Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Author Interview: Drive Me To Distraction by Caitlyn Nicholas

drivemetodistraction (1)Drive Me to Distraction  

Sometimes life or death decisions are easy. Alex Radford has a choice – borrow the money to treat her mother’s rare and aggressive cancer from sleazy moneylender Hamish MacCameron. Or do nothing and watch her die.

MacCameron has an agenda. He wants Alex in his bed, and he wants her to help him exact revenge on his sworn enemy, Robert Dryden. He is only too happy to lend her what she needs, but the strings attached form a tangled web from which Alex has little hope of escape.

It’s not all bad. Since she was a girl Alex has had one dream: to become a Formula 1 driver and show the boys how to drive a race car. MacCameron’s money gives her a shot at fame, and in a move that scandalizes the F1 racing fraternity she becomes the new driver for Rob Dryden’s struggling F1 team, Prometheus.

Alex tries to keep her distance from Rob, knowing that one day she will need to betray one of the few people who ever had faith in her. But things begin to unravel when Hamish MacCameron is murdered and she and Rob are the top suspects on the list .

An F1 themed book?  How fantastic is that?  Caitlyn was kind enough to answer some of my questions, and even though we're not rooting for the same IndyCar driver this year, I'm thrilled to chat racing with her!

Welcome Caitlyn!  Tell us about yourself, and how you became a writer.

I’m Caitlyn Nicholas, I live in Sydney, Australia, with two beautiful girls, a magical black cat (who is 18 years old and still catching mice), a gold plated Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (who likes to eat bees and be rushed to the vet), a long suffering husband (who is an excellent proof-reader), and four chooks (who enjoy digging up my vegetable garden. 

I began writing in 2005. Exhausted, pregnant (sure I was going to die from morning-sickness) and coping with a demanding toddler, I decided the time was right to embark on a writing career. (In hindsight I may have been suffering from a scorching case of sleep-deprivation).

Still, it worked out. My debut novel Running Scared, was published in January 2007. 

I'm a huge IndyCar fan.  (Team Helio or Team Ryan Hunter-Reay, it depends on the week.)  How did you get involved with the F1 series, and how did it come to play a role in your book?

I love IndyCar too.  How amazing is Simona Silvestro??  I think she’s so awesome!

Simona's incredible.  She did a great job at St. Pete's.  I was so disappointed when she dropped back at the end, but she kept her car on course with threadbare tires.  Now that's girl power.

I’ve been a fan of F1 since… well birth really.  My father is a sports-car-o-holic (the family car was a Lotus - a brown one – yes, it was the 70s, brown was sexxy). The fact Dad had three daughters did not deter him from passing on his racing passion, I think he saw us more as fellow fans than little girls!

I like writing strong heroines who achieve big goals, and the role of a female F1 heroine suited this perfectly.  So to put my enjoyment of F1 together with a romance novel was a logical step.  Drive Me To Distraction is a romance novel first though, F1 racing forms the book’s background.

What advice do you have for new authors?  What marketing tips have you picked up along the way?

My main advice to new authors is to hang in there.  Getting your first book published (or your sixth) is a nerve-wracking experience.  Read the reviews, ignore the bad ones (but if there is a theme to them take notice), celebrate the good ones and never ever comment.
Don’t get too caught up in your Amazon ranking, its good to know how your book is doing, but try not to get stressed about it.

I think with your first book the best marketing advice is to try everything.  You never know what will work, and you can never be sure what will appeal to the tribe you write for.  So do your research, map out your strategies and go for it!

How do you cope with release-day jitters? 

Release day is very hard work here in Australia.  Mainly because due to time differences our books don’t go live until 4pm!  It can be a long day and distracting yourself is a good coping strategy. 

Because I’ve got young kids we eat early, so the last few releases have found me in the kitchen cooking dinner and hitting refresh on the laptop which is perched precariously out of harm’s way.  Yes, very glamorous.  Once the kids are in bed I’ll have a glass of champagne with my husband, and ring my relatives to make sure they’ve bought it!

 Anything else you want readers to know about you?

My next book, The Bunker, is out in July 2013.  It’s a romantic suspense set in a World War II Bunker deep underground in the idyllic green hills of England.  If you sign up for my newsletter you’ll be the first to hear about when it goes live.  And don’t forget to leave a comment and enter my giveaway.  Prizes include much sought after Timtams (Australian chocolate biscuit).

 Ooh, I think we all know I can be bribed with Chocolate.  Australian, Norwegian, Swiss, I'm not picky.  Thanks so much for stopping by, Caitlyn.  Can't wait to read Drive Me To Distraction!

Caitlyn Nicholas' Bio:
I've always loved to read. I began pinching my Mum's Mills & Boons (from the teetering pile by her bed) at the age of fourteen, and cannot remember a time in my life when I was without a romance novel. From the classics (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is my alltime favourite - because it makes me laugh) to the contemporary (Crossstich by Diana Gabaldon, or anything by Janet Evanovich, or... okay let's not go there!) I love them all.
I began writing in 2005. Exhausted, pregnant (sure I was going to expire from morning-sickness) and coping with a demanding toddler, I decided the time was right to embark on a writing career. (In hindsight I may have been suffering from a scorching case of sleep-deprivation).
Still, it kinda worked out. My debut novel - and the first manuscript I'd ever written - Running Scared, was published by Samhain Publishing in January 2007.  My next book, Secret Intentions by also published by Samhain in 2009.  Then I had a short story published in the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance (MBSOR) in 2010 - my story is called The Grey Man.
In 2012 my novel Drive Me To Distraction was published with Momentum Books (Digital first imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia), and my novella The Danger Game came out with Escape Publishing.
You can find information and excerpts from these books by clicking on the BOOKS menu above.

Fun Facts:

  1. When I first took myself backpacking in Europe (at the tender age of 17) I was such a young innocent thing that I assumed the scantily clad young ladies hanging about in doorways near her hostel were waiting for a lift home. (They were hookers)
  2. I'm ambidexterous. I can do almost everything left and right handed, except for write - which I do left handed.  (It comes in handy)
  3. I was born in England and moved to Australia in 1983. (I love them both - but I'm sorry UK, the Aussie rugby team owns my heart)
  4. I hate shopping, and am bored by shoes. My husband loves shopping and shoes. (We are a perfect match).
  5. Televisions unexpectedly turn themselves on in my presence. (Seriously, its freaky)
  6. I love to travel by train. (I often don't feel that way about my travelling companions though)
  7. I love to garden and have a huge vegetable patch - I grow awesome tomatoes - even though I loathe them and never eat them.
  8. I can speak, read and write Chinese (very rustily). Many years ago (1998) I spent three months on a language exchange in Kunming, Yunnan. I was once locked out of my apartment complex, and was caught scaling the fence by the local police. (It ended well - and there are a lot of photos of me looking slightly stressed adorning a police station somewhere)
  9. I once wanted to be a chef. I studied cooking for a summer at the Cordon Bleu cookery school in London. One of the other students was from Montana, he fell madly in love with me and begged me to go back to the States and live on his ranch. (I said no - but I've always wondered what if??)

Click HERE to buy Drive Me To Distraction.  And check out Caitlyn's fun giveaway! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

4/8/13 Manic Readers Guest Author Blog YA Bookish News 4/9/13 Sugar and Spice Book Reviews Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews 4/10/13 SnifferWalk Books Talk Supe 4/11/13 My Book Muse Heart Breaking Reviews 4/12/13 Book Bitches Blog Hesperia Loves Books 4/15/13 My Life Beyond Labels Smardy Pants Book Blog 4/16/13  Romance Book Craze 4/17/13 ST Bende -- Bende Books Queen of the Night Reviews My Life Beyond Labels 4/18/13 Rachel Brimble Roman 4/19/13 Harlie's Books Books Books and More Books Italian Brat's Obsession

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