Ever the quiet one growing up, Nicole Dennis often slid away from reality and curled up with a book to slip into the worlds of her favorite authors. Since then, she’s had a fascination with fantasy, paranormal and the never-ending appeal and beauty of romance. She currently works in a quiet office in Central Florida, where she also makes her home, and enjoys the downtime to slip into her characters and worlds to escape reality from time to time.
Q: In Grant’s Mechanic, Morric and Grant are soul mates despite their extremely different personalities—what is it that you like about this dynamic between characters?
A: I love the idea of opposites attract. Coming from different backgrounds, cultures, or even worlds helps create friction and adds to the appeal. We don’t want all these wonderful males to act/talk/react exactly the same.
Q: Although Marty isn’t around very long in the book, the friendship that he and Morric share is a particularly tender one. Did you bring any real-life experience to this relationship?
A: No, Marty wasn’t around long. Sometimes I wish I did keep him around in the background, but I felt his death helped move Morric’s arc. Unfortunately, nope, no real-life experience is involved with this one. I just wanted to create a strong, giving man at the end of his life.
Q: Your books are very diverse, as you’ve written about demons, shape-shifters, and characters living in a more realistic world. Do you have a favorite to write?
A: LOL. I’m very influenced by what I read, and I read them all: paranormal, fantasy, and realistic. Right now, I’ve been leaning more toward shape-shifters and realistic characters.
Q: What was the inspiration for you to write Grant’s Mechanic?
A: It all started with the first chapter. Just checking out a hot guy bent over a car. I held onto the chapter for a few months before I went back and began adding to it a bit at a time. Morric was fleshed out into a different, more well-rounded character.
Q: Do you like to bring back characters from old books? If not, what can readers look forward to with your future ManLove titles?
A: Oh, I love bringing back characters into new books. I love the continuity of series. I try to create the towns and people there so I always have room to add more characters or bring back old ones and see where their lives are going after their book.
Q: Which character do you like writing more: the protagonist or the villain? Why?
A: Definitely the protagonist and developing their arcs, personalities, and backgrounds. I’m not really an “evil” type of person, and it’s harder to create a rounded type of villain.
Q: What do you do to relax or get the creative juices flowing when you are struggling to meet your writing goals or deadlines?
A: I close up my WIP for a couple of days and curl up with different books. Sometimes I’ll pound away on Angry Birds or Mah-Jongg if I’m in a rough spot and need to figure out what’s next. Whenever I’m reading, it’s almost guaranteed I’ll have a purring fat cat on my lap and a cup of tea next to me. It’s a good relaxation technique and often fat cat is happy to help.
Q: Tell us about your writing routine.
A: Routine? Umm. Don’t have one. It’s unusual. I work in a small, quiet office, so when I get a moment here or there, I’ll add to one of my many WIPs. When I get home I’ll turn on the laptop, turn on the TV for background noise, and start at it. Since it’s just me and fat cat at home, I can write whenever the mood hits.
Q: Tell us something we don’t know about you that might surprise us.
A: I’m a strong, powerful introvert. It’s hard to draw me out of my shell. I also suffer from severe depression and anxiety. Sometimes the only thing to pull me out of a severe low is my writing. I can disappear from reality and dive into my characters’ worlds.
Q: What do you think is the most important quality needed for a solid relationship?
A: Honesty and ability to communicate. If you don’t have those to start with, well, things won’t get better from there if you’re not willing to be honest and talk to your partner(s).