Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Guest: Nicole McCaffrey

Hello Nicole! Thanks so much for stopping by today! What's that? There are people out there who don't know you? Shocking I say! They don't know what they're missing. :) And have you seen her cover for her newest release? *To Die For* Check it out here.

What made you decide to write The Model Man?

I couldn't not write it. The characters came to me so strong and insistent, and kept nagging me to tell their story. They just wouldn't leave me alone, LOL. Even though I knew nothing about cover models and had no real desire to write a contemporary story. Never mind the fact that an over-40 heroine with a younger guy—no way was that ever going to sell! But I had to write it—if only to find out what would happen next!

And ultimately, that’s what I did—I wrote it for my own pleasure, never dreaming anyone other than me or my critique partners would ever read it. Speaking of my CP’s, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the encouragement of my critique partners, who loved the story from day one. Darah, especially, was instrumental in that. She brainstormed with me in the wee hours of the morning until she had me convinced “I can write a contemporary!” LOL. And hearing Kat whoop out loud with laughter every week at our critique meetings was powerful motivation, too. A good CP truly is worth her weight in chocolate. Nah, twice her weight! *G*

What else are you working on?

There is a character in Wild Texas Wind (the historical western I recently contracted with TWRP) who made it very clear from his first few moments on the page that he wanted his own story. He’s a little different than most of my heroes, very beta, and in WTW, he really isn’t terribly heroic—he’s a con and a cheat. But in his own story, he’s trying to turn his life around and make up for some of the rotten things he’s done. He finds himself forced into the position of helping a plain-Jane spinster catch the man of her dreams. He just doesn’t realize it’s him. And there’s a certain sheriff in this story who is causing some drooling among my CP’s, LOL, so it’s quite possible he’ll get his own story as well.

And I would dearly love to pull my first historical western out from under the bed and re-work it. I loved those characters and it’s actually sort of a prequel to Wild Texas Wind—the hero from WTW was the hero’s best friend in that story. It had a strong Native American flavor to it, though, and so I tucked it away after hearing one too many times “it’ll never sell.” (Hmmm, where have I heard that before???) But I’d love to dust it off and re-work it. Someday, LOL. Someday.

What’s your dream story? The one that becomes a New York Times runaway bestseller, the one you hope to one day write?

LOL all of them. But of course once something becomes a runaway best seller, Hollywood comes calling and honestly, they haven't done a decent western since John Ford stopped making them, LOL. I'd hate to see what they'd do with my babies.

As for dream story, I don’t really know. I have a lot of things sort of flickering in the back of my mind—not really full fledged story ideas, but sort of the glimmer of an idea. I just need that little spark that turns one of them into a story.

For example, I love the show Burn Notice and would love to write a story about a spy, like Michael Weston, but I want it to be an historical setting. I touch on that a teeny bit in my upcoming Civil War time travel, This Moment in Time--the heroine is a spy. But I don’t delve into it nearly as deep as I’d like to. One thing I learned from my research for that story was that it was easier for women to be spies because men just didn’t believe women were capable of such deception (as in they couldn’t hold all that important information in their silly little heads!) and the constraints of the time kept them from truly searching a woman when they did suspect her, so female spies were able to easily hide things in their hair, their shoes, their bosom without being discovered.

Which means that Michael Weston-type spy would have to be a female, just to make it fun, LOL. So even though the research intimidates me a bit –breaking out of my comfort zone always does--when the idea hits, it will probably come at me so strong I’ll have to do it, LOL.

I also really like love triangles—love seeing a heroine have to decide between the man who is right for her and the man she wants. But I think it’s a difficult tightrope to walk because both love interests need to be heroic, but only one can be the hero. Hmmm. So those are things that go through my mind when I’m “what ifffing.”

Anything else you’d like to share?

Sure! As I mentioned above, I recently contracted a Civil War time travel This Moment in Time, with The Wild Rose Press as well as an historical western Wild Texas Wind. I'm hoping to see both released later this year. You can hop on over to my blog to read an excerpt from either one. I'm also very proud to say that The Model Man was chosen one of the top ten books of 2009 (even though it was released in 2008, LOL) by reviewer Faith V. Smith over at Not bad for a story that was never going to sell!

Thanks for stopping by, Nicole! I can't wait to read Wild Texas Wind, and hope you'll stop back when it's released.


Nicole McCaffrey said...

Thanks for having me, Isabel! I'm looking forward to spending the day visiting here with you!

Isabel Roman said...

Always a pleasure, Nic! I'm very glad to have you here.

liana laverentz said...

You're right, good critique partners (and editors, btw) are worth their weight in, double that...maybe even triple it. And I love stories of redemption so it sounds like you're onto a new winner!

Have a great weekend, ladies!

Liana Laverentz

Alicia Dean said...

Hi Nicole...I am SO intrigued by the stories you mentioned. Especially the civil war time travel. I LOVE stories about the civil war. I'll have to look for that at TWRP. Best of luck and keep those unique and intriguing ideas coming. I love the take about the not-so-heroic hero trying to redeem himself. Pulling that off is quite impressive.

Best of luck!

Allison said...

Great interview, Nicole. Two books in one year, that is really exciting. And a Civil War story, a person after my own heart. Congratulations on all your releases. I'll put them on my "to be read" list.

Paty Jager said...

I'm waiting to read those westerns!! And the spy idea is fantastic!

Donna B said...

Your CP's sound great! Doing just what they're supposed to do - encourage each other while offering constructive criticism. I can't wait to read Model Man and your spy ideas sound great.

Keep 'em comin'!

Susan Macatee said...

Loved The Model Man, Nicole and can't wait to see those historicals you've got brewing!

As for women spies, I heard a lot of them hid things under those voluminous hoopskirts. LOL. And no Victorian man would dare to look under there!

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

You have so many books in the works I can hardly keep up. Love the cover for Wild Texas Wind. :-) Congratulations and keep 'em coming!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Waving from the west coast. Your spy story sounds very interesting and I hope you write it. Good for you on the great review on the story that will never sell. What I love is "they" say write something unique, something we've not seen before. You write it and then they don't want it because they don't know what to do with it. Vicious circle!!!

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Liana--Yes, redemption stories are fun, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by!

Alicia--thanks for coming! Aww, I appreciate that. Thanks!

Thanks, Allison!

Paty, thanks for stopping by. Yeah, now you'll start nagging me to write that one, won't you? Darn CP's, never know when they're peeking over your shoulder. LOL.

Hi Donna! Thanks for stopping by!

Susan--ROFL. Love that idea! Hmmm, I'll bet the right hero would know just how to get under those skirts!

Jeanmarie--love your cover for Seduction, too, so thanks!

Paisley--isn't it the truth? Then if you write what everyone else is writing, it's too cliche and unoriginal! You can't win!

Cari Quinn said...

Great interview! The Model Man sounds so good, Nicole...definitely one for the TBR. I, too, know the joys of writing a story about an older woman/younger man. Lo and behold, that concept's pretty popular nowadays, LOL

Best of luck with your upcoming releases! :)

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Thanks, Cari! It's funny how things have changed in just a few years, isn't it? I'm no fan of Demi Moore, but her relationship with Ashton seems to have opened the door for older women/younger men romances! 'Bout time people realized that women over the age of 40 aren't dead, LOL.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Great interview, Nic! All your stories sound intriguing and I can hardly wait to read them. One of the things I love about TWRP is that they sell tons of the stories "they" told us won't sell. And your spy story sounds like another winner. Good luck with all your books.

You're so right about good critique partners, too. I've been fortunate to have great ones, including Jeanmarie Hamilton from our Victorians.

Faith V. Smith said...

I just love it when my name pops Nicole, your book kept me up at night until I finished it. it is the hope of all romantic women to find that happy ever after no matter what age or circumstance.

Girl, you delivered in spades!

Everyone should read The Model Man!


Nicole McCaffrey said...

Caroline--isn't that the truth? I love it when NY publishers tell us westerns and American historical don't sell. TWRP authors know otherwise, LOL.

Faith--thanks so much for coming by! And thanks for being such a great supporter of The Model Man!

Anonymous said...

Good interview - thanks for sharing!

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