Hello friend, and welcome to my website. I’m Nicole, captain of this here ship… site… thing. I’d like to think of you as a fellow adventurer through the world of fantasy writing, exploring new worlds and universes through each new story that we discover.
I love storytelling. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child, fueled by a sense of wonder and excitement which each new book that I consumed. I was especially inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings. Other influential books were the Inheritance Cycle (Eragon), Septimus Heap, Harry Potter, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Inkheart, The Neverending Story, and Redwall, (although I really could go on, and on…). I also loved movies and TV shows, a.k.a. books on screen. Some favourites over the years have been Pirates of the Caribbean, Once Upon a Time, The Princess Bride, Beauty and the Beast, The Dark Crystal, and more recently Carnival Row, (just to name a few). As I grew older, I discovered video games, and the narrative potential that they hold. One of the series that I absolutely adore is Dragon Age.
I started writing in Grade 7. My teacher had us write an alternative ending to The Hobbit for a language arts project, and I earned 100% on mine, which awoke in me the awareness that I could contribute something to the world of literature for other people to enjoy. The summer between grade 7 and grade 8 I began writing my very first attempt of a novel that involved pirates, elves, and a portal between worlds. My story didn’t go particularly far, but my family and the cousin who I had sleepovers with knew all about my characters and the world that I was creating. In Grade 8, my teacher highly encouraged our class in the art of creative writing, and gave us plenty of class time each week to work on our projects. I worked on a new novel throughout that year about amateur alchemists who were trying to protect their king from getting assassinated. Throughout high school I began writing several different novels, and took the Creative Writing class offered in grade 12. I enrolled in English Literature for university, which exposed me to many different styles and types of stories, and pushed me to broaden my reading tastes and see the value in the narratives of authors who were significantly different from me.
During the start of my time in university, I discovered the website Jottify, which was designed for writers to share their writing with fellow writers and readers. I adored the site, and spent a lot of time on it. It was during this time that I really began to develop an appreciation for short stories and poetry. I read short stories and poetry from other writers, and began to write my own, expanding my writing mindset out from only writing the beginnings of novels. I even took a poetry writing course in university. Unfortunately, after a few years Jottify was no longer maintained by its creator, and much of the community began to switch to blogs on different sites. I also stepped out onto blogging on WordPress. Eventually, what remained of Jottify was taken down and the website no longer exists. I owe so much of my growth as a writer to my Jottify era though, and dearly miss the old site.
After I finished university and began to reflect on my goals for the future, I decided that I was serious about my desire to become a published author, and that I wanted it to become a reality sooner than later. However, I was held back by my inability to continue writing a novel beyond the beginning part of the story. I had lots of ideas, but little focus when it came to figuring out plot, and I had never once known how I had planned to end any of my many novel ideas over the years. Well, during a volunteer trip in my university years, I had met the lovely Janeen Ippolito, fellow author, editor, and owner of her own small publishing company. I reached out to Janeen and made use of her author coaching services to help me figure out how to break past the barriers that had been holding me back, and I began to finally see progress toward my goal.
I am currently writing Faeblood (WIP title likely to change), a YA fantasy novel, and nearly have the rough draft completed. I am a fairly sporadic writer, so progress happens in random bursts, but I am continuing to bound ahead bit by bit. This novel is the first of a duology, and I have already begun figuring some key plot points for the second book. The story is about Nallasha, an artist who has recently graduated and is about to begin her career. Things take an unexpected turn when she discovers a portal while working for her first client, and she finds herself in a place she never believed could be real. Nallasha discovers surprising truths about herself and the world, and learns several important lessons that cause her to grow as a person.
I also have a blog where I’ve been posting short stories and poetry: elderberrytea.wordpress.com. Feel free to have a visit and check out some of my writing on there.
Another notable fact about me is my love for the tabletop role playing game Dungeons and Dragons. I have played as both an adventurer and dungeon master. As dungeon master, I like to write my own campaign for the adventurers, filled with maps, challenges, enemies, and allies that I have designed myself. The game is utterly fantastic, especially since it is mainly a cooperative free-style storytelling game, and anything can happen while playing. Some of our shenanigans may get recorded and adapted into stories…