Interview & Contest: Nicola Marsh

Jen: Please help us welcome Nicola Marsh to Romancing the Book.  Nicola, will you please share a short bio with us?

Nicola: I’m a USA TODAY, Waldenbooks & Bookscan bestseller, have published 30 books with Harlequin Romance & Presents series, and BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD is my first mainstream contemporary romance.

I’m an Aussie author who loves writing about my gorgeous home city, Melbourne. A physiotherapist for 13 years, once I started writing I couldn’t stop and my first book hit the shelves 7 years ago.

When I’m not busy writing, I run around after my two little heroes. Life is hectic!

Jen: Tell us about BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD and where it can be purchased.

Nicola: BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD is ‘Sex & the City’ meets ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. I think the blurb says it all:

Shari Jones needs to get a life.
Preferably someone else’s.

Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend’s whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, ditch the fiancé her traditional Indian parents have chosen.

Simple.

Until she’s mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord and busted by the blackmailing fiancé.

Life is less complicated in New York.

Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that’s when the fun really begins.

Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life.

Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn’t so far away?

You can pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the Book Depository (free worldwide postage!) and Entangled Publishing.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Nicola: I discovered the thrill of writing around the age of 10, when I entered a national newspaper writing contest and finalled in the top 40. The story was about squirrel monkeys at the Melbourne Zoo and I was chuffed to see my name in the newspaper, along with receiving a certificate and free zoo tickets!

Harlequin Mills and Boon bought my first book in May 2003. I was working full time as a physiotherapist at the time, was on a lunchbreak when I saw an article on speed dating in a magazine and thought it’d be a great theme for a book. I wrote it. The rest is history.

My call story: I was 5 months pregnant and throwing up daily! I was supposed to be attending a writers’ retreat one weekend in May but couldn’t face it due to ‘all day sickness’! So I stayed home, the phone rang on Saturday night and it was an editor from London saying she loved my book and asking for revisions. Oh, and could I have them back to her by Tuesday?!

I worked like a maniac (good distraction technique for the morning sickness!), emailed the revised version, and waited…the following Monday, I was cooking dinner and the phone rang around 6.30pm.

When I was offered a contract, I remember repeating ‘fantastic’ over and over. Over ten times at least!

Jen: How does your family feel about your career?

Nicola: My hubby is very supportive, particularly since I raise our kids during the day so have to write at night. We don’t see a lot of each other! When our youngest is at school, I’m expecting to have more down time in the evenings!

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Nicola: Peace and quiet! Because I run around all day with the kids, I love the solitude that comes with sitting down to write at night. So blissfully silent. I could never write to music. Tried it, doesn’t work for me.

Jen: Do you have a theme, object or person that appears in all of your stories?

Nicola: Considering I write romance, my recurring theme would definitely have to be the power of the HEA. A good happily-ever-after gets me every time.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?

Nicola: The most challenging aspect is the lack of control. You can write the best book possible but the rest is out of your hands. It’s all about timing and luck. Finding the right agent, editor, publisher, great cover, copyeditor, publicity, reviews, etc…

I reckon nothing about writing is easy! Though if I had to choose one thing I’d say it’s the glorious pre-writing phase, when I lay down, close my eyes, and let the ideas come. The easy bit is coming up with new material; the hard part is writing the story!

Most rewarding is holding (and smelling!) my book in my hands. It never gets old! I also love hearing from happy readers.

Jen: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?

Nicola: No, I never dream about my characters. And I don’t become absorbed by them while I write. Upcoming scenes, snippets of dialogue, that kind of thing may pop into my head at the oddest of moments but that’s the extent to which they ‘live’ with me.

Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? If you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?

Nicola: 1987, my first year out of high school and first year at university. World was my oyster but I was naïve in many ways. Wish I’d known then what I know now!

I’d take my iPhone (because I can’t live without it & need to chat to people on Twitter daily!), my much improved wardrobe and a stack of great YA books I should’ve read then but am catching up on now!

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

Nicola: Barbara O’Neal (Samuel), Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Gardner, Harlan Coben, Tess Gerritsen, Jeffery Deaver, Alex Kava and Adele Parks are my favourite authors.

I always have a stack of books on my TBR pile. Currently I’m reading Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (loved the Vampire Academy series!)

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished this, is there something else you dream of doing?

Nicola: I dream of watching my kids grow up, happy, healthy, well-adjusted.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Nicola: I’m working on books 31 & 32 for Harlequin, a contemporary romance for Entangled and a YA novel or two.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Nicola: Everywhere! I love chatting to people via social media. You can find me at:

My website: http://www.nicolamarsh.com
Blog: http://nicolamarsh.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/NicolaMarsh
Facebook: http://facebook.com/NicolaMarshAuthor

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Nicola: What are you favourite themes in romance? I love a good reunion story and particularly enjoy ‘friends to lovers’, and it always intrigues me what appeals to other readers.

Contest details:

  • The prize is a BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD e-book.
  • The contest is open to everyone over the age of 18.
  • You must answer the following question for entry.  

What is your favorite romance theme?

  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, December 4.

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