Divine Insecurities

I have a little something different for you for this installment of the IWSG, founded and hosted by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh. Fellow insecure writer Jennifer Lane has read and reviewed my latest release, and today she's interviewing me about insecurities & more at my place and posting her review at her place---now that's what I call support! 

Nicki Elson (NE): Thanks for being here, Jennifer. I was really, really touched that my book made it to the top of your reading list so fast.

Jennifer Lane (JL): Divine Temptation was fantastic, Nicki! We've already discussed that paranormal isn't my favorite genre, but maybe angels seem more realistic to me than other paranormal creatures, because I really enjoyed it. What was it like for you to anticipate my review, knowing I'm not a big paranormal fan?

NE: I was a bit nervous, but I think more than that I was curious about what your reaction would be. In my opinion, this story is very much based in reality and reads more like a contemporary with paranormal elements than a true paranormal, so my hope was that it would bridge a gap between readers of both genres---and your favorable review tells me that it works for the contemporary crew, because I know you don't give out five stars unless you mean it. Another reason I anxiously anticipated your reaction was because of your psychotherapy expertise. My most important goal in writing is to create real-feeling characters, so I love that you noted their varying shades.

JL: What insecurities came up for you while writing Divine Temptation?

NE: Okay, total honesty---while I'm writing, I don't experience much insecurity. Even when I realize that the words coming out of me at that moment are crap, I have confidence that I'll be able to rework them into something brilliant later on (see the cockiness?). My insecurity usually comes after I have the manuscript polished and am getting ready to send it on---that's when doubt and fear take over. Even though I personally loved this story, I knew it was out of whack with market trends and that the blend of faith, sex, romance, and horror was unusual, so I wasn't sure it would be picked up, and even after it was, I wasn't sure any readers would like it. So it's a relief to see that the few reviews that have come in so far have been positive.  

JL: Tell us about some insecurities in your heroine Maggie. 

NE: Maggie's biggest insecurity is that she has this need to control everything. She's afraid that if she lets go for one moment, everything will come crashing down. We meet Maggie two years after her divorce---that event forced her to relinquish her tight grip on certain aspects of her life, but instead of learning from it, we find her attempting to build back up a different little universe over which she can exert complete control...except she can't.  

JL: Do you see parts of yourself in her character?

NE: Me, controlling? I...I'm working on it, okay?!  Actually, I think getting published is the event in my life that's supposed to teach me how to loosen my grasp. The publication process and marketing require a lot of trusting other people to do what they say they're going to do, and that's pretty hard for me, especially when the way of life is that some people won't follow through. So part of giving up control is simply learning to be okay with it when things don't go according to my plan. 

JL: What's next for you?

NE: Time will tell...see that? Not trying to control things? Buuut what's been distracting me lately is a contemporary office romance/chick lit. Naughty & funny yet sweet is how I'd describe it, so more in the vein of Three Daves than Divine Temptation. I'm ADD that way.

The best balm for writing insecurities is to have someone enjoy what you've written, and when that approval comes from a writer whose opinion you greatly respect---even better. Thank you Jennifer, for taking the time to let me know what you thought, and thanks to the rest of you too who've been so wonderfully supportive of my writing endeavors. You can read Jennifer's full review at her blog today.


Jennifer Lane said...

Great responses, Nicki! It's awesome that you're an editor too since editing is such an important part of the process. I can be very controlling--perhaps one reason I'm still single in my 40's--but I like to look at it as a talent for getting shit done ha ha.

Julie Flanders said...

Great interview! And you're so right that nothing helps beat back insecurities like having someone else enjoy what you're written. Such an awesome feeling!

Janie Junebug said...

Very good interview. I remember a poem by Anne Bradstreet (America's first published poet) that compared sending her poetry out into the world to letting go of a child. It's so true.


Unknown said...

Great interview. I think after the book comes out is a common time for insecurities to set in.

Morgan said...

Loved the interview! And interesting with you not feeling insecurities while writing... I actually think that's really cool!

SK Anthony said...

Great interview, I agree if someone enjoys you work it helps to slowly kill off some of that insecurity!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I can understand the timing of insecurities. when I'm writing I'm totally involve in that world. If I was insecure I couldn't tell the story. Yah, when the story is done and we invite someone else in to our world...sure we're more insecure.

There is no such thing as control in publishing. Too many variables, lol!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If it's a good, solid story, it doesn't matter the genre!
So you're saying you're better at letting go now?

Carrie-Anne said...

Great interview! I like how you describe your book as contemporary with paranormal elements. I think it's easier for someone who's not normally into a genre like fantasy or paranormal to get into a book if it's essentially contemporary or historical, but with elements of the other genre.

Suzanne Furness said...

Great interview. Someone showing faith in your writing is great for banishing some of those insecurities.

IWSG co-host

Anonymous said...

Second guessing yourself is tough - sometimes we need to, other times it's a case of personal sabotage and that's not good at all.

Cherie Colyer said...

Great interview. I really enjoy Divine Temptation and thought Maggie was a wonderful character.

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Nicki,

Loved the way you combined the IWSG with an interview of your latest... WELL DONE!

You have it together and know your strengths and that is SOOOO important when coming out with a novel.

Now, giving up control has got to be tough. I am a bit, Ahem, controlling myself, so I hope I can handle it as well as you do.

Thanks for sharing more of your novel with us...

Ruth said...

You sound like me. I do what I have to do and than once I am done, I start to doubt if I am good enough. Did I do this or that right? Could I have done better.

Denise Covey said...

Nicki, great way to incorporate real life experience into the IWSG post.

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Great interview! :) Your books sounds wonderful- will have to check it out.

Suze said...

'We've already discussed that paranormal isn't my favorite genre, but maybe angels seem more realistic to me than other paranormal creatures, because I really enjoyed it.'

Babe, that is a *huge* compliment to you as the author. Ideas don't change themselves. A skillful agent works on ideas to transform them. Big, fat kudos, woman.