Are you a Nicole Taylor Eby reader?
Welcome to my interview with the romance novelist Nicole Taylor Eby. Let’s find out why she’s so awesome!
Nicole Taylor Eby
Hi Nicole Taylor Eby! Please introduce yourself and share 5 fun facts about you!
- I live in Victoria, BC, which is located on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada. Technically live on a pacific island, just not a tropical one.
- I ‘m an Aries, and I pretty much embody the spirit of this fire sign —the good and the bad—I have determination that borders on being stubborn.
- I am a Reiki practitioner. Completed my Level 2 training, and I am now working towards becoming a Reiki Master.
- Married and have three sons: 9-year-old twins and a 26-year-old.
- I have a love for sailing, and I have the secret goal of sailing around the world.
What can you tell us about your book Saving Shelby?
Saving Shelby is romance, adventure, and a happily-ever-after served up with a dash of spice and all wrapped up in west coast beauty.
The book blurb says it all:
Jaded, and newly single, Shelby Reid has resolved to focus on finding herself. She spent a decade catering to everyone else’s needs. Now she has broken free and is determined to take on life on her own terms—no men allowed.
Shelby has a secret dream, but, with her lack of self-confidence, it seems unreachable; that is until a ruggedly handsome survival instructor breezes into her life and encourages her to “go wild”.
Ian Mclean is a man right out of every woman’s fantasies; except his past has a death grip on him.
Deeply scarred, Ian has no intention of ever getting close to someone again. But when Shelby walks into his survival course fresh-faced and blushing, her sweetness does more than just stir up long buried emotions—she makes him want to go places, that he just shouldn’t go.
Will Shelby be able to help Ian embrace love? Or will her own fears cause her to abandon him?
Can Ian’s gentle guidance help Shelby find her confidence? Or will his inability to overcome his guilt put both their burgeoning relationship and Shelby’s life in danger?
What do you enjoy about writing contemporary romance?
Writing romance just comes naturally to me, as I have some kind of romance going on in my head at any given time. I am basically a hopeless romantic. I fell in love with reading romance novels when I was still in junior high school, and I have never stopped reading them (I watch all the movies too). And when I daydream, it usually has a romantic twist to it. So, to me, writing romance is just a chance to dive deeper into the romance that I’m already immersed in.
I do have plans to expand from contemporary romance. My favourite romance sub-genres are historical and fantasy, but contemporary seemed a little more manageable starting out. The extra time needed for research and world-building was something I just didn’t have space for when I first became serious about writing.
I can’t imagine writing stories that didn’t have an active romance in them, even when I read books or watch movies that aren’t romances, I am always rooting for the characters to fall in love.
What are the challenges of writing this genre?
For me it’s making the process of falling in love believable. Unless it’s love at first sight, then love takes time, and there is only so much space in a book.
What did the process of publishing look like for you?
Getting to the point of being a published author has been a long journey. It has been a dream that started when I was in my early twenties, but I was told so many times that it wasn’t a realistic goal that I shelved the dream for many years.
About two years ago, I knew that I had to make a change in my life. And that change had to be a focus on writing. I was originally poised to head down the traditional publishing route, but a friend got me hooked on listening to podcasts, and the more podcasts I listened to, the more I realized that I wanted to become an Indie author—it might have something to do with the Aries in me.
At first, my main focus was just on trying to fit in some writing time anywhere that I could. It took me more than two years to write Saving Shelby, and that doesn’t include the editing that was necessary to create the final draft.
Then my focus turned to learning everything I could about the publishing process. I listened to podcasts and joined Facebook groups for writers just trying to figure out all the little pieces of the puzzle.
I hired a book cover designer and an editor, and then I took the bravest step of my life, and that was to push the publish button.
What are your most notable victories?
Almost every piece of the process of getting Saving Shelby published has been a victory, but I think the most important one of all was just finding the courage to do it. I stopped listening to the naysayers and started listening to the people who supported me.
I believed in myself; that was my victory.
How do you balance your writing with your career as a Royal Canadian Naval Reservist?
Being a Naval Reservist might possibly be the best day job that I could have. The Naval Reserves are designed to fit around school and careers, so it’s perfect for someone like me who has another career to manage. Most of the activities occur during evenings and weekends, which leaves me to focus on my writing while my kids are in school.
Occasionally, it is necessary for me to serve on full-time contracts in order to complete training or backfill for members on full-time service, and then it is necessary to reduce the number of hours I focus on my writing—everything flips, and I do my writing in the evening and on weekends. I find this flip very challenging, because I want to focus on my writing rather than the job that pays the bills.
If I average the time over the year, I work about eighteen hours a week with the Naval Reserves and twenty-five hours on my writing career.
How do you relate to the characters in Saving Shelby?
I didn’t intend for the characters in Saving Shelby to be representative of the people in my life; however, I have to admit that I can see a lot of Shelby in myself. Early on in my life I lost my way. I let others take my light, and it took a long time to stand up and start living life on my own terms. In a way, Shelby’s story is my story, except that all the details are different.
Just as I see elements of me in Shelby, I can see elements of my husband in Ian; they even kind of look alike. My husband is very supportive. Whenever things get overwhelming, I realize that I don’t have to worry, because he is right there quietly helping in a million ways.
How are you different from them?
From a practical standpoint, I am not new to being out in the wilderness like Shelby is. I have been camping, hiking, and exploring nature since I was a child. I am very comfortable being out in nature, I am even qualified to do ground search and rescue.
From a personality perspective, I think that I am more of a leader than Shelby is. Shelby is happy being a part of the group and letting others step forward, whereas I feel more comfortable when I can be part of the decision-making process.
What are the most challenging parts of being a writer?
Time and self-doubt.
Time often feels like my enemy. There are so many things competing for my time, and I never seem to have enough moments to get the stories down.
The only thing that rivals time would be self-doubt. Sometimes, I feel like I’m in a constant battle with my own thoughts. Everyday when I sit down at the keyboard, I have to talk myself into believing in myself. The fact that there will always be people who don’t like my style of writing means that there is always the chance of there being a negative reaction to my work. And my writing is the work of my heart, so it makes me vulnerable to the criticism—even though I know that it’s okay for there to be criticism, and that criticism can actually be a very powerful tool for making me a better writer.
What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
Believe in yourself. And then honour your creative side by showing up and doing the work. A book is written one word a time, just as a goal is reached one step at a time.
And ask for help. I have discovered that the writing community is a wonderfully supportive place. For every question that I’ve had, there has been someone who has been willing to take the time to answer it. You don’t have to do this alone.
What are your future goals as a writer?
My big dream is to be a full-time author.
I would love to be able to make enough money as a writer, so that my husband could leave his job, so that we could explore the world. That’s one of the amazing things about being a writer: I can do it anywhere!
Any last thoughts to share about you or your books with your readers?
Saving Shelby is my debut novel, but I have plans for many more. Becoming a writer has been a lifelong dream for me, and I will be forever grateful to my readers. We are all busy, and there are so many things competing for our time. I am honoured that you have spent your time getting lost in my stories.
Thank you so much Nicole Taylor Eby for sharing your writing and personal journey with us! I can’t wait to see what books you have in store for the future. Keep in touch with Nicole on her Website, Instagram, and Facebook.
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