Welcome everyone. I would like to introduce Nicole Izmaylov, author of Dart and the Squirrels. She is here today to answer a few questions and give away two e-book copies of her book, Dart and the Squirrels, a whimsical story about two mischievous squirrels and an grouchy old German Sheppard. All you have to do to enter the drawing is leave a comment. Winners will be drawn on November 27th and we will forward each winner a copy of Dart and the Squirrels in whatever format you require for your e-readers. Remember to enter a comment to participate and your email address so we may contact you as a winner!
Thank you, Nicole, for participating in this interview and giveaway! I'm sure your fans would love to hear more about you!
Nicole, tell us your latest news.
I’m currently coauthoring a novel with my sister, Michelle Izmaylov; this will be a space opera about an alien war. By myself, I’m working on a fantasy story concerning wolves and lions. In terms of publicity, I recently finished an interview with the Author Show, and it will be available within the coming weeks.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing because it was my way of living. I wasn’t a very sociable child; books were my escape, and later writing became an even greater one. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, and I think I started when I was very young—maybe six or seven.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, drawing, and playing and composing music.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I have witnessed so many times bystanders or friends refusing to help others, and I believe that this should not happen, so I decided to write a picture book that would stress the importance of love and friendship. In addition, I saw a remarkable occurrence of a disturbed nest of bees disturbing a cat trying to pounce on a mouse.
What do you think makes a good story?
I think that there are three very important ingredients for a good story. (1) The writer loves it. (2) The audience loves it. (3) The characters and setting love their own story. By this I mean that the characters seem to be alive in a setting, as if the story were a description of something that actually happened.
How do you want readers to feel after they read your stories?
This depends on the story. On my stories are teach morality lessons, I want the reader to walk away having learned something. On my what if stories, readers should be thinking about the what if in their minds. On my general fiction, I want them to walk away feeling entertained and also a little sad, as my works tend to include bittersweet endings.
What is your favorite character out of all the books you have written?
My favorite character would have to be the psychopathic Kor’lir from The Draçian Dance. This is the character who ripped another character’s head off for seemingly no reason, but I find him endearing in his insanity.
What influences your creativity of your characters?
I have quite an overactive imagination, and so many of my characters begin as exaggerated caricatures of some personality trait(s) someone I know has and slowly morph into a fully-fledged round character with a backstory and whatnot. It’s quite a fun process from initial idea to final character.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
As stated earlier, I’m working on a novel about wolves and (mountain) lions, wherein a mountain lion cub is raised by wolves. When the cub, named Crescent, is cast out of the wolf pack for being different, he realizes that he is not a wolf and sets out to discover who he truly is. I’m also working on a fairy tale parody—working title Curse Breakers—about four cursed individuals who truly hate each other but who are forced to work together to break their various curses. Ouch.
What are some of the goals and future plans with your writing?
Along with finishing the Shifting Moon Chronicles, Book I: Crescent’s Path and Curse Breakers, I’m also working on a hardcore fantasy tentatively entitled Songs of the Stars, which would be a five-book arc concerning a realm populated by lurking starsingers, shape-shifting beings with the power to control certain types of magic. I’m also planning to write another parody novel called Every Love Story Ever (plus Ninjas, Aliens, and a Slightly Used Napkin) and a mathematical thriller named The Vampyre Crusades, which tells the story of High Priest Möbius—and his loyal followers Ödin, Byron, Icarus, Uhluhtc, and Sliveron—as they set out on a quest to vanquish the mysterious vampyres that continue to appear from the West. What they don’t realize is that they live on a three-dimensional Möbius strip.
Thank you, Nicole, for sharing with us! Now remember to win a copy of Dart and the Squirrels, you must leave a comment to enter and also please leave your email address so that we may notifiy you if you are a winner! Good Luck!
Congratulations to our winners Amelia Curzon and Sara Abrams!