Friday, 27 March 2015

Q&A with Nikki Moore

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Today I'm very happy to welcome the wonderful Nikki Moore on Sky's Book Corner - she answered some questions for me. Last week Cocktails in Chelsea her forth story in the #LoveLondon series, came out. Thanks for answering my questions lovely lady.


 Thanks so much for inviting me here for a chat Simona :)

1.    Did you always dream of being a writer?

Absolutely :)  As soon as I learnt to read, I knew I wanted to make up stories for a living (by being a published author, not a professional liar! Lol) and started scribbling away. The first story I remember writing was based on a brief given by a primary school teacher, The Cry of the Banshee. Needless to say it was a horror story, not a romance!

2.    Cocktails in Chelsea is the forth book in your LoveLondon series, what is it about?

Well, here’s the short blurb...
Mix one ambitious barman who has a serious dislike for Chelsea princesses, with one tomboy who might just have pretended to be something she isn't, add one impulsive kiss and a late night rescue, shake and serve over ice... Springtime in Chelsea – will love blossom? 

3.    Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Sure. Sofia is a Bournemouth girl who is reluctantly visiting old childhood friends in London for Easter weekend. She’s keenly aware she's not part of their glamorous world, and is more comfortable riding a surfboard or skateboarding than wearing designer dresses and towering heels. In fact, she’s very used to being ‘one of the boys‘ and hasn’t got a lot of experience with men. Unfortunately, in trying to fit in with her friends, she comes across as everything that Nathan (the hero) doesn’t like. He‘s working as a barman to raise money to set up his own cocktail bar, and is fiercely ambitious. He dislikes posh, entitled girls, and although he’s not looking for a relationship, at heart he wants a girl-next-door type. So it gets interesting when they run into each other...

4.    The first book in the series is called Skating at Somerset House, can you tell us more about it?

I’ve been so lucky with this series. Skating at Somerset House was a Christmas title and got lots of great attention, and has the largest number of reviews on Amazon so far. I think the covers are amazing (thanks so much to Steve Panton, genius designer) and a series of romances set in and around iconic London landmarks / locations seem to have really captured people’s imagination. 

Here’s the blurb...
There’s nothing Holly Winterlake loves more than Christmas and skating, so working as an Ice Marshall at London's Somerset House is a dream come true.
Noel Summerford hates the festive season and is a disaster on the ice, so taking his godson to Somerset House is his idea of the nightmare before Christmas!
Things are bound to get interesting when these two collide…
With a forty foot Christmas tree, an assortment of well meaning friends and relatives, and a mad chocolate Labrador, will this festive season be one to remember … or forget?

5.    How about New Year at the Ritz and Valentine’s on Primrose Hill?

Well, This Means War is one of my favourite rom-coms (I think Reese Witherspoon is great) and I love the premise of choosing between two guys, so I suppose I was channeling that initally when I first started New Year at The Ritz, but needless to say, the stories are very different, especially as mine takes place over only a few days, and features a scavenger hunt!

New Year, New Love… or Old Love, New Start?
Everyone keeps telling Frankie Taylor that a new year is a time for new beginnings. She's not so sure. Single for a year, she's been more than happy on her own, thanks very much!
At least, that's what she thinks until she receives a note on New Year’s Eve inviting her to follow the clues, and her heart, across Knightsbridge.
But who's behind the romantic adventure? Old flame Christian who she loved for years and was always there for her, or new admirer and work colleague Zack, who has the habit of turning up in all sorts of unexpected places?
There's only one way she's going to find out…

As for Valentine’s on Primrose Hill, this is one of my personal favourites. Georgiana and Leo had been in my head for a long time, waiting for their story to be told, and of all my babies, this is the one I am probably most proud of. So I’m unbelievably excited that it’s had mostly five star reviews. Here’s the blurb...

For Georgiana Dunn, life changed forever in the devastating moment that the lorry hit her car.
Scarred and scared, she's not left the house in months. Then her mum buys her a puppy, forcing her to face the world again, walking on London's beautiful Primrose Hill. But that doesn't mean she's looking forward to Valentine's Day.
Leo devotes himself to working with children with special educational needs. In fact, he does very little else, and his friends are always telling him to get a (love) life. So when they challenge him to find a date for Valentine's Day, and he meets a lovely but lost girl who looks like she could use a friend, he thinks he's found the perfect solution.
But life has a way of being less than perfect … Will he be left standing on his own on the most romantic day of the year?

6.    What can we expect from the rest of the series?

Well, Strawberries in Wimbledon, the last short story / novella is out on 23 April, and is about Adam and Rayne (university sweethearts) and whether you can ever go back and recapture that first love. 

Picnics in Hyde Park is out as an eBook on 21 May and paperback on a print on demand basis from 30 July. It’s a full length summer novel, and the end of the series :( You finally get to meet Matt and Zoe, who some of the rest of the #LoveLondon series characters are linked to, and find out their story. As a taster, I can tell you that Zoe, on the rebound from a cheating fiancĂ©, believes Matt (a rich, famous music producer) and his brother Stephen have basically ruined her younger sister’s life, so she moves in with Matt and pretends to be his children’s Nanny while she plots revenge against him. Except he’s not quite as bad as she expected...

7.    What was your inspiration for the series?

My lovely HarperImpulse editor Charlotte commissioned me to write a series of romantic short stories all set in London. We decided there would be five, with the sixth story being a full length novel, which I had already pitched to her.

For me, what usually happens is the two main characters appear in my head first, then the plot slowly builds from them. But in the case of the #LoveLondon series, I had the settings and key dates / events first e.g Christmas/Somerset House, New Year’s/The Ritz, Valentine’s Day/Primrose Hill etc and then thought about what each one of those represented, and the conflicts that theme might present for the characters, and I built the heroes and heroines from there.

8.    Where and when do you write your stories?

Great question, simple answer :) Wherever and whenever I can!  I used to be a bit precious about my writing time, but now I fit it in on the sofa over breakfast at 6.30 a.m. (before getting ready for the day job) or in the evenings in bed with my laptop once the kids are in bed. Occasionally I take the laptop into work and write on my lunch break. I do have a writing room set up but don’t spend a lot of time in there as it always feels cold...

9.    What do you do and enjoy when you’re not writing?

I adore reading. I love crime thrillers, police procedurals and gory serial killer series but also love Chicklit, romances, and weightier women’s fiction. But really I’ll read anything I can get my hands on.

Apart from that, I like spending time with my kids, family and lovely boyfriend, drinking wine, watching films, trying new stuff and going for bracing walks on the beach. I’m also partial to social gatherings, which is why I love being part of the Romantic Novelists Association.

10. Last year your novel Crazy Undercover Love was published, can you tell us more about it?

I worked on Crazy, Undercover, Love for about four years before it was accepted for publication, and rewrote it about eight times, so this one will always be very close to my heart. It’s about feisty uber-career girl Charley who travels to Barcelona on a weekend assignment with hot, complicated CEO Alex to try and get her life back on track. There are lots of twists and turns in this story, which readers seem to like, so I’m very happy I persisted with this book.

11. If you could switch places with a characters from a book, who would it be and why?

What an amazing question. Wow, there are too many to choose from, but it would definitely be a strong, independent female character who has to overcome unbeatable odds to achieve her goals. Let me think about that some more...

12.  What books have most influenced your life most?

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favourite books, and the things it taught me about empathy, prejudice and forgiveness are instilled in me even now, more than twenty years after reading it. I also think the style of writing has a certain beauty to it.

13. What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently focusing on the promo for the #LoveLondon series but in terms of my next writing plans, I’m hoping to get back to a women’s commercial fiction book that I’ve been working on for a couple of years now. We’ll have to see what my publishers think...

14. What do you enjoy most about writing?

The opportunity to tell the stories of the people who live in my head :). I know that might sound a bit odd, but to me my characters are friends who sit around and tell me what’s going on in their lives, how that’s made them feel, and what they’ve learnt from it.
Of course I also love it when readers or reviewers contact me and tell me a particular story has touched them, or taught them something, or simply helped them escape from real life for a while. The opportunity to connect with other people and know a story has meant something to them is an honour and privilege.

15. You have written other short stories as well, what are they about and what makes a short story special in your eyes?

That’s right - I’ve also written The Love Letter and A Day in the Life... which featured in the HarperImpulse short story collection Be My Valentine. The Love Letter is written from a male perspective and is about a widower moving on after the death of his wife, and A Day in the Life ... is the story of a runaway bride alone on her honeymoon in the Maldives.
A Night to Remember, in the bestselling Mills & Boon / Romantic Novelists Association anthology, has been billed as an English version of Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook, and asks the question, can love conquer anything? 
Short stories are very hard to write, as you need to try and fit a compelling tale into a tight word count, along with characters that are well developed enough to make readers care. But they’re incredibly satisfying for the same reasons, and I think I’d be very sad if I only got to write full length books.

16. Coffee or tea?

Tea. I have to start every day with a cup.

17. Paperback or e-reader?

Both. Can I do that? Paperback for the bath, e-reader or app on my mobile for any other time I have a minute to read.

18. Mountains or the sea?

Sea. I love the beach, and swimming, and the sounds and smells of it. I’ve lived on the south coast my whole life, and love it.

19. Summer or winter?

Definitely summer. I hate winter, because I don’t like the cold. The only good things about winter are Christmas, New Year and the opportunity to snuggle up with a book and hot chocolate when it’s cold outside...

20. Sweet or salty?

     It has to be sweet. I have a sweet tooth, and it’s awful because at work we always have cakes, chocolates, sweets or biscuits lying around. It’s a wonder my hips aren’t a lot broader than they are!

Thanks for the interview Simona; it’s been fun x

About the author

Nikki Moore lives in Dorset near beautiful Sandbanks beach with her two gorgeous children, and is lucky enough to have a lovely boyfriend too. She has a full-time day job in Human Resources, enjoys the variety of her role and is grateful for her very supportive colleagues! She loves writing and does it as often as possible, but can also be found reading and consuming white wine in long, hot baths on a regular basis...

Her debut novel Crazy, Undercover, Love was published by HarperImpulse in 2014 and she is also the author of the #LoveLondon series, with a short story A Night to Remember in the bestselling Mills & Boon/Romantic Novelists Association anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply.

Nikki is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, went through the RNA New Writers Scheme, and is a firm advocate of aspiring and emerging authors. She is on Twitter @NikkiMoore_Auth and Facebook at and would love to hear from anyone who wants to chat about reading, writing, love or life in general!

Bk 1, Skating At Somerset House (Short Story) Amazon UK - My Review
Bk 2, New Year at The Ritz (Short Story) Amazon UK - My Review
Bk 3, Valentine's on Primrose Hill (Short Story) Amazon UK - My Review
Bk 4, Cocktails in Chelsea (Short Story) Amazon UK - My Review
Bk 5, Strawberries at Wimbledon (Short Story) Coming April 2015 Amazon UK
Bk 6, Picnics in Hyde Park, (Novel) Ebook Coming May 2015 Amazon UK

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