I am beyond excited to have Nikki Jefford, author of the fabulous Spellbound Trilogy, on the BlookGirl blog today! Nikki is here to promote both Entangled and Duplicity, the first two books in the series. Entangled came out in February 2012 to much fanfare from book lovers and reviewers. Indeed, it rated at 5 stars on BlookGirl, and you can find my review here. The second book in the series, Duplicity, came out on May 20th and I was lucky enough to receive a copy on Debut Day, complete with a mention in the Acknowledgements section! Thank you, Nikki! 🙂 You can find my review for Duplicity here.

Today, Nikki is here to talk about “The Method Behind the Madness”, in terms of her writing. There is also a fabulous giveaway and more goodies to discover, so please read on!


The Method Behind the Madness

I hear voices in my head. They keep me awake at night. Am I crazy? Nope. I’m a storyteller.

Bored and Lonely

My particular journey began as a painfully shy introvert. I spent my early years at my mother’s place of business with only the characters I made up for company. When my mom remarried, we left Anchorage and spent the next seven years moving around the west coast with summer’s back home. I was in a new school, sometimes two, every year until high school.

I spent most of this time reading, writing in notebooks or typing on my typewriter. (Computers are the best invention ever!)

Plotting

Until a year ago, I was a pantster not a plotter. Each author has their own MO. In my personal experience, outlining has improved my overall storyline and ability to dish up an exotic tale.

The word “outline” is problematic because it reminds people of school and homework, at least that’s what it does for me. But there’s no need for it to be formal or take more than ten minutes. I type a simple list with major plot developments that don’t go into detail (I leave that for when I’m actually writing). This is a good opportunity to see if you have enough going on in your novel. Are the stakes high enough or are your characters spending too much time contemplating the meaning of life? *snore*

Never Saw that Coming!

There are writers who automatically assume that plotting = no surprises.

I’ve found the opposite is true.

In the dark days when I made things up as I went, I ended up tossing random scenes in just to keep the story going.

My outline is a roadmap only. Along the way I might pick up a hitchhiker (or run him over); take a wrong turn or run into foul weather. I know where I need to go, but these are things I don’t see coming. It’s a good sign if I don’t know how to get past a particular road block. My hope is that if I can’t figure a way out, my readers won’t be able to, either. Then I remember I have to figure it out! That’s my job as the writer behind the wheel.

Chronology is for Historians

I almost never write in chronological order. I imagine it’s like filming a movie. Depending on the weather, or in my case mood, I might decide to write a suspense scene before the events leading up to it then go back and work my way there.

In the past I’ve struggled with how to start novels so I came up with a solution: Leave the beginning for later.

Thank you to Katie for her previous review of Entangled and for having me at Blookgirl. Let’s NaNo together this November!


Great post, Nikki! It’s always nice to delve a little into the psyche of a writer and discover just a bit more about what makes them tick. I am an aspiring writer myself and will definitely be participating in NaNoWriMoagain this year, this time with Nikki! 🙂

Nikki has been generous enough to offer a fabulous Spellbound Swag Pack to the BlookGirl readers. This giveaway ends on June 8, 2012, is open internationally, and features:

· Evil Eye Amulet and Bracelet: In Duplicity, Gray wears an evil eye pendant, also known as a nazar, to protect herself from a spell that’s causing havoc over the witches and warlocks in her coven. The evil eye (a Turkish amulet) is used for both luck and protection against envy.

· Two Headed Quarter: Two Grays are better than none and two heads are better than one, especially when flipping over who gets to choose which movie to watch with a trick coin. Adrian returns in Duplicity and opens a magic shop.

· Entangled bookmark