In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with Nicole Sorrell
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Nicole! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
I write compelling heartfelt fiction, live in the rural Midwest, travel, bake pies, play cornhole. I love ale, baseball, & my tiny dog GiGi.
Ah, a fellow rural Midwesterner! I grew up in a small town in Minnesota.
Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
It took about fifteen months for me to write The Art of Going Home. I self-published it on Amazon because I didn’t think a publisher would be interested in my manuscript. I had some sort of vague idea that publishers would only accept a few elite authors, and that I wasn’t qualified to be a member of this tiny group. But about six months after I self-published, I received an offer from an independent publisher. I was shocked! Then I thought, maybe if one is interested, others will be too. So I did a lot of research and submitted to four other publishers whose guidelines seemed to be a good fit for the novel. I was thrilled to receive two more offers! The Art of Going Home was re-released by my publisher in January 2016.
Then, about a year after I signed with them, my publishing company announced it was closing its doors and ceasing business. So, I returned to self-publishing. With the knowledge gained from the time I was with my publisher, I’m a little bit better equipped now than I was the first time around.
For me, the worst thing about being a new author is having to face the pitfalls of the process without help. There isn’t one place or resource that explains how to go about preparing your manuscript and marketing your book. There’s tons of information available, but figuring out what works and what doesn’t is trial and error. What was successful for someone else may not work for you.
The best thing about becoming a published author is the positive reviews. It’s so gratifying when someone says they enjoy your work. Nothing can compare to the joy of receiving positive feedback on the final result of what took you months or years of hard work.
And that is one of the reasons I love reviewing, Nicole. The ability to brighten someone’s day and introduce new readers to books.
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it.
My latest novel is titled The Art of Going Home, which is the first in a two book series called The Art of Living. It’s a tale of a young woman’s personal journey of self-discovery when she uncovers long-held secrets from her past. Romance, suspense, and mystery intertwine as the heroine is forced to face her vulnerabilities. Struggling to cope, she tests the bonds of friendship, family, and love. One reviewer wrote, “Author Nicole Sorrell has written a heart-wrenching story filled with love, self-destruction, lies, secrets and hideous family atrocities. I read this book from start to finish in one sitting. I was completely engrossed in the story…” (Stephanie Lasley, The Kindle Book Review, April 5, 2015) The Art of Going Home is my first novel. Since I was a child I enjoyed reading, and I wanted to become an author since I was in high school. Unfortunately, I never thought of a plot I liked. Then, I was inspired by this idea that just popped into my head one day. I thought, what if a twin was murdered, and no one knew it was the… (I can’t finish the sentence without giving it away!) The more I pondered it, the more the plot developed, and I started writing. It flowed pretty well as additional material occurred to me, although I’m a very slow writer. Eventually, I felt the manuscript was finished when the mystery was solved, though many questions are left unanswered. They will be addressed in the second, and final, book titled The Art of Retribution to be published the fall of 2016.
The book has something for everyone that will appeal to almost all readers. I think everyone can identify with the feelings evoked by the life events the characters experience: betrayal, hope, anger, love of friends and family, romantic love, forgiveness. My favorite thing to hear is that the book provoked a reaction of some kind. That the reader was mad or doubtful, or laughed or cried.
I love reading books the evoke strong emotions. When I finished reading Gone Girl I was so angry I wanted to toss the book across the room.
What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
Genres I read most often are literature and fiction, romance, and mystery. I also occasionally read science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian. (I need a zombie or vampire fix every now and then!) Essentially, if the voice and characters capture my attention, I’ll read it. I’m in awe of authors that can make the reader care about the characters: feel as if they are friends. It’s difficult to do, and something I constantly try to improve upon.
I studied Hispanic literature, so of course some of those are my favorites. Although it isn’t similar to my style of writing, I always recommend One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He received a Nobel Prize for the work. I’m fascinated with how it intertwines various elements, and the novel’s ingenious complexity. The line between fantasy and reality is blurred, solitude is psychological as well as geographical, and time is cyclical rather than chronological.
Oh, boy! Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I haven’t thought about him in ages. My 12th grade Spanish teacher introduced me to him and while I’ve never read One Hundred Years of Solitude, I did read Of Love and Other Demons which lead me to Like Water for Chocolate and The Law of Love both by Laura Esquival.
What is your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you would like to share?
It’s pretty embarrassing, but I spend more time than I should playing games on my tablet. It helps me relax, and I do that instead of watch TV. I should do things that are more productive and educational, but I can’t seem to stop! It’s like an addiction.
Don’t feel bad. I read a lot. I read when I should be doing other things like sleeping or coding blog posts or cooking dinner for my husband.
What is one question you wish I would have asked, that I haven’t? (And please answer it!)
Another question would be: What are your future projects? I recently completed a standalone companion short story to The Art of Living Series, called The Art of Getting Away. The protagonist is Carlos, a minor character from the books. While taking a vacation, he helps a girl who inadvertently stumbles into danger when an outlaw motorcycle gang tries to kidnap her. It is currently available everywhere.
Book 2 of The Art of Living Series, The Art of Retribution, will be released in the next few weeks.
Beyond that, I’m mulling over the plotline for my next novel, considering publication of a collection of poetry (I’ve published poetry in various journals), and possibly a children’s book.
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
My favorite motivational phrase is “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” –Mahatma Gandhi
I like it because it’s about living in the present, and getting an education for the future, which is invaluable. The importance of education can never be underestimated. It’s not confined to the classroom. Strive to be a student of the world. Don’t stop learning, and don’t limit yourself to the point of view you agree with. I our chaotic world today weighing all sides of an issue is required for growth and wisdom.
What a beautiful sentiment, Nicole, and what a wonderful goal for life. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being In the Spotlight. I hope you’ll return soon to let us know all about the release of The Art of Retribution. Good luck with all your future projects!
Synopsis: “If you want a book with depth, soul and a fantastic plot, as well as a host of intriguing characters and a scorching hot love interest, this one’s for you.” –Eat Sleep Read Review
Maddie dreads going home to face the memories of her dead sister. But she must return to the tiny town after a decade to attend a funeral. As it turns out, the haunting reminders of her twin are the least of her worries…
Not given any details of her twin’s murder at the age of ten, Maddie is persuaded to track down the killer. Following one ominous clue after another, she learns the surrogate family she thought honestly loved her has been hiding the truth of her childhood for eighteen years. As suppressed memories of her past come crashing forward, Maddie begins to doubt everything she once believed. And everybody she thought she could trust.
Including Zac, her high school crush. Though she can’t seem to find the strength to resist their intense attraction, Maddie isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to forgive his betrayal. As she struggles to come to grips with her family’s past and absolve those who deceived her, can she survive the horrifying discovery of who killed her sister?
With poignancy and clarity, author Nicole Sorrell spins a tale of a young woman’s personal journey as she faces her vulnerabilities and tries to accept the love of a man who may hold the key to her future happiness. The story is a testament to the real meaning of family and the enduring strength of a sister’s bond.
Please note: Contains mature content.