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Interview with Nina Bloom

A Little Something About Nina:

Nina Bloom is an independent author, who is also a voracious reader. Her unique skills include reading, daydreaming, and a little more reading. Sometimes she writes. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Nina floated her way through life doing this and that, and a little more of this, until she decided to make something of herself. And, so, here we are. When Nina is not daydreaming, she is chasing around her two obnoxious boxers or snuggling with her seriously handsome husband, who feeds her waffles and calls her good girl.

Questions and Answers:

1. What made you want to be an author?

I’ve always been a writer, but never considered publishing. I thought only ‘real’ writers could do that. Never once thinking, writers are ‘real’ writers because they write. lol. My mom pushed me to publish my work. She’s always been my biggest cheerleader. Once I started showing people my work and getting some positive feedback, I felt a little better about exposing myself in a literary way. It’s still terrifying though,

2. Typically, what was the timeframe it took you to write your books?

Since this was my first full novel, it took me about eight months, including editing time. I was learning story structure and romance beats as I was writing, so hopefully the next book doesn’t take as long. I don’t see myself publishing more than two books a year, though.

3. Are you a planner or pantser?

I’m a plantster. I start pantsting to get the ideas flowing, once I have a grip on where the story is going, I do a flexible outline for each chapter, making sure I cover any plot holes. I say flexible because my characters always hijack my outline and do things their way. They are the stars of the show and I, their humble assistant.

4. What would you say is your unique writing style?

I don’t think I have a unique writing style per se, but I have to feel the words. It’s hard to explain. My fingers just go sometimes and crank out what I see in my head. Sometimes it’s so fast, I cramp up. However, every word has to convey emotion and imagery. A scene isn’t done unless I feel the words punch me in the gut. I can get prosy, but I have my editor to help me cut some of that away.

5. Whether it be traditional, self, or story book apps. How did you find the publishing process?

I’m self-publishing and, God, it’s so damn much. I never knew all the things that went into publishing a book. All the webpages and marketing avenues I needed. And don’t get me started on formatting and proofing. It’s a complicated process, but so worth it in the end.

6. How much of your process includes doing research into your subject matter or plot?

There is a lot of research involved, but I also take liberties too. Like simplifying the logistics, it would take to fully thrust the plot. For instance, my book is about a girl wanting to help the homeless community in her town. There are several things that need to happen in order to achieve a non-profit and run it smoothly. But I am writing a romance, so I need the love to take center stage, not all the things one needs to do to file a 501c3. I did reach out to a family member who happens to own a development company, which has a nonprofit sector, feeding the people in need in our community.

7. How old were you when you first discovered your passion for writing?

The earliest I can remember is writing a book in the third grade called “The Rabbit’s Bad Life”. It was Velveteen Rabbit fanfiction. lol. One could say I’ve always been an angsty writer. It won best in the class though.

8. When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing with your time?

Daydreaming about writing. Ha-ha! I love to read, it’s my first passion. But I also love just hanging out with the hubs and my pups.

9. Is your family supportive?

My family is super supportive. My mom is the one who encouraged me to publish, and my husband supports any crazy idea I have (I’ve had a lot of them). I keep him on his toes. But there is a nice byproduct when writing a spicy romance and he’s all for that. ;)

10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books (characters, location, plot)?

That I have the endurance to complete a book. I think that was the most surprising. I didn’t actually believe I’d finish until I was writing the last chapter. Writing “The End” was very emotional. It’s like, okay, I did it. I loved it. And I could do it again if I wanted.

11. What is your favorite component about the genre you write?

Belly swoops and hot smexy scenes. That’s what it’s all about for me. And also, Happily Ever After’s. We don’t get that often enough in real life, so it’s nice that every romance I read has that. It keeps my hope afloat.

12. What advice would you give to help others become writers?

Find writer friends who are as passionate about writing as you are. Constantly living in make-believe worlds can be isolating. My non-writer friends can’t relate to that and it’s a part of me I sort of have to shut off when I’m with them. That’s hard when I’m actively writing a book because I’m so excited about my characters or the things I’ve learned.

Also, this industry is hard, and the pressure will beat you down. I would’ve given up so many times if I didn’t have my writer friends. We critique each other’s work; we lift each other up and we promote each other. My writer friends are the most vital component of my career. I’m so grateful to have them.

13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I just sent ARCs out a week ago and I’ve had four people contact me and gush about my book. I was floored, really. Imposter syndrome is a bitch and I suffer from it daily. So, to have a reader reach out to me and tell me they love my book… It’s everything. Especially when readers say they relate to my characters and feel all the raw emotion. That’s the ultimate reward.

14. Do you like to create books for your target audience?

Yes, I am my target audience. I am a voracious reader of spicy romance. What I want is probably what almost every other romance reader wants in a book, and I try my hardest to deliver that. I’ll always write steamy, and my characters will always have an HEA. If I write a HFN (Happy for Now), I won’t release the book until the resolution book is finished. Because I’m impatient, myself, so I won’t do that to my readers.

15. What pulls you in about a book? Do you read a book based on the cover or the summary?

Angst and emotion. I have to feel the book. Don’t get me wrong, I like a rom com now and then, but sometimes even those have angsty moments I relish in. I don’t really look at covers, which is why I had a hell of a time trying to figure out what I wanted on mine. I do read blurbs, but it’s usually a recommendation that gets me to one click. Oh and 1-star reviews that say, “there’s too much sex”. I mean, it’s not possible. Ha-ha!

16. How do you handle writer's block and what do you tell other aspiring authors who may be fighting or fearful about hitting that wall?

Read the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It really helped me while I was writing (or not writing) the middle of The Weight of Our Hearts. I had the biggest block. It lasted two months. I usually can pump out a chapter a week, if I’m writing fast enough. So, I lost a lot of time. The Artist’s Way taught me to download my thoughts every morning in a journal (it keeps you writing, even if it’s not about the manuscript) and go on creative dates with yourself. I love to paint furniture, decorate, and put makeup on unsuspecting friends, so I did those things while my characters were on hiatus. Eventually I’d get a sentence there or a paragraph here.

Another thing I think we get stuck on is perfectionism. I think my first draft has to be perfect before I hand it to my critique partners, and that’s just not the case. First drafts are supposed to be terrible. So, what I would do if I got stuck on a word or how to show an emotion is bracket what I want and go back to it later. If my fingers are flying over the keyboard, I don’t want them to stop, so I can think. I have to take the thinking out of it (sounds weird, I know). So maybe I’ll start a scene in third person, just describing what I see. Dialogue almost always follows, but I don’t put much effort into tagging it (maybe just the character’s initial). If I want to convey an emotion with that dialogue, I’ll bracket it. For instance, “Don’t touch me.” - [Lucy upset at Marco]. And that’s it, I’ll get back to the showing later, but at that moment it’s about building a scene.

I think writer’s block is all about perfectionism and we need to let go of that for the first draft. My editor always says you can’t edit a blank page. Again, it helps to know I’m not in this alone.

Final Note:

Nina is a rare talent. I cannot wait until her book; The Weight of Our Hearts is available in paperback. She's one of the refreshing authors that uses authenticity in her writing, while making us fall deep into the dream world she creates. Make sure you follow her on all her platforms, and you wait in the line behind me to get your copy of her debut book.

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