1) How did you come up with the idea for Bright Star?
The idea for Bright Star actually came from a dream I had, one of those vivid dreams that you can't shake out of your head when you wake up. In the dream, there was a girl living on a military base, and she went to go see a helicopter take off. The helicopter crashed, but none of the adults on the base wanted to go help the men on board.
I kept thinking, 'Why wouldn't the adults want to help? What were they hiding? How far would this girl go to help the people on that helicopter?'
The helicopter became a spaceship, and a few new characters were added, but the central idea from Bright Star came from that dream.
2) Have you always wanted to be an author?
I've always loved reading and writing, but I never thought it would be possible to be an author. I've always had a pragmatic streak, and working in a creative field didn't seem possible.
I studied Computer Science in college, but kept writing on the side. When I graduated, I was only able to find part-time work (tough times all around). Since I had the time, I decided to try writing again. I feel lucky that I'm able to still work a traditional job and have time for writing.
3) How many books do you plan to write in this series?
I'm planning 4 books all together. The next, Dark Skies, should be out in April 2013.
4) I loved Dr. DeWitt. He was my favorite! Who was your favorite character to write and why?
I love Dr. DeWitt too! He's a mashup of all my favorite teachers through school, and I think he's an invaluable mentor and supporter of Sadira through the story.
I had the most fun writing Baruj's character. He's a little obnoxious, a little too nosy, but loyal to a fault. He ended up being very strong-willed, and I actually had to change my original ending of the book because of the evolution of his character.
5) Can you give us a hint as to what to expect in the next book?
Sadira learns more about the rebellion against Central, but the more she sees the more she questions who the 'good guys' are.
We also get to see a different side of Sadira's personality. In Bright Star, she's a very serious and pragmatic person, and hard to ruffle. In Dark Skies, we see her struggle with anger and her inability to forgive.
6) Can you describe Bright Star in 5 words or less?
Oh man, this is hard to do! I found writing the book blurb much harder than writing the book itself. Let me give it a whirl:
Uncovering secrets leads to adventure.
7) Is there any specific food or drink that you have to have handy while writing?
Coffee. Lots of coffee.
Like if there was such a thing as a coffee IV drip, I'd have one hooked up.
8) Do you prefer to write with pen and paper or on a computer/laptop?
I do all my writing on my laptop. My notebook doesn't have spellcheck. : )
I think writing on a laptop makes editing much easier as well, and it's easier to send ideas back and forth with critiquing partners.
9) Do you have any advice to give aspiring authors?
Keep writing, and reach out to other writers. I've been blown away by how supportive the online writing community is, and I've met so many other fantastic writers (and found a few stellar critiquing partners!).
10) Are there any authors who have influenced you?
There are too many to name them all. I was a serious bookworm growing up, and if I didn't have to worry about doing anything else I'd read all the time.
I love Roald Dahl's sense of humor, how even dark, serious topics can have some levity. I love how C.S. Lewis created an immersive world full of magic. Stephen King has a knack for cutting down to the core of human nature, and Nancy Farmer is an expert at creating action and tension.
But more than that, I love how every author has a dream of a different world, a different time, or a different place, and how they make their dream come alive. If there's any magic in the world, it's in storytelling.
To find out more about Nickie and her books, please check out the following sites:
Bright Star on Goodreads
Buy Bright Star on Amazon
Also be sure to check out my review.