Monday, April 9, 2018

It's Complicated - An Interview with Nikki Prince

I'm pleased to welcome super-talented, organized and busy author Nikki Prince to my blog this month to talk about writing stuff, including her newest book, It's Complicated.

Ashton Locke has had a thing for Keiko Jarrett since college. So when she proposes adding friends with benefits to the mix, he's intrigued, but wary. Sure, he’s always wanted her, and is definitely not ready to settle down with anyone, but what happens if one of them crosses the line?

Keiko is ready to take her flirty friendship with Ashton to the next level of hot. But she never bargained for feelings to intrude and cause complications. She laughed at Ashton's hesitation and promised she'd remain heart-whole.

Some promises are meant to be broken and as Keiko and Ashton's "benefits" bleed in all aspects of their lives, Keiko needs to convince Ashton that love is worth the risk. 

1) Your longer bio talks about earlier learning disabilities that seemed to have been vanquished via the reading, and later, writing, of romance novels. Since you have sooo many books and stories out there (sorry for not having read them all – yet), are there any that feature a heroine or hero with disabilities? Or are there plans to write some, soon? 

This is such an awesome question.  You know I did write a character in Freeing His Swan Dancer where the heroine’s child was autistic.  I’ve thought about writing more with perhaps a learning disabled heroine or hero but haven’t done so yet.  Thank you for reminding me about that.  It is a must.  I think everyone should have their story told.  Reading for me was freedom as well as writing.  My learning disability in everything else is gone with the exception of math which is a whole other side of the brain.


2) Two kids, Honor Society college student, prolific writer, former President of OCC/RWA and heading up PI/RWA in your spare time. Do you get a discount at the cleaners’ on your Superwoman capes? How DO you do it all?

I am past president of OCC/RWA for two years and now currently president of Passionate Ink RWA online.  I learned from getting the divorce that I needed to stay busy.  I had to immerse myself in the things I loved in order to survive and be the best mom that I can be.  I do it all because I have no choice.  My kids understand that there isn’t the word can’t in our vocabulary.  I do because I have too and I’m enjoying every minute of it.


3) When do you get your reading in?  What do you read - how much do you allow yourself to read for pure fun, and how much is Official Research?

I do my reading just like I do everything else.  I squeeze it in.  Sometimes it’s late at night or sometimes I might be traveling and I get it in.  I read for pure pleasure.  Official research happens when I’m writing my stories.


4) According to your website, you “write Hot Erotic romance with interracial characters and in different pairings, not just male and female.” I had to swear I was over 18 and not likely to freak out, to be allowed in. Are you comfortable with this choice/branding, or did you ever think you might want to give up the smut and write bonnet books?

I love writing erotic romances.  I don’t consider it smut.  I think erotic can be a beautiful thing tied in with love as hey…we weren’t all brought here in test tubes.  Sex happens…I just happen to write with the door open and where sex and love happens all together.  I’m very comfortable with my branding.  I also have written young adult but I do that on another name to keep them separate as they should be.


5) Let’s talk about the elephant in the living room. You’re a Woman of Color in a field, writing, that has not been particularly welcoming to WOC, even though, from Octavia Butler to Beverly Jenkins, WOC have truly made a name for themselves with a brilliant body of work. Even in organizations like RWA, there are insults, snubs, and passive-aggressive discouragement from a lot of “nice white women.” How do you cope without going all stabby, and have the patience to continually educate the well-meaning but ignorant? What kind of self-care do you suggest for WOC overwhelmed by micro-aggressions?

Writing is my dream.  There is no way in the world that I would ever allow anyone to take it from me.  As an 11 year old I grew up reading romances with white women and men on the cover.  Not to say that was a bad thing, but it wasn’t the real world for me.  The books brought to life my desire to write and when I finally realized some years later 2011-2012 that I could write books that told my story and others?  I went for it.  No matter the snubs…I will keep going.  This is where I’m meant to be.  The world is beautifully filled with diversity and there are so many WOC and AOC’s out there…who have stories to tell.  I say tell them and snubbing be DAMNED.  My self-care is that I remember how it was to struggle in school and then to find romance books that spoke to me and told me that love is something to celebrate.  I’m not sorry to tell the world that love is love and should be colorblind.  I am going to celebrate that fact.  Without diversity the world will be gray, I prefer to live in Technicolor.  Everyone deserves to see themselves in a story…I write those stories.  My tagline is “Where Love is Colorblind,” I stand by that wholeheartedly.


6) As one of the well-meaning but ignorant, here, how can white women and men better support you and other WOC in your careers? What do you want to see from us?

Listen to us.  Read our books and review them.  Don’t automatically assume that our books are badly written or that we don’t have stories to tell.   Don’t assume because there is a person of color on the cover or in the pages that you can’t relate.  A story is a story ….is a story.


7) Your first published book – what was that like for you? What was the best and worst part of that journey?

My first published book was a novella called Mocha Kisses (it’s gone through two editions, first edition was sold by Mocha Memoris Press and the second is out from Boroughs Publishing group and was extended).  It was great because I’d also gotten a contract for two other books one called Demon Mine with Evernight Publishing and the other called Hot for Teacher with Keith Publications.  As you can imagine I was on cloud nine in 2012.  I was new to being published and so thrilled that I didn’t have time to feel a worse part.


8) What is your advice to a young woman just starting her writing career, in today’s publishing industry? Does it change depending on whether she is white or a WOC?

My advice to anyone wanting to write, male or female.  Keep writing the stories of your heart.  Don’t listen to the naysayers.  If you do that, you’ll probably quit.  There will be naysayers, there always is…this is what we’re dealing with now.  But WOC’s and AOC’s are fighters and we’ll take this to the streets if we have to….or I should say to the laptop/pen/paper whatever you use to write with.  If it is in you to write, write.


9) Without giving away too much, what three things are we going to love about Ashton and Keiko in IT’S COMPLICATED?

Keiko’s strength, tenacity in going for what and who she wants and that is Ashton.  Ashton has always had a thing for Keiko and of course he wants her.  But he also cares for her deeply and doesn’t want to hurt her.


10) What question have you not yet been asked by anybody that you are just dying to answer - and what’s your answer?

I’m never asked about the gaming that I do.  I love World of Warcraft and I have like 6 level 110’s right now.  I also love playing the Sims…designing my own people and pets and having them go through life is fun.  Gaming is relaxing and calming to me just as reading is.  Thank you so much for having me.


Nikki Prince is a mother of two, who’s always had a dream to be a published author in the romance genre. Her passion lies in raising her children as readers, gaming, cooking, reading and her writing..

Nikki’s a multi-published author with several epublishing houses. She loves to write Interracial romances in all genres, but wants to let everyone know to not box her in, because there is always room for growth.  She carries a Master's in English and Creative Writing concentration in Fiction and is on her way to a Master's in English Literature.

Nikki’s also a member of Romance Writers of America National chapter, Passionate Ink RWA, The Beaumonde RWA, CIMRWA, DARA, RWA Philadelphia Chapter, and the Rainbow Romance Writers (RRW).

Nikki would love to hear from you…


It's Complicated is available for purchase or preorder NOW.


Thanks, Nikki, for coming to my blog. Got more questions for her?
Your thoughts?