Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and its Chairman, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. BURNING HEARTS is the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, published by Desert Breeze. GOODBYE NOEL, the second book in the series will be released in December, 2011. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning).
Here is my interview with "The Crime Fictionista".
How long have you been writing?
It seems like I've been writing since forever. As a child, I penned a tome about my love of horses. Well actually it was in Crayola. Then in my preteen and teen years I wrote the requisite poems filled with angst. I've been writing seriously for the Christian fiction market for about five years. My first manuscript was laughable. I quickly learned that an "A" term paper in college was not the same as writing fiction. I've spent the years since honing my craft.
What made you decide to start writing in the first place?
I've always been a lover of a good story. I like to read engaging fiction and love a good movie. I've always day dreamed and come up with different scenarios. One day I just thought, I can do this.
What inspired you to write Goodbye Noel?
I've always wanted to write a Christmas mystery. This one turned out to be more of a Christmas thriller with an intense love story. Part of the impetus for writing in that specific time period was the desire to show how universally Christmas was celebrated in the US then. It was a time when everyone decked the halls and every city, town, and village had a crèche in its town square. The nativity story in the Book of Luke was read by an actor or an announcer with a fine voice over every radio station in America right before Christmas.
What was the hardest part of Goodbye Noel for you to write?
I wanted my main characters to be complex and three-dimensional. So, I'd say the hardest part was showing their less than perfect side and yet get the reader to cheer them on. There were times when they might not be so likeable in their actions, yet I think the reader will understand their inner turmoil and route for them. I wanted to show how two ordinary people could rise up, face evil, and do the right thing. A difficult challenge.
Was the publishing process stressful for you?
Mostly it's been fun. But at times it's been stressful. When there are deadlines the pressure is on. Those deadlines might fall out at inconvenient times, but they still have to be met.
Do you like to outline, or do you just write as idea's come?
I do both. I've had manuscripts where I outline the entire novel. In other stories, I outline as I go along. I've also, on occasion, thrown the outline out the window and simply wrote as fast as I could. So, It's really a mish-mosh.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would that be?
There are two women I'd like to have dinner with. One is dead and one is very much alive. Corrie Ten Boom and Laura Bush. My reasoning for both women is the same. I'd ask them how they have come to be so strong in such a quiet and patient way. When I grow up and stop being a bull in a china shop, I'd like to be like them.
Do you have a favorite author and/or book?
I have one Christian author fav and one general market and they both write police procedurals. J. Mark Bertrand is a Christian author who I admire for his Roland March series. And Michael Connelly writes the Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller series.
How did your family influence your writing?
My dad was an English teacher and he directed the high school senior plays. So, I had a background in storytelling and that which was dramatic. At home, we were encouraged to read, read, read. And I think that's a must for all writers...to read the top authors in your genre.
My paternal grandmother was Czechoslovak and Katrina's family are Czech immigrants. So, at the holidays you'll find Mrs. Lenart cooking and baking the way my grandmother did.
Could you tell us more about Goodbye Noel?
Here's a short synopsis:
The first body is found under a trimmed Christmas tree, the second as they ring in the New Year (1947), the third goes head long out a window. Will a young pediatric nurse determined to make it on her own be able to care for an infant whose mother was murdered and escape the killer who has struck again? Can she trust the stalwart village detective with her life and her heart as he works to catch this killer before somebody else dies?
Pediatric nurse, Katrina Lenart, grew up strong willed and independent minded, while sharing her mother's flair for high fashion. When the police chief gives her an orphaned baby to care for, her maternal instincts take over and she's willing to fight anyone who might not have the infant's best interests at heart, even the man she's growing to love. After an attempt is made to kidnap the baby, she and the resolute village detective team up and do some sleuthing, undercover at a cult as well as at a fancy ball.
Detective Ian Daltry is a widower with a child and is not interested in a new love. Hunting a killer who stops at nothing has placed him in the position where he must protect a beautiful young woman he's drawn to. Is there's something he's overlooked in analyzing the case? Will he find out what that is before this ruthless murderer kills someone he loves?
Could you tell me about you and your family? Children, spouse, ect? Is writing your main job, or do you have another job?
I live with my husband and daughter in Gotham (NYC, The Big Apple). I guess I'm quite urban. Love the fast pace of city life. However, we live in the part of New York that's on a salt marsh and is quite residential. Houses and backyards and all. Yup, NYC has protected wetlands and part of it also sits on the Atlantic and has beaches. My husband is assistant director at the substance abuse program at one of the craziest NYC public hospitals. So, when I start writing my contemporaries, I'll have lots of firsthand information to use about illegal drug use. I used to be a homeschooling mom, but my daughter opted to go to public school in the 8th grade. In NYC, you have to apply to public high schools and she's applying to three art and design schools and one specializing in oceanography. I was also an animal rescuer and our house is filled with a variety of cats and one dog.
Goodbye Noel will be out December 15th, two days from now. Be sure to read the first book, Burning Hearts! Don't miss a single book by this Crime Fictionista. God bless you, Nike, and congrats on your book!
|Author Nike Chillemi|
Desert Breeze Publishing Purchase Links:http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-template/NikeChillemi/Page.bok
Nike Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista