I am thrilled to present my interview with Nikki Pannell, author of The Cottage. This book is fantastic! I, like other fans, have been anxiously awaiting a sequel to the book. So, of course, I asked her about a sequel in the interview. Read the interview to see if we can expect a sequel in the near future. And if you haven't read The Cottage, then you should really pick it up today.
1. Tell us about your book. (For those who have not read it). – The Cottage is a ghost story that takes place in England. The main character, Kiley Thompson, is a typical high school senior dealing with the stress of preparing for graduation and falling in love for the first time with her best friend. Unlike most high school students, Kiley has a major problem… ghosts. When her family buys a cottage in England, she finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. She will have to dig through bitter rivalries, love affairs and betrayals of the past to find the truth or she will be doomed to share the same fate as the ghosts who haunt her.
2. What inspires you to write? – Everything inspires me to write. I see a story in almost everything. I remember one time watching an ant climb up a pole. I remember thinking to myself… Wow, that pole must be an unbelievable sight to that ant… Then my mind immediately started thinking of a story in which the ant was on a mission to get to the top of the pole and the ant bed at the foot was full of his friends cheering him on. My mind will go off in a million different directions about the smallest little thing.
3. Describe your writing process. – I hate to break it to my English teachers, but I could never do the outline process. My mind doesn’t work that way. I usually will dream up a story or have a thought and I will write down the dream or jot down the thought. Then I just start writing. I can’t outline what I want the beginning, middle and end to be because I usually don’t know and I feel like that takes away from the creativity of writing as you go.
4. Your book has supernatural elements. Do you believe in ghosts? I definitely do. I believe in everything though. Maybe it isn’t so much a belief in ghosts than it is a desire for them to be real. I watch and read ghost stories and vampire stories etc and I can’t help thinking, man it would so cool if the world was really like that! But I do feel like I have had some experiences with ghosts so yes, I do believe.
5. What universal message would you like to leave for your audience, through your writing? To not always take life too seriously. To look around at a field of yellow flowers and imagine a magical kingdom with magical creatures. To always encourage your imagination. I think everyone should know that being imaginative and creative isn’t being silly or childish. It is a wonderful expression of yourself and the world around you.
6. Have you personally had any supernatural experiences? – I have had a couple run-ins with ghosts. I seriously believe I have a resident ghost at my house. Weird things happen, like lamps flickering and one time while standing in my bathroom mirror, I saw a woman walk behind me. When I turned around, she was gone.
7. If you could talk to a ‘ghost,’ who would you want to meet? – I have a few. I have actually thought about this question before. I would want to talk to King Henry VIII- Just to ask him if he thinks it was all worth it. I would like to talk to Ann Boleyn to let her set her story straight and I would want to talk to Queen Elizabeth 1 because she was just amazing. But probably if I had to pick one person, I would want to talk to my idol, Jane Austen. I would love to pick her brain!
8. What are your hobbies? – Well I wish I could list off a bunch for you but the truth is, now that I have a baby, I don’t have much time for anything other than work and him. I used to write all the time but now it is hard to find the time. But I do like to write stories and I collect skeleton keys. Anytime I can stop at an antique shop, I go on the hunt for them.
9. What advice do you have for new writers? My advice for new writers would be to write what they know and what they are interested in. For example, don’t write a vampire story just because vampires are hot right now. Also, and this is just my opinion, make sure you are up to date on the age group you are making your characters. So many people told me after reading The Cottage that they loved the dialogue between my characters. They would tell me that they didn’t get bored reading through the conversations. Well that is because I wrote the conversations the way people actually talk!
10. Your readers have been begging for another book. Is that something we can look forward to soon? – I have the sequel already written in my mind. The problem has been finding time in between my full time job as a Paralegal and my family. I am a first time mother. But it is definitely something I hope to do in the future.
The Cottage by Nikki Pannell is available ONLINE everywhere. It is also available for download on Nook and Kindle.