I am very pleased to share this interview with a fellow author. Today we are featuring the talented Nina Soden.
Nina, please tell us a little about yourself and why you write.
I grew up in Michigan, went to college at Eastern Michigan University with the hopes of becoming an actress. After college I moved out to Los Angeles, and although I had some success, becoming a full-time actor wasn’t in the cards for me. After meeting and marrying my wonderful husband, we moved down South. I had written poetry for years, and even dabbled in writing screenplays while in L.A. So, after we moved I published my first book Private Words Unspoken, a collection of my poetry. Then I moved onto short stores. One day, one of my short stories just didn’t end. After a few months it was 50,000 words and still going. I was enjoying the story so much that I decided to share it with some friends and family members. The feedback I got was great, and I decided to turn it into a novel.
I have enjoyed the writing process so much that I have published 3 books, Awaken, Beginnings, and Revenge in that series (The Blood Angel Series) and am getting ready to publish the second book, The Hunted, of my latest series (SECTOR C).
Can you tell us a little about each of your books?
My first books were the Blood Angel Series.
AWAKEN (book 1)
Awaken is set in a world very much like our own, yet Atlanta, Michigan isn’t just an ordinary city and Alee Moyer isn’t just an ordinary girl. Having barely survived her childhood it will take the death of her father for the truth of her true bloodline to come out. Even if it means losing her life, or at least her identity she won’t be able to escape her true destiny as the first surviving Dhampir in history. Surrounded by a new world where the horror films she grew up watching have become reality and the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline, Alee will struggle to find herself and her purpose.
Part horror thriller – part tender romance, Awaken will leave readers eagerly wanting more!
It seems that horror/romance combination is pretty popular nowadays. Tell us about Beginnings and Revenge.
BEGINNINGS (book 2)
Having lost her family, Alee has been thrown into a new life and new world. Camouflaged by the mundane happenings of a high school existence she would never have guessed what was happening below the surface in, “The Underground”. If she thought hunting in the wild and drinking blood was bad, what will she think when she becomes the hunted? Newly armed with the knowledge of being half witch and half vampire Alee, the only surviving Dhampir in history, is forced to learn to control a lifetime of magic and vampire powers if she wants to survive. Filled with magic and paranormal delights, Beginnings will leave readers wanting more!
REVENGE (book 3)
Having died in her father’s arms only to awaken in a pool of blood surrounded by the corpses of the mutilated, her true love among them, who could blame her for what she did next? Wouldn’t you seek REVENGE?
Tell us about your brand new series, Sector C.
The Chosen (book 1)
Set in a futuristic dystopian where society is governed by a council of vampires and lycanthropes, selection students are sheltered and raised in a deceptively utopian world. Strict rules are imposed to control population growth, education, and even personal interactions with other members of the Sector, all in the name of safety.
When ‘A’ comes of age she, like all youth throughout Sector C, and her selection classmates aren’t sent out into the world to find jobs, make money and lead happy carefree lives. They are forced to endure the rigorous physical and mental testing of Selection Week before choosing their destiny or being forced into a fate far worse. Those that make it out alive are announced as sector residence, given a position within the society, and allotted all the privileges of their chosen “culture.” However, when your only choices are vampirism, lycanthropy, breeder, blood donor, or banishment to the Wastelands, what choice do you really have?
The Hunted (book 2)
In the future, most of the world is governed by a council of vampires and lycanthropes. Sector residents are offered the freedom to live as they desire provided they stay and abide by the laws handed down.
After being jolted awake by the blaring screech of the sector alarm, Zelina is dragged from her bed, gagged, and tied to a chair. Confronted with the brutal murder of one of her former classmates, she realizes that all eyes are on her as the primary suspect. Whether she was involved or not doesn’t matter.
In the eyes of most sector residents, and most Council Members, Zelina is already a pariah—feared for the powers she will certainly come to possess. For she is the first human known to have both vampire and lycanthrope blood flowing through her veins.
Zelina will find herself on a gripping adventure that will take her beyond the borders she’s known all her life in an attempt to save those she loves—and herself from becoming The Hunted.
I understand that The Hunted comes out on Halloween. That sounds like perfect timing!
I write series myself and I often am asked how difficult it is to write a series Did you have the entire saga all mapped out beforehand or did you just wing it as you went along?
When I started my first series, I had a rough idea of where books 1 and 2 where going to go, and then by the time I started book 2 I had a pretty good idea of how the series was going to end. However, I have to say, from my first draft to the final book—a lot changed. I let my characters lead the story, and sometime they don’t go exactly where I expect.
When I started the second series SECTOR C, I had no idea what the story was about or who the characters were. I had one scene in my mind and I thought that was the opening scene. I had jotted it down while my family was on a long car ride down to Florida, and a few weeks later when I finally had time to sit at my computer I typed it up. One thing led to another and I was well on my way to a new novel. That “opening scene” ended up being the start of chapter 4, but it is still one of my favorite scenes in the book because it really gives the reader a good idea of who the main character really is.
What drives you to write and where do you find your inspiration?
I’ve always been a creative person. I love art in every form. I enjoy painting, drawing, and even getting dirty doing clay sculptures. I love film and theatre and have always felt at home in front of a camera or on stage, even directing. Writing is just another form of artistic expression.
I think right now, my inspiration comes from my children. I have always tried to follow my dreams and I want them to grow up knowing they can do the same. I want them to believe that they can do and be anything in life as long as they try. After college I moved out to Los Angeles with stars in my eyes, hoping to catch my big break. No, it didn’t happen. Although I had some degree of success in film and commercials, it wasn’t near the level I had hoped for. Then, I met my husband, and we left California behind. It didn’t mean I was giving up, it meant I was finding a new dream. I started doing theatre again, then I had my kids, and my goals in life changed. Now, I write. I’ve published four books and I’m about to release the fifth. My kids have watched me through the whole process. They know it takes hard work and dedication, but that I did it because I wanted it bad enough. It’s a lesson I learned from my parents and one I am very proud to be sharing with my kids.
What is the hardest part about writing and being an indie author?
I used to say the editing process is the hardest part. Watching your manuscript, that you put your heart and soul into, get ripped to shreds by an editor can be very painful. However, now I believe the hardest part is marketing myself. I can deal with the edits and the re-writes because I know the story will be better because of it. Marketing myself and getting my name out there and my books in reader’s hands is very hard. It really doesn’t matter how good your novel is, it can be amazing but if no one knows about it then it’s just words on paper. Unfortunately, it’s hard for an indie author to find readers and more importantly, readers who are willing to write reviews when they like your book. Good reviews are gold to an indie author and bad reviews can kill your career before it has even begun.
What is your favorite genre?
I read a lot of different genres, but right now my favorite has to be YA Supernatural. I guess maybe because I am so engrossed in my own books right now, I tend to read others in the same genre. However, I love science fiction, dystopian, murder mysteries, horror, and autobiographies.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I would love to say writing full-time, but if not, then at least enjoying my family, writing when I can, and doing theatre. I’m pretty happy with a simple life.
Do you have any helpful suggestions or advice for new writers?
Don’t give up. If you really want to be an author then keep writing. Writing isn’t always easy but it is worth it. It is fun and extremely rewarding.
Where can we find more information about you and your books?
I have a blog, a page on Facebook and profile on Twitter, and you can look up my author page and all of my books on Amazon.