes at the local bowling alley, read your story and pronounced it “as good as Stephen King’s book, Koojoe” (yes, I saw this in an actual synopsis) doesn’t make it so.
Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?
I’m OCD when it comes to writing. I have to write scenes in order and can’t work on more than one book at a time.
Can you tell us about your road to publication?
When I finished my first book, I made the mistake of signing with a small press publisher who didn’t know the definition of the word. After two years of heartache, poorly edited books, and zero support (I could go on and on), I decided not to re-sign and went out on my own. Four stolen book covers, a boatload of tears and money, and 14 months later, all of my books were republished by me. It was a hard lesson to learn, and I don’t know that I could ever trust a small press publisher again, but it made me a stronger person and writer.
Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?
One reader gave me a bad review because my book was not like the Twilight series. I’m still puzzling over that one. Another stated I clearly knew nothing about autism. LOL!
I try to focus on the positives and let the negatives roll off my back.
Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?
I’m still trying to find what works best for me. Usually, I get the first draft written before I begin edits.
Do you have any advice to a new author if they asked you whether to pursue the traditional route to publishing or to start out as an independent writer?
I think every writer has to do what’s best for him or her. My only advice would be to research a company thoroughly before making a commitment. Talk to authors who are signed with the publisher and ask for their honest opinions. Use Google to see if anything negative pops up. Ask questions!
For every legitimate publishing company, there’s at least two that are not. Be cautious, do your homework, and remember that an honest publisher will never request money from your pocket.
If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?
I would love to be able to paint or draw and crochet. My husband is the artist in the family and my daughter takes after him. I can’t even manage a decent stick figure. LOL!
If you are a TV watcher, would you share the names of your favorite shows with us?
I don’t have a lot of time for T.V. but I make sure to record are Supernatural, Longmire, and The Walking Dead. At night, I usually have Forensic Files on in the background while I work.
If you could add a room onto your current home, what would you put in it?
I would love to have my own workspace/office. I would decorate it in fall colors and have an antique refectory table for my desk. There would be a sitting area with a television, bookshelves galore, a bathroom, small refrigerator, my coffee maker, and a locking door.
If you ever see my face on a milk carton, just know my family reported me missing and I got my office. 🙂
What’s your favorite film of all times? Favorite book?
Don’t laugh, but my favorite movie is Jaws. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!
I have two favorite books: C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
What simple pleasure makes you smile?
Drinking coffee, planting flowers and vegetables on a sunny day, autumn and Halloween, football and chili, a harvest moon, and my children’s laughter.
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