Today I’m introducing you to a “new to me” author. I discovered Nia Forrester’s books through an online book club. After reading her novel, Unsuitable Men, I was hooked! I loved her writing style and therefore naturally wanted to introduce her to others. Enjoy!
Welcome, Nia! Pull up a virtual chair and tell me about yourself?
Synithia! This is the question I dread most whenever I do interviews! It’s hard to know where to begin. But these days, I define myself mostly as a writer, so why don’t I start there? I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and wrote my first poem when I was about four. One of my aunts loves to recite it to me. It went something like: “The rain falls on the leaves, it goes, pit pat, pit pat” She never tires of telling that story. I don’t remember writing that poem (such as it is) but remember vividly that writing is all I ever wanted to do with any real certainty. Everything else I did and became in my life was optional—I could still see myself being happy having not done or become most of those things. Writing was always mandatory for my happiness and well-being. I still have another day job which is itself very rewarding, but for sure, writing is the most important thing I do in my life, second only in importance to mothering my five-year old daughter.
I always dread that question too! But I can understand your feelings about writing. It’s something that is always a part of you even if you’re doing another job. Describe your journey to becoming published?
I used to be a big believer in the traditional publishing route. I saw it as a merit-system. If I was accepted by a publisher, it meant I was “good enough” and if not, I would have to work harder until I got that validation. But I never once submitted my work the traditional way. I always worked at making it better and better until one day I realized that the curse of every writer is that they will NEVER think their work is “good enough”. And then I started reading some of the self-pubbed work out there, including one very popular trilogy that was initially self-pubbed. And I thought of what an act of cowardice it was not to self-pub if you think you have something to say. So last summer, I released “Commitment” which was not the first book I wrote, but the first book I wrote that I wanted to test other people’s reactions to. It was a slow build, but it got some positive reception, so I released others. Now I wonder why I waited so long. I love the independence of being self-published and the fact that the only pressure is self-generated. I can work at a pace that works for me, and release when I’m ready.
That’s great that you took the leap into self publishing. It is often fear that holds us back from what we want to do. Good for you! Tell me about your book(s).
My books that are out now are: Commitment, Unsuitable Men, Maybe Never, The Seduction of Dylan Acosta: A Novel and Secret.
I am about to release (in the next 1-2 weeks) ‘The Art of Endings’. All my books have similar themes, though the characters are very different. It’s just about people trying to figure it all out, usually in the context of their relationships, sometimes in the context of extraordinary circumstances. In ‘Commitment’, a bohemian writer falls for a rapper and has to adjust to living in his world and he has to adjust to being with a woman who is strong-willed, knows who she is and doesn’t give a rip about the high-rolling lifestyle that he lives.
In ‘Unsuitable Men’, we revisit secondary characters from ‘Commitment’, but now they’re the leads. Tracy is a woman so thoroughly invested in living a lie she doesn’t even realize it. Brendan is a man who can only be his authentic self. When he and Tracy get together, they are equal parts drawn to and confused by the other. For reasons they can’t explain, they want to be together but it’s a struggle to make it happen and when Tracy begins to tell the truth about herself, their ability to stay together hangs in the balance.
In ‘Maybe Never’, which is a novella, we see more of Tracy and Brendan, the aftermath of the climactic ending of ‘Unsuitable Men’.
‘The Seduction of Dylan Acosta’ is about how fame and money can define you, particularly if you don’t already know who you are. Dylan, a naïve and insecure young woman enters a high-profile marriage and in an effort to “keep up with the Joneses”, almost loses what’s most important to her.
And ‘Secret’ is about how the concealment of a secret, rather than the secret itself can sometimes be threatening to a relationship. ‘The Art of Endings’ is the second part of ‘Secret’.
I immediately fell in love with your writing after reading Unsuitable Men, and would almost describe your work as women’s fiction because it touches on things that may not be seen in a traditional romance. Who or what inspires you as a writer?
People in general inspire me as a writer. I am an avid people-watcher. Not just strangers and passers-by on the street, but people I know and love. And also casual acquaintances. I like observing how we make decisions, how we decide what course to take for our lives, how we decide who to love, what’s important and unimportant. I just love the study of human nature. Ever person is a story, to me. I have never in my life met an uninteresting human being. So as a writer, I explore that—the many dimensions of a person. So in Commitment, Shawn, the rapper isn’t “just a rapper” he’s a complex, passionate man, confident, self-assured, almost arrogant, but also in some ways afraid, insecure and possessive when it comes to the woman he loves. The way that contradictions can co-exist within the same person, that’s what inspires me to write, so I can explore that.
People watching is the dirty secret of all us writer! But it gives us the ability to make realistic characters. I enjoy seeing the contradictions in people that exist in real life in a novel. Now we know that you work full time and have a daughter, when do you make time for writing?
Whenever I can. Even when not in front of a computer or near a pen, I’m writing. Sometimes I construct sentences, sometimes just ideas come to me. But in terms of computer-time. I do it at work, again when I get home, most of my weekends. So much that I have to make bargains with where I “reward” myself with time to write when I complete other chores like housecleaning, laundry, etc.
Hmm…I wonder if rewarding myself with writing time will make me sit my butt in that seat more. What made you pick your genre?
I don’t feel like I’ve picked a genre. And the idea of being pigeon-holed fills me with panic. I just write what I feel like writing. To date what I feel like writing is about contemporary women in relationships. So I guess I write contemporary women’s fiction. But there may be a thriller in me, or a straight-up romance.
I was correct in my characterization of your writing as women’s fiction (not to pigeon hole you at all!) What advice do you have for other writers?
The same advice that I’ve read for years from writers who are a lot more seasoned. And that is to never stop writing. To do it every single day if you can. When I stopped writing for a period of a few years, I returned and found I could not pick up where I left off, and more than that, it was not as effortless as it had been. There were years of new experiences and growing that I’d done that I could have poured onto the page and didn’t. Those opportunities missed can’t ever be gotten back. And I would say, write what you like and what feels natural to you. Ignore the fads and write what feels right to you. Chances are, there are many, many readers out there who will get what you’re trying to say, you just have to find them.
Great advice, Nia! Last fun question, if money were no object what hobby would you have?
Travel. I’ve been inspired to write different things depending on the location I’m in, so it would be cool to travel to different places in the world just to see what inspiration they would provide for my writing. Like, what would I write in Morocco and how might that differ from what I might write in Ecuador? If I had the financial means, I would find out.
You and me both! I’ll save you a plane seat after getting that winning lottery ticket!
Thanks, Nia, for taking the time to visit my blog today! I hope you all enjoyed her interview and please check out her books. Tell everyone how they can find you online?
My blog: www.niaforrester.com
My books on Amazon are here.
My books on Barnes & Noble are here.
On Facebook, I’m here.
On Goodreads, I’m here.
And I just joined Pinterest, so follow me here.