Like so many other writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (penciled might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and its Chairman, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 and 2012 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. BURNING HEARTS is the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, published by Desert Breeze. GOODBYE NOEL, the second book in the series released in December, 2011 won the Grace Award 2011 in the Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller category. PERILOUS SHADOWS, the third in the series released in July, 2012. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning). http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
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Author Interview | Nike Chillemi
You & Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I've been writing since I was a little girl. I penned (actually in Crayola) my book about horses and read it numerous times to my long suffering parents. I started writing seriously about six years ago when I submitted my first manuscript to an agent. The novel was awful I keep it around for laughs. I got involved in a few writing groups and several published authors took interest in me and they told me I had a unique voice for classical murder mystery...but I had to learn the art and craft of writing fiction. I have a lot of stories in me and I keep getting excited when I think up a new one. That keeps me writing. I've been called the "crime fictionista" because of my love for crime fiction. I read and write murder mysteries. I'm compulsive about them.
What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
...The hardest thing about the business of writing is the marketing. It has to be done or the books won't sell or be read. But it takes up a tremendous amount of time. If I'm not careful it can eclipse my writing and reading time. The easiest and most fun is thinking up new story lines and new characters. Or, fun story lines with old characters from a previous story.
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...I have several irons in the fire right now. DARKEST HOUR is about to come out through Desert Breeze Publishing. The plot line is about a petite young widow and mother of a small child who is framed for murder by powerful people. The county medical examiner realizes she didn't pull the trigger because the killer was much taller. He then launches his own investigation to find the real killer and in the process falls in love with the heroine and her young son. I'm also self publishing a short story "Harmful Intent" about a Brooklyn (NYC) female private investigator who flies to see an old friend in Texas, learns her husband is also in the Lone Star State and that he has been murdered...and guess what? She's the prime suspect.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...A central theme of all of my novels is justice for the victim. My heroines and heroes are truly the good guys, though they do have flaws. In DARKEST HOUR there is also a theme that the little guy who is being pushed around can also prevail. There's the old saying when good people do nothing, evil prevails. Well my heroes and heroines do not believe in doing nothing. They roll up their sleeves and fight the good fight.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Generally speaking I make my characters up out of whole cloth. They just pop out of my imagination. But in BURNING HEARTS the heroine's mother, Mrs. Brogna, surprised me. When I was in edits, I realized for the first time that I'd recreated my paternal grandmother. Mrs. Brogna bakes a delectable apple strudel like my grandmother did. Mrs. Brogna horses around with her children and teases them, just like my grandmother liked to do. I can recall my grandmother swatting my father with her apron and the two of them would laugh up a storm.
Valentine's Day would you rather stay in (ie: home with a movie) or go out (ie: night on the town)? ...Neither. I recommend reading my novel BURNING HEARTS for Valentine's Day...or around that time. It's a wonderful murder mystery and also a story of young love. Readers have be captivated by the heroine, young and spunky Erica Brogna and the hero, World War II decorated hero and Harley Davidson rider Lorne Kincade.
Describe your ideal date
...I'm married, but my ideal date is going to a spa with my husband for a couple's massage. That is the most relaxing thing. We've done this about four times and each time it's just a wonderful experience.
Thank you so much Nike! I know you're busy and I am so thankful that you would share your thoughts, experiences, and even Valentines Day recommendations with my readers and I.
Make sure you head over to Amazon and check out Nike Chillemi's books - you won't regret it!