Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nike Chillemi {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Nike...

Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored 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.

Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is 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. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has won awards and garnered critical acclaim. Her new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT, is scheduled to release in the spring of 2014.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Christian Indie Novelists (CHIN) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning).

How to connect with Nike...


Author Interview | Nike

You and Writing

Who is one of your favorite authors and why?
...I have a list of authors who influenced me. The first is Robert Liparulo who wrote a villain that blew me away in COMES A HORSEMAN. When J. Mark Bertrand started his Roland March series, I thought, finally, a gritty Christian detective series I can't put down. Nancy Mehl sometimes takes my breath away with the beauty of her writing, all the while managing to pull me into a suspense novel. In a similar way Sibella Giorello pulls me in with the spunk and tenacity of her female main characters.
Share a writing-related milestone with us. 
...When I got the contract with Desert Breeze Publications for my debut novel, BURNING HEARTS (arson/murder and romance), I could hardly believe it because I was also offered a contract for the entire four book Sanctuary Point series. That series went on to garner critical acclaim and win awards.

How do you balance your time between writing and other actives? Any helpful tips, tricks, or suggestions?
...I don't eat, breathe, or sleep.
...No, no… but seriously, I try to schedule my time and when I can successfully do that, I'm nearly jubilant. That is happy time for me. But then the washing machine will need repair, or we'll have yet another snow storm. Snow must be shoveled and the car is stuck on the ice, or the like and I'm scrambling to keep up with all my writing/publishing obligations.

Your Writing

Tell us a little bit about your book.
...I'm actually in pre-promotion mode for my next book now. I don't have a cover, don't have a release date yet. The approximate launch for HARMFUL INTENT is April 15th.
...My heroine, Veronica "Ronnie" Ingels, has not had an easy time of it. Her stockbroker father was a habitual philanderer who left her mother when Ronnie was in high school and hid his wealth so he wouldn't have to continue paying the amount of alimony and child support the court had rightly stipulated. Ronnie was forced to leave the college she had been attending in Texas, return home, get a job, and take classes at the local community college. What I love about Ronnie is she is not a complainer. However, with marital betrayal running in her family, she can't understand why she's so shocked when her husband of one year cheats on her. The real shock is his murder with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.

Who is your favorite character and why?
...Ronnie is my favorite character. She's a klutz, socially inept, but she's also persistent. She became a Brooklyn private investigator, thinking she can right some wrongs in the Big Apple. Then she finds her husband Mark has wronged her. She flies to Abilene, TX where Mark's murder turns her into a suspect as far as Deputy Dawson Hughes is concerned. Ronnie is given shelter under the wings of Hoot Dagney, owner of the Chuck Wagon diner and his waitress Bertha. These two are quirky, humorous characters who are Christians and who show Ronnie what a true love walk is. Ronnie stays in Texas to find the killer and clear her name, and is beset on all sides by culture shock. The pace is so much slower in Texas than in Brooklyn, she gets to ride a mule and spends time around horses and paddocks. She eats skillet fried mac 'n cheese. I love how she takes everything in stride and with a sense of humor. Humor always plays an important role in my whodunits.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...An important theme in the novel is how parental irresponsibility (sin) negatively impacts children, even into adulthood. Ronnie is socially insecure because of the feelings she still harbors (shame and guilt) due to her dad's repeated infidelity toward her mom. In fact she married a man (the murder victim in the story) similar to her dad, in that Mark cheated on her. That mistake only deepens her feelings of insecurity. I feel our culture is adrift and has to be reminded of the importance of home and family.


Favorite writing snack
...I have to have a mug of hot, black tea with a splash of milk nearby when I write. I love tea, particularly an English-type blend. I'm trying to stay away from sugary and fatty snacks. I've lost 25 pounds cutting way, way down on starch and eliminating processed foods as much as possible. I want to keep losing at a steady, reasoned pace until I reach my goal.
If you could go anywhere in the world for one month (for free) where would it be and why?
...I'd take my bathing suit, flip-flops, lap-top and go to a remote island in the Florida Keys. Then I'd write a murder mystery set on that key. Of course, I'd force myself to take breaks from writing to swim, crash in a lounge chair on the beach or at a pool (with a good murder mystery written by a fav author), and go out for candlelight seafood dinners with my husband. It's a dirty job, but I feel I'd have to volunteer to do it just to spare others. (LOL)

Thank you so much for being my guest today on {Writer Wednesday}! I am beginning to see the benefits to having a schedule for writing. It may take sacrifices but all good tings in life do! Your next book sounds exciting! Love the strong female characters in your novels and the humor present! I also agree with you that the concept of generational sin isn't thought of often enough and unfortunately plays a larger role in life than we often realize. And a bit congratulations on the loss of 25 pounds! That's wonderful and I hope that you do get that dream month vacation (hopefully paid for too hehe).

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