Plus a YA book giveaway!
About Nicole Quigley…
Nicole Quigley is the author of Like Moonlight at Low Tide, a winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers “Carol Award” and “Genesis Contest” for young adult fiction. For more than a decade, Nicole worked as a public relations adviser in Washington, D.C. She holds a B.S. from Appalachian State University, where she majored in Communications/Public Relations and minored in English. Nicole recently moved back to Anna Maria Island, FL, where she grew up.
About Like Moonlight at Low Tide…
Like Moonlight at Low Tide is the winner of the ACFW “Carol Award” for Young Adult Fiction and a recommended teen read by USA Today. When high school junior Melissa Keiser returns to her hometown of Anna Maria Island, Florida, she has one goal: hide from the bullies who had convinced her she was the ugliest girl in school. But when she is caught sneaking into a neighbor’s pool at night, everything changes. Something is different now that Melissa is sixteen, and the guys and popular girls who once made her life miserable have taken notice. When Melissa gets the chance to escape life in a house ruled by her mom’s latest boyfriend, she must choose where her loyalties lie between a long-time crush, a new friend, and her surfer brother who makes it impossible to forget her roots. Just as Melissa seems to achieve everything she ever wanted, she loses a loved one to suicide. Melissa must not only grieve for her loss, she must find the truth about the three boys who loved her and discover that joy sometimes comes from the most unexpected place of all. USA Today calls it “…a darkly poignant inspirational romance that will linger in the mind well after reading it.”
Q&A with Nicole Quigley…
Why do you write?
I have to write. When I don’t write, I feel like something’s missing—as if I’ve locked myself out of my own house.
Why young adult fiction? What is most appealing about writing for this demographic?
I love writing for teenagers because they’re always ready for a new adventure. At the same time, they don’t have full control over many parts of their lives and are trying to sort through what’s true and what isn’t. There’s inherent conflict in all of that. My teen readers are precious to me because this moment in their lives is so important. I became a Christian when I was in high school and writing for teens is my way of pouring into them, just like people once poured into me.
Favorite Book/Author? Why?
“Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers was a life-changing book for me, and I know dozens of other women who feel the same way. When fiction shows us truth, it sticks with us.
The best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is having the opportunity to move someone emotionally and make a connection.
The worst thing about being a writer?
For me, it’s social media. I’m an extrovert, but I’m pretty private. Setting a Facebook page to “public” was a big step for me. I’m learning!
Top three things every writer should have/do, in your opinion?
1. Meet people and enjoy them, even if they make you uncomfortable. The more you understand people, the more you’ll love them. And the easier it will be to write them. 2. Travel, even if it’s just to the other side of town. 3. Always be learning.
As writers, we’re observers of the human condition, so our best skills are really listening and watching. You have to get out of your bubble if you want to be sure every character isn’t just a different version of yourself. Be bold.
Best time of day to write and why?
After 10 pm. I wish I knew why.
Do you write by the seat of your pants, plot first, or a little bit of both?
I get the first scene out so I can hear the character. Then, I plot. I pin big white tear-sheets to my wall and list the plot points with yellow Post-It notes. I also use the “My Book Buddy” workbook.
What is your goal in writing?
To share the Gospel, always. I try to tackle hard questions that come up when we search for God. I wasn’t always a Christian, and I understand that there are many readers who may not think about picking up Christian fiction. But, maybe they are willing to pick up my book because the one thing I promise readers is that I’m honest. Even if they don’t agree with me, I hope they’ll agree I try to write honestly. I love my readers. I pray for them, and I respect them. I’ve gotten a lot of messages and reviews that read something like, “I’m not a Christian, but this book affected me.” Letters like that are what keep me going when I feel like I can’t do it or my writing isn’t good enough.
Any words of wisdom you would like to share with aspiring YA authors, such as myself?
Give yourself permission to write the very best work you can. Don’t worry if your family is going to see itself in it or what happens if no one likes it. Get it on the page. Then, you can edit it.
Where can we find you online?
A Bible verse that encourages you in your writing?
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Angela asks, “What advice do you have for newbie writers?”
Hi, Angela! I think one of the biggest challenges for new writers is ever feeling “ready” to share the work. I’d recommend new writers get into critique groups, submit their writing to contests, and attend writer conferences. Press send! Check out the sermon that changed my writing life here: http://www.nicolequigleybooks.com/thesecondbestsermon/.
Zekkaina S. asks, “What is the most unique author experience you’ve had so far?”
Hi, Zekkaina! I’d say it was the moment I got my first book deal from Zondervan (HarperCollins). I was living in the D.C. area in an old apartment complex, and I had discovered a mouse in my apartment the day before. When the offer came in, I was on the phone with my dad. I peaked at my email and saw the note from my editor congratulating me and extending me a contract. I had quite a reaction and forgot how to form words! However, my father figured I was screaming because I saw the mouse again. He started to tell me to get the broom. It took a minute to catch my breath and explain I was shouting for joy. (I think I scared the mouse away because I never saw him again.)
Christen K. asks, “What’s your normal writing day look like?”
Hi, Christen. I work out, spend quiet time with Jesus, and then write. I use Scrivener, which helps me keep my thoughts together.
Zekkaina S. asks, “Do you prefer book tours or online interaction with readers?”
Both are super fun! My book has been picked up in Germany and will be coming out next year by Verlag der Francke. What an honor it will be to connect with German readers!
Laura P. asks, “Since it’s football season, who is your favorite team?”
Hi, Laura. For college football, it’s the Appalachian State Mountaineers and the Florida Gators!
Sara, I just want to say thank you for hosting me and for all you do to promote YA authors! It’s an honor!
Thank YOU, Nicole! The honor is mine.
Record your entries via the Rafflecopter through Sunday, November 30th. One random winner will be chosen and announced in my December Newsletter (so be sure to subscribe via the form at the bottom right-hand side of this page). Good luck and happy reading!
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