What's your favorite part of a book?
The beginning, because I know it’s all still to come.
When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
No, not in general. But if I can’t think of a suitable name, I’ll often go to one of the many baby naming websites, and I’ll put in a meaning such as ‘wolf’, or ‘dark’ or ‘ruler’ or whatever word means something in relationship to my character.
How do you get started with writing a story (as in, how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it)
It changes from story to story. Sometimes I’ll have an idea for an opening scene and I start from that, or I have a character who I really want to write about (this is often the case with sequels). Sometimes I have a theme I want to explore. With Break Out it was a combination of character (Rico the hero of Break Out actually appeared almost fully formed) and theme – I wanted to write about man’s fear of death and search for immortality.
How long did it take you to publish your first book, after you started trying?
I sent out my very first submission in 2005 and received my first acceptance in 2010. There was a whole load of learning went on in that five years (there still is!)
What books have most influenced your life most?
Probably, the Lord of the Rings. I read it when I was about twelve and it’s such a huge book, it made me realize there were whole new worlds out there, and they could all be mine.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Catching Fire – book 2 in the Hunger Games trilogy. And loving it so far!
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My romance writers group: Passionate Critters. They always tell me what I’m doing wrong…and right!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always been an avid reader and often thought it would be great to write. But I actually started writing when I worked as a volunteer in Africa in my twenties. I’d been working as an accountant in London and not really enjoying it. I wanted to see something of the world and so did my husband. So we signed up as volunteers with a UK organization: Voluntary Service Overseas. I was still working as an accountant but in vastly different circumstances. We were living in a remote village on the edge of Lake Kariba, with no TV, no internet, and a very restricted supply of books. I started writing as a means of entertaining myself.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m currently working on a sequel to my up and coming December release, Bittersweet Blood. Bittersweet Blood is book one in a paranormal romance series which follows the activities of the Order of the Shadow Accords, the group set up to police the supernatural world. The sequel is called Bittersweet magic.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Probably, the moment when I have to decide what to work on next. There are so many things I want to write, and I need to choose between them. These days, a lot of my work is contracted before I write so that forces me to choose. I’m not always convinced that’s a good thing though. I mean, maybe I have a deadline for vampires and I really want to write werewolves. It’s a hard job!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
This changes on an almost daily basis, but right now, probably Karen Marie Moning—I’ve just been re-reading the Fever series and I’m seriously in love with Jericho Barrons. I love her characters and the way she isn’t afraid to push boundaries.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you love. Because it’s not always going to be easy and that’s the only thing that will keep you going when times get tough.
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
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