1- How's life been treating you lately?
Awesome! Thanks! Since stepping down as a regular contributor to Operation Awesome last year, I've been spending a lot of time writing short stories, working on my novels, homeschooling (a new adventure!) and reading slush at Flash Fiction Online.
A couple of my recent short story publications:
2- With which Winnie the Pooh character do you most identify?
Tigger. And not just because I'm constantly doing something, bouncing from one project to the next. Anyone who's watched The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh as much as I have (it was one of my kids' favorites when they were little) knows that the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is that I'm the only one, which is a good reminder for writers as well -- that no two people see the world in the same way, and each of us has unique stories to tell.
3- What's the best road trip you've ever been on?
I grew up taking frequent road trips, and now that I have kids of my own, I've been able to share that love with them as well. We've traveled everywhere from Canada to South Carolina, from the Atlantic Coast to Yellowstone National Park. In this next year, we'll be embarking on a trip to California, which is new territory for me.
With so many trips, I don't know that I'd be able to pick out one favorite one, but the trip we took earlier this year -- 4000 miles from Utah to the Midwest and back -- was quite epic. The variety of landscapes in the United States never ceases to amaze me.
(Question for the readers: How many of the places below can you identify?)
4- What ignited your passion for writing?
I've always been interested in writing. In fact, I recently happened across this document from when I was in the second grade about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I haven't written a set of 55 books yet, but I'm working on it!
My passion was re-ignited soon after my second son was born. Prior to that, I'd been working as a teacher and was a hobbyist photographer on the side. But with two kids under the age of two, it was difficult to find the time or energy to go out on excursions to take photos -- not to mention the extra hands needed to carry kids and photography equipment. When a local library ran a writing contest, I tried my hand at it and discovered that writing was just the creative outlet I was missing: something I could do from home, with the equipment I already had, while my kids were napping or in bed.
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book cover with a cup of tea?
Can it be coffee? I'm personally a fan of both, but Elise, my main character in this book, is more of a coffee gal. As a professional time traveler, she spends a lot of time in the past, where it's not always so easy to find a good cup of joe, so when she's in the present, she takes advantage of any chance she can get to enjoy her favorite beverage.
6- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?
Short-term, I'm working on drafting a new fantasy novel that explores some of the varied ocean-based mythology from around the world. I've also been working on revising some follow-up novellas that would follow different characters that we meet in THE CONTINUUM.
Long-term, I spend a lot of time in libraries and would love to have a whole shelf of books there with my name on them.
7- If you could only pick one, would you rather time travel to the past or the future?
The past. As the characters in THE CONTINUUM learn, knowing too much about the future can cause a lot of trouble. Plus, I'm a big history buff, so I'd love an opportunity to see some of the places and things that I've only been able to read about.
8- #DiversityBingo2017 What's your favorite book that covers a square on the card?
SFF w/ Disabled MC - I recently read Mishell Baker's Borderline, and absolutely loved it. It was a different take on urban fantasy than what I'd read before, featuring a main character who's a double amputee with borderline personality disorder and a diverse cast of fascinating and complex side characters. The writing is sharp and clever, the plot pulled me right in, and I loved how it blended fantasy elements with the modern-day Hollywood film industry.
9- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
I'll admit, I'm a super picky reader. I've been known to check out an armload of books out of our local library, take them home, and only finish one or two of them. Once I've found an author whose books I enjoy, though, I eat them up like candy.
Things that always catch my eye: time travel (of course), unique fantasy elements, eerie and secluded settings, family secrets, and my favorite historical eras and events.
10- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
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THE CONTINUUM will be released on January 23, 2018, but you can enter to win a free paperback Advanced Reader Copy at Goodreads from now until September 6. It's also being offered in a Sci-Fi Six Pack reward bundle as part of World Weaver Press's Kickstarted for a Solarpunk Anthology Translation. Check out the awesome deal HERE!
Title: THE CONTINUUM
Genre: sci-fi time travel novella
Publisher: World Weaver Press
Release date: January 23, 2018
Elise Morley is an expert on the past who's about to get a crash course in the future.
For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency's ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn't abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.
But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she's got more to worry about than just the time-space continuum. For the first time ever, she's the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.
Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she's left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Daily Science Fiction, Nature: Futures, and elsewhere. Her time travel novella, The Continuum, is forthcoming from World Weaver Press in January 2018.
Goodreads The Continuum