Getting into writing – an interview with Wendy Nikel

Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the ImaginationDaily Science FictionNature: Futures, and elsewhere. Her time travel novella, The Continuum, is forthcoming from World Weaver Press in spring 2018. For more info, visit wendynikel.com

What got you into writing?

I’ve always loved books, and since the time I learned to read, I’ve also wanted to share my own stories. I took a break from writing during college and while I was teaching, but after my kids were born, I found my way back to it.

What inspires you?

One of my big inspirations is history.

My novella, The Continuum, which will be released in January, grew out of my love of the Titanic. Long before the Hollywood movie hit screens, I was the kid in the library’s nonfiction section, soaking up all I could about the ship, its passengers, and the era in which the disaster took place.

Though I’ve written about other eras as well, I have a particular fondness for the late 19th century and early 20th century. It seems like so much of the world was changing at that time and there were so many new experiences for people.

I’ve also done quite a bit of genealogical research, and since most of my ancestors came over during the late 1800s, I enjoy learning about what America was like when they arrived and how the first generations of these new immigrants lived.

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What makes you write even when the nights are long, your fingers aches and your eyes droop?

I started out as a night writer. Finding the perfect words was how I filled up the evenings when my husband had late meetings and the kiddos were already in bed.

There was a turning point for me, though, when writing became less of a “hobby,” I did for fun to fill the hours, and turned into a career that I wanted to give my best to. Since then, I’ve switched to writing in the mornings, when my brain is still fresh. I’ve taken up running, which I’ve found to be the perfect time to gather my thoughts and figure out what I’m going to put down on paper each day before actually sitting down at the keyboard.

Are you a traditionalist (print) or a new-wave (ebook)?

For my own reading time, there’s nothing like a print book.

As a writer who does quite a bit of beta reading and as a managing editor at Flash Fiction Online, I do so much reading of pre-published work on screens, it’s easier for me to turn off the “inner editor” if the words are on a physical page. Even on my Nook, it’s too easy for me to stop and leave notes while I’m reading, so if I really want to immerse myself in a book, print is my strong preference.

Plus, they look so nice on my shelves!

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Do you have a publisher or did you go the self-publishing route?

The Continuum will be published by World Weaver Press, a small press specializing in speculative fiction.

Although self-publishing intrigues me and may be something I’d pursue in the future, right now I feel like there’s still so much for me to learn about what it takes to produce and market a quality book. I’ve been very happy to have the assistance of my editors on this journey!

World Weaver Press

What do you aspire to achieve if you haven’t already and how can ‘we’ help?

One thing that is more difficult for small presses than Big Five publishers is getting books into brick-and-mortar stories… and libraries.

I’ve always had a deep love for public libraries, and it’s been one of my goals to see my book in libraries across the country where anyone can access them. Because of that, I’ve made up a sell sheet (LINK HERE) for readers (and potential readers) to download and bring to their librarians to request that their library purchase copies (either ebook or print) of The Continuum for circulation.

Many libraries also have purchase request forms on their websites, and the sell sheet should have all the info you need to provide them.

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Anyone interested in getting exclusive content and further insights into my writing can sign up for my newsletter at http://eepurl.com/bkjwg5 (link on the top right-hand side of the menu on my website)

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