Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I am so happy to be able to share this interview of Sandra Nikolai with you – many thanks to Sandra for providing such great information about herself! Read on to find out more for yourself!
From real life. I learned that a co-worker’s husband had cheated on her after ten years of marriage. Her surprise at discovering he’d been disloyal sparked the idea for False Impressions, my first book in the Megan Scott/Michael Elliott Mystery series. Let me say that this tale of deceit, jealousy and revenge in no way reflects my co-worker’s experience!
I usually know how a story begins and ends, but I like to plot out the details beforehand to ensure everything falls into place and there are no loose ends. This entails a chapter-by-chapter summary so I don’t interrupt the flow once I start writing. As for my schedule, I’m most productive in the morning, followed by bursts of writing in the afternoon and evening. I stop writing if I reach an impasse in the story, for example, if I write a character into a dilemma and can’t think of a way out. At that point, I’ll walk away from my desk and do something else for a while. A solution arrives when I least expect it. It’s interesting how the subconscious mind works things out, isn’t it?
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I use both. I create character profiles on computer to keep track of their history, physical descriptions and other personal information. I work out the scenes of a storyline on paper and transfer the final plot outline to index cards that I pin to a corkboard. If I’m typing and I think of something I’d like to add to another scene, I’ll jot it on a yellow sticky note and paste it to that index card for future reference.
I love investigative reporter Michael Elliott as much as I adore ghostwriter Megan Scott. After all, they’re my creations! Michael take risks, thinks nothing of meeting sleazy informants in the middle of the night and doesn’t hesitate to bend the law to see justice served. Megan lives a sheltered life behind a desk and plans out her daily routine so that order prevails, although curiosity about Michael’s work is slowly drawing her into his world. The personalities of these thirty-something adults are evolving over the series and I’m just as eager as the next person to see what happens down the road.
Why did you choose to write a mystery series?
As a young girl, I loved to read mystery novels. The opportunity to solve a murder mystery drew me in every time, as did the continuity of a series because it meant I could look forward to the next book. My fondness for Megan and Michael, my two main characters, was the deciding factor in extending their sleuthing adventures into a series. I wanted to see how their relationship could develop and grow. My readers also tell me how much they enjoy a mystery series because they get to know the main characters so well.
I’d chosen the names Megan and Michael even before I’d fleshed out the plotline for the first book. I later searched online to find out if their names had particular meanings. Outside of being an archangel’s name, Michael denotes a strong-willed person, a seeker of justice and truth. Megan denotes someone who is dependable, grounded, well organized and detailed. I think they live up to their names quite well.
Author Information (via Goodreads)
Sandra Nikolai is the author of the Megan Scott/Michael Elliott Mystery series. Her genre is a combination of amateur sleuth, crime thriller, and suspense with a hint of romance. Her two sleuths–a ghostwriter and an investigative reporter–face thrilling challenges as they try to find ruthless murderers and stay alive in the process!
I’ve read the superb, enthralling mystery Icy Silence- read my review here! – highly recommend it!