Today, our star of honor is Nina Croft. It’s so nice to have you here and shining! I’m sure you’re ready to share with us your success and many fun endeavors. So, let’s get on with the party!
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
Let’s get to know you a little better. Why don’t you step over here under the spotlight and shine a little.
First questions: (I’ll go easy on you.)
What made you decide to become a writer? In my twenties, I worked as a volunteer for a few years in Africa. I found myself living in a remote village with no electricity, no internet, no TV, and very few books. The last was particularly hard. When the books ran out, I started writing as a means of entertaining myself, and I never really stopped.
What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas? All over—books, newspaper articles, TV, music. Sometimes, I’ll be riding my horse or walking the dogs, and something will just occur to me and I’ll have to rush back and write it down.
Do you beat your muse? I mean…Wait! Do you have a muse? Does he/she have a name? I don’t have a muse—honest—I hear other authors talking about their muses and I’m madly jealous. I want one. Where do I get one?
Let’s talk about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantser? Are there any weird things that you do before you start to sit down to write? (Like stretch those fingers…? Scream at the computer…?)
I’m a total plotter. I always wanted to be a pantser, but I get stuck in the middle if I try. And if I know what’s going to happen, I don’t need to stop and think about it, and the writing flows much better. I also find that the process of plotting gives me time to really get to know my characters before I start the actual writing.
I don’t have any weird rituals before I start—I actually hate routines so I try to vary how I write.
What is your call story?
I’ve never had a call—how sad is that? Only emails—which were still very nice. My favourite was for my science-fiction/paranormal novella, Break Out. I’d had one book accepted by Entangled publishing and then I saw that they were specifically looking for space operas. I’d been wondering what to do with Break Out as it’s a bit of an unusual mix, but I thought it could definitely be described as a space opera. I sent it in on my birthday last year, and Liz my editor got back to me within the day saying she absolutely loved it and wanted to contract the ‘series’. It was the best birthday present ever.
Have you always envisioned yourself a writer? What were you doing before you started writing? Has your earlier career influence your current one?
I’ve always been a voracious reader, but didn’t start writing until I was in my twenties. Before that, I used to be a chartered accountant. I pretty much hated it, not so much the actual work—I like working with numbers—but I hated having to go to an office every day. So after a few years, I decided I needed something a little more exciting. I ended up volunteering (with my husband) to work in Africa. And that’s how I ended up running out of books and having to write my own. So you could say being an accountant influenced my current career.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now with your writing career?
Hopefully, still loving writing, improving my craft, writing regularly, being published regularly, increasing my reader base…
Long term, I’d love to write a huge fantasy trilogy like LOTRs—I have a few ideas roaming around in my mind just waiting to come to fruition.
What is the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome in your writing career so far?
I think accepting that not everyone is going to love my writing. While I’m actually getting much better, I still find my heart pounding when I open up a review of one of my books. But the fact is that you can’t write to please everybody, and if you try chances are, you’ll end up pleasing nobody. So just write what you love.
Now let’s talk more about you. If you could pick to live the life of a movie star, who would it be and why? Does this person show up in your stories? I really don’t want to be a movie star; I find the whole idea of being in the spotlight terrifying. But I did want to be Clint Eastwood when I was little. I always wanted to be a cowboy and ride a horse all day. I’ve never written a western yet—I might have to just so Clint can show up.
What genres do you read? Do you read what you write?
I’m a big believer in writing the sorts of things you love to read. Which doesn’t narrow things down very much for me because I read just about everything. Favorites at the moment are paranormal and science fiction, but they vary.
What’s the last book you’ve read for fun? Did you read it on an e-Reader or are you still a paperback-kind-of-person?
I love reading both, but because I live in such a remote area and the nearest English bookshop is a long way away, I find myself reading mainly ebooks these days. The last thing I read was the 50 Shades trilogy by E. L. James. I read it on my kindle and enjoyed it lots—very entertaining.
What did you wish you had known back then when you began writing?
It took me a while to learn that you should really write what you love, and not be hampered by specific submission guidelines or publisher requirements. I wasted time trying to fit my voice into what I thought was needed to get published. Probably a liberating moment for me, was writing my science-fiction/ paranormal romance, Break Out, where I just let myself write anything I wanted and my imagination run wild. It was a joy to produce, and I promised myself after that, that I would be true to what I really wanted to write.
Is there anything else you’d want your readers and friends to know about you?
Just that I love to hear from readers, so thanks for joining me here today.
And lastly, where can we find you?
Thank you so much for being a star!
I’m giving away a FREE copy of Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire to one lucky winner who comments!
Blurb: Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire.
Seduction by any means necessary…
Olivia Brent is happy with her quiet life in the country, until the imminent loss of her home forces her to embark on a search for her estranged father. Catapulted into a world of criminals and totally out of her depth, Olivia is rescued by the stunningly gorgeous and enigmatic billionaire Luc Severino.
Luc has never considered himself a knight in shining armor, and if he had been, then Jimmy Brent’s daughter was the last person he would choose to rescue. But Olivia is the key to finding her father, and Luc is willing to use any methods available, including blackmail, to persuade Olivia to help him find Jimmy and finally put the past behind him.
And if blackmail doesn’t gain her total cooperation, then perhaps a little seduction will…
“So, Lia…” Luc said, his tone dangerously gentle. “Tell me, why did you really go and see Harley Watson?”
Lia’s gaze shot to his face. “What?”
“You didn’t want to work at the club.”
It was a statement, not a question, and Lia swallowed. She’d always been a horrific liar, but at least Luc Severino wouldn’t know the telltale signs. He wouldn’t know that beneath the fall of her carefully straightened hair, the tips of her ears were bright red, a dead giveaway to anyone who knew her that she was about to tell a whopper.
“Oh yes, I did.”
He quirked an eyebrow in disbelief. “Why?”
“I wanted to get away from home. I live with my family in a small village outside London, and it’s so boring.” And if she ever got back there in one piece, she would never leave again. “I wanted a little excitement and I needed a job. I remembered Mr. Watson from when we stayed in London. It seemed such a glamorous idea.” She sighed, deciding it was time to inject a little much needed honesty. “But once I got there, it didn’t seem quite so glamorous anymore.” She shuddered at the understatement. “And I…well, I just didn’t seem to have the right…” she cast a surreptitious glance at her chest, “…qualifications for the job.”
Luc intercepted the look. “Not all men are obsessed with enormous breasts,” he said.
She risked a quick glance at his face and found his eyes lingering on the long length of her legs beneath the hem of her dress. Lia resisted the urge to tug it down—she was beginning to hate that dress. It was going straight back to Kelly when she got home.
“Anyway, thank you for getting me out of there. You were right—I was out of my depth.”
Luc examined her curiously for a moment. “Just what is it you thought might happen?”
“White slave trade,” she mumbled under her breath.
To her surprise Luc didn’t laugh. Instead, he inspected her from head to toe as if trying to decide whether the price would be worth the trouble.
“Not Harley’s specialty,” he said after an uncomfortable minute.
Did that mean he knew someone whose specialty it was? After all, what did she really know about this man?
Thanks for stopping by!