The very first indie author to be featured in my Weekly Indie Word Slinger section is Nicole Banks whose very fast reply landed her deets in my email long before the authors before her. I’m really excited to be featuring authors who are self-publishing and it’s a joy for me to start this year off with such a positive response. I have a few weeks worth of authors who have responded and if I keep receiving emails I will happily put out more frequent posts to accommodate more writers.
Indie Word Slinger: Nicole Banks
A little introduction about me? Well let’s see I like long walks on the beach and candle lit dinner…lol no seriously I do like long walks on the beach, I actually really love the beach and loathe winter and snow! Go figure there’s a snowstorm happening as I write this. Yay! But anyway, I live in New York and I feel like living here has given me a sense of amazing culture that I don’t think I can get anywhere else. This city is literally one big melting pot that has let me experience so many things; music being one of them. I love music it is and will forever be my first love. I can listen to anything from Tupac, Run DMC, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, TKA, Judy Torres, Selena, Justin Timberlake, Miguel, J. Cole, Sia, Sean Paul, Elephant Man, R. Kelly, Christina Perri to Taylor Swift and the list can go on. Trust me when I tell you I use to own over 20,000 cds, tapes and since the invention of MP3’s and iPods songs, music is the reason I love to write and read. Every single song you’ve ever heard is a story waiting to be told and I want to be the one to tell it.
I really liked the main story of your novel Shattered. I found the alternating POVs worked very well in the way that you used them, which many authors have a difficult time handling when there are many varied voices. When you were writing the book did you ever feel like the storytelling was suffering due to showing the viewpoint of so many characters? Why did you decide to go with a multi-POV rather than making the book center only between the perspectives of Jasmine and Angel?
I didn’t find that the story suffered. I personally think the multi-POV’s gave a certain life to my story that one POV or two POV’s couldn’t give it. During editing we tried to switch the voice to just Jas and everyone else in third person and I didn’t like it at all. You’d be surprised how much of the story was taken away when the voices of the story switched.
I decided to use the multi-POV’s because I’m a reader first and I always find myself trying to get into the head of the secondary characters. Since there aren’t many books out there like that, why not make my book like that? I’m sure I’m not the only reader out there who wants in on the secondary characters mind’s in their books. There’s always multiple sides to every story and with multi-POV’s you’re granted access to all those sides.
When I read a book I tend to look at quite a few different elements that I consider as being the building blocks for a strong story. What do you consider are the most important elements in creating a successful novel? Are the same elements as important in the novels that you enjoy reading as the novels that you write?
Strong character development and being able to tell a story are possibly the most important elements in telling a story. Everyone can tell the same story, but one story is going to be better told then all the others. The reason for that is due to the person’s ability to tell an engaging story. An author/writer/storyteller should be able to invite you in and keep you there, through any means necessary. A lot of the books I read it’s the first two chapters that draw me in and I can’t stop reading; I don’t want to stop reading. That’s an important element to have, you have to be able to effectively tell a story.
If you were to review your own book, what do you think you could say are the strong and weak elements of what you have written? If you could go back and change anything what would that be?
Honestly? My review would be mixed. I believe I have an amazing story with real characters and real issues. However I think the story goes so fast I miss out on certain character developments and certain things got glossed over. Also better editing. There were some areas, not a lot but enough where it should have been looked over a few more times.
If I could go back and change anything it would be where I stopped my story. I was under a word count maximum and that took away from the story. I really wished I could have just made it a stand alone. The story would have been just that more powerful.
Who would you say is the true hero of Shattered and why would you say he is the hero? Which man would be the book boyfriend and what sort of book boyfriend would he be? (Feel free to state a ‘no comment’, if giving away the hero of Shattered would spoil anything in Into Pieces).
I’m going to say no comment.
Your book series is in the new adult genre, is this the genre that you feel you will continue to write in or are there any other genres that interest you? Are you or have you ever been interested in writing anything outside of novels (short stories, editorials, journalism, poetry)?
I’m actually working on a novella (short story) right now. I’m going to venture into anything and everything possible. I would love to write in different genres such as paranormal or mystery. I use to write poetry and lyrics all the time when I was younger. I thought I was going to grow up and be a rapper, so I have folders and folders of just lyrics.
As a self-publishing author how do you feel about book pirating? Do you think that indie authors are more strongly impacted by illegal book downloading than publishing companies? Would you be willing to make your books free and request donations if you found that was a better earning model as a self-publisher?
Pirating sucks plain and simple. Being an indie author makes it that much easier for your work to be pirated. Yes there are copyrights you can request on your work, but pirating still happens.
If you’re a writer, money is and shouldn’t be of any importance. You’re writing because you love to do it, it shouldn’t be about how much money you can make. But on the same token if you’re good at something, you should never do it for free.
What does being an indie author mean to you? What would you wish to change about it?
For me, being an indie author means I have freedom to write. I really don’t have any constrictions on my writing. My only complaint about being an indie author is the amount of time you have to set aside to promote your work. Publishing companies do it for you, as an indie author it’s something you constantly have to be on top of.
Are there an opportunities that you would like to find out about or network with that you don’t have available to you currently that would help you become a more accomplished writer, increase your fanbase or help establish your work publicly that you would be interested in having someone contact you about? (Writing workshops, online writing jobs, printing press companies, beta readers, reviewers, editors, illustrators, photographers, web designers, etc.)
I am always open to all and every opportunity when it comes to my writing. I will rarely ever turn anything down, and I love networking with awesome individuals.
Please check out Tongue Wagger – Shattered by Nicole Banks to see my review of Nicole’s first installment in her Shattered Hearts Series.
Nicole’s website currently has the first 2 chapters of Into Pieces (Shattered Hearts book 2) available. Also it has tidbits of Fighting Fate, a new novella which will hopefully be out in February.
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