Thank you to Nicole for taking the time to answer all our questions!
What should readers expect from your books?
Readers should expect a thoughtful and often deeper look at families, relationships, and the issues of our society. I enjoy exploring other cultures, so although you can expect a Southern tale, you might find bits and
pieces of other cultures as well. I enjoy multi-layered stories and getting to know the characters that grace my pages. I allow them to tell me their stories, so often I am on the seat of my pants just like my readers, eagerto see what happens next. In a Nicole Seitz novel, you may find many twists and turns that are unexpected, and although you may see my faith come through in certain aspects of the story, you probably won?t find conversion scenes. I am fascinated with how God works even in the lives who don?t know him yet or who have walked away from their faith. I write in the genre of ?General fiction?, not Christian fiction, so believers with ?eyes to see? will see God all through my books and also realize they can safely recommend them to friends who are spiritually seeking.
When did you decide that you wanted to write?
I decided I wanted to write when I was pregnant with my second child and my first character, Essie Mae in The Spirit of Sweetgrass, began telling her story through me and to me. It was not of my doing, meaning, the words just flowed and I got out of the way and let it happen. It was so much fun, I realized it was an honor to be able to tell stories and write fiction. I wanted more!
What background noise, if at all, do you have while writing (music, TV, etc)?
I love total silence!
Do you prefer to writing series or stand-alone novels?
Stand-alone novels are what come naturally, but I haven?t ruled out series fiction, esp. for younger readers someday.
What advice would you give to those who would someday like to get published?
You must develop a tough skin, and the only way to get it is to deal with rejection, criticism and sometimes failure. Every time that happens, look on the bright side of it and say to yourself, ?Well, my skin is getting thicker.? It?s all in preparation for the day you do have something published, have jumped through all the hoops, and then a perfect stranger writes a nasty review for all the world to see about your writing, your faith, your beliefs or something equally as intimate. My advice? Get that tough skin. Writing is a worthwhile journey to endure.
Have you taken writing classes or attended workshops?
I have given workshops and taught writing because I enjoy sharing what I?ve learned in this business, however I tend to steer clear of too much ?learning how to write? myself. When I was contemplating my second book in my first two-book contract, I asked my publisher what I needed to learn about publishing or writing. He told me, ?You have a gift. Don?t learn a thing.? I found this to be good advice. The more you know, the more your head takes over your writing instead of your heart. For me, this makes for poor writing. I?d rather write from the heart! I learn things with every book and every experience, but it?s the turning it all off and getting back to the heart that is difficult these days.
What is your educational background?
I have a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and another BFA in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Are you a marathon writer or do you work on your novels a little bit at a time?
Both, actually. I work a little bit at a time until the deadline begins to loom. Then I buckle down and get wildly busy until it?s all done.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I am a mom to two elementary-aged kids, so they keep me very busy. I teach art at a local school, so that keeps me busy as well. Occasionally I like to paint and sell my works. My last couple of paintings I did on commission for a wine label and as a gift for a friend who was dying. Writing and painting are ways in which I can express myself. I love to cook and eat all sorts of international foods, and I adore the Food Network! And recently I?ve taken up running and seen God?s faithfulness in my life. I take the steps in prayer and he meets me at the road. It?s been an amazing ride, and this weekend I?m running my very first half-marathon after only 9 weeks of training, God willing. If I do this, it is not me, but Him crossing the finish line. It?s the very same way I view the writing of my novels.
Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
I cannot thank my readers enough for their continued support. It is much easier to run a marathon when people are cheering you on. God bless you all.
Please share your favorite quote with us and what it means to you.
According to his power that works within us, to Him be the glory Eph 3:20
I take full credit for the mistakes I've made in life, but for the good things the novel-writing, or running, or teaching, or child-rearing to him be the glory. On my own I can do none of it.