Last month I was given the oportunity to read a recently published ebook under the name of 'A Red Tale'. This book was so good that my review of it reflected, almost exactly, how I felt about it and somehow its author took notice of it and contacted me later on, thanking me for reading and taking time to write a positive feedback.
This earned me a paperback copy of the book and also the oportunity to interact with the author, which was very happy to answer a couple of my questions.
|Source: Google Images|
Nicola Mar was born on March 16 under the sign of Pisces. After spending her preschool years in Austria, Nicola grew up on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, where she was discovered at age 15 and recruited to start modeling in local fashion magazines. At 18, she moved to the U.S. to continue her education, graduating from Rollins College with a Bachelor's degree in anthropology and a specialty in creative writing. Between classes, Nicola continued to develop as a fashion model in the American market while also working on her writing. In March 2014, Nicola published her first novel, A Red Tale, which was inspired by her childhood growing up on St. Maarten. Nicola Mar currently resides in New York City with her two dogs. (Retrieved from her official website.)
1. Why did you decide to become a writer?
NM: Writing always came naturally to me. I loved writing stories as a child, but I never thought of it as a career. I constantly started writing books, but never finished them, because I was distracted by new stories that would pop into my head. A Red Tale was the first story that I just couldn’t stop writing. The character wouldn’t get out of my head and I felt like the story just needed to be told. Once I finished the novel, I felt so accomplished and I knew then that I wanted to write full-time.
2. Did you have any influences?
NM: My favorite writers are Anne Lamott, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Ursula K. Le Guin. But I would have to say that Madeleine L’Engle made me want to become a writer. I read all of her work when I was growing up. Her stories are so captivating.
3. How did you come up with the idea for “A Red Tale” and why did you choose this title?
NM: I’m a very spiritual person and I’ve read all sorts of books about psychics, reincarnation, time travel, energy healing etc. I’m also a big fan of fantasy. I started the story because I had just finished an interesting book about past lives, and I thought it would be great to write my own story about someone who becomes aware that she lived before. The title is a play on words. I thought it was a cute pun because the dragon’s tail radiates a red color (literally) but the meaning of the red energy that comes from him is why the book is a tale of red.
4. Do you have any ideas for your next book(s)? If so, mind sharing a bit with us?
NM: I’m working on the next book in this series. In the next book, we will see more of Abe and more of Amelie’s talents.
5. Do you have a special place to write and/or is there a specific routine that you follow before you start writing?
NM: I have two dogs so I can’t write at home because they either want to play with me or I want to play with them! I wrote the majority of A Red Tale at a small café a couple blocks from my apartment. They have a cozy basement area that is dark and quiet, so I spent many hours down there writing. Even if I don’t feel like writing, I force myself to sit there until I can put something down on paper, even if it’s just ideas.
6. Other than an author, you are also a model. Was it difficult to make them both work together?
NM: Not really because my schedule is very flexible as a model. On my free days when I’m not shooting, I write! It’s the discipline that’s hard.
7. Also, do you think that being a model helped you with your writing? Or with being published and reach a bigger ‘crowd’?
NM: I definitely have a lot of stories about the modeling business, so I have good material when I’m ready to write about the fashion world. I do have people who follow my work in modeling and I think some of those fans will buy my books, but really it’s a completely difference world so I’ve been transitioning slowly. I feel so grateful to all the people who have accepted me as a writer and have wanted to read my book.
Now with some off topic questions:
1. What’s your favorite book and why?
NM: My favorite book is A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A lot of the characters have the same long name, so the book is so difficult to understand. I read it three times until I completely understood the message. And once that happened, I just couldn’t believe how genius it was. A must read for everyone.
2. And if you had to choose between a printed book, paperback or hardback, or e-books, which would you choose and why?
NM: I love the smell and feeling of books in my hands, so I’d have to say a physical book, and probably a hardcover. It’s beautiful to have a book that you can keep forever. I have a lot of the books my grandfather owned, some of them published in the 1800s! I treasure them so much. But I have to admit that traveling with my Kindle is more convenient!
3. What’s your favorite book that is now a movie?
NM: I really liked Water for Elephants and The Lovely Bones. I also thought they did a really good job with The Hunger Games. I’ve read all 3 books, but have only seen the first movie.
I wanna thank Nicola Mar for being such an incredible sweet person and taking her time to contact me and also answer my questions.
You can also visit her official website for more information on her modelling career and her book.