Unbelievable, I’m not the only author out there.
Honestly! It’s true! There are OTHERS!
For a while now I’ve been following and interacting (from time to time) with the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. One of the shining lights in that community, and someone who is fun, flirty and SUPER helpful, is the awesome @Nikki_Twisted. Otherwise known as…
I thought that maybe…we should get to know her a little better. Especially as she’s on the verge of publishing her first novel. An Erotic Romance novel entitled ‘Acts of Closure‘.
The book is out on February 5th, so it seemed like a good opportunity to do my first Author Interview, too!
So, without further ado, here’s my interview with NT Anderson.
Let’s set the scene with a little about who you are as a person. Give us a little background on who NT Anderson is when she’s not writing?
I’ve always been something of a workaholic, and I feel like that’s escalated over the past year with the restrictions due to COVID. I used to travel and spend a lot of time visiting friends and family who are out of state. Hopefully that will be happening again sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I can usually be found writing, reading about the publishing world, or listening to music while I stare at the ceiling and imagine conversations between my characters.
I also own a content company that requires some of my attention, and up until last year (when I took a break for personal reasons), I bred thoroughbreds.
This is your first book, so I’m interested to know… What’s Nikki’s origin story? What inspired you to put those fingers to the keyboard and write?
I’m no different from many authors in that I’ve always written something. I fell into the world of content creation back in 2009 and that allowed me to make a career of it, but that’s a whole different animal from the world of fiction.
The desire to write a novel has always been there. I have an active imagination and always envisioned it would eventually produce the right story, but I never had such a fully-developed piece in mind until now.
You bill yourself as a writer of Erotic Romance. I’m fortunate enough to have read ‘Acts of Closure’ – it’s awesome by the way! – and I’d say it leans more toward the Romance than the Erotica. Was that intentional?
I’m so happy you did read it because you were an integral player in helping me polish the final draft!
Well, I do consider it erotic in the sense that I don’t skim over the sex. Even though I removed a lot of the erotic language from it – cock, pussy, etc. – the intimate scenes are still pretty descriptive and drawn out.
I think what it really boils down to is that, as authors, we are limited to these categories or genres and not everything fits neatly into any one package. If it was up to me, I’d call it steamy romance, but that isn’t always an option on the websites where we’re working with keywords and the subcategories they give us.
It’s also kind of subjective to a reader’s perception. What is considered erotic to one reader could be pretty tame to another. So, again with being corralled into a particular zone, there’s always the chance that one reader will be disappointed that it wasn’t naughty enough, while another could be offended by the material.
Personally, I think Grey had a big hand in blurring the lines of the romance genre because we hadn’t seen something like that go so openly into the mainstream before. So, that was touted by the media as ‘erotica’ when in fact I would consider it more erotic romance. The brazen language isn’t there, but it has descriptive scenes that allow the reader to be a voyeur into the bedroom.
All in all, my perception is that erotica has a focus on the lust and sex of the characters whereas erotic romance has a heavier storyline while still detailing the carnal activities of the characters. Acts of Closure falls into the latter since the sex is something that happens as a result of the story and not the other way around.
Now is probably a very good time to tell us a little more about Closure. How did you come up with the concept of the story?
It quite literally just came to me. I’ll never forget the morning when I woke up and it was all there in my mind – all three books. As cool as that sounds, it was actually pretty jarring because I didn’t understand how or why it happened like that. Regardless, it was a force that compelled me to get out of bed and immediately start typing.
I see it as relatable and I’m hoping others do too. I think by now we’re all familiar, on some level, of the personal connections that can be built online. This goes a little deeper since Natalie knew about Jack prior to their internet relationship, but it was that period of correspondence that established their feelings. Since they never met, I think it’s pretty natural to have ‘What if?’ thoughts years later. Kind of like the one that got away.
My own book series is very much an ensemble piece, a saga set over a long time period and involving many characters. Closure is a much more intimate piece, taking place over one weekend with just your two main characters. What challenges did you face writing such a focused story in that respect?
The first book is actually one night – less than 24 hours – so there were a lot of challenges with it. To get 75K words out of a situation like that created a very big possibility of repetition and irrelevant information, so I felt like I was walking a tightrope a lot of the time.
I had to crawl really deep into the minds of the two characters to get a sense of where they were in each moment. I’m not sure if I accomplished it, but my goal was to bring the reader along for every minute of that night from beginning to end. In that respect, as the writer, I carefully tiptoed around them, allowing them to dictate the natural progression of the evening.
Jack and Natalie know what they’re doing. I just have to remain a bystander and let them do it.
The one thing I noticed straight away about Closure, is that for a Romance or Erotica novel, the cover is strikingly different in that it doesn’t feature its protagonists. I know that the piece was done by the fabulously talented Marlena Mozgawa (who also did my cover for Hunters) but I’d like to know what your concept behind the cover was? Did you always know what it would look like?
I think I always knew I didn’t want a traditional cover. As much as I appreciate the sexy covers many romance authors have, I didn’t want to put faces to my characters because I wanted that to be left to the reader. With that in mind, I thought about what would best symbolize the story and came up with Jack’s front door, where it all begins.
From there, I was able to come up with the covers for the other two books in the series, and I can’t wait to see the wonderful Marlena bring them to life!
I know that Acts is a trilogy with two more books to complete the set in the pipeline. Do you have any plans in the pipeline for what comes next once the ‘Acts’ series is concluded?
I do! What comes after Acts will likely be a collaboration with a BDSM focus. Parts of it have been written already, but I had to take a step back to follow through with the completion of Acts first. I’m also considering doing a standalone book with a very dark, criminal premise, but for right now that idea is still rattling around in my head.
Acts of Closure is being published indie style, what lessons have you learnt from pursuing this as a release option? What advice would you pass on to new authors looking to follow in your footsteps?n the pipeline. Do you have any plans in the pipeline for what comes next once the ‘Acts’ series is concluded?
First and foremost, I am incredibly proud to be a part of the indie community. I think it’s a really exciting place to be right now with an unlimited amount of opportunity. Indie books are routinely outselling traditionally published books because readers are recognizing that agents and publishers turn down a lot of really great material.
I understand there is still a perception of status that comes with being traditionally published, like it somehow validates the author in a way indie can’t, but that’s really not the case. So, my first piece of advice to new authors would be to do some soul searching and research about that. They need to understand that, in most cases, they’d be signing over their rights to something they put their own blood, sweat, and tears into.
On that note, it also needs to be understood writers should do their homework and commit to traveling the long road of not just writing, but also marketing, networking, and staying on top of industry news and insights. As you and I have been saying, Jon, writing is the easy part. Learning the ropes for the rest of it is where you’re going to need a lot of determination and motivation.
Finally, I’d say that it’s important to follow best practices for any book a writer wants to release into the wild. Hire an editor, use a proper cover, get beta readers, etc. Once it’s finally out there, you’ll be glad you did.
I met you when I started interfacing with the #WritingCommunity on Twitter back at the tail end of 2019. Admittedly, I’m hopeless at the whole social media thing, but you’re Queen of the Tweet and well loved in the community. Tell me…how do you do it? And what are some of your favourite memories of your time in the community?
I’d hardly describe myself that way but thank you. I could honestly talk about the #WritingCommunity all day long. When I first started on this journey, the only person I had to talk to about everything from the mechanics of the writing to the emotional ups and downs I was going through was my editor, John Painz. Quite frankly, I think I was driving him crazy, so it’s a good thing I discovered the wonderful writers on Twitter. My offline support system is limited, so some of these people have been a real saving grace to me without even realizing it.
These days, I can’t always keep up with notifications and everything else I have going on at the same time, but I’m never far, and I do participate as much as possible since it’s the place I go for a sanity check.
Favourite memories so far…hmm. Well, meeting you, of course! I was recently talking about that on my blog and how I had no idea I had just met the man who would become my best friend and business partner. It just goes to show that you never know who you’re meeting for the first time.
Times that involved several members of the #WritingCommunity… The pirate party I hosted in December 2019 was a good one. That would be the time you sunk the ship, Doc let a cat drive us off a cliff, Olivia lost control of everyone, so she and I started drinking, and JD came back to the whole situation going up in hilarious flames.
Another one is the night in January 2020 when you started a #writerslift right before going to bed and the thread blew up over night with a porn bot, the birth of #WCAD, and so much laughter that my stomach hurt through most it.
There’s a lot of really valuable writing/publishing discussion that goes on within the community, but there’s also a special place in my heart for the silliness among friends when we all need a little stress release.
So, your book release is nigh – 5th February! – so, tell me… what has been the best part of the process getting your book to print? And what was the worst/most frustrating?
I’d say the best part has been finalizing it into the end result. Finishing the last edit, getting the cover right, seeing it come together in the formatting (thanks to you!), and then finally holding a print copy in my hands.
The most frustrating was probably going through that final edit and re-write. I have a really hard time removing pieces of an existing story, and that’s what had to happen in many places throughout the book. I also write much, much slower when I’m making changes, so I felt like it would never get finished!
Final question. In the interviews on your site (website link CLICK HERE!) you ask your interviewees for a secret. So now it’s time to tell us one of yours!
I grew up as an only child, but I really wanted a sibling, so my imaginary friend was named Brother. He was a cop who lived under our kitchen sink, and he stayed with me until I was almost ten.
Thanks so much for your time, Nikki.
Here’s hoping your book is the smash hit it deserves to be!