Welcome back to Interview Tuesday! It’s been a great summer
and I’m ready to resume my weekly blog schedule. I hope all of you have enjoyed
a fantastic summer.
To kick off the fall interview series is Nicole
Petrino-Salter. She may not be a household name yet but she is a great talent
and has some fabulous stories to share. I had the pleasure of meeting Nicole
several years ago at the Northwest Christian Writers’ Renewal and she’s become
one of my best friends. I’ll let Nicole tell some of her own story through the
answers to my questions. Nicole blogs at http://hopeofglory.typepad.com
and you can find her books, like “The Famous One” through Amazon.
When did you discover your love of writing for the first
So long ago I don't remember. I
loved writing letters when I was a child, and I graduated to stories once in
school. Two things that seem to have always been with me are the love of horses
You spent many years in the horse racing industry. How has
that colored your writing life, if at all?
As you know, Kirk, my first novel
was a result of the Lord's direction to write a "Christian novel about
horse racing". I wondered over the 8 and 1/2 years it took to write the
monster saga if I would finish it in obedience to Him. With his encouragement I
did it! The world of horse racing comprised over 30 years of my life. You could
say I grew up there, but really it wasn't until I met the Lord while working on
the track shortly after my second marriage that my life began to make sense and
change for the better. It can be a tough life, and it's a challenge on every
level - physically with working 7-days-a-week, emotionally with loving the
horses, and spiritually with sin always available and taunting you. Since I'm a
student of people, the diverse personalities of people in that concentrated
environment gave me rich character studies.
I know you’ve completed a number of novels. What has been
your biggest joy in writing?
Honestly, feeling the inspiration to
create new characters and experience their lives and circumstances as the story
takes place. Receiving those words which give affirmation to that story from
readers. I'm a person who requires a fair amount of affirmation.
Your novels are sometimes termed “realistic” and “raw.” You
deal uncompromisingly with issues of sin, regret and redemption. How do you
deal with these issues in a convincing manner?
If we can't tell the truth about
these issues without "purifying" them first, then we fail to truly
address the intense effects of sin. I think it's important to portray people
who fail, people who have no moral compass, people who desire to do the right
thing and succeed, and people who are confused about what's right and what's
wrong within and without the Christian community and do it without
judgment. "Realistic" can be very "raw" but doesn't
have to be graphic. "Realistic" touches hearts and souls and can both
repel and resurrect. None of us can claim to be without sin. I think it can be
important to give an accurate depiction of it and its results. And in my
case I often tackle the beauty and harm of sexual attraction, viewing and
contrasting relationships from the world's ideas and God's heart. I write for
adult readers who don't gravitate toward fluff.
How important do you believe blogging is for a fiction
I think blogging can
be very important provided the author who's doing the blogging is
committed to it. Author websites are notorious for not being kept up to date.
Some authors who begin blogs wind up abandoning them or posting so
infrequently, people quit visiting. If they're a bestselling author, they can
get away with it. However, many readers now engage social networking and enjoy
learning about the authors they enjoy. Blogs provide a connection to readers.
You’ve met countless writers by writing book reviews on your
blog. I imagine you’ve made many friends that way. What do you think of the
writing community as a whole?
That's an interesting question,
Kirk. Let's say the author's with whom I've formed a real friendship
are just great people. Period. The writing community as a whole? Hmm. Some of
the professionals in the industry seem inflexible and slightly out of touch
with current readers, insisting on sticking to their tried and true demographic
of women, style of literature, and formulaic structures. I think that
demographic could be much wider and many of my writing/reading friends
agree. Oh well.
Do you mind sharing what you’re currently working on? I
believe it’s a story a bit out of the norm for you.
Yes, right now I'm attempting to
write a police procedural in primarily first person POV from the lead detective's
perspective on a murder case at a local racetrack. I decided to go back to
the track with this one since I haven't written anything related to horse
racing since my first novel. I've completed seven novels and actually have
three WIPs but have been devoting most of my time to this one of late. A
definite switch from my trademark love stories although there's a thread of
romance in this one too. I'm really hoping I can pull it off because it
definitely hasn't been easy. And since most of my work centers on character
studies, it's difficult for me to get the appropriate suspense in there.
Kirk, I'm nobody in the industry, usually kind of a
rebel about it all, but I do love writing novels that mean something - no
matter how seemingly insignificant. I truly appreciate your interest in my work
and most of all your friendship. Thank you for including me.