My Interview with Kieryn Nicolas
Have you ever met one of those amazing young people you knew were going to accomplish great things when they reached adulthood? Ever meet one of those amazing young people who did great things before they reached adulthood? I did. Her name is Kieryn Nicolas, and I’d like to introduce her to you. At just fifteen years of age she wrote her first novel Rain, a spy thriller who revolves around characters her own age. Pretty fantastic when you think about it. I was just learning to drive at the age of fifteen, and not well I might add. If you want to learn more about her than what’s in this interview, visit her homepage or her blog!
The question asked to most authors is do you base your main character a little on your own personality? I’ve often found that often an author’s character is more what an author wishes to be like in real life. Is there part of you who wants to be a little more like Mel?
There are definitely parts of Mel that I’d like to work into my own personality, like her confidence and street smarts. However, I’m more sociable and get along with people better than Mel, and so I wouldn’t want to be fully like Mel.
Though, being Mel for a day would be totally awesome.
Now I have to ask about Ray. Is there somebody in your life who was your inspiration for him?
One person? No, not really. At one point when I was writing Rain two of my friends had a relationship similar to Mel and Ray’s, and I might have worked that into my story. Also, I have a lot of close guyfriends, and some of their different quirks or traits may have worked their way into Ray’s personality.
Your facts and knowledge of meteorological workings included in Rain were very impressive, was all of this knowledge you brought to your work through things you learned in school, or did you have to do massive amounts of investigation to include it in your book?
I did a lot of research. I remember asking my science teacher questions and reading through our course material—weather, at the time, which is probably where I got the idea in the first place—and, of course, I spent a massive amount of time on Google.
I can’t even begin to tell you how amazed I am that a young woman of your age was able to pen such an amazing book, how do your friends feel about it? Are you somewhat of a local celebrity at your school?
My friends think it’s awesome. They keep asking me when I’m going on Oprah. However, they also understand that I can—and will—put them in very bad fictional situations if they get on my nerves. Like, “Look, there’s James, hey, wait, what’s he doing? Oh, crap, he’s a zombie.”
Kidding! I wouldn’t say that. I’d make the dialogue much more realistic.
I mentioned to you in prior conversations how my children are absolutely enamored with you and now that they know that a fifteen year old can not only write a novel, but have it published, are trying to write their own books. You are sort of their inspiration. Who inspired you to write?
Yee! That makes me very happy (as you can tell by my happy noise). I was first inspired to write by reading, so I guess that means my favorite authors inspired me! And then in fifth grade my teacher, Mr. Rockower, had us doing incredibly fun and creative writing projects. I owe it to him that I realized I wanted to be a novelist.
I’m sure everybody wants to know, where do you go from here? Should we expect a sequel to Rain or do you have another project in mind?
Well, I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.
Kidding! I wouldn’t kill you, but my agency would probably ship you off to a nice isolated area of Antarctica.
I might let slip, though, that there probably won’t be a sequel to Rain but there will be many more novels from me in the future. They might have very different premises—like dystopian or contemporary—but they will be just as awesome as Rain, if not awesomer. (Yes, I’m an author, I can say ‘awesomer.’)
I’m a middle aged author, and I can only begin to describe the level of, for lack of a better word, pride my mother showed when she found out my novel was being published. How badly did you have it with your family? Are they still gushing or have things calmed down some?
My family is incredibly proud, of course. They were in a state of awe/shock when I first got the contract, but my mom was snapping pictures as the books arrived and my dad talks about it on business trips and my sister carries a copy with her everywhere. It’s calmed down a little but I’m sure it’ll be just as exciting with the next book.
I’ve read that your inspiration for Rain came from a dream you had. Did the spy aspect of your book come from the dream too, or have you always been a fan of spy novels?
I’m not sure. There were definitely spies in my dream, but I can’t think of any specific spy novels that I read before writing Rain. I’ve read a lot since I’ve written it, though!
From the time that you started writing Rain until the time you held the first copy in your hands, what part of the journey did you find the hardest? What about the most fun?
Hardest…hmm. There was a point where I was stuck in the writing process. I only had a few chapters to go, and it was storyboarded, so I just lacked motivation. That is, until my friend Katie finished reading up to that point and emailed me “finish it OR ELSE.” Then I got some motivation back, and fast.
The most fun part? Definitely holding the first copy in my hands, especially since my mom orchestrated a whole surprise that involved Katie’s family driving me home from school, a camera, boxes of books, and a very delicious cake.
Now that you’re starting the road to higher education, are you planning on enrolling in classes that will help you further your career as an author? Or do you have another career planned and are planning on writing only as much as you have time?
If I can be a full-time author, that would make my life. Not kidding. But if I can’t be an author full-time I’ll still always be writing, so I at least plan to minor in English when I hit college. I might major in it and look into being an editor or agent, or I might decide to major in Forensic Science. I have a desire to write murder mysteries someday, so could there be a better research method?