Oh Oh! *sigh* I absolutely positively love Saving Amy! I don’t often read angsty stories and I don’t think I’ve ever read one quite like this… But I couldn’t put it down! Nicola Haken’s storytelling pulled me into Amy’s head and heart and I was cheering for her and I needed her to find a safe place.
Soooo I had to invited Nicola to Tartlandia to chat about Saving Amy and then (cause I’m me 😛 ) I had to ask her silly questions. She’s a darling and I want to keep her for my own. Meet Nicola and add Saving Amy to your TBR pile!
The Queen of Tarts
PS. See?! I told you I want to keep Nicola for my own She’s added an awesomesauce giveaway! An ebook bundle + a $15 Amazon gift card 😀 More details at the bottom (Not of the sea 😛 )
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Me: Nicola! Oh hon! I’m so happy you came by to visit- From England! <g> Take a seat on my comfy red couch. (It’s velvet!) and lets chat for a bit… I know you must be crazy busy with the release of your third novel, Take My Hand, in October. And we’ll get to that in a minute but I wanna talk about Saving Amy.
Nicola: Ooo you’re right, it is comfy 😉 Thank you for having me!
Me: Oh! Snacks? *grabs a cookie and flops onto the couch by Nicola*
Nicola:*Grabs a cookie too* Yummy 😀
Me: I just read Saving Amy. In one sitting no less. *sigh*. I loved it…. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like it before… It’s painful and raw and beautifully hopeful. You made me cry! *grabs another chocolate chip cookie* Did you cry a bit writing Amy’s journey?
Nicola: Absolutely. When I’m writing I AM that character and I think and feel everything they do. My books play out like movies in my head (naturally, I’m the star!) and I can literally see the story playing out (seeing things that aren’t there is totally normal right?). It’s hard not to feel the emotion when I’m right there with the characters. Sometimes my bottom lip is wobbling away while I’m tapping on the keyboard and I’m just grateful no one can see me because I must look pretty damn ridiculous!
Me: Like I said hon, I loved Saving Amy and I’m so glad I read it. September is Suicide Prevention month and I appreciated that your story isn’t preachy or book thumpy it just feels honest and acknowledges that there aren’t easy fixes but there is always hope… Tell me about writing Saving Amy please.
Nicola: Saving Amy was certainly a tough story to write – probably because it’s so intense. Although I like writing angsty stories with hard-hitting issues, I usually start off pretty light and work my way up to it. However I dove straight in there with this one. There was no time for lightheartedness or humour – almost immediately you are dragged into the horrors of Amy’s life.
As with all my characters there are elements of myself hidden within them and also some of my own experiences. It can be very easy to judge people in Amy’s situation, especially those who may self harm or consider suicide and I suppose I just wanted to highlight that for some, they see no other way. Amy isn’t weak or selfish… she’s simply lost – exhausted. To her the pain she inflicts upon her own body is a welcome distraction from the greater pain she feels inside. Amy’s cutting, drug taking and sleeping around are not attempts to end it all (at least not initially)… they are very much about trying to feel alive. Trying to feel anything at all.
I hope Amy also proved however, that no matter how bleak things are or how dark your thoughts may go, there is always hope. As my nanna used to say – nothing lasts forever. There IS help out there. There ARE people who can help you. Unfortunately for some however, the wait is just too long and painful.
No book would be complete without a hot guy to fall in love with right? So that’s where Richard came in 😉 He appears to have it all on the outside – the wealth, success and of course, smokin’ hot body! But I also enjoyed bringing out Richard’s own insecurities. In some ways, he’s just as broken as Amy. I have been asked a few times about the age difference (Richard is ten years older than Amy) but I like to think when you read it, you’ll see how insignificant that is. In fact, I think it’s impossible to ‘put an age’ on Amy in the first place. After everything she’s been through she isn’t your typical nineteen year old. Their relationship isn’t conventional by any means so age doesn’t really come into it. They connect through their grief, through their tortured souls… what is it Jacob in Twilight says? – “Age is just a number, baby.” 😉
Me: I LOVE Richard!
I really enjoyed writing this story and I’m enjoying people’s reactions to it even more! It’s an amazing feeling to know my readers feel the same things I felt when writing it and that they too are ‘right there’ with Amy. Being such an emotional rollercoaster and enduring all the tears and heartache that comes with Amy and Richard’s story, makes their happy ever after all the more worth it 😀
Me:*snork* I adore you! *passes cookies over*
Soooo You have another book birthday coming up… Take My Hand is the first in your new series. Tell me about it and ummm *blush* I get a bit confused sometimes with labels… Do you consider your books New Adult?
Nicola: I should be the one blushing – I’m an author and still get confused with labels and genres! The only thing I’m pretty certain of is that they’re not sci-fi 😀 So yes I would class my books as New Adult/Contemporary – purely because the main characters fit into the right age group for that category. Still, I’m not sure if that’s the ‘right’ category… but it’s the only one you’re getting!
So, Take My Hand… It’s book one in my first ever series and I’m soooo excited about it! Written in alternating POV’s it follows the story of Dexter and Emily. Dexter has moved to the UK to build a new life for himself. He’s a bit of a grumpy sod who keeps himself to himself and has no interest in making friends and definitely not lovers. But hey, I wasn’t having any of that… so I threw Emily into the mix and watched him struggle to keep away from her!
Nicola: I’m not going to give too much away (you’ll have to read it – nudge nudge, wink wink) but what I can say is Dexter has his reasons for being so closed off. He’s not a miserable and un-loveable pig by nature. Like all my favourite book people – he’s broken 😛
Every book in this series is filled with twists, turns, secrets and heartache and a good dollop of humour to take the edge off. So what are you waiting for? Add it to your tbr pile like NOW!! (Pwetty pweese :))
Me: Done! I added it *points up* It sounds like angsty goodness. I want! I can’t wait to see the cover reveal on the 23rd!
Thank you for putting up with my questions… *bounces on the couch* It’s about to get worse… or better! Ha! These are silly questions that I NEED to know the answer to.
Nicola: I ALWAYS have Curly Wurly’s in my cupboard. Mainly because, not only are they uber delicious, but because I follow the weight watchers plan and they’re only 3PP!
*Throws a bar in the direction of the states and hopes for the best*
*flails about to catch the Curly Wurly goodness*
Nicola: Thanks so much for your time Kat. I have LOVED chatting with you 😀
Me: Oh! make sure to scroll down and enter the BIG giveaway!