Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guest Author, Nicole McCaffrey

Today's guest is fellow Rose Nicole McCaffrey, busy wife, mother, and ebullient author of funny, compassionate, heart wrenching and downright sexy historical and contemporary romances. Her zest for life and laughter jumps off the page, both in her interview here and in her books. Her latest release, The Model Man--how can you not admire that cover?--is currently on sale at The Wild Rose Press as part of the Last Rose of Summer promotion. Only a few more days to go, so be sure to check it out and take advantage of the savings on all our Last Rose titles this month, where we prove over and over again that falling in love over forty is just as wonderful as the first time around. Welcome, Nicole!

Who are you?

I wear many hats. Mom. Wife. Suzy Homemaker. Dog walker. Chauffeur. Short-order cook. Basically, I’m just a SAH mom who likes to write—and has sold a book or two. *G*

What type of stories do you like to write and why?

I’m an historical writer first and foremost and those are the stories that really call to me. But whether I’m writing contemporary or historical I really like to explore the sensual with my characters, so my stories tend toward the hot.

What type of stories do you like to read and why?

I love the escape of reading historical—simpler times, simpler struggles. That’s like a vacation to me. I prefer American-set, but I will read regencies now and again. For the most part, I prefer lighter fare—life is depressing enough, I don’t want to read a story that upsets or depresses me or makes me cry--unless I’m crying with joy! Johanna Lindsey and Linda Lael Miller are two of my favorite authors for this reason—they give me the historical escape without hitting me over the head with history, and there’s always laughter. I also have all of Pamela Morsi’s old historicals on my keeper shelf and re-read them now and then for much the same reason.

When do you write?

My youngest just started first grade and is in school a full day now. I’m still getting used to the routine, it’s only been a few weeks, but have really been trying to focus on writing for at least half the day. Occasionally, once homework is done, dinner is cooking and SpongeBob is on, or the Playstation is going, I’ll sneak back to the computer and write a little more.
When do you read? Where?

I read a lot at night before going to sleep. There’s something comforting about the routine of climbing into bed and reading, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Of course, if it turns out to be one of those books I can’t put down, then I catch myself carrying it with me throughout the day and reading every chance I can, LOL.

Where did you get the inspiration for your books?

Wow. Anywhere and everywhere. I have a couple of things going on right now, another western historical, and the inspiration for that came directly from the character, who was a secondary character in my last western historical. I’m also working on a short Civil War-era story and the inspiration for that came from an old, abandoned Greek-Revival style house I drive by on a regular basis. (Sadly it was recently sold, so my fantasy of living in it will have to be put on hold, LOL). And both my contemporary releases began as dreams. My first historical—now gathering dust in a drawer—came from a line in a song. I guess you just never know when or where inspiration will hit!

Where do you go to think?

With two young, busy boys, thinking is not often allowed! Driving alone gives me a lot of thinking time, but it’s rare that I’m alone in the car or driving for any distance, mostly just to school and back. The shower is another place –and one of the few places I’m actually alone! LOL. Other than that, I love to think about my characters and story ideas as I’m waiting to fall asleep, or just waking up in the morning.

How did you come up with your title and main characters’ names?

Sometimes the characters bring their name with them, other times I have an idea of what I’m looking for and go browsing baby name lists, usually by nationality, until I find one that feels right. Quite often, the name itself will bring an image of a character to mind. In my western historical Wild Texas Wind (currently on an editor’s desk somewhere in New York), it began that way. I was working in a local hospital and kept hearing them page a security guard named Raz. I had no idea who he was, but each time I heard that name, the image of a man on a horse dressed all in black with long black hair, jumped into my mind. I couldn’t see his face, just these piercing pale blue eyes. I didn’t know who he was but I knew his name was Raz and that I had to write his story!

If I don’t know the title when I sit down to write the story, it will usually come to me from a line in the story itself. With The Model Man, that was just my working title since the hero is a male model. But my CP’s loved it and as the story unfolded, my hero really began to live up to that, so I kept it.

How long did you write seriously before your first book was published?

Well I started around age six, LOL. But I joined RWA in 1989 and sold to TWRP in 2006. I got really serious about writing after my oldest son was born in 2000. He was a good baby who slept a lot so I took advantage of the extra time I had—I also met my wonderful critique partners around that time and everything sort of clicked into place as if it were meant to be.

Why do you write?

Because I can’t not write. As long as characters keep pulling up a chair and telling me their stories, I’ll keep writing them.

For as long as I can remember, I have heard voices in my head. Fortunately for me, they’re all characters—begging me to tell their stories. My first sale was a holiday novella, published by The Wild Rose Press in November, 2006. The Model Man, my first full length contemporary, was released in March, 2008.

I’ve been married to Peter, my best friend, for eleven years, and am a work-at-home mom with two busy boys ages six and nine. When I’m not working, writing, or buried nose-deep in a research book, chances are I’m baking, gardening, or just kicking back and hanging with my guys. Visit me at


Roni said...

Hey Nicole! Great to see you over here at Liana's. Gott tell you, I loved your story "The Model Man". Great characters, fun dialogue and enough tenderness to make reader swoon. Great job. When can we expect more contemporaries from you?

Roni Adams

Paty Jager said...

Howdy Nicole! Fun interview! And Model Man is a Great read!

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Thanks ladies for stopping by, and for your kind comments. Thanks Liana for having me!


Donna B said...

Wonderful interview Nicole. I haven't picked up The Model Man yet, but it's definitely on my list now!

Isabel Roman said...

Hi, Nic! I LOVED Model Man, a truly great cover. I mean read. Yeah. Read. Forget contemporaries, when are you going to finish that hstorical I hear so much about? ;)

Course, reading all you do, I'm not sure when you have time to write lol.

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Hi Nicole!
Enjoyed reading your post! I didn't know you joined RWA in 89. Wow! How did you find out about RWA?
I joined around 93 or 94.
Love that cover!

Jennifer Ross said...

You won't believe this, but I discovered something new about you!

I didn't know your husband's name. I also don't believe I knew you had a dog.

Amazing, eh?

Nicole McCaffrey said...

LOL Jenn you must be one of the few people on the planet who haven't heard me gush about how much I love that big furry beast (I mean the dog, not my dh!) LOL.

Donna--thanks for stopping by!

Isabel--someday, girlfriend, someday! Maybe when the kids are in college, LOL.

Jeanmarie-I actually wrote to an author whose work I enjoyed and she told me about RWA. I still remember how excited I was to learn they existed!

Sheryl said...

That sounds like my kind of read, Nicole. And yes, it is a great cover--and not just because of the edible hunk! :)

So, why is it that we get our best ideas in the bathroon whilst soaking wet and stark naked--and with no hopes of a pen in sight!

Nice interview, Liana.
Good luck to you both.

Mary Ricksen said...

Before going to sleep reading is an absolute necessity!
Your book is now on my list.
Great post ladies, I hope you get more time to think, maybe in your garden?
Good luck with sales!

Beth Caudill said...

Nice interview.

Keena Kincaid said...

Great interview, Nicole, and I love the cover for Model Man. My TBR pile just got a little bigger.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Nicole,
It's always nice to support a fellow TWRP author. I'm also glad that you kept following your dream and didn't get discouraged. Like you I spent a long time in the trenches and learned a lot about myself and my writing style. I didn't appreciate the learning curve at the time, and even though I'm still learning, I benefit from that seasoning. Best wishes!

join in the fun at The Book Spa yahoogroup

Mona Risk said...

Hi Nicole, love your book cover. I'll have to check The Model Man.

Celia Yeary said...

NICOLE--loved your interview--I love to see little windows into someone else's life. Probably, that's why I write--it's sort of the same thing.Your book cover alwasy catches my eye. Celia

Mary Ann Webber said...

Loved reading your interview, Nic, and I was thrilled to hear about the origin of RAZ!
Can't wait for him to convince thephalmis
New York editor who has him on her desk that he belongs on thousands of bedside tables.
Mary Ann

Mary Ann Webber said...

No, I was not cursing Raz's editor!
Somehow the word verification letters ended up inside my comment.
Mary Ann

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Nic and Liana!

I know I'm late, but worth the wait! LOL

Great interview, ladies! Nic, I love your story Model Man. YOu're a busy lady, Nic. But what I love most is. . .you're my friend! ((hugs!))

ps- love the blog, Liana. Very Chic!