Lisa - Hi Nicole and welcome to Attention Is Arbitrary. I’m so glad that you have agreed to this interview. I know this is your first published novel and you’ve said that you aren’t really big on social media yet, but after reading and loving Chance Assassin I just had to get to know more about you. I think your readers will really appreciate getting to know you, your motivations and your upcoming plans too. So, let’s get to it.
First, will you tell us a little about who you are, if writing is all you do (lucky) or if you have to address real life now and again?
Nicole - Thank you so much for inviting me, Lisa! Hopefully this doesn’t sound too much like an online dating profile. I live in Oregon with my beastly little dog. I’m a vegetarian, believe it or not considering the amount of bloodshed in my book. And I do have a “normal” job at a bank (don’t hold it against me) which enables me to pay the bills. I’ve always been a big reader, and I knew that I wanted to do something creative in my life rather than a 9 to 5 type of job. With writing I feel like I finally found my outlet, and I consider that my real job.
L - Chance Assassin is your first published novel. Has it been everything you dreamed, stranger than fiction or a never again experience?
N - I’ve honestly been completely blown away by the response to Chance Assassin. These are characters that I lived and breathed with for so long, and to have people love them like I do is not only surreal but incredibly rewarding. I didn’t have very high hopes about ever finding an audience for Chance Assassin, but I was very fortunate to have some great reviews on Goodreads and Amazon within the first few weeks of publication. Word of mouth is absolutely vital for new authors, especially self-published authors.
L - What was your motivation for this book?
N - I first started writing Chance Assassin while staying with my family in a hotel in New Jersey. We were there for a funeral. I was having trouble sleeping one night and I ended up sitting on the bathroom floor with the door closed so I wouldn’t wake anyone, writing the first few pages of what would become Chance Assassin.
The concept of murder for money is fascinating to me, the sort of twisted morality that comes with having pride in your work even while your job is something terrible. Most of what I wrote ended up having very little to do with the events of Chance Assassin, but borderline disreputable hotel rooms were a part of the story from the very beginning.
L - Ah yes, that is a recurring theme isn’t it? I found Chance Assassin to have excellent flow. Was it easy to tell Frank and Vincent’s story or were there sticky spots?
N - There were definitely some sticky spots. Chance Assassin is vastly different today than it was when I began writing it, and for some time I struggled with having any sort of plotline whatsoever.
BLURB: Vincent Sullivan is down on his luck. When a chance encounter generates a job prospect he’s too desperate to decline, Vincent is well on his way to a career in crime. But after the job goes wrong and he’s gravely injured in the process, things couldn’t get much worse. Except that he may have just killed a man.
With the entrance of a mysterious stranger, life is finally starting to look up. Unless his luck is about to run out for good.
Some of the hits I’d written over the years ended up being changed around and made into the final cut, and other scenes actually show up in the sequel, but I am considering putting a few other hits together and publishing it separately as a companion piece to Chance Assassin.
L - Do you have anything in common with Vincent or Frank? Do tell.
N - I would say a little bit of both, but I’m more similar to Frank than Vincent. There’s the overflowing bookshelves and closet filled with black clothes, and I can be a bit reclusive. Then again, I do love Snickers bars.
L - Don’t we all. Frank and Vincent’s tender moments aren’t always tender, but this isn’t BDSM either. Is there a term for their special brand of physical love making?
N - There are aspects of their relationship that borrow from different disciplines (no pun intended) but it doesn’t completely fit into any term. At least not one that I’ve heard defined. They do whatever feels right at the moment, whether it’s taking inspiration from their most recent hit and incorporating tools from their trade, or just winding up naked whenever and wherever the impulse strikes them.
L - Ah yes, and thank you for that! There is a lot of death in Chance Assassin. Do you like killing off characters or do you just have fun thinking of all the different ways it can be accomplished?
N - I think death goes with the territory, but it can definitely be a good form of stress relief to kill someone with your pen (in the written sense, of course.) One thing that I am firmly against is death within the relationship. Romeo and Juliet may be a classic, but when I read—or write—a love story I want a happy ending.
L - Uh, make sure I don't tick you off. Chance Assassin ends with a HFN, but definitely hints at more to come. Is that something you can share with us? Do you have a working title? A blurb? More AMAZING cover art? Release date? Anything to help my desperate need for more Frank and Vincent?
N - The sequel takes place a few years later, with Frank and Vincent living in France. Retirement has naturally taken some getting used to, but things take a turn for the worse when Bella shows up with a new assignment that hits a little too close to home. It’s called Les Recidivists, and will be in multiple points of view. I’m hoping to have it out in spring of 2014.
L - That's fantastic news, I can't wait. Both Frank and Vincent have some pretty odd behavior. That’s putting it mildly, isn’t it? Their quirky natures are pretty refreshing for an assassin story. Huh, that’s not a question, just something I had to mention.
N - They’re weird characters for sure, but it works for them and it adds a sense of levity to a pretty grim occupation.
L - Last, but not least, I am just crazy for Casey. His smile, pigtails and artistic innocence just beg for more page time. Is this something we can look forward to?
N - Definitely. Casey is extremely important to Frank, and he plays an integral part in the sequel.
Thank you again Nicole, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you and I wish you every success with your writing.
You’re very welcome! Thank you for the interview!
READERS: Please feel free to ask questions or comment. I hope you're looking forward to Nicole's next book as much as I am. I feel very fortunate that there will be more "hits" to read about with Frank and Vincent. That sounds like kind of a weird thing to want more of doesn't it?
My 4.75 star review of this fun, weird and sexy novel is here: Lisa's Review of Chance Assassin
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