USA Today bestselling author, Nina Pierce, grew up in a house full of readers, so becoming enamored with books was only natural. She discovered romance stories in her early teens, falling hopelessly in love with knights in shining armor and the damsels who saved them.
Eventually, reading about fated loves and soul mates wasn’t enough. She now spends her days at the keyboard writing her own stories, blissfully creating chaos for her characters by throwing in a villain or two, a little murder and a whole lot of mayhem as they struggle toward their happy-ever-afters.
Nina resides in New England with her high school sweetheart and soul mate of thirty-something years and several very spoiled cats who consider her “staff”. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her three grown children, one love-sick son-in-law and a two heart-melting grandsons.
Frequently Asked Questions
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
Writing snuck up on me. When I was young I kept daily diaries and told stories about imaginary friends. In high school and college I fell in love with doing research and writing long, detailed scientific papers. When I became a science teacher I was the first to volunteer to write grants and proposals. It all just came to a head when my health made teaching impossible. That’s when I realized how much I enjoy writing fiction. I find great joy sitting at the computer creating worlds and characters and even greater joy showing them the path to true love.
I love logic puzzles and challenging mind games and this carried over to my reading. I prefer loosing myself in novels with complex story lines. A great suspense novel, where the author shifts the plot in directions I wasn’t expecting, is a thrill ride from first page to last. When I began writing I discovered the most pleasure in creating complicated plots. I try to take my readers on an unexpected journey, sliding into a conclusion with a final twist I hope they don’t see coming.
How did you settle on romance?
I live the stories I read. I fall in love with the characters and find romance the best “take me away” reads. They make me sigh. It was only natural then, when I began to pen my own stories that I chose two people who struggle through difficult and perhaps life-threatening circumstances and push past any obstacle to get their “happy-ever-after” with their true love.
Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
Everything around me is inspiration. A line from a TV show or a song can start a whole “what if” scenario. A snippet of conversation overheard in the grocery store can start a landslide of ideas. From these little nuggets… whole stories emerge.
Do you write by the seat of your pants (pantzer) or do you plot your stories?
When I first began writing (in the sheer joy of not knowing the “rules”) I was a total pantser. From the “what if ” question I began writing. Then I branched out and answered the questions that arose as the story unfolded. Eventually, the characters fleshed themselves out and I began to understand who they were and what motivated them.
Now that my internal editor has heard one too many workshops on writing craft, I’m finding I do more plotting. Still, I let my characters lead the way so my stories are driven by them and not the plot. Twists and turns happen organically as the story unfolds because it seems to me, even if I don’t know in the beginning who did the crime, my muse is aware of every sordid detail.
What’s your writing schedule like?
A schedule? I’m supposed to have a schedule? No, I’m kidding. I try very hard to stick to some sort of schedule, but it’s pretty loose depending on what’s going on with my life. Normally, I sit down at the computer around 8:00 in the morning. Open email, drink coffee, surf the forums and visit social media sites, drink more coffee (did I mention it’s decaffeinated?), answer more emails, blog, finish the coffee, eat a light breakfast and shower. THEN I’m ready to open my current story and start pounding out the words. Depending on where I am in the story this could change. As I get toward an exciting scene or the conclusion, often I skip the forums and blogging and go straight to writing. I am at my computer until late in the afternoon and again in the evening after dinner. Sometimes I’m writing, other times working on marketing. This is my job and fortunately for me, Mr. Nina understands when I am “in the zone”.
I want to be an author. How do I go about getting published?
To become published through traditional paths, you’ve got to really want it. The setbacks can be daunting. I’ve submitted chapters to writing contests and felt very confident with my entry, only to earn abysmal scores. I’ve sent partial chapters to agents and had them say I wasn’t a good fit for them. I’ve received requests for full manuscripts and waited for a month only to be rejected. It hurts. It beats up on your ego and erodes your confidence.
Decide that nothing is going to keep you from reaching your goal.
Believe in yourself. Don’t let others tell you “you can’t” and if they do — don’t believe them. Tell everyone who will listen that you want to be a published author. Say it out loud. Don’t keep your talent hidden. The more times you say it with conviction, the more real the dream becomes.
Write. Write. And write some more. Then finish something and submit it. Don’t let fear of rejection keep you from reaching for your goal. Put yourself out there. No one has ever published a story that hasn’t been written.
You’ve Self-Published, why did you choose that path to publication?
Self-publishing isn’t for everyone, but it is a way many authors are finding to publish stories that traditional publishers have passed over. That being said, it’s important to make sure the book you offer to the public is the very best it can possibly be. That means a great story. Professional cover. Professional editing. And correct formatting. Do your research. Ask others who have self-published how they successfully navigated the waters. There are self-published authors whose books are doing extremely well and others who are lost in the ocean of books being released daily and some who fall in the middle of the tide. Do your research. Keep your expectations realistic. And never give up. If publishing is your dream and you’ve tried the traditional route to publishing, self-publishing may work for you also.