Thank you, Rachel for opportunity to promote my book and talk about writing on your blog!
Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Nicola E. Sheridan, I am a West Australian author and my debut novel "Magical Gains" is due to be released in March 2011 by Eternal Press.
I have always been an avid romance reader. I like all kinds of romance, from Regency to contemporary and of course, paranormal and fantasy. I think escaping into a good book for a few hours is simply magical and it's that kind of experience I try to create for my readers!
"Magical Gains", is a paranormal romance - though the term paranormal seems to imply it's about vampires and werewolves, but it's not - it's about Genies'. As a qualified Archaeologist, I have an enduring passion for mythology and magical creatures, so it's no surprise that the kind of romance I write involves them! Most of my novels are based in an alternate reality where all magical and mythological beings are real, and simply considered minority beings. "Magical Gains" is set around the character of Primrose Brasco, who finds herself the unwilling mistress of a gorgeous male Genie. In a world where magic is heavily governed to ensure equality for all -their relationship seems doomed from the start. Together, Primrose and her Genie, Imran, must face lascivious Satyrs, treacherous Sirens and hygienically challenged Manticores to discover if true love can outlast three wishes.
The idea behind "Magical Gains" was actually inspired by a television advertisement for biscuits! You can actually watch it on youtube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkTFrwnL5eA.
Basically its about a girl who has a Genie, and all she wants from him is a packet of biscuits that never ends! (I can tell you, if I had a Genie like him, I wouldn't be asking for biscuits!) Anyway, this advertisement got me thinking. Our Government - which is so hungry for taxes would undoubtedly have a 'magical gains tax' and make the granting of wishes illegal - all in the name of equality (naturally!) This idea gave birth to the world of "Magical Gains". After that, the story just wrote itself. In fact it was one of the easiest and most enjoyable stories I have written.
Writing well is definitely an art - and one I will never stop trying to perfect. It never ceases to amaze me the unique ways in which authors create worlds, and plot their novels. Rachel's blog on the GMC fascinated me. I am not a plotter - though I sometimes wish I was! Every night when I go to sleep, I play out the next scene I'm writing in my head. It's how I get to sleep (not that it's boring - it's very therapeutic and calming!) and it's how my novels get written. Dreadfully unprofessional of me isn't it?!
Despite my shocking lack of plotting, I do take great care when editing. I also have a critique partner who picks me up when runaway with myself. When my first draft is complete I then go through and analyse my characters, the world, the tension and make sure it all flows smoothly and makes for a good read.
My advice for any aspiring author is to be dedicated to your art. Getting published can be difficult and involve a fair amount of rejection. To combat the rejections I recommend entering work into competitions to get some assurance you're on the right track (that's what I did). Also joining a writing group or getting a critique partner is invaluable - their critical assessments of your writing are priceless (though at times difficult to hear!)
If you're interested in reading "Magical Gains" it will be out in March 2011 through Eternal Press, and feel free to drop by my blog http://www.magicalgains.blogspot.com/ or my website http://www.nicolasheridan.com/ to see what I'm upto.
Thanks again Rachel for allowing me the opportunity talk to your readers!