Hello, this is L.M. David and today I am interviewing Becca Lee Nyx, author of Swept. Welcome to my dungeon, Becca. I want to thank you for bringing a Shaman with you. I’m guessing you heard about the resident vampyre problem and that we are willing to try anything to get him out of here. I’d also like to say that your book cover certainly woke me up when I first saw it…
So while the Shaman is out in the hall chanting, let’s get started with your interview.
Q. Tell me a little about yourself.
A. I’m a Native American from Oklahoma. I’ve spent all of my life here. And I’ve been married to my husband for 6 years, we’ve been together for almost eight years now. I was homeschooled, and spent a lot of time as a child reading and writing little short stories. It’s been my dream to be an author since I was eight years old. I have two children, my son, who is five, and my daughter, who is almost two. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, crocheting, working out, playing my harp, or surfing the internet.
Q. Your book, Swept, is about a character named Crystal who is looking for the man of her “dreams”. What is Crystal like?
A. Crystal is sort of a shy geeky girl. She loves history and space exploration and she tries not to be ashamed of that. Her home life has something to be desired and she’s determined to chase her dreams live them out. She wants to work for NASA. Sure it’s a tall order, but she believes she can get there. She’s a very focused self-motivating person, and when she meets Gabriel it all gets thrown off for her. She’s mystified by the fact that she keeps thinking about him all the time and she doesn’t know what it is about him that keeps her so distracted. But despite the distraction she doesn’t let it stop her from doing her best.
Q. This story is set in a college environment. Why did you decide to do that?
A. I chose the college environment because it’s really the beginning of the beginning. College, I believe, is where you go to think for yourself and discover new things about yourself that you didn’t know. I felt that putting my characters in this setting allows me to really explore who they are, what their dreams are and how their choices will affect the rest of their lives. When we start college we have high hopes and dreams for our life, and one simple decision can change all of that.
Q. In Swept, the character that has grabbed Crystal’s attention is named Gabriel. What is this character all about?
A. Gabriel has lived a very hard life. His father is a drunk and is verbally abusive and his mother is so beat down that she can’t even stand up to her husband. Gabriel has observed all of this and he meets a neighbor who becomes the father that he didn’t really have. The lessons that his mentor instilled in him make Gabriel reach and try to be a better person. Since someone reached out and helped him, he’s now returning the favor. He’s mentoring other children and trying to figure out what he should specialize in so that he can help everyone around him. He’s also a guy who has fallen for Crystal. He loves her and he’s willing to do anything for her, even if that means waiting an eternity for her. Really, Gabriel is a great guy, and trying to make the world a better place.
Q. When writing romance, what is the hardest thing for you to write about? What is the easiest?
A. It’s hard for me to write the typical romance scenes. I try to imagine what people in love say to each other, how they think, feel and act. It’s not easy when your characters have these feelings, but aren’t quite ready to come out with it yet. I’m always told to write what you know, but my story with my husband and past boyfriends aren’t your typical romance. My husband loves to joke around a lot, which is great for me because I love to laugh, but when it comes to drawing from experience for writing, it becomes a little difficult. I want my male characters to come off as being masculine. Sure they can still have good lines that can melt your heart, but I don’t want them to be so sappy that you begin to wonder if they were men in the first place. It’s really hard to get that finesse that I’m seeking, but all I can do is keep on trying.
Q. What is your favorite scene in Swept?
A. That would probably be the scene between Ryan and his father. There’s a lot of information being put into the scene that is pivotal and defining to Ryan’s character. I honestly had a lot of fun writing it, and I had my husband read it over to make sure that it’s wasn’t too harsh. The stuff that Ryan reveals about his father is also very important to the story as a whole and it really helps you understand why Ryan acts, and thinks the way he does.
Q. Swept is the first book in a trilogy. Will the same characters be in the next two books?
A. Ryan, Gabriel and Crystal will for sure be in all three books, along with Phil, Ryan’s father; Michele, Ryan’s mother; and Karen, Crystal’s mom. Emily will be in the second book, I’m not quite done with her yet, and Kelly may or may not be in the third book.
Q. When do you expect to publish the next in the series?
A. I expect to start work on the second book in the series, Secrets, in June. If I write it as quickly as I did Swept it will hopefully be ready to purchase in July or August.
Q. Why did you choose to write this series in three short stories instead of a novel?
A. I feel that the story I want to tell needs to be in in separate books. There are a lot of twists and turns that I have planned for Crystal, and to articulate what I want to have happen I need breaks between each part of the story. This is going to be much more than a love story, and while the first book may focus on the conflict of these three characters, by the third book, there will be much more to it than Crystal, Gabriel and Ryan. It will have a happily ever after, it just won’t happen how you expect it to.
Q. As a self-published author, what has been the hardest thing to accomplish?
A. I’ve never finished a single book that I’ve started writing. That is until this year. I began to ask myself what I was waiting for and why I haven’t done it yet, so I sat down and starting writing in my free time and didn’t stop until the book went live on Amazon. That was a huge accomplishment for me that was hard. I sacrificed sleep and time to get it together, but I’m so thankful I did. I’ve proven to myself that I can do it and it’s only encouraging me to keep going.
Q. What is a day in your life like?
A. I usually get up and take my five-year old to school then I spend time with my husband and daughter. I’m learning how to do the “social networking” thing. I’ve always had a Facebook, but I didn’t post very often, now I’ve found that I have Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Goodreads. I’ve been trying to manage my time spent on the computer vs. time with my family and all my other duties. When I’m at the gym I try to stay focused on what I’m doing there and I really like spinning. I’m trying to make it a goal to take time out every day to work out and make sure I spend quality time with my family, they’re very important to me.
Q. If your series were being made into a movie, who would you get to play the lead characters?
A. I’ve been thinking this over for quite a while now and still haven’t come to a conclusion. I haven’t come across and actor or an actress that really screams, “This is Crystal, Ryan, or Gabriel.” I keep coming back to this question over and over. I’m sure as I continue to write the right people will start coming to mind, but as of now? No one fits the description that I imagine.
Q. If you had one thing you could do over in your life, what would that be?
A. I honestly have nothing in my life that I greatly regret. Everything that has happened in my life so far, even negative has made me the person that I am today. If I wouldn’t have made the choices that I have made and done the things that I have done, then I probably would be in this very place right here right now, with two kids and a doting husband. Every step I have taken has led me to this path right here and right now and I don’t regret that. Not one bit.
Q. As a self-published author, what advice can you give to others considering the same to make things easier for them?
A. Write. Get your story out whatever way you need to do it and don’t get discouraged over critiques. Let negative critiques improve and hone your skills. When it comes to publishing, it’s perfectly okay to self-publish. The only thing I found difficult was the formatting. I’m not a technical person at all. Thankfully my husband is gifted in this area so he was able to help me. But there are lots of people that are more than willing to help. And don’t be scared to share with your friends, they’ll be your biggest support in your journey and will always be there to cheer you on. I’ve been lucky enough to have a great support system of friends who truly believe in me and want to see me succeed. They’ve been a great help to me. I just hope they find me just as helpful. The main thing I can tell you is to never give up on yourself or your dreams. Only you can stand in your own way.
L.M. David: Well Becca, that’s all the questions I have for you. I thank you again for sharing this information with me and wish you the best of luck with your book, Swept and the two remaining books in the trilogy.
Becca Lee Nyx has spent her entire life in Oklahoma. She met her husband for the first time when she was eight years old when he moved to the U.S. from England. They were married six years ago and have two very active children, a boy, age five and a girl, age 22 months. When Becca isn’t writing, she is attending to her family, or house. Becca crochets, plays a concert grand harp and when not doing that she is working out or posting on Goodreads.