Nicole Higginbotham ~ Author Interview

I’d like to welcome Nicole Higginbotham, author of Complicated Heart, to my site.

Let us start by finding out a little bit about you…

What is your name, and do you write under a pen name? My name is Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue, and I do not write under a pen name.

Where do you call home? I am from a small farm town in Iowa.

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you are any good at it? Do you like what you do? I am a full-time author and a full-time mother. I love both positions, though I do not think being a mother is a job. I also think that I do fairly well at both, but I feel like that is because my heart is in it.

What is your family like? I have three kids and a spouse. I would say that my family is fairly average. I have been married for almost six years now, and we like to spend a lot of our time traveling and enjoying the outdoors.

If it does not bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like? I lived in a house that was 100 years old in the middle of a small-town, and I had a barn in my yard.

Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing? I love art in all forms. I like to paint and draw. I also like to garden and dabble in photography from time to time.

What is your greatest dream? Honestly, my greatest dream is that everyone is at peace and cared for.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you? I think that I am the person that I wish to be. I do feel like a person grows as the years go by, but for the most part, I am happy with who I am.

Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love? That was so long ago. I really do not remember.

What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? I realized that I was fascinated with books when I was eight. I was walking in my school library, and I saw a book that was written by a boy my age. After looking closely at his work, I was inspired to try and create my own story. I started by creating picture books and comics, and later on, I wrote screenplays and for newspapers. It took a while for me to realize that my true calling was writing novellas and novels. I have been writing novellas and novellas for about five years now, and during that time, I have had a lot of support from my friends and grandparents.

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not? My dream was to be independent and to go to an Ivy League school. Ironically, life happened, and I did not end up going to that school that I wanted to go to, but I did put myself through college and spend a little time in the military.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audiobooks? I prefer paperbacks. I am old school in that way, but I like to be able to flip back and forth through the pages.

Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so, what was it? There are a few books that I read over and over. The one that comes to mind is called Keeping You a Secret by Julie Ann Peters.

What is your opinion of novellas? I am a big fan of novellas. At this point in my life, I barely have time to skim the pages of a long novel, so if I see a novella that I like, I usually pick it up. It gives me a better chance of being able to read the whole thing.

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? I do not think that I have. I love cover art, but I definitely have to read the description of the book before diving into it.

What is your favorite film based on a book? Harry Potter is probably my favorite. I like how they brought all of the elements together in the movie.

What is your favorite book genre at the moment? I am into romance books at the moment. I like when the books focus on the socialization of the characters.

What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? Currently, I have picked up a copy of the Pink Bean Series. I like this series because it tells the stories of all of the women instead of just focusing on one character.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? I am currently reading the second and third book in the Pink Bean Series as well as a book by J.A. Armstrong. I have extremely limited time to read though as my kids are highly active. These are all in eBook format.

If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why? I would invite Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Kimmel, Mama June, and possibly Todd Chrisley. I think that these individuals would make for a very entertaining party.

Let us shift somewhat and talk about your latest story

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? It is called Complicated Heart, and it is the fourth book in the Avery Detective Agency Series. It follows Parker and Kay as they continue to work on the case that they encountered in the last book and reflects on their future.

After Parker and the Avery Detective Agency leave Kansas, they are contracted to work in conjunction with the ATF and FBI on solving the mysterious oil trafficking case that is plaguing the area. The group is sent to Chicago in an attempt to get to the bottom of the crime ring that is terrorizing local farmers by confiscating oil from their land, but as they dive deeper into the case, figures from the past emerge, and the group might find that the culprit behind the whole thing is right under their nose.

Is the above book part of a series? Yes, this is the fourth book in the Avery Detective Agency Series.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? I used BookBrush to come up with the design.

Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? No, when I write, it has to be quiet.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? I based the title on the situations that the characters go through in the book.

Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it? At this time, I do not.

In your latest novel, who is the lead character, and can you tell us a little about him/her? The lead character is Parker Avery. She is an intelligent, courageous investigator with little patience for technology.

What is your character’s greatest strengths? She is able to empathize with the other characters.

And what are his/her greatest weaknesses? Sometimes, she has trouble opening up about her feelings and processing them.

What are some of his/her favorite foods? She likes steak and wine.

What is a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? She does not know how empowering she is to the other characters.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? I think that readers will like this character, because they will be able to identify with her in some capacity.

What first gave you the idea for your latest book? My readers actually asked for a sequel.

Let us talk now about your writing process.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter? I am usually a plotter. There are times that I write outlines, and I do this, because sometimes, I will have a scene completely thought through. However, that scene may be in the middle of the book, so in order to write out that scene, I have to keep track of what came before it and what will come after.

Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? When I first started, I did not know too much about social media or the different formats that books could come in. If I had the chance to start this all over, I would familiarize myself with social media marketing and professional cover design. I would also pick-up an editing program right away, and I would break into the audiobook business much earlier than I had.

Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company? I am a self-published author.

If you are a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? Early on, I attempted to go with the publisher that I wanted to publish my work, but I received a series of rejection letters every time I contacted that company. Eventually, my wife encouraged me to go my own route, and since then, it has benefited me.

What is the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? The best advice that I have heard is to do something that you love and to try and inspire good in people by doing it. I think that this is especially important advice, and as I get further into my career, I have been working more towards pieces that are somewhat inspirational. I think that a lot of my earlier work was a bit more personal to me and the situations that I had gone through at that time, but now that I have been writing for a while, I am working towards bettering my writing habits and attempting to lift people up with my newer stories. It is important to empower yourself, but it is also important to empower others.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing? The biggest piece of advice that I have is to keep on writing. Sometimes, one reader may not like one of your books, but that does not mean that they will not like another one. This is a difficult industry to break into, and there is a lot of criticism that goes with it. However, it is important to accept the fact that other people have their own opinions and to keep your head up. If you keep writing, you might just write the masterpiece that you have always wanted.




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