It’s 2021 and it’s time to kick off this year’s author spotlight interviews! Today I’m joined by the wonderful Nikole Knight, who’s here to tell us about her passion for hurt/comfort, her upcoming new series and starting in fanfiction!
Over to you Nikole…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hi! I’m Nikole Knight. I’m an American, born and bred in Indiana, but I live in a tiny little European country, nestled between Germany and Belgium. I spend most of my time wrangling my two mini knights into some semblance of order so that they don’t answer the front door in their underwear. I’m grey/ace, I’ve been married for eight years, and I write angsty, painful, but victorious LGBTQIA+ love stories.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
I write angsty stories with broken, imperfect characters. I write awkward flirting and snarky humor. Sometimes, I write dark, painful stories where I put my characters through hell. Happy endings are always worth more when they have to fight for it, don’t you think? 😉 My stories tend to be character-driven with love at the center, and while they’re not very fluffy, I always deliver a happily ever after. My alpha reader calls me Sadie because I’m apparently a sadist that enjoys torturing her characters and her readers. I write the stories I love to read, with relatable characters, hard-fought victories, and love that conquers all.
Describe your books in only three words.
Angsty. Emotional. Raw.
What’s your next book about and when is it coming out?
I’m starting a new contemporary MM romance series this year, and the first book (the prequel) will be releasing later this month. The series follows a chosen family of exotic dancers as they find love. It will be a lighter (and steamier) read than my previous two series, so I’m excited to be trying something a little different.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
That is so hard! I wrote a short story last summer called The Night We Met. It’s literally one night in the lives of the two main characters. They come from different walks of life and spend 12 hours together. And those 12 hours change everything. The story tackles the heavy subject of depression and suicide, and I think I’m most proud of that book because of the rawness and vulnerability it brought Sam and Jethro (and me) to. Though, I would be remiss not to mention the lovestory I’m most proud of—the love between Riley and Gideon from my Fire & Brimstone series. With Gideon identifying on the ace spectrum and Riley being demi, I am very proud to have written a story portraying that love and intimacy are more than—and in some case, exclusive from—sex.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
TJ Klune has been a huge inspiration for me as I have developed as a writer. Not only his incredible talent but the messages his books impart. This might sound weird, but injustice is a big motivator for me as well when I write. I like to write about those whose voices may have been silenced, because every story deserves to be heard.
What inspired you to start writing?
Um…boredom? JK, let me explain. I wrote my first story when I was in high school, and it was a travesty of prose. After that, I wrote down little story ideas here and there but never pursued it. It wasn’t until 2016, when I immigrated to my husband’s homeland, that I started writing. Unable to work until my immigration paperwork was approved, I had a lot of time on my hands, and I started writing a fanfiction story on Wattpad. It was popular in the fandom, and I branched out into original stories which were also met with enthusiasm. With the support and encouragement from a core group of readers (who later became my friends and beta readers) I pursued publishing my works “for real.” So while it was a hobby that snuck up on me because I was bored and jobless, I found I had a knack for it, and it’s now grown into my passion and my full-time job!
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
I recently was fortunate enough to quit my day job to write full-time. So every day is supposed to be my writing day. Of course, 2020 was a crazy year, and with lockdowns that resulted in my kids being home 24/7, it led to a rather chaotic writing schedule. I write when I can, usually during the day if my kids are agreeable. If not, I take time in the evenings when the hubby is otherwise entertained. I’m looking forward to a more structured schedule once schools open back up. As for my process, I’m a pantser, not a planner. I have ideas and plots and characters; I know where the book begins and where it ends, but how we get there is anyone’s guess. I put on music, block out social media, and write. I see where the characters take me, correcting when they get too enthusiastic, and eventually, we make it to the end, a little worse for wear but alive and satisfied.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
Usually the plot, or at least, the main idea for the plot. Then I meet the main character and it develops from there.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
Like an existing book that I wish I had written first? I mean, probably Harry Potter because it’s amazing but it was written by an awful person. I might not have been able to write it better, but I’m not a transphobic b*tch, so I feel like I wouldn’t have ruined the series after it got popular by being a terrible person. If you mean a story I want to write that I haven’t…I mean, all the stories? I have too many ideas and not enough time to write them all.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Hurt/comfort 100% It’s my jam. It’s my bread and butter. Give me all the broken characters and I will patch them up with love and awkwardness and trial by fire 😉 There is something beautiful about a character who believes themselves worthless or broken and them discovering their strength and worth. Not because they needed “love” or a “partner” to validate or complete them. But because there are people in our lives who support and encourage us to be the best versions of ourselves we always had the potential to be.
What would be your three desert island books?
You are really being mean now, making me choose only 3. I need to pick standalones because I hate only reading one book in a series. It drives me crazy. So… ugh, How To Be A Normal Person by TJ Klune. Host by Stephanie Meyer. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
My Fire & Brimstone series is perfect for a TV series. Please! Netflix? CW? Anyone? JK. For casting, I have no idea! The only actor who physically encompasses one of my characters would be Chris Hemsworth who I feel is a good representation of Gideon in looks and body build. Other than that, I don’t know.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I am musical, which I don’t think I have ever talked about. I sing, and I’ve played piano since 7th grade. I play guitar but badly. I love reading, obviously, so if I could choose what my time was spent doing when not writing, it would be reading! In reality, when I’m not writing, I’m a wife and mother, doing boring stuff like grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry. You know, adulting.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
Velociraptor, hands down!
NIKOLE KNIGHT is a born and bred Hoosier living in a top-secret location in Europe. She’s the lone female in the house, unless you count the dog, and she writes love in all its forms.
When she isn’t racing after a half-naked toddler or arguing with a child’s logic, Nikole can be found in her writing nook, typing away as her fingers turn to nubs.