Hi Holly, and thanks so much for having me here.
Well, I’m a Dorset girl and love living by the sea. I have a day job in Human Resources working in Employee Relations, two energetic kids and a lovely boyfriend (not to mention wonderful friends and family!) I was on the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme for four years before being offered a publishing contract. The NWS – where you submit a manuscript and receive a critique report from a published author, editor or agent – was absolutely invaluable in improving my writing and I would highly recommend it to aspiring authors (see this link for details http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/join/new_writers_scheme).
I’m now a full member of the RNA and find the learning and networking opportunities invaluable too. They include the annual conference, Summer and Winter parties, chapter meetings, online forum and the quarterly magazine, which I have featured in occasionally.
I was a finalist in a few writing competitions between 2010 and 2012, and my first publication contract was for a short story called A Night to Remember in the RNA/Mills & Boon best selling anthology released in February 2014, Truly, madly, Deeply. Since then I have had my debut novel Crazy, Undercover, Love (later shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award), two short stories and five novellas (the #LoveLondon series) all published by HarperImpulse, the digital first romance imprint of HarperCollins. My second full-length novel Picnics in Hyde Park which ends the #LoveLondon series comes out later this week – I can hardly believe it; the last eighteen months since first being published have been a real whirlwind 🙂
I’m excited too, Holly 🙂
This story originally started off as another book, with a different ending, the first chapter of which finalled in Novelicious Undiscovered competition 2012. It evolved and grew over time, and despite a lot of agonising over it over the last few months, I’m happy with the finished result (until people start reading it and telling me it’s rubbish!)
All of the #LoveLondon stories are linked to Picnics in Hyde Park by a character in each of the novellas being related to or friends with Matt or Zoe in Picnics. However, they can be read as stand-alone books too, so you can pick any one of them up in any order and they will still make sense.
Picnics in Hyde Park is Matt and Zoe’s love story, but it is also about how Zoe falls in love with London and Matt’s kids over a long hot summer, despite her hurt over her recent split from her fiancé, and that she blames Matt and his brother Stephen for breaking her younger sister’s heart and leaving her jobless and homeless.
I am a massive fan of the Love London series and I’m really sad that this is the last instalment! Have you had fun writing the series?
I’ve had an absolute blast writing it, but it’s also been incredibly hard work due to the need to ensure continuity over six separate stories and make each one as strong as the other. But I’ve adored creating the different love stories, all set in London (mostly over key dates) for example, Valentine’s on Primrose Hill and New Year at The Ritz. One thing is for sure, I’m going to miss writing this series and all the characters in it, who weirdly (but not if you’re a writer) I count as friends.
Tough question time! Do you have a favourite Love London book?
Arggh, this is so hard to answer because I like them all for different reasons, but Valentine’s on Primrose Hill is a favourite because of its darker, more serious but deeply romantic edge. However, Picnics in Hyde Park, which was literally a labour of love and means a lot to me, is probably the one I am proudest of. I have ploughed so much energy and emotion into it and touched on a number of underlying serious issues including recovering from grief, how your childhood shapes your present and what being a good parent means. I really hope that hard work and passion translates to readers.
Picnics in Hyde Park is a full length novel which is different to the previous stories in the series which have been novellas. Do you find novellas easier or more difficult to write than full length novels? Do you prefer one over the other?
I definitely find novellas easier to write than full-length novels, although it’s still a challenge fitting a complete love story into something that is 15 – 20,000 words long, as the first five stories in #LoveLondon series are. With a novel I am much more aware of structure and pace, and ensuring that there are enough emotional highs and lows to keep readers hooked. Picnics came in at around 103,000 words and I lost count of the amount of scenes I revised, scenes I rewrote from scratch and the number of times I redrafted the whole thing before sending it to my editor, who then came back to me with line edits and a final proofread. I’m definitely up for writing more novellas or short stories, but already have my next few novels planned 🙂
What’s the best thing about writing romance?
I guess I just love writing about love. What’s more fundamental? It’s one of the strongest driving emotions in human existence. I honestly have fun writing romance and hope I never lose that. It’s a huge privilege to write about two people falling (and staying) in love. Love is hope, happiness, and life. It makes me smile. No matter what happens to me on a personal level, I will never stop believing that love is a gift that should be shared and something that everyone deserves.
Do you have any tips for aspiring authors out there?
Oh, I have heaps! In fact one day I may write a (non-fiction) book about it, but I wouldn’t dream of doing that now because I still have lots to learn. I’m more than happy to share my top three tips though:
- No excuses, no justifications; WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. Give up TV or housework or whatever you need to but make time for it. Get that bum on chair and fingers on keyboard. It’s no good if it’s all just in your head.
- Learn your craft. Read a lot (including non-fiction books on writing), join a writers circle, take a class, get constructive feedback – whatever you need to do so that it all makes sense – but hone your writing skills and polish your manuscript until you can see your reflection. And PLEASE don’t be impatient and submit it prematurely; put it away then get it out a few weeks later for another revision before you send it out to the world.
- Never give up; persistence pays. No matter what, if it’s your dream to be a published author, don’t stop writing or sending submissions to agents or publishers. You will get there one day.
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t a writer?
Oh, that’s a horrible question because the thought of not writing fills me with dread!
Well, I still have the HR day job so I suppose I would be doing more of that, however alternative careers would be journalist, criminal lawyer or something in events management. It would have to be something that involves people and words or constructing text / discussion. It seems I just can’t get away from doing something that involves writing!
Who are your favourite authors and what kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I read widely, but over the last few months have been focusing more on police procedurals and crime thrillers. I’ve just discovered Amanda Brooke (her latest is The Missing Husband) and Angie Marsons (the Kim Stone series) but also love anything by C.L. Taylor (The Accident or The Lie) or Lucy Clarke (The Sea Sisters, A Single Breath and The Blue). I’m also currently reading a lot of romance novels for the Harper Impulse #HIReadathon (reading and reviewing as many HI titles as possible from 1 – 14 Aug) and have enjoyed it immensely. It’s reminded me how much I love reading romance. One thing is for sure; there are a lot of talented writers and beautifully written books out at the moment, which is wonderful when you’re an avid reader like me ❤
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
Ooh, that’s difficult to answer because I’m taking a short break from writing to concentrate on promoting the #LoveLondon series and finding an agent, but I have a half written women’s commercial fiction book in the works, along with ideas for three or four more novels, so watch this space!
Thank you so much for participating in this interview, Nikki! I’m delighted to have you on my blog and really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions!
Thank you very much, Holly. I hope people have enjoyed getting to know me and my books a bit more, and I’d love readers/reviewers/bloggers/aspiring authors to get in touch via Twitter @NikkiMoore-Auth or on Fb https://www.facebook.com/NikkiMooreWrites
‘Whoever said romance was dead has clearly never read a Nikki Moore book’ – Rachel’s Random Reads
The last story in the fun & flirty #LoveLondon series from exciting new chick lit author Nikki Moore! The perfect novel for reading in the sunshine … and falling in love with London.
Hot summer romance…or cold revenge?
Super nanny, Zoe Harper is mad! It was bad enough discovering her ex-fiancé Greg cheating on her just weeks before their wedding. But now she’s returned home to London to find her younger sister Melody has been left jobless, homeless, broke and dumped.
Zoe is determined to get revenge on the infamous Reilly brothers for her sister’s heartbreak. So when an unexpected opportunity gives Zoe a way in to uncaring—and dizzyingly gorgeous!—successful music producer Matt Reilly’s world, she jumps at the chance to make him pay.
But living with Matt as nanny to his two adorable, but complicated children, Zoe soon begins to suspect that not everything is as it seems… Matt insists on pushing everyone away including his children, but why? And if his delicious summer kisses are anything to go by, he can’t be that bad surely?
Can Zoe convince Matt to open up a little and help fix this family before she leaves…or worse, before Matt learns who she really is?
Picnics in Hyde Park, released 12th August by Harper Impulse. Click here to pre-order.