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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Q&A With Nikki Rae

Q: The main character in your story, Sophie, suffers from a very rare condition, an allergy to the sun. Why did you choose solar urticaria? Do you know anyone who really has it, or anything similar?

A: Sophie had always been allergic to the sun. No one really knows what it is, but Solar Urticaria is the closest they can come to an actual diagnosis. I thought I was really brilliant, making up something so complex, then a friend of mine read Sunshine, and asked how I knew about her condition. Haha. She had this disorder all along and I didn’t even know about it.

Q: It is believed, by some, that authors incorporate some personal experiences into their writings; are any of the situations with Sophie based on anything that you personally went through?

A: Yes. I’m one of those people that just can’t help it.  Parts of my life, my past, my character, always seep into my stories.  Some of it is intentional. I use it to heal from things that have happened to me, or to better understand a situation. But most of it isn’t done on purpose. I’m sure if I gave the series to a therapist, they’d have some interesting comparisons between the books and my life to tell me about. ; )

Q: In Sunshine, Sophie gets physically ill whenever a male figure come in contact with her, with the exception of those that she is really close to, but in Sun Poisoned she does not. How do you explain the change in character of her character?

A: In book one, Sophie gets physically ill when men she doesn’t know invade her personal space. During the course of Sunshine, she tries to get past that, especially with Myles. In Sun Poisoned, she still gets a little uncomfortable with male strangers, but she’s trying to move forward and not be that person anymore.

Q: Sophie obviously loves music, and can play anything on her piano by ear; are you a musician? If so, what instrument? If not, what made you decide to give this unique talent to Sophie?

A: No. I can’t play anything. Not for lack of trying (I’ve tried guitar and piano NUMEROUS times and failed). I’ve always admired musicians. Sophie’s talent was inspired by one of my idols, Amanda Palmer. I gave Sophie this talent because she is so closed off. She needed something to express herself, a space where she felt secure and not afraid to feel. Music was the perfect choice for her.

Q: Through previous discussions, you have told me that there is going to be a third book to this series; are you finally going to reveal what really happened to Stevie? I felt this was a very important part of the Sun Poisoned storyline, and that there is more significance to it.

A: Yes. Many things are going to be revealed in book three: what happened to Stevie, why Sophie’s past comes into her life again, and a lot more. There’s also going to be more questions because of how book two leaves off. Of course, no question is going to go un-answered, but Sophie’s going to face a lot more complications. Not just in her personal life, with everything.

Q: What can you tell us about the new book? Are you going to introduce new characters, or are they going to stay the same?

A: I’ve started a little bit of the new book. I can say that it’s already more intense than the other two. It’s a little more urgent. There are strange new things happening while Sophie’s trying to figure out the stuff that has already been going on. Sophie is changing, and more than in just one way. Myles is also changing. We find out a lot about him, and some of it shocked even me.

 Though I still don’t know a lot about it, I can say that it’s probably going to be my favorite yet. Myles also has a few chapters in his point of view, which is interesting and revealing many things he’s been hiding, to say the least.

So yes. Book three is going to be intense.

Q: How many more books do you see in this series?

A: I’m actually not sure. Usually, by the time I’m half way through a rough draft, I’ll have an idea of whether I can wrap up the story in one more book or if I’ll need more time. Right now there’s only three, but there may be four. I’d like to say that I can’t see it running for more than four books, but you never know.

Q: Is there anything else that you are working on?

A: Always!

I’ve been working on short stories a lot in school. I’m working on a long-short-story that’s set in the same world as Sunshine, called The Donor, and I’m really in love with it and can’t wait to share that too.

In addition to that, I’m working on a spin off book. Two characters we meet in Sun Poisoned, Evan and Ava, are getting their own story that takes place before anything in The Sunshine Series happens. It’s going to have more horror elements, and it’s probably going to be for a slightly more mature crowd. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way about a story. There are times that I have to stop writing to take a breather. I’m excited to share it. : )

Q: Are you planning to release these books in paperback, and, if so, do you have any idea as to when it might be?

A: Yes, yes, yes. I have been dreaming about paperbacks FOREVER.
Sunshine is going to be out in paperback by October (hopefully sooner!), and I'm aiming for Sun Poisoned to be in paperback by Christmas, but nothing's set in stone yet.

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