Today, we want to take a moment and talk with Nike Chillemi, crime fictionista, about her latest release, Harmful Intent.
Jennifer: Congratulations! You’ve written another book and seen it to publication.
What are three things you’ve learned from your latest experience in publishing?
Nike: My previous four novels (The Sanctuary Point series) were completed and published under the watchful eye of a publisher…namely Gail Delaney at Desert Breeze Publishing. This time, since I’ve jumped into the world of self-publishing, I had to handle every detail regarding HARMFUL INTENT all by my lonesome. What are the three things I’ve learned? 1) It can get lonesome. When you self-publish, ultimately, it’s you and the manuscript. 2) Now I’m going to contradict myself. While it’s true that I had full responsibility for the end product, there is tremendous support out there in the Christian Indie Author community and I availed myself of it. I have good friends out there, and you Jennifer are one of them. 3) And last, but not least, indie publishing is so much fun. It really is.
Jennifer: What is your favorite sentence or paragraph in the book?
Nike: I have several lines I like a lot, and also several sections of dialog. I particularly enjoy the humor in the story. So, if I had to pick one line, it would be where the heroine, Ronnie is imagining what she’d like to do with two brash, inconsiderate, haughty females who are possible suspects in the murder of her husband.
In my mind’s eye, I tackled them both and handcuffed them back-to-back. I shook my head to dispel the image.
Jennifer: Writers sit for extended periods of time. What do you do to combat fatigue?
Nike: It’s not good for one’s health to sit for long periods of time. But it’s hard to get around that and write novels. I’ve been focused on health this year quite a lot. I break it up. I sit for an hour or two and then do some chores in the house, or do my stretching exercises (not difficult but they make my body feel good), or take the dog for a walk.
Jennifer: How do you personally handle “writer’s block?”
Nike: I can only thank the Lord that I’ve never had a serious case of writer’s block. I think of myself as a professional writer. Give me a writing prompt and I can bang out 300 – 500 words, easy peasy. In fact, that’s how HARMFUL INTENT started…from a prompt. The idea was to take a character and move her/him to new and uncomfortable surroundings. That’s how my Brooklyn born and bred private investigator gets to west Texas where she’s at first suspected in the murder of her husband. I thought it would be a short story, but it kept growing. I don’t get stuck in my writing too often, but if I do I have a trick. I make a list of 5 – 10 places my character would absolutely never go and 5 – 10 things she/he’d never do. Then I pick one from each list and have the character do it. That gets me writing again. I may edit it out of the final rendition, but it gets the story jump started again.
Jennifer: What fun fact would you like your readers to know about you?
Nike: Before I started writing seriously, I worked in the bridal industry. I didn’t work retail, but rather for the companies who manufacture the gowns. I’ve worked bridal fairs in NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Las Vegas. So, when I needed a business for my heroine’s former BFF in HARMFUL INTENT, I gave her a bridal shop. That was fun writing descriptions of what the inside of a bridal couture business is like. I have both dramatic and humorous scenes in Cassidy’s Bridal Couture.
Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.
Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.
Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.
Sweet, askance romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully.
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has won awards and garnered critical acclaim. Her new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT released in the spring of 2014 under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Christian Indie Novelists (CHIN) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning). http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/