Today I am excited to introduce a wonderful author I recently discovered after reading her YA novel ENTANGLED, the first in a teen witch trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought it was so well-written, I had to invite Nikki Jefford to be a guest on my blog. Welcome, Nikki!
Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.
I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen. I didn’t get serious about it until 1997 at the university level, but ultimately I went into journalism because I didn’t believe it was possible to earn a living off fiction.
From 2005 until 2010 I worked hard to find an agent for my historical romance novels and had some near hits, but no cigar. Last year I switched to young adult, self-published, and haven’t looked back. I feel like this is where my true voice is and I’m having the most fun writing paranormal YA.
What is one of your favorite books and why?
I love “Divergent” by Veronica Roth. I’d never read anything like it before and I like female leads who are tough and not overly emotional.
What inspired you to write this book series?
This may sound silly, but it was after watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I loved the humor, action, danger, and colorful cast of characters.
How would you describe your writing process?
Anything from crazy awesome to tedious and torturous.
What has proven to be your most successful marketing tool?
Enrolling in the Amazon Prime program and doing free promo days. Only problem is now I’m off and it’s been a challenge getting the word out that I’m back on Barnes & Noble. I had decent Nook sales before Amazon Prime (which requires you to unpublish everywhere else for 90 days). Now I’m back on Barnes and sales are dormant.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Maybe they have advice for me. LOL
To self-published authors I’d say, don’t rush your work out. Let it sit awhile and look at it with fresh eyes. Get beta readers and professional proof readers and copy editors to fine tune your novel.
I’ve had to slog through quite a few books lately that take forever to get started and describe every emotion and background. My day job is rough, I want reading that’s fun and easy.
Don’t be afraid to cut. The delete key is your friend.
Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.
My favorite parts in Entangled are the interactions between Graylee Perez and Raj McKenna. I’m going to share their first (literal) run-in.
In this excerpt, Graylee Perez uses an invisibility spell to sneak into English class late. She thinks she’s in the clear until warlock Raj McKenna makes it clear at the end of class that he caught her in the act.
In the world of Entangled there are only a few witches and warlocks at McKinley High and “normals”, as they refer to the non-gifted, aren’t aware of their abilities.
See You Around
Just as she headed toward Sadie, Graylee was bumped from behind. The force of the body against hers sent her pack flying out of her hands onto the ground. Okay, now she was pissed. “What’s your…”
Graylee whipped around to find herself face-to-face with Raj McKenna.
“…problem,” Graylee finished, the word fading like bleached denim.
Raj flicked his Zippo open and closed in his left hand while studying Graylee.
Raj had the kind of bronze-toned skin the socialites of McKinley tried obsessively to replicate in tanning booths. The only thing they managed to enhance was their orangish glow. Raj’s was a hundred percent authentic. His mother was Indian—as in India Indian. He’d inherited her lush dark hair and exotic eyes, the color of which he got from his American father; green like a panther’s, which fit him well ’cause he looked ready to pounce if you made the mistake of turning your back to him. Case in point: ramming Graylee as he’d just done now.
The Zippo clicked shut again. Raj really shouldn’t be playing with a lighter considering he’d burnt down his last house.
“Sorry, didn’t see you.”
Graylee’s jaw dropped.
This time, Raj’s eyes met hers. There was a glint there, or maybe that was just the flash from Raj’s lighter as he flicked it open and closed again.
Where can readers find you and your book?
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZnDgYFCVVw
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/entangled-ya-paranormal-romance-nikki-jefford/1112486738?ean=2940013963412
iTunes Apple Store in iBook (no direct link yet, but it’s there)
Thank you, Kathy!
It was my pleasure, Nikki! I highly recommend ENTANGLED and the next book in the series, DUPLICITY, is at the top of my to-read list!