Monday, 22 February 2010

Interview with DB Author, Nicole Zoltack

I'd like to welcome Nicole to the Desert Breeze blog this morning. Nicole has a March release, book 2 in the Arnhem series, "Knight of Glory." It's a very exciting series. Her book, Woman of Honor was a TOP 10 Winner in the 2009 Preditors and Editors poll in the Science Fiction Romance category.

Onto the questions:

#1 - Tell me why Fantasy romance appeals so much to you.

Well, I think to some extent all romances have some elements of fantasy in them. But there’s something about creating a new world, one with magic and mythological creatures, where the men are brave and strong and true and love their ladies as much as they love their knights. Fantasy romance is a way to escape the problems of this world for another one with limitless possibilities.

STEPH: I so agree and that's why fantasy appeals to me as well.

#2 - Knight of Glory is book 2 in the Kingdom of Arnhem series. What inspired the series?

I have always been fascinated by the Middle Ages, and with knights in particular. Throughout my research, I decided to try to find out if there were any female knights, knowing the way that women were treated back then. To my surprise, I uncovered information about an entire order of female knights – the Order of the Hatchet.

This served as the motivation for Aislinn to try to become a knight in “Woman of Honor.” Book I ends with war between the kingdom of Arnhem and Speica. The series will now follow this war, which will be the last in a long line of wars between the two countries.

#3 - How did you come up with the plot for "Knight of Glory." (I'm glad to see Geoffrey get his own book!)

Sir Geoffrey was one of my favorite characters in “Woman of Honor” so it made a great deal of sense for him to be the main character in Book II. From his dreamy, bard-like idealization of love to his big heart, I thought that many readers would love to see more about him, and for him to finally find a woman that he could love. Fortunately and unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), Geoffrey actually finds himself torn between two very different ladies. Both keep secrets from him, even as his uncovers a sinister plot from the Speicans.

Basically, I let Geoffrey tell me the story and I just typed it. The plot just came to me one day.

#4 - I hear "Woman of Honor" did very well in the Preditors and Editors poll. Tell me about it.

“Woman of Honor” finished tied for four in the Preditors and Editors poll for fantasy and science fiction novels in 2009. I was very surprised and extremely pleased that “Woman of Honor” placed so high!

#5 - Cast the book for "Knight of Glory." Who is Geoffery? Celestia?

Let’s see… Geoffrey is blond with grey eyes with a strong, muscular build (of course, he’s a knight after all!). He’s short by today’s standards at 5 foot 6 but that was the average height for a man back in the Middle Ages. If I had to cast Geoffrey, I would say a short, grey-eyed Paul Walker.

STEPH: I LOVE Paul Walker! He's Viktor in my upcoming "Moldavia" Series.

Celestia has long, wavy red hair and aquamarine eyes. A young Kate Walsh.

Jenanna had short mahogany hair and sky blue eyes with some freckles. Not a traditional beauty like Celestia, the best compliment Jenanna could hope for is “fair.” Honestly, I don’t know who to cast as Jenanna!

#6 - Aislinn is the heroine from "Woman of Honor." Is there a little of Aislinn in you?

I would like to think so, although I am no where near as strong as she is, physically or emotionally. But she loves her brothers dearly, just as I love my siblings, and she loves her man fiercely, just as I love my husband. I could never see myself as Queen or as a Lady Knight, so there is a fair amount of Aislinn that is not me at all.

#7 - What's the latest book you read?

I just finished reading Traci E. Hall’s “Love’s Magic,” a paranormal romance set in 1192. It was a fairly good story but there was a lot of head-hopping (which is one of my biggest pet peeves) and several phrases that were not used back then (my biggest pet peeve). It was a good story, if you can overlook so flaws. The romance aspect was well-written although a little frustrating at times, the hero refused to listen to the heroine when she told him that she loved him. Can you say dense? But I received the book for free so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.

#8 - Do you write other genres? If so, what? What do you find appealing about them?

I write in all kinds of genres, I just haven’t published in them all (yet!). I write YA, fantasy, paranormal, horror, sweet romance (in all different sub-genres), historical. Basically whatever the muse dictates, I write!

I love to read YA, so it’s no wonder that I write it. My ‘baby’ book is one that I started in 6th grade (literally, I wrote some of it during class) which is a fantasy YA novel that I am shopping around to agents.

Fantasy, we already discussed.

Paranormal. This is so close to fantasy but usually deals with today’s world and magical creatures. I have a short story called Beauty is Only Fin Deep that is a paranormal YA romance that will be published later on this year in an anthology called Mertales.

Horror. Maybe I should say dark, rather than horror. I sometimes think I have two muses, because some of my story ideas are just plain dark and nothing like the other stories I write.

Sweet romance, already discussed.

Historical. So far, just medieval but I might branch out and try some other time periods. In fact, one of my short story WIPs is about Atlantis’ destruction.

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Steph, I had a wonderful time!

It was great to have you, Nicole and I look forward to Knight of Glory!


  1. Good interview, all I can say is ... I'll have to find another face for my character too many Paul Walker clones out there Lol. Best of luck on your release this round, Nicole

  2. I agree with your statement that all romances have some element of fantasy in them. I enjoyed reading your interview


  3. I wish you the best of luck with your new release--I'm looking forward to reading it. Also, I never knew there were female knights--your research must be sooo fascinating. Love your picture--what a beautiful photo to share.

  4. Nicole--who is Paul Walker? Sorry, I must be behind the times. The Order of the Hatchet for female knights--love it!! Congratulations on Woman of Honor, too. Very good interview--I enjoyed learning more about you. Celia

  5. Really enjoyed this Nicole! And Paul Walker? Oh...yeah...