Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Meet the Here Be Magic Authors - Nicole Luiken

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Continuing a new feature at Here Be Magic - periodic interviews with the Authors who create the magic. Our next interviewee is Nicole Luiken, whose most recent book is Gate to Kandrith. 

Tell us a little about yourself:
I wrote my first book when I was just 13 years old (on a manual typewriter, eep!) and have had eight YA novels published.  I'm a stay-at-home mom with three kids and live in Edmonton, Alberta.  I read a ton of books (about 200 a year) mostly romance and SF/Fantasy.

 What prompted you to start writing?
I wrote my first book when I was thirteen, mostly because of a library book--Guide to Fiction Writing by Phyllis A. Whitney.  I read the book cover-to-cover, got all fired up about writing and decided to write a novel.  What can I say?  It was summer vacation, I lived on a farm a two-mile bike trip from my nearest friend, and I was bored.  I wrote one page a day and 100 days later I had a novel.  I liked writing books so much I just never stopped.  I wrote through high school, college, full-time jobs and with a newborn in the house.  I often joke that it's impossible for me to go more than three days without writing.

 What’s your writing process? Where do you write?
 I usually spend about a month plotting out the novel, brainstorming scenes, writing down snippets of dialogue, developing the characters and eventually outlining.  The first draft takes me 2-4 months depending on whether I'm writing YA or adult and then I usually let the book sit for a bit.  When I feel I can come back to it with fresh eyes, I read the whole novel making notes on what I like and what isn't working, and then I replot it.  After that things get complicated, because I essentially do the 2nd and 3rd drafts at the same time.  I race ahead instituting the big plot changes, revising old scenes and inserting new ones in the afternoons, but do scene-by-scene polishing/honing/adding description (my bane!) in the mornings and evenings.

I write on my netbook on the kitchen table for first and second drafts.  Plotting and 3rd draft polishing is done by hand on printed double-spaced pages on a clipboard in the living room or sometimes while my child is at the playground.  (The mom version of writing in a coffeeshop.)

 Which five people (real, fictional, historical) would you invite to dinner and why?
Suzanne Brockmann, Lois McMaster Bujold, Patricia Briggs, Sarah Rees Brennan (real people)  They are all authors whose books I love.
Miles Vorkosigan (fictional character)  I don't crush on movie stars, but I am definitely a little in love with Miles.  Sigh.  Though perhaps I won't invite him to the same dinner as Lois as he may be a tad upset with her for complicating his life.

 How do you celebrate when you finish a novel?
Dance around with my four-year-old then go out to dinner.  (Mmmm, Italian...  Must type faster.)

 Quickfire :
Favorite TV Show: Fringe
Favorite Movie:  The Princess Bride
Morning person or evening person:   Afternoon.  I neither roll out of bed at the crack of dawn, nor stay up past midnight if I can help it.
Favorite food:  Spaghetti and meatballs, if you're talking main dish, otherwise chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.
Favorite time of the year:  Late spring, once things have greened up, but the mosquitos haven't hatched yet.
Favorite song:  Eye of the Tiger

 Finish this sentence  “I believe in the Magic of escaping into a good book."

 What are you working on next?  I am currently working on the sequel to Gate to Kandrith, tentatively titled Soul of Kandrith.

 What one question do you want to ask your Readers today?  How old were you when you first discovered your vocation/passion?

Where can your Readers find you online?  I have a Nicole Luiken facebook fan page and a Goodreads account, on twitter I'm NicoleLuiken, and my website is

 You can find Gate to Kandrith at  Amazon  Carina


  1. We do/have done a lot of the same things. Writing first novel on typewriter? Yup. (I didn't get very far and didn't FINISH a novel until 10 years later.) Print the whole thing out and write on it? Check. Endless re-watches of The Princess Bride? Yes! Have you tried reading your work aloud? That's one thing I do as well.

  2. For as long as I can remember I've been a passionate reader. My passion for writing took longer to develop, but I can't imagine a better job.

  3. Tia: Too funny. My boys can quote whole swatches of The Princess Bride we've watched it so many times. I've tried reading aloud, but found that it doesn't sound that much different than the way I 'hear' it in my head when I read.


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