Ninfa Hayes is today’s featured author – this morning you can find out more about her in a full-length interview and feature on her novel Bites, this afternoon our second feature will give you a sneak peek at Divine, her current WIP that she’s writing with Misty Price.
Ninfa lives in Manchester, UK with husband Gareth, daughter Cassandra and two gorgeous kitties, Jemima and Shelley. Originally from Italy, she’s half Spanish, half Italian and British by choice and marriage.
She loves books and is a total bookaholic! Reading and writing have always been a big part of her life and for this she thanks both her parents for passing down the literary gene and the passion for a good story.
Ninfa is big on Networking and co-runs an array of Facebook pages and blogs about books and all things supernatural. She also reviews books for the Facebook “Bookaholics Book Club” on a regular basis.
In this spirit, she’s also training her daughter in these dark arts and plans on making her a huge geek, whether she likes it or not!
If you’d like to find out more about Ninfa and her stories, you can check out her Facebook author page, Ninfa Hayes.
What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Oh, it’s got to be been curled up on the sofa, tv or music playing in the background, a nice big pot of steaming vanilla tea and snacks on the coffee table, and a good book in my hands 🙂
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I LARP (Live Action Role Play)! I get dressed up in costume and go interact in game with people. It’s awesome and it allows me to live stories that I would not be able to experience otherwise 🙂 My favorite game is called Odyssey and it’s steeped in ancient world Mythology 🙂
You’re right – that was definitely not an answer we were expecting! OK – on the subject of an odyssey – you’ve found a time machine on your driveway this morning – where are you going to go in it?
Well, my very first trip would be back twenty years, to see my dad one more time. He passed away when I was 18 and it would be amazing to be able to tell him all about my life and his granddaughter. After that, I would head to 1815 to meet Jane Austen, one of my favorite writers…from then it would be a big tour of the history of books…Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley…so many authors to meet! 🙂
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
Just one? That’s impossible, lol! Everyone should read as much as they can! Reading feeds your soul 🙂 But if I had to recommend a book or series, it would probably be “Harry Potter” by J. K. Rowling because at the heart of it, it has a very strong and positive message, and that’s to stand up for what is good and to believe in yourself because no matter who you are, young or old, strong or weak, you CAN change the world.
How do you react to a bad review?
It’s hard to receive criticism and I can’t say it doesn’t hurt to know that someone didn’t enjoy my book, but at the end of the day it’s part of being a writer and putting yourself out there. I like to think that I’m respectful of people’s opinions and if someone has taken the time to write down their thoughts on my work and share it, then I should be grateful for that time.
Which authors have influenced you most, and how?
There are several, but I think the top three would be Louisa May Alcott, because I read “Little Women” like 40 times when I was younger and wanted to be Jo March sooo bad! Marion Zimmer Bradley and her book “The Mists of Avalon” for introducing me to Fantasy, and last but not least, Kelley Armstrong, for writing the books I would want to have written myself and for giving me the best advice ever: “If you want to be a good writer, you have to read!”
Night owl or early bird?
Night Owl all the way. I don’t do mornings very well, although with a full time job and a family I don’t always have a choice. Thank goodness for my lovely hubby as he lets me have a lie in at the weekend most times 🙂
One food you would never eat?
Insects of any kind…I know in some parts of the world they are delicacies, but I could never eat a bug…never ever!
What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?
I have several projects, but right now I’m working on two that I’m hoping to finish in 2013.
The first one is a team up with Misty Price from the Bookaholics Book Club on Facebook and Blog. We are writing a YA Mythological Fantasy called “Divine” and I’m very excited about this story. It’s about two girls, Callie and Tia, and the prophecy that ties them together. Lots of references to the Greek Gods and a lot of action and romance 🙂
The second project is one I’ve been working on for years, on and off, and it’s called “Morgan’s Legacy”, Book one in the House of Avalon series. As you can probably guess it’s a take on Arthurian legends, lots of magic and also a YA,
but “Divine” is the priority at the moment.
So…on the project you’re co-writing with Misty – how does that work?
We each write from the point of view of one of the protagonists, alternating chapters and forwarding each others stories. It’s great because you get a multiple view of the world and the story, and because it’s written by two different people you know that the characters will have very unique and individual voices.
That sounds like a great way to create two characters and keeping them independent. How do you find it working with someone else, is it easier than flying solo, or can it make things more difficult?
It’s exciting, because we each come up with new ideas and inject them in the story, so we are almost like readers, discovering the world of the book and the characters as we go. It keeps things interesting. Of course there are compromises to be made, because we’ll both have a rough idea of how we want things to go, but it’s not necessarily how the other will see it. So far it’s been a fairly smooth process, but we are just finishing first draft and I know there will be bumps to smooth over once we start reviewing the story.
Overall I’m loving the experience, and the word count doesn’t seem as scary when you’re only doing half 😉
What made you decide to write together?
I’ve been helping out a little with the Bookaholics Book club over the last couple of years, and Misty is a good friend. She is also a budding writer and was experimenting with her own stories which I was lucky enough to get to read. I like her ideas and her style. When we decided to launch a newsletter for the Book Club, Misty wanted to do something special for our followers, so we decided to write a short story in a few chapters as an extra. That’s how “Divine” was born. I came up with the initial setting, but as we started writing it we kinda realized we would need more than a few chapters. We fell in love with the characters and the story and from there decided to turn in into a full blown novel. 50K words later here we are, first edit is almost complete, then we’ll be developing the characters and world fully and hopefully sending our baby out into the world to see if we can attract the interest of a publishing house. If not, we will happily self publish as we really want to share “Divine” with all readers out there 🙂
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?
Oh gosh, that would be a dream come true…do I have to pick just one?! There are so many amazing worlds…okay, I’m going to narrow it down to either the world of Harry Potter because let’s face it, I need to get into Ravenclaw, and Tolkien’s Middle Earth, ’cause been a Hobbit would totally rock!
What was your favorite book when you were younger?
“Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy M. Montgomery. I adored that book and the ones that followed. I could relate to Anne so much: the daydreaming, making up stories in my mind. It’s such a beautiful story, full of emotion, and it was a great inspiration as I grew up. Anne is a normal girl, she makes mistakes all the time and learns from them, she’s also a strong heroine and wants to make something better of herself. There are so many positive messages in her story and I can’t wait for my daughter to be old enough to read it 🙂
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book?
For “Bites” it would be “Ava Adore” by the Smashing Pumpkins, for “Divine” so far I’ve listened to Taylor Swifts album “Fearless” on repeat because it puts me in a teenage kinda mood and helps me get into my character’s head 🙂
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?
Nia Vardalos, from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”! She’s talented, funny, creative and she’s a woman with curves that has not given in to the “stick figure” Hollywood stereotype. She’s also Mediterranean in origin so she might actually be able to pull off my Italian/Spanish/ English weird accent Xp
How did you know you should become an author?
I’ve always written, since I was little, but never thought anything would come of it, it was just something I loved to do.
4 years ago I got pregnant with my daughter and whilst I was on maternity leave I realized I needed something to keep me sane, so I started writing more and more and actually found peace, something that could be just mine. When I gathered enough courage I showed my writing to friends, and got lots of encouragement. They liked my stories and wanted more. From there it progressed until I actually decided to send it to Dianna Hardy, who I admired as a writer and would later become my publisher. That was the best thing to ever happen to me, her guidance and insight into the publishing world are the reasons why “Bites” exists, and I’m forever grateful to her for that. Now I know I could not stop writin even if I wanted to, it’s a part of who I am and it makes me a better person.
Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
I think there’s a little of me in each of my main characters. Perhaps only little aspects such as common likes, a personality trait, a passion shared. After all they all come from my mind. The villains are the most difficult to write for me because of that I think, it’s almost like exorcising parts of me that I don’t like and I’ve been fighting to keep at bay, so it’s very intense to face them and accept them to be able to write them vividly enough that it will be believable, but it’s also very therapeutic in a way.
What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
“Catching Fire” (I LOVE “The Hunger Games” Trilogy!) and “The Host” for movies; “The Indigo Spell” by Richelle Mead, “Cry of the Wolf” by Dianna Hardy and “Loki’s Wolves – Blackwell Pages Book 1” by Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr in books 🙂
Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook. I’m still trying to work out how to use Twitter to its full potential, but I prefer the flexibility of Facebook for longer statuses and posting photos and links.
Favourite quote from a movie?
“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude mater. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.”
Master Yoda to Luke, “Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back”.
Yes, I’m a huge “Star Wars” fan, and a Geek, and proud of it 🙂
Two short stories that will seduce you with romance, danger, sensuality … and Vampire bites.