Nicky Wells is rockin’ the blog!

Author Nicky Wells has beamed herself over from the UK to pay a visit to my blog today.  Like the rock stars she writes about, Nicky is on tour! There is much to celebrate with the current release of Sophie’s Turn by her new publisher Sapphire Star. A romantic comedy, this is the first volume of Nicky’s rock star trilogy Romance That Rocks Your World.

Nicky, it’s a pleasure to have you drop by! Please give my readers a teaser about Sophie’s Turn!

Slapper.  Slut.  Adulteress.  These are hardly words that Sophie Penhalligan would normally use to describe herself.  Yet this is exactly how she is behaving, all things considered, even if she isn’t quite married to Tim yet.  And it’s all happening because her past is coming to tempt her!  Nine years ago, she met her teenage idol and rock star extraordinaire, Dan, up close and personal.  Well, almost.  Now Dan has crash-landed back in her life.  How could Tim ever stand a chance against the charming, handsome singer?  How could she?

Sophie, now twenty-eight and a budding newspaper journalist, is happily embroiled in a relationship with Tim, her boyfriend of two years.  Until recently, she was confident that Tim would eventually propose—probably as soon as he could get his act together.  But just as Tim’s persistent inaction is beginning to cast a cloud over their relationship, Dan’s sudden reappearance turns Sophie’s world upside down.  Thus unfolds a roller-coaster of events including an ill-fated trip to Paris with Tim, a night of unfulfilled romance with Dan, Sophie and Tim’s engagement party gate-crashed by Dan, and Sophie’s professional secondment to accompany Dan’s band on their revival tour—at Dan’s special request and very much against her will.

And then, one fine day in Paris, Sophie suddenly finds herself engaged to Dan while her erstwhile fiancé Tim is…  well, doing whatever it is Tim does back in London.   What is she to do now?  Who wouldn’t give anything to meet their favorite star, let alone marry him?

Find out how Sophie gets into this impossible situation, and how she turns it around, in Sophie’s Turn, the honest, funny and sometimes bittersweet story of one woman’s entanglement with a rock star.

PS – Sounds fabulous and fun!

PS – I’m always curious how other writers develop their characters. We all have our own methods. What works for you?

Developing strength of character… If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. Or so they say. I find the same applies to my novel’s characters. I try to kill them to make them stronger… err, not quite. But I do throw an awful lot of upfront criticism at them, poke holes in their backgrounds and their life, pressure-test each ‘legend’ to within an each of its… life. So how do I develop real, authentic, strong characters?

First things first, the baby needs a name. When I created my leading lady, I started with a name. I trawled through hundreds of baby names on the Internet, waiting for one to speak to me, to grab me, to call out to me: I am your heroine. It wasn’t an easy feat as it had to be a name owned by nobody I knew at the time. I wanted to avoid any kind of associations in my mind between the fictional girl I wanted to create and a real person. Well, you know what it’s like: you get introduced to someone, you know somebody with that name already, and you immediately make a sort of connection, form an impression. With a real person, you’ll probably revise that later, but I didn’t want to fall into this trap with a fictional character who couldn’t defend herself!

Eventually, I settled on Sophie. Ironically, by now there are quite a few Sophie’s in my life, but there weren’t back when I started writing. So, Sophie it was.

What next? I wrote a long list of things about Sophie, describing her appearance, her likes and dislikes, her mannerisms, her personal history. From a previous attempt at writing a novel, I recalled that I wouldn’t remember, halfway through, whether her eyes were blue or brown, as incredible as it may sound. More importantly, I am liable to changing my mind, so where blonde hair might have suited her at the beginning, towards the end she might suddenly ‘feel’ better as a brunette. Thus, to knock any misunderstandings on the head, Sophie and I, we agreed on these things before I ever wrote the first sentence of Sophie’s Turn. And to be absolutely clear, we even wrote a contract, she and I. I use it to this day for the sequels (and what a blessing it’s proved).

Breathing life into the character. In order for my characters to be real, plausible, authentic, loveable (or hate-able), they need motivation. They need to grow, and change, and deal with life. To get the story rolling for Sophie, I asked myself two questions. What does Sophie want from life? And is she getting where she wants to be? In Sophie’s case, the answer was quite simple. Actually, she’d love nothing more than settling with a gorgeous man somewhere in a nice little house with a couple of children and a lovely part-time job that she enjoys. At the start of the novel, she has a job that she adores, and a really close friend who acts as her extended family. She rents a flat that she likes but would be even happier if she could buy it. And she has Tim, her boyfriend of two years, who she is reasonably happy with… but

This is Sophie’s starting point. Things are good, but.

And it is this that sets the story off for Sophie as there is something missing in her life. Initially Sophie thinks she is discontent because Tim isn’t proposing. As far as she can see, all the other pieces necessary for happiness in her life are more or less in place.

But actually, she gradually realises that there is more amiss with her life than she thought. Specifically, she is missing some kind of excitement, some glitz and glamour. And at this moment Tusk and Dan come back into her life. While the flashbacks ought to have served as a hint to Sophie, it is bumping into Darren (the guitarist) at the airport that really opens her eyes to her own motivations. In this way, I moved Sophie from the ‘mostly happy’ into the ‘confused and uncertain’ state of mind.

Things get even worse when Dan starts wooing Sophie in the most romantic way imaginable. Here she is, straight as an arrow, never lied to anyone, only looking for fairly simple ingredients to her happiness… and Dan throws a massive spanner in the works. What’s a girl to do?

Planning the development in Sophie’s motivation was closely linked to the development of the plot as a whole. So after the character profile and basic thoughts on her motivation, my next step wasn’t actually outlining her evolution, as I spelled it out above. The actual next step was to plan the plot in meticulous detail, and then dovetail her emotions, motivations and actions with the storyline. It’s a little bit of a chicken-and-egg question, and I tend to do a little bit of this followed by a little bit of that… a kind of incremental, interlinked character-and-plot development

Best friends and happy families! And this, in a nutshell, is my approach to creating and developing a lead character. To me, the most important thing is to get into my characters’ heads. I treat them as though they were real persons, my best friends. And yes, that may involve holding the occasional conversation with them, arguing and debating with them and, sometimes, telling them off. Sophie, Dan, Tim and Rachel have become part of my family, and I’ll quite often regale my children at dinner time with Sophie’s adventures or mishaps. Not that I’m a mad writer, or anything.

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door.  She recently signed her work with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing.  Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters.  When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys.  In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress, the second and third parts of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy.  You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook.  Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star Publishing and, of course, Goodreads.

Nicky, as always, it was lovely to have you stop in for a visit. Have a fabulous time on your blog tour and come back soon!

Published by patriciasands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada when she isn't somewhere else, particularly the south of France. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Much to her surprise a few years ago, she began to write and has now published three novels, including two that are part of a six-book series set in the south of France. Love France? Love her work! Check out her website She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"

17 thoughts on “Nicky Wells is rockin’ the blog!

  1. I had to laugh about not remembering the eye colour of your main character. I had the same thing happen to me in The Wind Weeps. That’s when I decided to get a magazine picture that was close to my idea of who my character was. It helped a lot. Writing it down is probably even better. I loved your book and am looking forward to the next one.

    1. Thanks so much, Anneli! I was most embarrassed when I realized. Thank goodness is the masterpiece that will never see the day of light. Lessons learned, and all that! XX love it that you had time to visit and comment today, thank you!

  2. Even worse, I forgot my character’s name! (In my defence, I had just changed it recently, following some criticism that it was too foreign sounding, so I hadn’t quite connected yet with the new name.) But it just goes to show you how often I get to sit down and write my novel!!!
    Lovely post, Nicky – thank you, Patricia, for hosting her. She’s a nice girl really… (now, am I talking about Sophie or Nicky? Hmmm!)

    1. Bless you! Happens to the best of us ~ and when will you share your masterpiece? I love a good crime thriller and can’t wait to get reading yours! Thank for visiting and for your lovely comment!! X

  3. Thank you so much for letting me rock your blog today, Patricia! It’s wonderful to be here and one day I’d love to visit Canada (and you!) in person. Meanwhile, here I am. Thanks so much and I hope we’ll all have a fabulous day here. 🙂 XX

    1. Loved having you here, Nicky! We will have to organize an LAHE international conference one of these days! Have a fab time on your blog tour and let’s launch Sophie’s Turn into the stratosphere!

  4. Enjoyed reading this. We all have our own methods but basically we all strive for the same outcome; a good readable book. Sounds as if you are on ‘track’…..rock on. Janex

  5. Wonderful to meet you Nicky!!!

    Wow. Absolutely amazing to get such a fabulous inside look at the writing process. It resonated with me on so many levels. I loved it. I could almost visualize the process playing out and love how intimately involved you get…hilarious. I can feel your passion and pure joy!!!

    The book sounds incredible and totally up my alley. I can’t wait to check it out. Here’s to your UBER success!!

    Thanks for the FAB intro Patricia. Always bringing us the best of the best…BAM! 🙂

    1. Natalie, hello! Wow **blush** thank you so much for your enthusiastic welcome, it’s very nice to meet you indeed. 🙂 Passion and pure joy, that sums my writing experience up perfectly. I am in the throes of book 3 and it’s actually turning quite bittersweet as I know my love affair with Sophie and Dan’s romance will have to draw to a close. The danger of a trilogy!!

      Natalie, if you do get a chance to check out Sophie’s Turn, I sincerely hope you feel the passion and pure joy shine through there as well ~ and that you enjoy meeting Sophie and Dan. Thank you so much for visiting and for taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment. Rock on! X

  6. Interesting read Nicky! Pics do help you remember all the little intracies about the physical attributes of your characters. Wish I could take a photo of the image in my mind ha! ha! as Fotolia don’t always have the right ones! You write an amazing novel Nicky – can’t wait for book 2!

    1. *blush* Thank you, Linn, that makes it all worthwhile. I do actually have a pretty firm image of all my characters in my mind but it is the detail that trips me up. I believe I changed Dan’s hair colour in a radio interview once… glad no one picked that up! XX thanks for visiting and leaving such a kind comment. 🙂

  7. Nicky, this is great post. I did the same thing with my book, forgetting the character’s eye and hair color! I even forgot a character’s name. It was ridiculous. 🙂 So I feel your pain! This is making we want to read Sophie’s Turn again!

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