Nicole McGehee was born in South Carolina, but spent most of her adult life in the Washington, DC, area. She began her career in politics as a lobbyist and event planner for several medical non-profits. Later, she worked as a speech writer and legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. From there, she went to work in the West Wing of the White House.
After leaving the White House, Nicole started her own publication on business and trade in Latin America and the Caribbean. She owned the journal for seven years, then sold it shortly after signing a two-book contract with publishers Little, Brown and Company (hard cover) and Warner Books (paperback). Her books have been translated into French, Spanish and German, and were also published in the United Kingdom and Canada. In addition, her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Denver Post, the Miami Herald, and Honeymoon magazine. Nicole is co-author of The Insiders' Guide to Washington, DC, 3rd edition.
In 1997, her first husband, Michael, died in a car accident. Devastated, Nicole sold their home in Virginia and moved to ski country in Colorado. Five years later, she met her second husband, David. They continue to live in Colorado.
Nicole has an Associate's degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and a BA from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Julie: Hi, Nicole! How are you today?
Nicole: Never felt better or had less, lol.
Julie: So what genre do you write?
Nicole: Romance, but perhaps a little different than genre romance.
Julie: Yea? What makes it different from Genre Romance?
Nicole: Well, I was first published by Little, Brown in hard cover and they marketed it as women's commercial fiction. I'm not sure of the difference. I guess I'd say that genre romance is more a straight plot line with a clear foreknowledge of the happy ending, whereas I think I might address more real-life problems and issues with more twists and turns.
Julie: That's always good and more in line with what I would read. I am not much of a romance reader simply because the endings are so unrealistic.. they never get to what happens in the ever after, lol.
Nicole: Several of my reviews from romance readers have said, "this isn't my usual reading choice, but I loved it."
Julie: I plan to read your books, all it takes is the first paragraph to hook me. When did you first begin writing and what inspired you?
Nicole: I'm like you -- a 1st paragraph gal. I would say that the 1st para of REGRET NOT A MOMENT is typical "romance" beginning cuz my editor made me do it. You'll be hooked by Chapter 2, though. I've always written and, as early as junior high was told I should write for a living. My first book, which was never published, was inspired when I worked at the White House. I thought of a plot for a romantic thriller and now I think I'll rewrite it and try again.
Julie:What's the title of your most recent release, and can you tell me a little about it?
Nicole: NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS, which I released last year only on Kindle. It is based on the lives of my mother and grandmother, and is far more exotic, glamorous and adventurous than anything I could make up. But the ending is pure fiction.
Julie: You must have ESP because you've already answered my next question! Two birds with one stone! I was going to ask if the characters were based on anyone in your life, now we know. lol And that's a terrific title. I always find myself struggling with titles. What do you do for work besides writing? Do you have any other hobbies and if so, how in the world do you find the time to do it all?
Nicole : Nope, I've made my living writing for many years, luckily.
Julie: Awesome! That gives me hope! lol I have been a short order cook/server for 25 years I am tired of it. I haven't been writing long and not doing too bad!
Nicole: Good for you! I was going to say my main outside interest is dreaming up recipes, but you probably don't want to talk about cooking!
Julie: Lol...true. Thank god my husband likes to cook because I sure don't want to do it when I get home! So, how does your family feel about your work?
Nicole: My husband is excited and encouraging.
Julie: That's great! I wish I could get my husband excited about it! He's not much of a reader.. I did talk him into reading my first book and he actually loved it.
Nicole: There are so many people who dislike reading, which stuns me. I have an anxiety attack if I don't have a couple of books waiting TBR.
Julie: I know! I don't understand it, lol. What do you feel is the most rewarding aspect of writing and the least rewarding?
Nicole: The most rewarding is writing down something that's going to burst out of your head...then selling it. Least rewarding is NOT selling it, lol
Julie: I certainly agree with you there! lol. Speaking of, do you find it difficult to promote and market your books and what do you feel is the best route to go when just beginning?
Nicole: It's easier now with social media, but when books first were published by Little, Brown, you really had to work to get media attention. I do NOT do giveaways, and I've found paid on-line ads combined with discounts to be effective. Twitter doesn't sell my books, nor, in my experience, do blog tours. I guess blog tours can generate reviews, but a MUST is professional editing and cover art.
Julie: Do you find these groups on FB to be especially helpful? Is there one that you favor most?
Nicole: They're more helpful at driving traffic to my blog than actually selling books. http://blog.nicolemcgeheefiction.com
Julie:So what does your blog focus on?
Nicole: I write about relationships, family, travel, writing.
Julie: Oh, so I can find all kinds of goodies there!
Nicole: YES! Try LOVE BOOT CAMP: MAKE YOUR MAN ADORE YOU WITH TOUGH LOVE.
Julie: What kind of advice would you give to an aspiring author who is looking to try indie publishing?
Nicole: Make your book read and look indistinguishable from traditionally published, don't give it away. Do .99 cents instead.
Julie: What avenues do you usually use to promote, if you don't mind that I ask?
Nicole: I like Sweet Free Books, Kindle Tools and Tips.
Julie: How do you come up with your leading male characters? Do you base them on real life people as well?
Nicole: In NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS, the husbands had some characteristics of her actual husbands and her Brit love interest really did happen. REGRET NOT A MOMENT pretty much make-believe.
Julie: And would you say that the love scenes are steamy or not too detailed? Sorry, I had to ask and you don't have to answer if you don't want to, lol.
Nicole: Pretty explicit. In fact, got 5-star review from lady who loved story, but found sex scenes a bit too detailed.
Julie: There is never too much detail on those scenes! That just means she may have gotten a little hot and bothered! :P
Julie: Did you have a hard time finding the right cover for your books?
Nicole: Not really..lotsa good sites.
Julie: Off the top of your head, five of your favorite movies.
Nicole: Gone With the Wind, My Fair Lady, Chicago, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, When Harry Met Sally.
Julie: As much as I hate to end this, thank you so much for joining me today! It has been a pleasure!
Nicole: Thank you!
This interview was conducted through FB chat. Thanks again to Nicole and I wish you great success! Visit Nicole's Blog here! http://blog.nicolemcgeheefiction.com
Nicole's novels are now available in e-format.