Proof of this? When I hear that there’s a new Nic Starr novel out, I go, “Eeee!”
NIC + “E” = NICE!
Okay, okay – do you guys realise that day time for USA and Europe means the middle of the night for Australians like me and Nic? We’re sleep deprived.
So without further ado, let me introduce Nic’s new novel, Charlie’s Hero, which releases the 17th of June.
Schoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.
But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him, puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.
It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.
Renae: Welcome Nic Starr!
Nic: Oh, wow! What an introduction. I’m so happy you invited me to visit. I promise to play ‘nice’. *grin*
Nic: Spot on. All my other published stories are novellas. They vary in length from approximately 20k words to about 36k words. Charlie’s Hero reached the magic word count to be classified as a novel. I had a smile from ear to ear when it was accepted by the publisher, because novel length meant it would be published as a paperback. I couldn’t resisting taking a photo of my first ‘real’ books when they arrived in the post today. Isn’t the cover wonderful? Big thanks to cover artist, Bree Archer for doing brilliant work.
Although I’m rapt to have a printed book, that wasn’t the aim when I wrote the story. The length was determined by the story itself. A wise woman once told me to not be afraid of words, and to let them flow naturally. Yes, Renae, I did listen to you and Charlie’s Hero is the result. Thank you. *wink*
Since I completed this book, I’ve finished one other novella and two more novel length stories. So a bit of a mixture in story lengths. I think each have their place, and I’ll let the characters and plots determine where my stories end.
Renae: And this book is the start of a series? What is the series about, and when are you looking at having the second book release?
Nic: The series is called Heroes and there are four novels planned. The series features characters who are heroes in their hearts, and in the eyes of those who love them.
The second book is titled Andrew’s Promise. It’s the story of Josh’s brother, Andrew. I don’t want to say too much about it because it’s best read after Charlie’s Hero, but I have a real soft spot for Andrew.
Andrew has willingly made sacrifices to raise his little brother. He’s put his own life on hold and deserves his happy ending. Andrew’s Promise will release in mid-August.
Renae: So Charlie’s returning to the hometown where his parents still live? The parents that rejected him? Oh, gosh – that must be tough.
For Charlie, home is about true friendship, history and community. For him, the sense of belonging to a community, is worth dealing with knowing his family are close by and ignoring him.
Renae: And Josh is having trouble stepping out of the closet? Each person must make their own journey for that, but is there a particular reason Josh is hesitating?
Nic: Andrew raised Josh, stepping up to ensure Josh had a roof over his head and family, when foster care could have been a real possibility. Andrew has made sacrifices, and is a loving brother, the only family Josh has. When Josh was fifteen, Andrew rejected a good friend, and the friend disappeared from their lives. Josh is worried the same thing will happen to him if he reveals his sexuality, and he doesn’t want to lose his family.
Renae: Was there any particular incident that sparked your idea for this book?
Nic: Good question, and a tough one! The timeline from first idea to published book is a long one. This book began its life nearly a year ago, so I’m not sure I can even remember where the specific idea started.
I get flashes of a story from many sources. Inspiration could be from listening to a song, hearing something on the news, reading a magazine article, or plain old people watching.
I was standing in the not-so-express lane of the supermarket checkout a while ago. There were two cute guys in the self-service section, scanning their lunch items. They were tradies, dressed in their work gear with hi-vis vests etc. Before I got to the front of the queue, I’d turned them into a couple, and started building their background. No-one is safe. *wink* Don’t tell anyone, but I even snuck a photo of them. I’d give it to you to include with this post but I think that would officially make me a stalker!
Renae: Now, can I ask – do the guys get to play doctors and nurses during the book? Or naughty boy being sent to the Principal’s office? *prays Nic says yes*
Nic: LOL. Not so much role-playing, but the boys do get up to a bit of mischief. Actually, quite a lot of mischief. Mischief of the sexy, naughty kind. *wink*
Renae: Looking at your other works, this is your fifth publication in less than a year. Congratulations! You’re doing so well for your first year out. Where do you find the time?
Nic: Thank you. It’s been a busy year and it looks like staying that way. In the last month, I’ve had three books going through edits at the same time which has been interesting (amongst other things!).
I don’t think there’s ever enough time in anyone’s day. Between family, and work, and a multitude of other obligations, it can be difficult to find quality time to focus. But it’s also easy to use ‘too busy’ as an excuse.
I try to get some words down each day. I track my word count on a spreadsheet, and I’ve participated in Nanowrimo and Camp Nano which I find very motivational. In fact, Andrew’s Promise was my Nano story last year – 50k words written on it during November.
The key for me is commitment. But I’m also lucky that I love what I’m doing. I love the writing process, the publication experience, and the wonderful m/m community we are part of. It’s so much easier when you are doing something you are passionate about.
Do you think this is your signature style? Do you think that this is how you write? Or is your writing evolving?
Nic: Thank you for the lovely compliment <3
I do write on the sweeter, romantic side and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I adore a comfort/hurt theme, and giving my heroes their happy ever after. However, I do think my writing is evolving. I’d like to think my writing is improving as I work with the wonderful betas and editors on each of my books. I’ve learnt so much over the last year, and my stories are benefitting.
One thing you will notice is my later stories are a bit heavier on the sex, although not sex for the sake of sex. I’ll leave it to you to read Charlie’s Hero and let me know what you think of the developments. *wink*
Renae: So can we expect some BDSM from you next time? Some puppy play? *wink*
Nic: I’d never say never. Maybe I’ll work my way up, starting with some light BDSM. J But seriously, if I was to explore that path, I’d need to do a lot of research to keep it true and do it justice. I love to read a good BDSM story myself, however I’m not sure I’m ready to write one. I’ll leave it to the experts for now.
Renae: What other stories are you working on at the moment?
Nic: I have a number of stories in different stages.
Andrew’s Promise is being proof read so it’s nearly finalised. I’m at the fun part – covers! I can’t wait to see what it looks like.
More Than a Friend – I’m currently doing first edits for the second book in my More Than series. This book is Scott and Tim’s story and follows More Than a Superstar. It’s due for release in Oct/Nov.
Rustic Melody – I’ve finished the first draft and it’s currently sitting with my wonderful beta readers for their feedback. This story is set in Australia so is a bit of a departure from my recent books.
I also have a number of WIPs on the go. The third story in the Heroes series, and the third story in the More Than series. Rustic Melody has a sequel and I’m writing a standalone about a guy who runs a mobile book shop.
Renae: Has reading always been a passion of yours? Has writing?
Nic: Reading has always been part of my life, since I was young enough to hold a book. I grew up on a diet of romance novels and was blessed with a mother who loved to read so provided an endless supply of books.
Writing (apart from business writing) is a recent development. Or as my hubby refers to it, my midlife crisis. *wink*
Renae: Do you think you’ll still be writing when you’re 84?
Nic: I certainly hope so. I also hope someone wants to read it.
Renae: Where can people find you?
Website & Blog: http://www.nicstarr.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nic-Starr/e/B00MAWRRQG/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NicStarrAuthor
Renae: Thank you for joining me today. I’ve had a lot of fun, and now we just need to count down to release day. Congratulations again, and I hope this one shoots straight to the top for you!
Nic: Thank you so much for having me, Renae. It’s been a pleasure, as usual.