Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Writer Routine Wednesday: Nicola Marsh

Hey, all! It's another week of my new blog segment:

Writer Routine Wednesday, where every Wednesday from now until the end of August, I will host an author. We'll get to know them better and their books as well as hear them describe their usual writing routine. Maybe you'll pick up an idea they use for yourself!
Lots of great prizes are scheduled too!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, please welcome author Nicola Marsh today and hear about her writing routine!

BIO: USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flare for Harlequin Romance and Modern Heat/Presents.
She’s had 24 books published and sold over 2 million copies worldwide. She’s a Waldenbooks and Bookscan bestseller, has finalled in several awards including the HOLT, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.
She was recently nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Harlequin Romance 2009.
A physiotherapist in a previous life, she now adores writing, raising her two little heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, and her favourite, curling up with a good book!

For more info on my books and writing life, visit my website and blog

Thanks for stopping by, Nicola!

Please describe for our audience a “typical” writing day for yourself. For example: Do you get up have your coffee, check e-mail, then write to a certain time? Do you have a set word or page goal when you write?

In the ideal world, I would write the whole day (what bliss!) Instead, I have a family to raise so my work ‘day’ starts at 8.30 pm when the little ones are down for the night. I write for a few hours, longer if I'm on a roll or facing a deadline. Sleep is a distant memory!

Checking emails and my social networking stuff happens in snatches, usually via my iPhone. Best invention ever for authors on the run with limited time!

Do you have another job outside of writing? (Being a mommie definitely counts!!) If the answer is yes, describe how you balance the two and how much time you devote to each.After working as a physiotherapist for 13 years, those years are behind me. I’m now a full time mum and part time writer. My kids always come first. That said, they know if I’m on a tight deadline because they’ll be clambering over me while I write on Alphasmart in the playroom, or telling me loudly to get off the ‘puter!

Are you a laptop, PC, Alphasmart, or by hand kind of writer? Usually PC but if I’m after speed, I always resort to Alphasmart. The words pour out when I use Alphie. I recently wrote the bulk of a mainstream novel in a month on Alphie, my trusty speed machine!

Plotter or panster? If you’re a plotter, how much time do think you put into plotter before writing? Used to be a plotter when I first started writing, these days I like my characters to show me the way.

Some writers make collages or listen to or create music soundtracks for their work-in-progress? Do you do any of those or have you thought about doing one of them? I prefer silence when I write (my quiet time of the day when kids in bed!) so no music. I got hooked on doing collages a few years ago but strangely, while I love doing them before writing the book, once I’m into the zone I barely look at them again!

What’s your favorite book on writing? Creating Unforgettable Characters by Linda Seger

What’s your favorite fiction book you’ve read so far this year? Barbara O’Neal’s The Secret of Everything. I adore her books!

What’s your favorite way to reward yourself after you’ve finished writing a book? By vegging in front of the TV at night for a week, something I don’t get to do usually. I grab DVDs of movies I’ve missed out on, scoff large amounts of ice cream and have a ball!

You're speaking my language by mentioning ice cream! Thank you, Nicola, so much for sharing a little of your writing routine and life with us today!

Nicola actually has two books out this month! Here is a little bit about both of them:

Three Times a Bridesmaid…
From geek…to chic!
Another wedding invitation has landed on Eve Pemberton's doormat. Determined not to attend alone again, Eve organises a date for the day! At such short notice she's ended up with billionaire Bryce Gibson - the guy who broke a teenage Eve's heart!

On the dance floor Eve and Bryce make a convincing couple - but she's in danger of falling for her first love all over again!

Available at Harlequin and

Overtime in the Boss’s Bed

Penniless in her pencil skirt…
Desperate for a job, dancer Starr Merriday is forced to hang up her ballet shoes and accept a position as a P.A. in a new city - even if the last time she saw her new boss…she was naked in his bed! Her professional pumps and pencil skirt can’t hide her top-to-toe blush when she remembers their blisteringly hot night together!

But Starr won’t let that suppress her sassy spirit - after all, unbuttoning her blouse is next on her boss’s agenda. So she will switch on her out-of-office and go to a meeting - in the boss’s bed!

Available at Harlequin and

*Overtime in the Boss’s Bed has hit the Waldenbooks Top 10 Bestseller list already!
Congrats, Nicola!

CONTEST: Nicola has generously offered to give away a signed copy of her Harlequin Romance Three Times a Bridemaid--which I bought and read. And loved!

Please leave a comment below to be entered to win. The giveaway contest will run from now until Thursday 11:59PM (EST). I will announce the lucky winner this Friday!

Good luck and get into your writing routine!


Rachael Johns said...

I just love this weekly slot!!! It's always fabulous getting insight into a writer's life. Nicola continually amazes me with how much she writes while having two little boys!! I take my hate off.

Terri Tiffany said...

She starts at 8:30 at night? Wow! I am almost in bed by then. I admire all she does!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Terri: LOL! I know!
(I'm a morning writer myself.)
But it is so interesting to hear what works for different writers.

Thanks again, Nicola!

Jessica Nelson said...

Her books sound really cute! I love that she's a bestseller and stay at home mom. That's really encouraging to me.
Thanks for the interview, ladies!

Mary Aalgaard said...

It is encouraging to read about the success of a writer-mama. Get off the 'puter. That's a good one. I've been told that I'm on "that thing" too much.

Diane said...

Beautiful lady! Both books featured sound fun and steamy....

Good luck on all your future projects. :O)

Janna Leadbetter said...

Wow! Nicola rocks. Amazing.

Thanks, Jennifer. This was a great feature!

JE said...

Wow! Thanks for this. Those books sound really great! I love a good Harlequin Romance!

Congrats on your successes! Writing catalog is hard, I bow to you ;-)


Stephanie said...

Beautiful covers! Congratulations!!!

R.A. Morelock said...

Excellent interview... I'm always interested in seeing how other writers do it.

I'm also interested in why the AlphaSmart has such a wide following.... hmmmm, have to look into it.


patti said...

Nicola, I love that you went from a plotter to a panster! I kinda went the other way! LOL.

Jennifer, great post!


R.M.Gilbert said...

Jennifer, so great to stop in again and find out how another incredible woman writes. Thanks so much for hosting these authors.

Nicola, first off, WOW. How amazing to have so much accomplished with kids at home. It's inspiring. (*as my little one makes every sound known to man. And mimics his brother)(Right now he's singing: Don't worry about a ting, 'cause every little ting, gonna be all right...ya mawn.) *Whew, anyway, love that you've made changes from plotting to panster, collages to no collages.

Enjoyed your post.

Lydia Kang said...

Great interview! She's the first person I've read about who started out as a plotter and became a panster!

good luck with the contest.

No need to enter me into the drawing. I've won a lot of books from blogs recently and I feel guilty. Need to give everyone else a chance to win!

Laura Pauling said...

I don't read a lot of romance - but I've always enjoyed them when I do. Congrats on all your successes!

Bossy Betty said...

It's always inspiring to read these interviews! I can't believe she starts to write at 8:00pm! That's when I start getting ready for bed!

Thanks again for these posts!

Tana said...

Huge congrats on your successes Nicola! I can't wait to win (hint, hint Jennifer). I'll be back Friday!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

What a wonderful interview! I love learning about the routines of other writers - I do my best work at night, too. Three Times a Bridesmaid sounds like a fun read! :-)

Marian Pearson Stevens said...

Lovely cover Nicola! Sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing your day/routine and stopping by!

cozymysterygirl said...

Hi Nicola

this book sounds like it will be a great read.Please enter me into the giveaway thanks

Unknown said...

Great post Nic. I just finished Overtime in the Boss's Bed and it was incredible,

PatriciaW said...

Great post, Jennifer. Interesting that Nicola writes for the Romance and the Presents line, from pretty tame to pretty sexy!

Most interesting, however, was Nicola moved from being a plotter to a pantser. I usually hear writers say the opposite. I'm wondering how that transition took place.

Isabelle Flynn said...

I love this series of blog posts. Honestly, I think it's great to hear Nicola call herself a full time mum and a part time writer.

Renee said...

I thought I was weird for starting my writing around 9 p.m. Glad to know I'm not the only one. ;)

Anne Gallagher said...

I love this series. It's so nice to be able to see how professionals do it. Although I AM in bed by 8:30.

Great job, Thanks Nicola, Thanks Jennifer.

Marcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcy said...

Nicola - You're my hero!!! I try to start writing once kiddos are in bed (since my day job occupies me 9-5) but generally fail miserably. I envy your disclipline.

Great interview, Jennifer!


Snookie said...

I'm a reader not a writer and I just love Nicola's books. Great interview Jennifer! Great going Nicola with two books published this month!! You must be one busy mum.

Summer said...

I always enjoy Nicola's books, and these two sound like they won't disappoint either. I can't decide which story appeals more, the rekindled teenage crush, or the retired ballerina heroine.

Ezmirelda said...

I’m giving you a blogger award because your blog’s one of the best that I’ve read. :)

Roxy said...

Thanks for a great interview, Jennifer. I really enjoyed learning about Nicola's writing schedule. It proves that all writers face challenges with balancing life and art. Excellent post!

Romance, Rumours and Rogues said...

Hi everyone,

I've had so much fun reading all your lovely comments.

A few quick asides...writing at night isn't from choice, it's from necessity :)
Running around after kids keeps me pretty busy all day so my only writing time is night. When they're at school, that will change.
And I'll finally get a decent night's sleep again :)

Romance, Rumours and Rogues said...

With the transition from plotter to pantser, it evolved naturally.

I think the more confident I became in my writing, the easier it was to let my characters direct the flow of the story rather than me controlling it.

Romance, Rumours and Rogues said...

To all the familiar faces here who read my books and enjoy you! :)

Laura S. said...

I love this weekly feature! It's always so interesting to me how other writers work and spend their days!

Thanks for another terrific interview, Jennifer. I'm looking forward to reading Nicola's novels!

Karen Lange said...

Thanks to both of you for sharing this. I always enjoy seeing how other writers think and work.

Kelly H-Y said...

Fantastic interview! Thanks!

Sally Clements said...

Great interview, Jennifer! I got an Alphasmart for Christmas and must admit its really useful. I'd read about Nic and her alphasmart ages ago, and it changes the way I write, going with me on school runs, sitting next to the bed, and even going out to the garden (weather permitting). Its a great way of upping the word count!

Romance, Rumours and Rogues said...

Thanks Laura, Karen and Kelly for stopping by too.

I love seeing how other writers work too, Karen. It intrigues me!

Romance, Rumours and Rogues said...

Isn't Alphie the best, Sally?

For sheer speed, there's no better writing tool. I swear by mine :)
As you well know (the way I've raved over the years!!)

Heidi Willis said...

What a great interview!! I loved the questions, and I always love seeing how different writers approach writing as a career.

I used to write at night, too. After ten, because that's when the house was quiet. I was a night person, though. Now my kids are in school and I'm brain dead by nine. Luckily, I get time while they're in school to write!

I need to go look up the alphasmart! How is it I'm a writer and have never heard of it??

Glynis Peters said...

A great post and interview. Thanks for sharing. Not heard of an Alphasmart, will have to research that one. :)

Romance, Rumours and Rogues said...

I'm sure that's going to happen to me when my kids hit school. I'll be so used to daytime writing then I'll hit the bed early and make up for all those years of lost sleep :)

Romance, Rumours and Rogues said...

Heidi and Glynis,

definitely check out the Alphasmart.

Some people find it clunky to write on but it's brilliant for speed writing. I love it!

Romance, Rumours and Rogues said...

In all my excitement being here and reading the comments, I forgot to say I'm so glad you enjoyed Three Times a Bridesmaid...Jennifer!

Bryce is a real charmer, isn't he? I loved writing him!

Romance, Rumours and Rogues said...

Congrats to Kellie!

And a huge thanks to Jennifer for having me, it's been fun :)