The Writing Life with S.K. Nicholls
Written by
Mayra Calvani
November 2016
Written by
Mayra Calvani
November 2016

S.K. Nicholls is a crime romp novelist that lives in Central Florida where her family has owned and operated Cypress Cove, a nudist resort, since 1964. A Registered Nurse and former Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, (S.A.N.E.), she has a special interest in sex-trafficking. Social issues are at the forefront of her writing that is always blended with humor. When she’s not writing, she can be found tracking down Snorlaxes, wandering city parks with the homeless, or sipping margaritas on the bow of a boat. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Florida Writer’s Association and Writers of Central Florida…or Thereabouts.
Welcome to the Dark Phantom! What’s inside the mind of a crime thriller/romp author?
I don’t know if every writer’s mind works like mine, but I see stories everywhere I go. If I see a shady character stretched out on a park bench, I’ve concocted a story about how he works undercover for the CIA before I’ve turned the next corner. I’m always looking for things that amuse me. Yesterday I saw a handsome man driving a truck with the tag, “Thor 2”. I thought, “If you rode me like you ride that truck, I’d be Thor 2.”   
What is so great about being an author?
I haven’t experienced any greatness, but if I ever do I’ll let you know. Entertaining is fun, but my legs turn to rubber whenever I stand before a large crowd. Being an author allows me to entertain while lounging in the comfort of my own home dressed in PJs and consuming copious amounts of coffee, or other liquids, depending on the time of day/night. 
When do you hate it?
Hate is a really strong word. I don’t use it often. I don’t like how some people prejudge independent authors’ abilities to write before they’ve read the work.
What is a regular writing day like for you?
I’ve never had a regular writing day. I don’t plan to write. It just happens. Once the story is in my head, I’m in a manic rush to get it plotted out and typed up. I work 20/7 for weeks until I’m totally satisfied with it, sleeping only a few hours each day. Then, I send it out to beta readers and keep a huge box of tissues handy as the feedback comes in. Next, I rewrite it. Finally, I send it to my editor, and start the process all over again.  
Do you think authors have big egos? Do you?
I only know a few bestselling authors who have big egos. Not personally, of course.
Do I? I dunno.  
How do you handle negative reviews?
I’m really happy to get any reviews. That means somebody is reading my work and was thoughtful enough to share their opinions.
How do you handle positive reviews?
Frame them.
What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?
“What do you write?” followed by, “That was some storm we had, wasn’t it?” before I can answer the first question. 
What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?
Readers are smart. Most readers can pick up on forced writing. Let it go and come back to it when you’re feeling it. 
Any writing quirks?
Silence. I don’t even want to hear the birds chirping or the clock ticking.
What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?
What can I say? Some people play golf. 
Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?
Not reallyI enjoy writing and all that goes with it, even the hard stuff.  Life is short, if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, do something else.
Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?
This is a joke, right? 
What has writing taught you?
Nobody is perfect. I find myself editing everybody’s writing. Especially journalists’ work. I’ve learned so much, I can hardly enjoy reading a book now.
Seriously, as introverted as many writers are, you must know in your heart that this writing thing cannot be done alone. Whether you traditionally publish or self-publish, you must have a team who believes in your work as much as you do, or more.  
Leave us with some words of wisdom.
Serenity is knowing that the good does not last forever, but neither does the bad. 
Genre: Mystery
Author: S.K. Nicholls
Publisher: Brave Blue Heron Books
Purchase on Amazon
About the Book: In Naked Alliances, novelist S.K. Nicholls takes readers on a witty, wild, wickedly fun romp that exposes a side of Orlando tourists rarely see. The debut release in The Naked Eye Private Investigator Series, Naked Alliances introduces lone wolf P.I. Richard Noggin. 
 When a young immigrant woman and an exotic dancer are forced to flee men with guns and have no place to hide, Richard Noggin, P.I., can’t turn his back—even if helping out makes him a target. Richard plans to impress an aspiring politician by taking on a big white-collar case that could take him from the streets to an air-conditioned office. Instead, he's handed a cold case and quickly finds himself sucked into a shadowy world of sex, secrets and…murder. Marked for a bullet and stretched thin by his investigations, Richard reluctantly teams up with the unlikely, brassy custodian of the young woman on the run. With bodies piling up, Richard and his companion are forced to go undercover in a most unlikely locale: the Leisure Lagoon, a nudist resort.  Going undercover in this instance will mean going uncovered…but lives are at stake—and this Naked Eye will have to juggle to keep his balls in the air and connect the dots before anyone else is murdered. As his pulse-quickening quest for answers leads from the dark corners of Orlando’s Little Saigon to the sunny exposure of the Leisure Lagoon, Richard will be put to the test. Just how much will this Naked Eye have to bear…or bare? The heat is on in this quirky Sunshine State crime thriller.

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