Ah, I'm feeling soooo much better this week - I'm actually getting some sleep - thank God!
Today I am delighted to introduce you to author Nicky Wells, who has given some very candid answers to my probing questions! Enjoy!
Hi Sooz, thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog to have a good old chat. I’m so happy to be here! J Let’s see what you want to know then… is it all right if I fix myself a cuppa first? Milk and one sugar today would be lovely. Oooh, thank you!
Did you always know that you would have more than one novel from the Rock Star Romance series and can you tell us how many there will be in total?
Great question! The short answer is, no, I didn’t. I wrote the first book purely for my own consumption and hadn’t even envisaged publishing it. It was meant to be my personal all-time favourite feel-good romantic fairy tale, that was all. It wasn’t until I had published it and wondered where to go next that people suggested writing a second book. Well, Sophie’s story was far from finished so it was a pleasure to map out a sequel. Except the story turned out to be a little complicated ~ hey, such is life, right ~ and one sequel turned into two books, hence the Trilogy. There won’t be a fourth ‘Sophie’ book but I am working on a fourth book, of course; glamorous, glitzy and rock’n’roll, but with a new cast of characters and a different story.
Do you have any groupie background or rock star fantasies in your past?
Um. How to best answer this? I tried the groupie thing, once. I had a boyfriend in tow, though and…well…the whole thing wasn’t me. I chickened out. However, rock star fantasies abound in my past. Shall we say my entire teenage years were consumed by various rock star fantasies? I even had my wedding to the delectable Joey Tempest all mapped out to the last detail, bar the one critical aspect: how to make the groom appear. I used to read about the industry like mad, watch every conceivable film and documentary, consume rock mags like a woman possessed and generally absorb information like a sponge. I think it’s the combination of all three ~ fantasy, research and failed groupie attempt ~ that perhaps conspired to make the Rock Star Trilogy what it is.
Sophie, although some of her actions can’t be condoned, remains a likeable character to us. How much do you think this was due to the fact you made her boyfriend unlikeable?
Aw, poor old Tim. I didn’t do him any favours, did I? Really, I got a little carried away in portraying the caricature of his character. He’s not actually a bad guy; he’s just not right for Sophie.
Personally, I think Sophie’s likeability factor stems from the fact that she’s quite real and down to earth, and that she gives herself a hard time about every decision she makes. Yes, her actions can’t always be condoned, and she knows that; yet she feels she has to give them a try to figure out who she really is. Ought she to have dumped Tim straightaway? Possibly. But then it’s not in her nature either to trample on people’s emotions on what might well have turned out to be a temporary aberration on her part, a fantasy, something that meant nothing. She just doesn’t know and that leads to her conundrum. I think…I hope the reader can identify with this and I hope that it is this authenticity that makes Sophie likeable. She could be your best friend, or even your sister. Or you!
Did you struggle with the ending, ie did you have several endings to toy with? Or did you always know how things would turn out from page 1?
LOL, did I struggle? Oh man, Sooz, you have no idea. See, I didn’t think Sophie’s Turn would end the way it did. I am a meticulous plotter and I had the ending all mapped out from Page 1. However, it was Sophie’s very growth as a character, her development through the pages, that foiled the ending I had planned. She couldn’t go through with it, and that was that. That scene in Paris… well, that wasn’t in the plan. That just happened, and I cried as I was writing it. It was the weirdest experience! I have since learned to listen to my characters, although I realise that I probably sound vaguely mad!
Sophie’s Turn was originally launched several years ago and was relaunched last year with Sapphire Star Publishing. Can you tell us a little about that process and how it differs from first time around for you?
Where to start? I published Sophie’s Turn independently in July 2011 and frankly, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I did everything backwards. I had no author platform. Heck, I wasn’t even on Facebook on the day I launched Sophie’s Turn onto the world. I had no idea! So I built the ship while sailing, in a manner of speaking. I opened a Facebook account and randomly started a Page, too; I got myself onto Twitter; I started blogging. Then I embarked on the blog tour with the help of some fantastic bloggers I had the great fortune of meeting, notably Sharon Goodwin. Gradually, I established myself and found my feet.
When Sophie’s Turn was launched again through Sapphire Star Publishing, I hit the ground running. Not only had I a platform, but I had also begun to establish a brand (“Romance That Rocks Your World”), I had a blogtour all set up complete with events and giveaways, I had tweets at the ready, reviews to post… it was a completely different process, and it made a huge difference.
The rock star crush, Dan, did some pretty sleazy things towards the end. He also seemed to be torn between being good fodder and bad fodder. How did you come up with this balance and which traits of his personality do you think redeemed him?
Sleazy? Dan Hunter? OMG, I’m going to have to go back and figure out what’s going on! I meant him to be a lot of things but not sleazy, haw haw haw! No, but seriously ~ he had to do some ‘out there’ things, otherwise he wouldn’t have been credible as a rock star character. I don’t know if I got the balance exactly right, but I was trying to imagine my perfect rock star with all the quirks, dirt and good things that I could tolerate. Yes, he needed to be a little bit of a cliché. Yes, there are some things he needed to do… I say, womanizing, right? But he also needed to be honest with himself and Sophie, in the end. Humble. Contrite. And just a little heart-broken. I think it’s these aspects that turn him into the adorable rock god that he is.
One of my favourite parts was when Sophie’s boyfriend does something unexpected in a restaurant (didn’t want to spoil it). Which scene was your favourite?
I have several, but here are my two favourites. One is where Dan turns up unexpectedly at Sophie and Tim’s engagement party. OMG, I was biting my nails and nearly peeing my pants with glee when I wrote that one. And the other is when Dan has to hide in a utility cupboard.
The backstage and behind the scenes material seemed realistic to me. How much research did you do in this, or did you have first-hand knowledge?!
This answer ties in a little bit with my previous answer. I have had the privilege of visiting a couple of bands backstage. They weren’t huge bands like Bon Jovi, but I had the opportunity to observe some of the goings-on. With boyfriend in tow! I hasten to add that none of Sophie’s adventures are based on my own actual experience but are simply extensions of observations and imagined ‘what ifs.’
In addition, there are a lot of interesting films out there tracing bands and their backstage adventures. This Is Spinal Tap, Abba the Movie (not rock, but still highly informative) and Rock Star with Mark Wahlberg are just some examples. Plus in the aftermath of Freddy Mercury’s very sad and very untimely death, there were many documentaries on Queen plus many other rock bands, and I absorbed them all!
Sophie’s best friend was always egging her on to be a little bit naughty, thought her friend deserved more than her moany boyfriend could offer her. I liked her as a character (not that I would necessarily have done the same!) Which minor character did you enjoy writing most?
Oooh, definitely Rachel. I would love her as my best friend! She doesn’t mince words, she says it as it is, and she has an uncanny ability to see through people. Plus she is fiercely protective of Sophie!
The tableau with Sophie’s boyfriend and his ex in Paris was a bit of a shock and I hadn’t seen that coming. How much do you think this alleviated Sophie’s conscience in the end?
To be honest, I think Sophie didn’t give this another thought until the very end. And even then, given that she’s a little naïve, it needed spelling out to her who exactly set up the ‘chance’ meeting and why. Did that alleviate her conscience… ~ well, yes, absolutely. It showed her that she wasn’t the only one who wasn’t entirely certain about the relationship. Did it make everything all right? Probably not, but life isn’t perfect and we work with what we have. Tune into Sophie’s Run for a small continuation of that subplot….
Who is your Rupert Penry Jones? (everyone knows I am daft about him!)
Oooh Rupert! You can’t have him, he’s mine! Just kidding, but he is delectable. VERY delectable. My own Rupert Penry-Jones… well, that would have to be Mr. Jon Bon Jovi.
If you were Sophie, which rock star would you have liked to be Dan?
Jon. Obviously. Or possibly Joey Tempest.
If the Rock Star Romance series was made into a TV drama or film, which actor/actress would you like to see play Sophie/Dan?
Do you know, I used to have an answer for this one but I have changed my mind. I really don’t know. Incidentally, Rupert wouldn’t be a bad choice at all, providing he can grow his hair and sing! As for Sophie… she’d probably have to be a complete unknown to replicate the celebrity-and-girl-next-door kind of dynamic.
Favourite season of the year (in so far as we have seasons in the UK - it’s Spring and it’s snowing here today!)
Winter. I love snow, and I love all the lights and jollification in the run up to Christmas. However, in January the sun needs to come out and the weather to improve. January is absolutely categorically my least favourite month.
Biggest ever achievement
Moving to England on my own age 20.
Long term goal you’d love to meet
Become a best-selling author and see myself at the number 1 spot. (I’ve had this dream since I was ten!!)
I’m really nosy, are you German or another nationality than British? I must have read something somewhere...
You read that right ~ I am German, although I have lived in the UK for nearly 20 years (anniversary is coming up on 27 September this year!) and I have always felt more at home here than in Germany. Don’t ask me why…
Current pop music or 80s pop? (you’re not allowed to say Rock!)
As I write this, it’s Mother’s Day in the UK. How do/did you celebrate Mother’s Day?
Well, my family spoiled me, I have to confess. I wasn’t allowed to lift a finger. Hubby and kids made breakfast, lunch and dinner (and tidied up!). We had a fabulous walk by the seaside in the freezing cold and with some snow ~ it was exhilarating! And, of course, the boys made me cards and presents, including chocolates. I am a lucky Mum!
Favourite game as a child (eg old fashioned games like hopscotch)
Hide and seek. I used to read lots of Cowboy-and-Indian stories as a child (and Famous Five) and I used to pretend to be on a secret mission. I wasn’t a great runner but I was an excellent stealth operator and I used to make it back to base without being caught. I remember long summer’s evenings spent that way, roaming freely around the estate with my friends until dusk. Bliss! I hope I can eventually afford my kids the same freedom where we live now…
Well, thanks Nicky for visiting today. You can keep track of Nicky via the following means:-
Twitter - www.twitter.com/wells_nicky
To buy the books: Sophie's Turn - http://amzn.to/Z4sQNI (UK) & http://amzn.to/Z4sZk2 (US)
Sophie's Run - http://amzn.to/WOB62v (UK) & http://amzn.to/12yZ4qj (US)
Sophie's Run - http://amzn.to/WOB62v (UK) & http://amzn.to/12yZ4qj (US)
Tune in tomorrow for the final blog hop for quite some time, The Lucky in Love blog hop. I will be busy changing dirty nappies in the coming months! A special post on love, plus lots of fab prizes to be won, including a $100 Amazon or B&N voucher!