Meet the Ladies in Red: Nikkie Locke

I’m so excited to be finally introducing myself! This is such a wonderful group of ladies here, and I’m delighted to be able to include myself among them.

1. Introduce yourself, please. Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name?

My name is Nikkie Locke. It is, in fact, a pen name. I’m planning on working as a high school English teacher and would prefer not to listen to high school boys read my love scenes aloud during class. What? You think that wouldn’t happen? As the girl who had the book she was reading stolen daily so the boys could do exactly that, I think it’s safe to say it will. 🙂

2. Let’s get the details out of the way: Single, married, divorced, widowed? Parent? Living where? Doing what, other than writing?

I’m engaged to the most brilliant man in the whole world. He’s also the handsomest. I like to have it all. 🙂 Seriously though, my fiancé and I have been dating for the past five years and engaged for the last year. We’re high school sweethearts. We attended separate colleges for our undergraduate degrees and are currently attending different schools again while I work on my teacher certification and he attends physician assistant school.

Our only children are actually mine. Both of them have four legs and a tail. Well, actually, my cat doesn’t have a tail… But that is an entirely different story. I have a cat named Athena, affectionately called Ani and “Nikkie, I’m going to F’in kill your cat.” I have a dog named Perseus, affectionately called Percy, Perce, P, and “Sit.”

I live in Missouri and am currently splitting time between my house in my hometown and an apartment with some girlfriends where I attend school. Other than writing, I spend my time in classes or at home with my family.

3. What’s your secret passion?

My secret passion? I don’t keep secrets very well.

4. Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change.

My wonderful, helpful girlfriends were not so helpful with this question. They suggested a physical attribute which I’ve decided not to share…

I think the one thing I’d never change about myself is my imagination. Even in the middle of the night, when I’m huddling under my blankie freaking out because there are monsters outside my window, I still value that sense of imagination.

5. If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?

I love living in a small town. It’s fantastic. If I had to choose somewhere else to live though, it would probably be New Orleans. The people, the atmosphere, the music—I love it all. Besides, that’s where all the paranormal creatures live, right?

6. Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?

I do write about where I live. My characters actually live in a fictional small town named Hartsville, but their small town is a lot like mine. Theirs is bigger than mine and probably prettier, but the atmosphere of the small town is still there.

7. Why do you write romance novels?

For me, my writing has always been romance. There are really great answers to this question- life is hard enough, the world is a better with love, happy ever after- and those are all true. I think in addition to that, I have to say, why not romance novels?

8. What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part?

I have always had a laid back attitude about editing and the editor’s opinion. They just want to make your book the best book it can be, right? Why wouldn’t you listen to them? When I received Unbound back for its first round of edits, I looked at all the red and panicked, though. I closed the file and didn’t look at again for several hours.

After lots of deep breathing and a long pep talk, I opened the file and read through all of her suggested edits. I was feeling okay, but not great. Then, I read one of the editor’s notes. She was questioning a character’s motivation and used the word “creeptastic” in her note. I laughed so hard and fell a little bit in love with a woman I didn’t know. I realized she was a person just like me, and her goal really was to make the book the best it could be.

I threw myself into edits after that. I cut most of the original four chapters even though some of my favorite dialogue was there. When I finished, I realized she was right. That soothed most of the ache. Besides, now I have deleted scenes to share. 🙂

9. The best part about my writing life is: There are no limits. You want to have a villain who chops people up and eats them? Go for it! A werewolf who is allergic to dog hair? Do it! You want to write about a woman with limitless powers who accidently turns her lover into a frog? Awesome! As long as your story follows some kind of logic and you can explain your characters’ motivations, there’s nothing you can’t do. Nothing.

10. The worst part about my writing life is: Not having enough time! It seems like everybody gives that answer. It’s so true though. There are nights I stay up late to write even though I know I’ll be tired the next day. Right this minute, I’m considering skipping a class to stay home and write. Of course, my mother will be reading this so that idea is shot. I promise I’ll go to class, Mom. Cross my heart.

11. Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.

The next book is still in the writing stage. It’s about some very minor secondary characters from Unbound. It’s about a writer and the high school sweetheart she dumped four years before. Ryleigh and Jonah have a lot of personal issues to overcome, but they are also in for some exciting suspense as well. 🙂

I hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did! My first book, Unbound, comes out July 16th. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

You can find me at my personal website, http://nikkielocke.weebly.com, or on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/NikkieLocke.

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27 Comments

  1. Great interview, Nikkie! I nearly shot sweet tea out my nose reading your pets’ nicknames. Looking forward for your next book!

    • Thanks Berinn! My little monsters are exactly that- Monsters. They’re always good for a laugh, though.

  2. It’s so nice to meet you, Nikkie. Thank heavens – I thought I was the only one that creeped myself out listening to noises outside MY OWN HOUSE where there have been on zombie reports or vampire sightings. Imagination can be a double-edged sword!

    • I live in the woods. For several nights, a cute little possum had me crawling the walls every night while he tried to get into the crawlspace under the house. I called my dad and told him someone was trying to break in. He thought it was hilarious when he discovered the possum. lol. Imagination is a definitely a double-edged sword when it’s that active.

  3. Congrats on your upcoming release. I know you are so excited. I hope you have many many more sales. Hang in there on things that go bump in the night.

    Tessa

    • Thanks Tessa! I’m SUPER excited! 😀

  4. So excited to have you on board and this is only the beginning! Love your pets, they sound like, well, characters. Glad to find out more about you, Nikki, and thanks!

  5. I do teach and write romance under my own name. My role model is Mary Reed McCall, who wrote for Avon. She teaches high school English in New York and said the kids all knew and it was no big deal. My students do know what I wrote about. I figure since it’s being released as an ebook and they’re all underaged, theoretically they can’t read it unless a parent gives them access to a credit card. I figure if the parent lets them order it, then the blame is on the parent if its not what they prefer their child to be reading.

    • I’m not worried about parents. Just the kids. lol. More power to you for using your own name, though. 🙂

      • At this point, if one of them tries it, just confiscate his Kindle – personal electronics are not allowed in the classroom!

      • Good point! I’ll keep that in mind, Mary.

  6. Congratulations on your upcoming book release and on your engagment! Sounds like you’re living your very own fairy tale 🙂

    • Thank you, Sharon! I certainly feel like a fairy tale somedays.

  7. Congratulations on ALL the wonderful things going on in your life right now! You must be floating on cloud 9 :-). So happy you shared it with us.

    • Thanks, Ines! It’s been awesome. : )

  8. Great interview, Nikki! Can’t wait to read Unbound!

    • Thanks, Amanda. I hope you love Unbound. I know I do, but I might be a wee bit biased. lol!

  9. It was great learning more about you Nikkie! Congrats on becoming published.

    • Thank you, Heather. It’s been a very excited time since I got that first email from Jennifer.

  10. Great interview, Nikki! Congratulations on Unbound. I’m sure it is delightfully “creeptastic!” 😉

    • lol. Thanks Lisa. I think Unbound is definitely “creeptastic.” I know I had to sleep with the light on a couple nights while writing it. That overactive imagination again. : )

  11. so nice to get to know you a little better, Nikki!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kristina!

  12. Nikkie,
    You are just lovely! I am so happy to know you and count you among my friends. Good, good luck with being an English teacher. I was one for 10+ years. Then I decided, I’d better give this writing dream of mine some real time. (So if you need anything…classroom management ideas, how to get high schoolers to LOVE Shakespeare, or any other teacher-y things, let me know. I’d love to help!!) 🙂

    I too love your pet names. My middle daughter, her middle name is Athena…goddess of Wisdom…she’s an Aries too. Wild!

    Best of Luck!
    I’m cheering for you.
    Rionna

  13. I so agree with your lack of time issue. Congrats on Unbound.

  14. Hi Nikkie…you have so much that’s wonderful in your life right now! Congrats on the release of your novel. I love the word “creeptastic.” It’s one of my favorites!


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