Interview: KARMA author Nadine Nightingale

IMG_1201Tell us about your new release.

KARMA is the first book in the Drag.Me.To.Hell series. It’s the story of Amanda Bishop, a selfish, stab-worthy, arrogant witch, and Alexander Remington, a selfless, heroic hunter, who works for the Paranormal Analysis Unit of the FBI. They used to have a thing, but that was before he learned she’s a witch and tried to kill her. Now, eighteen months later, he’s back in her life and offers her a deal; she’ll help him save his brother and he’ll disappear from her life for good. But karma can be a real bitch…

What led you to write this book?

My middle-name, which I wouldn’t even disclose if you tortured me. Sounds weird? Wait for it. My creative writing tutor at the University of Oxford—yes, Mr. Hughes, I’m talking about you—kept teasing me about it. He was convinced said name could only mean I’m a witch. Then, one stormy autumn night, he gave us an assignment: write the beginning of a novel, consisting of two time frames. I figured it would be fun to throw his joke back at him by handing in the beginning of a witch novel. I already had the prefect characters in mind. Amanda and Alex had been with me for a while—met them in one of my many daydreams—et voila, Karma was born.

Karma_w10669_750Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book?

Yes and yes. When I realized I wanted to finish the novel, I went to the Bodleain Library and read a pile of books about: demons, voodoo, and real-life occult cases. Trust me when I say, most of the students looked at me as if I was a crazy Satanist on the look-out for her next victim. Anyways, at some point, I came across the Kern County Child Abuse Cases of the 80s and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Many innocent people had been falsely accused and lost everything due to said allegations. But I kept wondering: What if not all of the allegations were false? What if the real evil slipped through the cracks? How important is setting to your story? I like to set my stories in real places. So, most of the motels, bars, etc. in Karma exist. But I’m not a big fan of long, descriptive paragraphs. As a reader it pulls me out of the story and sometimes I just want the necessary details so I can picture it myself.

Which is more important characters or setting?

Characters. I firmly believe a book is only as good as its characters.

Are any of your characters loosely based on people you know in real life?

No, but I did name Amanda after my kick-ass niece.

Do you have a favorite fictional character by another author you’d like to meet?

Oh boy, I have many fictional characters I’d like to meet. The one I’d go all super-fan-girl on would be the infamous Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow. She so needs to teach me a few tricks.

What do you hope readers take away from your work?

The world isn’t just black and white, its mostly gray. We all have a selfish Amanda inside of us, but we also carry part of Alex’s heroism. In the end, it’s all about finding balance.

Do you have an interesting quirk about your personality that you’d like to share?

Interesting? Not really. Annoying quirks? Many. I’m the kinda girl that googles the plot of a movie while watching it, I’m also stubborn, way too honest, and always right. Why my family and friends haven’t locked me away yet is a mystery to me.

What do you do when you are not writing?

If I’m not travelling the world, I read, watch movies (preferably horror or action), pretend to work out, or hang with my family (cat and dog included) and friends.

Which book impacted you as a teenager?

That would be To Kill a Mockingbird.

Do you read the same genre you write?

I read every genre—classics, contemporary romance, young adult, new adult, scifi, crime, horror—the list is endless.

What is #1 on your bucket list?

I don’t have a bucket list, but I follow James Dean’s motto: “Dream as if you live forever, live as if you die today.” I try to do whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want. Life is too short.

Have you ever written a scene that ‘creeped’ you out?

It’s pretty hard to freak me out. My brother enhanced my resilience by introducing me to George A. Romero when I was seven. I blame him for my dark side ☺. However, there’s one particular scene in Karma that made me cringe and turned my stomach upside down. Once you read it, you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to. I think it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever written and I’m not sure how I managed to bring it to paper.

Do you have a favorite writing place or writing rituals?

You mean like: getting up, grabbing coffee, sitting down in my bathrobe with messed up hair, glaring at a blank page, checking social media and so on?

What are you reading now?

I’m reading A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro and am eagerly waiting for the next Stephen King.

What social media do you participate in?

You can always find me on Facebook and I try my best to keep Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest up-to-date.

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

Are you always that weird? Would make this a whole less awkward for the poor interviewer ☺. In case you want an answer: I was born this way.

What’s next for you?

I’ve just sent the second book, of the Drag.Me.To.Hell series, to my awesome editor and am working on the third book.

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