Author Spotlight #11

The Author: Nicolette Beebe

Nicolette is a Bay Area romance author of different subgenera who lives and breathes storytelling. Outside of the all-consuming obsession to write, she is going on her fifth year as a fourth grade teacher. Any student who has been in her class has a special place in her heart. During downtime, she enjoys knitting and crocheting while watching video game playthroughs with her hubby and fur baby. As someone with dyslexia, she hopes to inspire those with a learning disability that anything is possible.

The Book: Mar King

It’s been four years since Dexter Bennet failed to protect his sweet and delicate Sara Mar King from the world’s plague. He’s ready to surrender when she barges through his camp, wielding an arcane power and no longer needing his protection. A second chance at love has Dexter committing himself to Sara’s journey. He must cross the forest wastelands riddled with monstrous screechers and treacherous elements to help her reach Mount Verta.

Yet, something’s amiss about Sara’s mission. When he uncovers her deadly secret, it makes him question who is protecting whom.

The Review: 5/5 stars!

This book pulls you in and doesn’t let go.
From beginning to end, Mar King was fast-paced, full of action, and incredibly emotional. I loved Sara as the main character, loved seeing her inner turmoil and strength. The way that Beebe has written her character is incredible – you feel everything, see everything Sara does as if you were right there with her. Beebe also manages to give you an incredibly vivid and raw look at the effects of trauma in young people through flashbacks, conversations, and dreams – and how those events can still trigger and shape people years later. Not only with the victims but those around them too.
That brings us to Dex – the incredibly refreshing love interest. I don’t want to give away too much, but it has been a long time since I’ve read a romance like Dex and Sara. It was brutal and raw. Sweet and beautiful and so very relatable. There was no insta-love, no perfect relationship from the get-go – Beebe has given the reader a truthful take on a big love story.
The plot, world-building, and romance aspects of the story were all deeply fascinating, twisting on themselves in ways that I’ve never come across before. All building to a heart-pounding crescendo that left me screaming at the final pages, demanding that more materialized so that I didn’t have to leave the world Beebe created so beautifully.
I went into this book thinking that I knew how it would go – the world ends, the girl has to save it, oh – a hot guy too! BUT I WAS SO WRONG.
Mar King is so much more than the typical post-apocalyptic paranormal romance. And although many of those familiar elements are there, Beebe has somehow given us something original and incredibly real to sink into.
I honestly cannot wait to see what she brings to the table next – I’m sure it will be epic, just like Mar King.

The Interview:

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?

One of the most surprising things I discovered while writing Mar King is that I am capable of writing a book in one month! It usually takes me years, but Mar King came to me in a complete whirlwind and didn’t let me go until every word was written down. I didn’t sleep or eat or breathe. The little sleep I did get, I dreamed of Sara and Dexter. I even developed tendonitis in my hands. But, I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

Something that is not in the blurb is the specific type of power Sara Mar King harbors in her core. A searing orb of energy sleeps within her and awakens whenever she is under attack or needs to defend herself. Neon green beams of light shoot out of her palms to freeze enemies. But the catch is, they will become unfrozen once she is one mile away from them. She seems to like using this on Dexter Bennet a lot!

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Both Sara and Dexter share an equally special place in my heart. Parts of their personality reflects parts of mine. I admire to be as badass as Sara and as intuitively aware as Dexter one day!

What was the inspiration for the story?

I had always wanted to write an apocalyptic story since I’m utterly obsessed with them. But, I knew I had to wait until my overactive imagination sent me a story that was different enough to stand out as well as excite me enough to write. Sure enough, while I was at a stoplight in my car, Sara and Dexter came screaming to me!

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

Out of the many themes of the novel, the one that tends to stand out the most to me is not to be afraid to say what you want to say while you can.

What is the significance of the title?

When it comes to titles, I tend to write a throw away, “whatever”, title while I write just to have something on my thumbnail file. And at the time I started writing this, I actually didn’t have Sara’s first name. All I kept hearing in my head on repeat was “Mar King, Mar King, Mar King…” so I just decided to call it that. And it stuck! It’s one of the only titles I haven’t changed since day one. And now that I have finished the story, I think it works so beautifully with the content. A well deserving character for the face of the cover. It also pairs well with book II, Sir Bennet.

What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?

I spoke too soon! Yes! Book II has been written and has undergone several revisions. The cover has been created as well, and I may secretly like it more than the first. Once I get to a point where I see the light at the end of the tunnel with editing, I will announce a cover release date and a book release date.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?

One of the key challenges I faced while writing Mar King was trying to make sure I don’t kill Sara or Dexter on accident! I kept putting them in situations I was worried they couldn’t get out of. A highlight is that they surprised me by their story continuing with Sir Bennet! Mar King was supposed to be a stand-alone novel. I guess not anymore!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from my overactive imagination. It tends to flare up when I watch video game playthroughs and movies.

Who is your favorite author, and why?

My all-time favorite author is Judith McNaught. She is in a league of her own when it comes to romance. I used to stay up late and write letters to her about how much I love her stories, but I never ended up sending them. Maybe one day! I also really love the up and coming author Jessica Ruben. She is an enabler of my mafia romance addiction.

What are you reading now?

Right now, I’m currently reading the most amount of books I’ve ever read at once! It ranges from indie authors to audiobooks to traditionally published authors. I just finished Coraline, which I really, really enjoyed.

Favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?

My absolute favorite book is Paradise by the amazing Judith McNaught. When I was a kid, I never really read. The first book I ever remembered enjoying was Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I love knitting, crocheting, drawing, playing with my fur baby, watching video game playthroughs, and binging on TV shows.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

For a new writer, I think my number one piece of advice is to learn your grammar early on. It will save you so much time. In addition, it’s important to remember your writing isn’t for everyone. There is going to be someone out there that will absolutely adore your work. And it’s those little things that you need to remember to celebrate, no matter how small.

How do you handle writer’s block?

I’ve been fortunate enough to not have experienced writer’s block. But I have experienced lack of motivation before. What I tend to do is reread previous sections of my writing and make those scenes shine. I also sometimes skip over the part I don’t feel like writing, and go straight to the more exciting scenes so it feels like less of an obstacle. “What comes next?” is easier when the question is “What can I do to bridge these two scenes?”

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Plot, characters, and pacing are probably my top three most important elements of what I consider good writing. The plot’s conflict can’t come alive without the development of characters, and none of that works if your pacing is too slow. Lastly, if there are way too many grammar issues, it tends to pull me out of a story really quickly. But, I’m also an editor, so I tend to notice those things more than other people.

What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

Characters always, always comes first for me. I can sometimes hear them in my head. I get bits of dialogue and perhaps a scene or two, and it’s up to me to piece them all together in a way that forms a readable plot.

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