Interview with Nolwynn Ardennes

Jen: Today we welcome Nolwynn Ardennes to Book Talk. Nolwynn, will you please share a short bio with us?
Nolwynn: Hey Jen, hello everyone! It’s really awesome to be here with you all today – thanks for this opportunity.

So about me – I’m married and a stay-at-home mom, clocking close to the big 3-0, though I gotta say that on most days this teeny little fact doesn’t really faze me. The reason, which most moms will understand, is that kids really make you feel old, and they do not hesitate to let you know quite forcefully that you’re, well, old. This comes from the mouth of a precocious six-year old boy (aren’t they all precocious today?). My buffer and anchor then comes through said six-year-old’s father, my wonderful husband of eight years. I know I define myself a lot through the relationships I uphold in my life, but that’s something I strongly believe in – relationships. They’re our glue and our strength.

Other than that, well, I’m a writer (I’m trying hard to forget the laundry-cleaning-cooking-housekeeping part of me I should be better acquainted with!)

Jen: Tell us about Storms in a Shot Glass and where it’s available.

Nolwynn: Storms in a shot Glass is a contemporary romance set in the quirky world of the London rich and famous. It’s a story that strongly features everything that could go wrong in two people’s lives when they meet and this meeting happens to take place before the eyes of rabid paparazzi and tabloid reporters.

The heroine, Jane Smithers, is a personal assistant who is single and quite lonely. Imagine her surprise then when she finds out through a random doctor’s appointment that she is pregnant! A baby fits nowhere into her plans— wait, what plans? Jane has no plan, except to get on with every day as it comes. The reason behind this sad fact – an immature boss who thinks Jane should be his therapist, lunatic Russian twins and models who think Jane is their makeover/good deed permanent project, and a mother who would make the biggest villain of a soap opera appear like a saint.

Enter the hero – Michael Rinaldi. Michael, a corporate lawyer, has a plan – get his estranged father out of his mother’s life when it looks like the old cad is trying towards reconciliation. How to do this – enlist the help (through blackmail, coercion, whatever hostile tactic) of said cad’s PA, who happens to be Jane Smithers. Tunnel vision has never more applied to a man than to Michael!

But what happens when it turns out that the Rinaldi heir is in fact one of the most eligible and rich bachelors in all of England? And what happens when the tabloids get a whiff that he is ‘seeing’ a woman on the sly? And then too, what happens when these reporters find out that the woman in question is… pregnant?

A lot of trouble, and lives turned upside down!

Here’s the blurb for the story:

Storms in a Shot Glass

A little bump is about to cause a lot of ripples…

Personal Assistant Jane Smithers needs a baby as much as she needs the immature boss, bitchy mother and lunatic Russian models who cohabit peacelessly around her. What she also doesn’t need is a man who pops out of nowhere and wants to take over her unexpected pregnancy.

Cold logic and hard facts rule the world of millionaire corporate lawyer Michael Rinaldi. Until he meets Jane, and the insignificant-looking woman plunges him head first into the churning waters of tempestuous emotion and hot-blooded impulse.

Unlikely feelings crop up at the same time relentless gossip escalates. Both realize their respective world has irredeemably changed. The question is – will they be able to live with this reality?

The book, which released on Friday January 8, is available at the following link:

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Nolwynn: I had always been fascinated by the power of words. When I was little, too young to still be able to read, I listened to audio tapes of the Ladybird Classics books, and the words always captivated me. When I learned how to read, I fell even harder in love.

From then on I dabbled in story-writing. But then too, it didn’t make me a writer. It’s like cooking doesn’t make you a chef, nor does knowing how to sew make you a dressmaker or a designer. I never really thought I’d write for a career one day, and it all really happened without me realizing actually. At a crossroads in my life, the dream of writing a full novel just reaffirmed itself and I grabbed it and plunged head first into the word pool. It was like, what have I got to lose? Nothing actually (except some time, during which I welcomed a family of dust bunnies into my home!).

The call actually came from that first story I penned, which came out under a different name. Storms in a Shot Glass is my first published book as Nolwynn Ardennes.

Jen: How does your family feel about your career?
Nolwynn: I’m not sure they totally ‘get’ it. I think my husband tunes out whenever I start talking of books and stories and this idea and that one. I don’t mind really – poor bloke would go mad if he really listened to my incessant ramblings actually. My son, being a total lad who’s into action, car and motorbike racing and extreme sports (yes, at six! Told you he was precocious!) just pulls a face when he talks about how Mom writes ‘sweet’ stuff (he makes a very good imitation of going out of air when he says that, go figure).

But yet I know they’re a hundred and fifty percent behind me. When I’m on a deadline or bitten by the writing bug, they won’t question and will quietly order take-away (biggest gift hubby can give me – no need to cook!). Kiddo for all of the fact that he takes the mickey out of me, when asked what his mom does will clearly and proudly say, she writes books.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Nolwynn: Vibrant. All-encompassing. Intense.

Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Nolwynn: Not really, no. I work in writing bursts actually. Most of my ‘writing’ work goes into preparing and laying down a full and detailed outline of the story. Before I even write it I will have seen pretty much all the scenes of the story from start to end run through my head. I’m a very visual writer in that sense that I conceptualize the location, set and cast in my mind and then just unleash the characters to perform when the time comes. I do try to write a little every week, even if that may not be possible all the time. My writing is more about taking out blocks of weeks from a year and assigning them to actually sitting with the laptop and typing. The rest of the time is dedicated to ‘day-dreaming’ the story into place, with all its intricacies and twists. My mind is always ‘writing’ thus, even if my fingers may not actually be typing anything for a while.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Nolwynn: The most challenging is to keep it fresh. It is so easy to fall into cliché or overdone plot lines. Needing to keep the reader on her toes works the same for me too – I need to keep myself on my toes with what happens in the story and how it takes place. There always needs to be something different, totally unexpected, in stories, and that’s what I find is the biggest and most fulfilling challenge of writing – to break through these done-to-death aspects.

The easiest? I swear I don’t have a sadistic streak in me but my writing flows best in that black moment scene when the hero and heroine will fight and break up and all looks lost. I don’t know why but this is the scene when I feel most alive in the book, like I too have reached a culmination along with the characters and it’s insane how this gets translated to paper (or screen actually!)

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Nolwynn: Someone else reads your story and either goes, I loved it, or telling you that they started reading and couldn’t put it down and just had to know what happened to the protagonists. It feels like this to me when I’m writing two people’s story – to have someone else experience this feeling through what I have written is just the biggest boost a writer could get.

Jen: Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go, or are you happy that their story is told and you can move on?
Nolwynn: I’m happy their story is told, and that they’re together, finally. I tend to have really twisted roads for them to get to that happy ending and I don’t want to be a biatch to them and put them through the wringer yet again! I like moving on, because there are usually other people who are waiting to have their stories told, and yes, waiting to be thrown through that wringer of mine! I do become attached to them, in the sense that you’ve met someone and just know that you’ve made a life-long friend. But life goes on, for me and for them too, and we all gotta look forward.

Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Nolwynn: I would love to write sci-fi, ashamedly admitting it’s because I was a complete zero at science in school and it’s only now when my neurons are starting to die that I’m suddenly ‘getting’ some scientific concepts (thanks Internet and complete idiot’s blog posts to scientific topics). I’d like to try my hand at this, see if I’ve really been able to master some principles of physics and other such laws, and then weave them with a romance and see if what comes out is a tapestry or a totally knotted yarn.

A genre I’ll stay away from? I’m not sure I could do noir well. Writing is about fulfillment to me, both as a writer and in what I deliver to the world. I don’t think I could write something that doesn’t have a happy ending, and some genres, like noir, cannot have a happy ending however much you’d want to slap one on. So I’d stay clear of that one.

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, is there anything else you dream of doing?
Nolwynn: Yes – I dream of becoming a domestic goddess. Naught but a dream though. I don’t exactly burn water but I’m no fantastic cook or homemaker either. But seriously though, I dream of becoming a writer the kind people immediately think of when they turn to look for a good story. That’s my goal, and I hope I am on the way there, even if I’ve just started taking stumbling steps in that direction.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Nolwynn: Judith McNaught, Sidney Sheldon, Martina Cole, Jill Mansell, Sophie Kinsella, Philippa Gregory, among many others. I’m a total bookaholic and would split my time equally between family, writing and reading if I could (bye bye laundry and cooking!). I have too many favourite books to mention here, though let’s follow the theme and go with The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. Could so totally relate with the heroine in that one! Bridget Jones’s Diary is also a rainy day’s pick.

I am currently reading Slow Burn by Julie Garwood, an author I’d heard tons about and which I’m discovering right now.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Nolwynn: More books written and hopefully, accepted for publication! I’m on that road with a new release set for June, a suspense/mystery thriller with romantic threads titled Walking on the Edge. And I am writing that sci-fi, all while trying to make sense of some laws of quantum physics (really good blog posts on the Net explaining these in a way a total science idiot like me can understand). I’ll keep on indulging my muse as long as she deems she’ll stick around!

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Nolwynn: website, blog, email, Facebook Here’s the links:
Facebook: Aasiyah Qamar Nolwynn Ardennes – Authors is the name of my group there.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Nolwynn: Yes – do get in touch with us writers. We’re people just like you and we definitely do not bite. Even though it may take us a few days to reply you, we love it when you contact us.

So if ever you wanna friend up, ask a question, talk about one of my books, do not hesitate – an email is so easy to type and send today!

Thanks Jen for this opportunity to be here today on your blog to present my latest release. Really a pleasure and an honour!

Jen: And many thanks to you Nolwynn! Readers, we have an ebook copy of Storms in a Shot Glass up for grabs this week. To enter the drawing, you first need to leave a comment or question for Nolwynn. Then to finish your entry, you need to leave your email address in your comment or send a message to The contests ends on Sunday, January 17.