Hello Nikki, I’m delighted to welcome you on Dreaming With Open Eyes. For the readers who don’t know you, could you please introduce yourself?
Hi Isabell, thanks so much for inviting me to pop in for a chat, I’m delighted to be here. Well, I’m a Dorset girl who loves living near the sea, I have a day job in Human Resources, two kids and a lovely boyfriend. I’m also very lucky to have lots of supportive friends and family members who are happy to let me chatter on about my writing, help me promote it, or let me virtually ignore them if I’m buried in edits or a new story 🙂 I LOVE reading or watching films when I’m not writing or spending time with loved ones and prefer crime thrillers, romantic comedies or action packed stories. I post about three of my favourite things on my blog Writing, Work & Wine at www.nikkimooreauthor.wordpress.com
I’m the author of the #LoveLondon eBook series published by HarperImpulse, the digital first romance imprint of HarperCollins. I’m thrilled to say that some of the #LoveLondon have been in Top 100 charts for short stories or holiday read on Kobo and Amazon! 🙂 I also have a short story in the Amazon best-selling Romantic Novelists Association / Mills & Boon Truly, Madly, Deeply anthology and two shorts in the HarperImpulse Short Story collection Be My Valentine, which has been in the Top 100 anthology chart on Kobo for a few weeks now 🙂
I think love is universal, and although there are lots of articles about there only being six basic plots in the world, for me no two stories can ever be the same because it’s the characters, their context and the author’s voice that makes every story unique. I find romantic relationships between people fascinating – how they fall in love, why they fall in love and how they stay in love, so really enjoy writing about this subject. I love the banter between couples, and have written both lighter feel-good romances as well as slightly darker romances about loss and heartache. In short, I love writing about love! That said, I do have a partially written women’s commercial fiction book that I’m intending to take out and finish off very soon! There is however a love story woven through it….
In December 2014 you started publishing your #LoveLondon Series with HarperImpulse. How did you get the idea to publish five stand alone short stories series all set around London?
I can’t actually take the credit for this, that has to go to my lovely editor Charlotte Ledger 🙂 We’d already started discussing my next full length novel after Crazy, Undercover, Love and most of it was to be set around Knightsbridge in London. We were playing around with some titles and Charlotte came up with Picnics in Hyde Park (some key scenes are set there), which I instantly loved. She then asked, on the basis that I’d previously had two short stories with HarperImpulse which had been well received, if I would be interested in writing a series of short stories set in London. From there grew the concept for each story, the fact it would be linked to Picnics in some way, the titles and covers. They ended up being closer to novella length (15,000 – 17,000 words each on average) but I’ve been thrilled with the response to the series so far. As you say, each story is stand alone, but the characters will make guest appearances in Picnics in Hyde Park.
Did you do a lot of research for it?
I loved doing the research for this series, because I literally love London! I went up on a couple of research trips last year, visited the different places in the series, took photos and notes, and even ate and drank at some of the locations e.g. The Ritz (yes, it’s amazing and yes, you really should go there). I also used Google and a few different websites to look things up if I needed to. Google Maps came in very handy. I’m planning another trip up there soon, but will definitely be there on 21 May for the Romantic Novelists Association Summer Party!
Do you have a favourite part in the series?
Well, I like the whole series because they are all my babies but I must admit to a soft spot for Valentine’s on Primrose Hill, mostly because it’s a story I had in my head for quite a few years before writing it. But I think it’s also because it’s about recovery and hope, as well as love being built on friendship and trust. They’re things that are really important to me. Maybe I’m just getting soppy as I get older…
What are you working on at the moment? What comes next for you after the #LoveLondon Series?
Ooh, that’s a good question! At the moment I’m focusing on the promotion for Cocktails in Chelsea and Strawberries at Wimbledon, and doing some editing. I’m not sure what I’m going to be up to after the #LoveLondon series is fully released; I guess I’ll have to talk to my editor 🙂 I do have plans to put some time aside for the women’s commercial fiction book I mentioned earlier, but I can’t really talk about the detail of that at the moment… so you’ll have to wait to find out!
Name your top five snacks while writing.
1. Does wine count as a snack? No? Well, I’m including it anyway! But I would only drink wine while writing in the evening (not in the morning)!
2. Chocolate (you can never go wrong with chocolate, right?) I adore Lindt and mini eggs… if anyone wants to send me any, I’d be delighted!
3. Jacobs Cream Crackers – for some reason I’m addicted to these at the moment; it might be because they’re very easy to eat while typing on a laptop!
4. Sweets – I’m addicted to Skittles and Refreshers.
5. Cup of Tea and either buttered crumpets or bagels; there’s something comforting about this snack.
This is making me hungry…!
Do your leading men come from any place in particular? Dreams? Movie stars? Your partner?
Hmmm, I think it’s a combination of things really. I would never base a male character on anyone I know, but it might be that a certain trait or habit of a friend or boyfriend makes it into one of them. I always know my male characters’ personalities first; how they act, what they think, what their values are, what their career and lifestyle choices are, what they look for in a woman etc. How they look generally comes afterwards. Sometimes I have a very defined idea in my mind as to what a male lead looks like, and they’re not based on anyone appearance wise. But a few of my male leads have been based on actors and I’ve taken inspiration from David Boreanaz, Dermot Mulrooney, Andrew Garfield and Tom Hardy.
If I’d snuck a peek in your purse right now, what would I find?
Lol, lot’s of receipts (I never throw them out), a ton of different debit and reward cards, and very little cash because I’m always giving my money to my children!
Do you ever daydream about people you see at the park? Airport? Train station? Mall? And build romance scenes around them while you daydream?
Absolutely! I often people-watch, and make up stories in my head about them. In fact my lovely boyfriend has caught me doing it more than once and I sometimes amuse him by sharing what I’m imagining with him. There are endless possibilities… and I find other people fascinating (from a distance; I would never deliberately eavesdrop on a private conversation).
With Spring just around the corner what are you most looking forward to?
Warmer weather! I am not a winter person at all. I’m always cold and the only thing I like about winter is that Christmas is smack in the middle of it! I love it when the days start getting longer and the daffodils come out and weekends can be spent more outdoors than in.
Seeing as the fourth #LoveLondon book is Cocktails in Chelsea, what is your favourite cocktail?
This is is a hard one… I love Cosmo’s and Long Island Iced Tea (what’s not to love about a cocktail with five different spirits in it?), adore Margarita’s and enjoy Champagne cocktails, but I guess my favourite has to be a large Mojito. They’re incredibly refreshing, have that Cuban zing and are incredibly easy to drink 🙂
Don’t miss your chance to get yourself a copy of Nikki Moores latest release Cocktails in Chelsea and the rest of the wonderful #LoveLondon Series!
New Year at The Ritz (Short Story); Out Now; http://amzn.to/1DlhM2E
Valentine’s on Primrose Hill (Short Story); Out Now http://amzn.to/1vbm2CP
Cocktails in Chelsea (Short Story); 19th March 2015 http://amzn.to/1MHziUb
Strawberries at Wimbledon (Short Story); April 2015 Pre-order http://amzn.to/1za5v1N
Picnics in Hyde Park, (Novel); Ebook May 2015 Pre-order http://amzn.to/1A3VTXN
On 21 February 2014 her short story ‘A Night to Remember’ was published in digital and print editions of the Mills & Boon / Romantic Novelists Association anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply, edited by Sue Moorcroft. Best-selling authors including Carole Matthews, Katie Fforde and Adele Parks feature. The anthology has attracted 4 and 5* ratings and great reviews and Nikki’s story was picked as one reviewer’s favourite. Her debut novel Crazy, Undercover, Love was released as an ebook in April 2014 with the paperback version following in September. Nikki’s been a finalist in several writing competitions since 2010, including Novelicious Undiscovered 2012. A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she has contributed to their magazine ‘Romance Matters,’ has far too much fun attending the annual conferences and has also chaired a panel and taken part in a workshop at the Festival of Romance.