We haven't had a Hot Seat Interview for a while, so I'm pleased to have my fellow author and friend Imogene Nix on here today. Welcome to the hot seat Nicola I hope you find the questions interesting. Imogene has a new book out called Hesparia's Tears and is also running a competition as part of her appearance here to celebrate the book's release.
About your writing
How many books have you written during your career so far and which is your favorite?
Umm I'm creeping up on 20 books. 15 are released, 2 are in edits and contracted, 2 are in presubmission edits and one I'm working on currently
Have any of your books received negative reviews and how did you handle the criticism?
I have had a couple of 2 star reviews, though overwhelmingly I seem to rate from 3 to five. But it's like anything. Not everyone will see your work for the gem it is. J The best thing to do is read them, assess whether you feel the feedback is fair. If it is, take that on board. If not walk away. Nothing positive can be gained from engaging in "post review brain snaps."
If you must have a whinge... do it privately with your best gal pal in a venue that includes chocolate and wine. Then let it go.
Do you believe in writer’s block and if so, how do you overcome it?
I don't know. I've never really had writer's block. I won't say it doesn't exist, but my rule of thumb is if the words won't come stressing over it only makes the situation worse.
Do something else. Edit a story that is waiting. Read through it and honestly ask yourself if it's a case of pushing the character to do something that just doesn't work.
What is the one genre you would never write and why?
I don't have many left! Probably Inspirationals.
I like writing the sexy scenes and to be honest, I find most inspirationals to be very sweet. Sweet is not what my writing is J
Have you ever written a book that you’ve regretted publishing and why?
Not that I've regretted publishing. Maybe given to the wrong publisher though... that I have done.
If a reader said they wanted to write a book, what advice would you give them?
Get the words down on paper, because until you write it, there's nothing to polish and sharpen.
Learn the basics, it makes it easier in the long run than facing rejections.
Tell us what a typical day in your life is like?
Unfortunately my family didn't get the memo on what a typical day should be like. I wake to a cup of coffee on the bedside table (thanks to hubby)...
6.30am Wake up and Mr Imogene Nix brings me a steaming cup of coffee (what a sweetheart) I open my eyes and look myopically around the room. (It's all true... I do wear glasses!)
Usually a quick check of emails and facebook. Check the publishers website for the first time out of a gazillion times in the day.
Crawl out of bed and start rounding up baby Imogene Nix's... "Have you fed the chickens? And watered them?" Usually the answer is a chorus of Yes Mum! Herding them to make sure breakfast is eaten, lunches and bags packed. Teeth and Hair brushed. (Nothing changes, even at 16 & 17!!)
8.00am Move the computer and download the mail again.
8.30am - 9.00am Herd those baby Imogene Nix's out to the car and drop them off to school. (Usually super pup Teddy is in tow)
Head upstairs after running around the yard after super pup... then make a coffee and settle in. Turn on skype (a real sanity saver there!) Scan through emails, then onto Facebook to catch up with all the other writers I interact with daily.
9.30am JEWEL EPIC! Because you know I can't get through a day without playing that!
10.00am Settle in to work. Edits, Writing or whatever while checking the appropriate publisher website every 5 minutes to see if my book is live yet.
1.00pm Lunch... scrabble around in the fridge looking for something edible and interesting. Sadly the edible wins over more often than the interesting!
1.15pm Settle in to work - again. Edits, Writing or whatever while checking the appropriate publisher website every 5 minutes to see if my book is live yet (still!!)
2.50pm School pickup. Joy of joys. Those baby Imogene Nix's need to be picked up, maybe dropped off to work, the mail collected from the post office. So I make sure to have my trusty ereader in the car with me.
3.45pm Home again. Oh My God! Dinner! Nothing is defrosted. Madly run about the house searching for an idea for dinner, tossing meat into the microwave to defrost and making sure anyone who is home with me is doing homework and asking them to turn off whatever they are watching via youtube or other... (Exhausted yet?) Oh and repetitively requesting the eggs get collected.
6.00pm - 7.30pm Mr Imogene Nix arrives home so the house is in uproar. It's time to start cooking dinner. So I start running around making sure everyone is showered, the table is cleared off and laid for dinner. Kiss husband and check the computer again very quickly.
9.30pm Start reminding the baby Imogene Nix's that it's time for bed preparation. Feeding cats and super pup. Check emails and chat online.
11.30pm Shut down the computer. Weary. Roll over and hope sleep comes quickly. Morning will be here again before we know it and it all begins again.
What sort of things put you in a bad mood?
No coffee. (That goes to the top of the list, right along with no milk for coffee)
I'm a Gemini... so it does kind of depend on which face is dominant... interruptions when I've got a flow going.
Do you have a bucket list and what’s one thing you still want to do that you haven’t done?
My bucket list is looooong! It includes lots of travel, buying an MGB (which should happen next year) with personalised number plates (cause... you know... it's advertising!)
What makes you laugh?
Happy times, surprised J My super pup!
What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?
Do I have to? Umm it includes..... **voice trails away**
Do you like to read and what are you reading at the moment?
I do... but I have Murder in Little Italy (Victoria Thompson) waiting for me to crack the covers.
If you couldn’t write anymore, what would you do instead?
Uhhhh... I don't know. Read more?
If you could go out with one famous person who would it be and why?
Johnathon Rhys Meyers! I think he must be a very lonely person and he is super good looking. I'd love to just be friends with him!
Do you have a habit that drives your partner/friends/family nuts and what is it?
Hmm I get very cross with people who can't drive! Particularly when they get in my way while I'm driving. I'm also super cautious. Hubs tells me I'm too slow (I just observe the speed limit, dear.) I also know where the horn is on the car!
In your opinion, what makes a person attractive?
Their attitude. You can be good looking, but if you are interested only in you then you quickly become boring. You need to be enthusiastic about other people, willing to give them kudos where deserved.
What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
I don't know I can really comment on that, but I have eaten in some strange places. The most being a chinese restaurant in Tasmania... It doubled as a tattoo parlor! So the cook was giving quotes while serving the food. True story!
Would you rather have a classic 1969 convertible Mustang or have the use of a beach side condo any time you want?
Hmm... if it was an MGB it would be a no-brainer. Maybe the condo. I like being able to see and hear the beach.
Would you rather survive an apocalyptic event (yes, even a zombie apocalypse) or die instantly without knowing what happened to your family and friends?
Gah... I don't know...? Maybe the die instantly - I don't want someone to try to eat me or to see family and friends do that.
What will happen when the past catches up?
Galan is from Hesparia, where the females are dying out on his pacific agrarian planet.
Jessa has a past, one she hasn’t earned but cannot escape from.
What will happen when opportunity knocks?
Galan travels to earth, hoping to plead the case for Hesparia. He doesn’t expect Jessa or The Quickening.
Can he make the case for women to migrate to Hesparia and arrange a Diplomatic Alliance? Can they trust one another with their hearts. And can Jessa really escape her past?
Excerpt - Hesparia’s Tears.
The spaceship entered orbit and Jessa watched the tracking on the television. Since learning of the existence of extraterrestrials, it was about all she wanted to do. See where they were and where they planned to land.
The reporter came back on the screen. “We believe they will make their landing somewhere on the continent of Australia. There have been no further radio communications from the craft, however. So it is, at best, an educated guess right now.”
Jessa giggled at the sober face of the young, twenty-something reporter standing outside the Parkes Observatory and the inane follow up comment made by the thirtyish female news anchor.
“Jessa, it’s time for bed!” her mother yelled again.
She sighed dramatically. At twenty-four she was no longer a child, even though her parents seemed to struggle with that small fact.
Maybe it’s time to move out. As quickly as the thought had crossed her mind, she dismissed it. Leaving home meant more expense than she could possibly afford. The thing that really irked her was paying an outstanding legal bill for something she hadn’t even done. It was a refrain that had played through her mind over and over again since the event had taken place. It may have happened years ago, but she continued to pay for her youthful indiscretion. One she had long regretted.
Jessa stood, before heading down the old hallway to the bathroom. Living at home meant sharing a bathroom with her little brother, Ben. Of course, being a boy of sixteen, he was disgusting. There were used razor blades, splashes of water, foam from his recent shaving experience and hairs in the sink. Knowing it would make no difference complaining about it she carefully picked up the discarded detritus and placed it in the bin beside the vanity unit, wiped away the mess and began her own night-time ritual.
Emerging from the bathroom, she spied her mother, standing at the end of the hall in her fluffy blue dressing gown with matching slippers, and her blonde hair sitting high on her head in soft curlers. It was the same scene every night. “Night, Jessa.”
“Night, Mum.” What else was there to say? In a funk, Jessa entered her room, before closing the door then sat down on her single bed. She breathed deeply, letting the oxygen flow through her system, before slowly levering herself down across the mattress. Her blinds were open so she had an excellent view of the star-studded sky. It was a major positive to living on the edge of town, the absence of bright lights.
“Whoever you are, I certainly hope you’re friendly,” Jessa muttered, before closing her eyes, rolling onto her side and willing herself to sleep. For some reason, an excited thrill ran through her system.
Finally, visitors from the stars. No longer was it a figment of someone’s imagination or something from a science fiction novel. The time had come for them to have contact with another species. That was a sobering thought. The Prime Minister had sent a radio message to the ship. God, I hope the Prime Minister didn’t act like a pompous dick. Jessa snuggled down under the covers, waiting for the touch of sleep. Her mind wandered and she drowsed.
Her mobile, sitting on the bedside table buzzed and vibrated. Jessa muttered in the dark, groping for the device. She reached out and found the red leather covered item and dragged it to her ears.
“Jessa, it’s me. Seth. Can you come to the office at the telescope? I need you.” His voice was excited.
She squinted. “I was asleep, Seth. Besides which, I’m off duty until Saturday.” The room was gloomy and she screwed her face up into a scowl, knowing sleep would probably elude her now. “What could be so important that I need to come in right now?” Jessa pushed back the covers, swung her legs over the side then slipped her feet into her old grey slippers beside the bed.
“I can’t tell you over the phone.”
“What?” Something was happening. An agitated thrill filled her chest and for an instant her mind warred with the interest that spiked.
He didn’t need to plead. Jessa was already getting up to hunt out clothes. “Sure. Yeah, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Thanks. You really won’t regret it.” The delight in his voice was contagious.
Jessa hurriedly tapped the end call button.
* * * *
The land, so alien with hues of blue and green, grew larger as the craft descended. “Captain, do you really intend to land here? After those transmissions?”
Galan sat in his chair, watching the view-screen, hearing the concern and horror in the voice of his second-in-command. “I do, Joras. We must remember our primary objective.” He knew his words sounded unconcerned, yet he too had reservations after the tone of the communications he had received from the…what did they call themselves? Oh right, yes, Earthlings… “It‘s obvious they had no imagination, calling themselves Earthlings. Especially the woman who had called herself the Prime Minister, whatever that is.” He shook his head. “But what did pique my interest was the other transmission I received—the young man, who had called himself Seth. He sounded like he might be a possible go-between for us. Something our people had always found helpful in the past when dealing with new planets.”
Frustration pulled at him as he rose from his seat, making his way to the navigator’s position. “How long until landing?”
“Sir, on our current course, I estimate no more than three horanas.” Galan nodded absently. Three horanas to prepare. It wasn’t much, but it would have to do. “Joras, have your security team ready and fully briefed. We’ll have to treat this as an ambassadorial meeting. I will prepare a communiqué for our Liege, concerning our position and plans.” Galan turned back to his friend, rubbing a hand absently along his hairless jaw. “Joras, when we land, I need you to remain here.”
About the Author
Wife, mother and nutty bookstore owner all describe Imogene Nix, but the real secret is Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance with a hefty dose of Romantic Suspense is what she adores.
She is dedicated to high quality romance, with a dollop of erotic interactions, and has dipped her toes into Science Fiction, Contemporary Romance and Paranormal Romance featuring feisty headstrong female leads and the odd Romantic Suspense.
She lives in Rural Queensland where she happily raises 2 daughters, lots of chickens a couple of cats and her super pup Teddy. When she isn’t writing or reading, she’s hanging out with her husband, acting like a techno-geek or cooking and making wine.
Where to find Imogene Nix: