When I was offered the opportunity to host a date on the Dead Hope Book Tour, I grabbed the opportunity and was ready to run with it…then I had to wait…and wait…and wait… until my scheduled date arrived.
The Dead Hope Book Tour started on 27 February and has visited many blogs before coming to rest in mine for the day.
So, how did I fill the time while I waiting for the tour to reach me?
Well, for a start I read, or should that be devoured, this amazing book. I read it over a couple of days.
So, how to fill the remaining time while waiting for the tour to reach me?
Ok, I’ll come clean. I was introduced to Nicky just over two years ago, via a mutual writer friend, and have followed her work closely ever since. She has also played an important part in my own author journey with her Photoshop expertise. Nicky and her “magic wand” have been my writer “fairy godmother” on more than one occasion! This is the lady who has taught me, via Facebook, email and one or two frantic phone calls, all I know about designing book covers and using Photoshop. She’s a lady of many talents and an absolute STAR!
With a few days to go until the Dead Hope Book Tour arrived at my blog, I reached out to Nicky and asked if she’d answer a few questions to give you more of an insight into the lady behind book. I was delighted when she said “Yes”.
Those who have read Nicky’s previous books will already be aware that Dead Hope is her first thriller so my first question was “Why the change in genre? What sparked the idea for the story?”
“This is a great question, Coral; I’ve actually asked myself the same thing more than once! Let me just say that this wasn’t planned. I didn’t sit down one day and thought to myself, you know, Nicky, you should really write a thriller. Which is ironic, really, given that I read crime and thriller by the truckload, probably more so than romance. But I digress.
So, I had this idea for a book: a rock star abandons his normal life and goes undercover in an office job like a normal person. Cue all sorts of romantic comedy moments as he discovers true love whilst incognito. That was the idea. Except when I started planning in depth, I was missing the answer to one critical question: how did he get there? What would have caused him to go under cover into a “normal” life? I didn’t have a good answer, so I went back to the drawing board. And suddenly, all manner of dark ideas came out, mostly fuelled by the concept of “witness protection.” A suspense theme took hold and transformed my rock star hero into the daughter of a rock star. So far, so good. However—when I started writing, the suspense took over and I literally was swept away by the thrill of it all. The result: DEAD HOPE.”
As I read Dead Hope, I fell a wee bit in love with one of the central characters, Kay. So, my next question was around whether Nicky has any plans to revisit Kay and Cat Hope and continue their story in the future.
“Do you know, I hadn’t considered it, but several people have asked me if I would resurrect my team of amateur super sleuths for future mysteries… so I’ll give it some thought. I’m not ruling it out, but I’ll need to see if the right story presents itself for the two of them.”
To date, Nicky Wells has published eight books, including Dead Hope. A massive achievement! I was keen to learn out of all the characters she’s created, who is her favourite? Which one does she miss the most now that their story has been told?
“First of all, thank you! It feels like a big achievement. I certainly did see eight books coming when I first launched Sophie’s Turn on the world; and most certainly not the eight particular ones I wrote. It’s been a great journey.
I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite character. That would be like picking faves among my children. I love them all! But I do miss Sophie and Dan. They were my first creation and their epic relationship still haunts me.”
(I miss Sophie and Dan too)
One thing I’ve learned about Nicky is that she always has at least one idea on the go and that she plans her books like a military expedition. (Total contrast to my own more fluid approach.) I’d read that she has another thriller in the pipeline and I’m already looking forward to reading it, but wanted to know if there were any plans for more rock star romances?
“Truth be told, I have three more thrillers in the pipeline; one is being written at this moment in time, and I’m about 20K words in, wahoo! The next one is fully planned and jostling for attention like an unruly child. And the third is on paper in outline form but will require a LOT of research, so I’m getting with that part (the research) while I’m writing the next two books.
I do have more plans for rock star romances and general romances as well. I just need a clone to get all these books on paper!”
Like myself, Nicky is a busy, working mother of two and probably never has enough hours in the day. I know I don’t! It’s a juggling act so I was curious to learn how Nicky maintains the balance between her working life, precious family life and her creative world.
“I’m a ruthless planner. There’s a time and a space for everything. My family time is absolutely holy, and my writing time is sacrosanct. That said, ideas can’t be boxed up that easily, so I do get attacked by writerly creative notions at random, often inconvenient times of day and night, and I have learned to do one of two things. Either I carry a notepad and pen with me to scribble down urgent, emergent ideas post haste. Or I beg paper and writing implements from random strangers (I’ve been known to scrounge scrap paper, receipts and napkins) to do the same.”
A keen writer since childhood, I was curious to know which book or author had inspired Nicky to write.
“If you want the absolutely honest answer, it would have to be Enid Blyton. The Famous Five really got me hooked on reading (albeit in their German translations), and the first five or six books I ever attempted, at about age 10 onwards, were children’s books in the same vein as The Famous Five. I desperately wanted to be her. That didn’t quite happen, but it certainly kindled (pun intend) a love for reading and the written word.”
Finally, I asked Nicky if she had any words of wisdom to share with any aspiring authors reading this.
“Wow. Where to start? First up, have faith. If you feel the urge to write, write, and believe in your words. Don’t let anyone belittle your “hobby” or your efforts. If you’re setting stories on paper (or screen, as it were), then you are an author, whether you’re published yet or not. So, be confident.
Next up, be professional, and don’t rush to publication in your great excitement to have penned “The End.” What do I mean by that?
Here goes. No one writes the perfect first draft. No one. When you’re done, put the printout or manuscript aside for a few months. Don’t look at it, don’t think about it. After a due amount of time has passed, go back and read your work afresh as though you’d never seen it before. Allow yourself to be critical. If you get stuck on a passage or if something rankles, don’t rationalise it away: mark it, and fix it. If it sticks out to you, the creator, it will stick it out to your reader.
That accomplished, enlist help. Either contract a critique writer or start building a cadre of test readers, a group of five to ten people (not necessarily your closest friends) who are likely and able to give you an honest, critical opinion. Gather their feedback and see if there are any themes of criticism; if so, do something about those.
Then, and only then, are you ready to either sub your work to an agent or publisher, or to begin the process of publishing it yourself.
Publishing your work is not quick; it takes time, it takes patience, it takes at least fifteen rounds of reworks and proofs, and you will have to go through the obligatory “will this ever finish?!?” anguish before the thing is properly baked. But don’t give up; these birthing pains are normal, natural, and fruitful.
Go do it, and good luck!”
HUGE thanks to Nicky for taking the time out of her hectic schedule to talk to me. Really appreciate it.
So, the reason we’re here is to celebrate the launch of Dead Hope.
I was fortunate enough to be given an ARC copy of Dead Hope and, as I’ve already said, devoured it over one weekend. (I have since bought two copies – one Kindle for me and one paperback as a gift for my mum.)
I’ve also taken a moment or two to collect my own thoughts on Dead Hope –
Coral’s Amazon & Good Reads Review of Dead Hope by Nicky Wells
In a move away from her previous rock star romance genre, Nicky Wells has written her first suspense thriller. And a great job she’s done too!
Dead Hope is a tricky book to tag by genre. I’ve wrestled with this thought for a day or two and “rock’n’roll thriller” is the best description I’ve come up with so far.
Without giving the plot away, Dead Hope sees Cat Hope, spoiled little rich girl, given a somewhat unique sentence, a fresh start in the real world and an introduction to all sorts of things the rest of us would take for granted, like a mundane 9-5 job. It’s at work that she meets Kay. Both of them have ghosts in their pasts. I love the connection that Nicky has created between them.
You can’t take the rock chick out of Nicky entirely though as throughout the tale Cat seeks to learn the truth around her rock star parents’ deaths almost two decades before.
Dead Hope moves along at a fast, easy to read pace with plenty of twists to the plot. As a debut effort in the highly competitive thriller market, Nicky is off to an impressive start here. She has also maintained the right level of romantic interest to ensure fans of her previous seven books remain engaged. (I’ll admit to developing quite a crush on Kay as the tale progressed.)
One minor criticism, and it’s my own personal curiosity perhaps, but I’d have liked to have had more of an insight into Cat’s guardian, Ron. I couldn’t help but feel his character was a little “light”.
All in all, a fantastic first venture into the suspense thriller market. Highly recommend this one!
And, Nicky, what about more of what happens next? (Hint! Hint!)
Dead Hope – Synopsis (purely to tempt you!)
Genre: Thriller/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 23 February 2017
Cat Hope doesn’t want to go to prison. She needs a job, and she needs it fast: judge’s orders. Caught in a drugs raid while trying to dull the pain of her parents’ deathaversary, Cat is serving a ‘rehab’ sentence under a new identity in the deepest depths of rural nowhere.
Kay Mahon, office worker by day and hacker by night, is on the run from a past life that he’d rather not remember.
When their paths cross, they discover that the night that derailed Cat’s future nineteen long years ago also changed the path of Kay’s life. Confused and intrigued, they begin to investigate the truth behind the deaths of the successful rock star couple Jackie and Adam Hope. Little do they know that their quest is putting Cat in grave danger.
After Cat goes missing, Kay finally puts the pieces together. But how is he going to find Cat and her abductor in a place as big as London before it is too late?
You can check out Dead Hope for yourselves via the following links
Click on the link below to enter
Prize 1: £10.00 Amazon voucher and 1 signed bookmark
Prize 2: £5.00 Amazon voucher and 1 pen
Prize 3: 1 mug, 1 signed bookmark, 1 pen
Prize 4: 1 mug
5 runner up prizes: signed bookmarks
About Nicky Wells: Love & Thrills
Nicky Wells writes captivating romance and breathtaking thrillers featuring famous (or infamous!) feisty heroes and extraordinary villains. DEAD HOPE is her eighth book and the first published novel in her “Wake Up Dead” themed thriller series, with the next two books scheduled for release through the course of 2017 and 2018. Nicky has previously published seven works of romantic fiction both with US publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, and independently.
Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. She loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s hopelessly addicted to reading crime novels by the truck load.
And most importantly!!!
You can check out Nicky’s other books below. You’ll love them!!
Nicky’s books: Sophie’s Turn | Sophie’s Run | Sophie’s Encore | Spirits of Christmas
| Fallen for Rock | Fairy Tale in New York | Seven Years Bad Sex
Want to follow Nicky’s journey? You can reach out to her through the following links-
Join Nicky: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+