Author Nina Kaye Answers all our Questions
- Latest Book: One Night in Edinburgh
- Can you give us the ‘elevator pitch’ version of your latest book.
After being dumped on Hogmanay, Steph meets Jamie at the Edinburgh street party and they share a magical night together. Feeling he was special, Steph goes to great lengths to track Jamie down. He seems perfect at first, but Jamie has a secret that’s getting in the way, and Steph’s not sure what to do. Should she trust him or not?
- Tell us something about yourself that we likely don’t know! The more obscure the better!
When I was young, I fractured my coccyx (the very bottom of my spine) when a man suddenly opened his car door as I was cycling past, and I collided with it at speed. Looking back, it was probably a real Charlie Chaplin moment, but it certainly wasn’t funny at the time. I could barely sit down for weeks!
- Do you write in silence, or with music? If you write to music, give us the top three songs on your writers’ playlist this week.
I write in silence, but not for any particular reason. I just never think to put music on. If I did though, I’d probably end up singing along instead of writing.
- Are you a plotter or pantser?
I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle. For each new book, I write a two-page plot summary/synopsis to work out the high-level storyline, then I go on a creative journey with my characters to find out what happens along the way.
- Have your characters ever ‘gone off-script’ – hijacked your story and taken it in a direction you didn’t expect?
All the time! Because I’m not a detailed plotter, my characters take on a life of their own, and I tend to let them, because I think it makes for a more natural story. I can almost watch it unfolding like a film in my head. My characters can get carried away with long conversations though, so that’s where I have to rein them in. I also always have to change my plot summary/synopsis once I have a complete manuscript.
- If you could spend time with any character from any of your books, who would it be and what would you do?
I’d probably choose Alex, my main character from Take A Moment. She’s living with a long-term health condition like me so I feel like we’d get each other. She also shares my love of karaoke, making that a natural choice for a night out together.
- Which of your characters can you say you would least get along with in real life?
Danielle, one of Alex’s colleagues in Take A Moment. She’s prejudiced and entitled and she’s awful to Alex – not my cup of tea at all. Kayleigh, Steph’s sister in One Night in Edinburgh, definitely wouldn’t be on my Christmas card list either.
- Do you read your reviews?
Less and less. I used to read them all, but if I have twenty positive reviews and one bad one, I’ll always focus on the bad one. I only really read my reviews on Amazon now.
- What has been the toughest criticism you have been given since becoming a published author?
I can’t think of anything specific, but my books have received some brutal reviews. Thankfully, they’re by far the minority, but they can be difficult to stomach all the same. I’ve heard that you’re not a real author unless you get a few one-star reviews though, so it must mean I’ve made it. That’s what I tell myself anyway… 😉
- What is the best compliment you have received?
I’ve had feedback from quite a few experienced professionals in the publishing industry that I have a very strong writer’s voice and one even told me I was a master of dialogue. I was quite pleased about that.
- Do you have a day job when you are not writing? If so, what do you do?
Yes, my day job is in HR. I work in an area called Organisational Development, which covers things like culture change, leadership, diversity and inclusion and employee wellbeing.
- Can you name three authors who have inspired your writing?
Chrissie Manby, Sophie Kinsella and Lucy Robinson. I hoovered up their books in my twenties and early thirties before I started writing seriously. They were definitely big writing inspirations for me.
- What was your favourite book as a child?
I didn’t have one in particular that I can think of, but I loved The Babysitters Club and Point Horror series.
- What scene in your latest book was the hardest scene to write (without giving away too many spoilers!)
I wouldn’t say I ever struggle to write a scene. My scenes generally always flow, perhaps because I’m comfortable with writing dialogue. The area where I can struggle sometimes is with descriptive content and scene setting generally. My long-term health condition affects my cognitive functioning, which means I can find it difficult to think of the right words to use.
- Do you have any other author friends? If so, can you name a few and have any of them given you a piece of advice you would consider invaluable on your publishing journey?
I’ve met a lot of fantastic people through writing. It’s such a supportive community. There are three authors I’m particularly close to – Sandy Barker, Fiona Leitch and Andie Newton. We came together as a friendship group on the back of a shared experience, and now we’re really good friends. We chat pretty much every day online. We also live in different countries across three continents, so we’ve never met up all together in person. Hopefully someday we’ll manage that.In terms of invaluable advice, I’d say I get a lot of that from all three of them, so I can’t think of one particular example. They lift me up when I have a crisis of confidence over my writing, which is the most valuable thing of all. Without them, being an author would be a lonely (and probably much more difficult) experience.
For Bonus Points – Answer our fabulous frivolous questions!
- If you could have any superhero power, what would it be?
The ability to right every wrong in the world (including curing every illness.)
- If you could give your younger self ONE piece of advice, what would it be?
Spend much less time focusing on what other people think of you and way more time focusing on what’s important to you.
You can purchase Nina Kaye’s latest book: One Night in Edinburgh here on Amazon or you can take a look at our review of One Night in Edinburgh here on our Book Club.