Indie Support Sunday: Mila Nicks
One of my favourite things about bookstagram is discovering new authors and connecting with them as you read their books. Mila Nicks was one of the few authors I discovered through the magic of bookstagram and ever since then, I’ve been a big fan. And if you’ve followed me long enough, then you know just how much I love her stories.
Mila’s stories always feature strong women of colour, just like herself, and I love just how complex and interesting these women are. And let’s not forget the swoony men that fall in love with these brilliant women!
If you haven’t yet, please start the Paranormal Hunters series featuring the most incredible Selene and Aiden. This paranormal romance needs to be ready in order, but it’ll be worth it, I promise with all of the mysteries and magical fighting and supernatural creatures popping up here and there.
Mila also has a new book out now, so make sure you get your copy of Love at First Stake today!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I’m honestly not sure the exact moment it happened, but I do remember being, like, six-years-old obsessed with books and storytelling. I used to create these fake children’s books with drawings, and then of course I’d force my family to read them. My dad was also a huge bookworm himself, so I think it just rubbed off on me.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
I gravitated to romance mostly because of how fun and supportive the community seemed. It just felt like the romance community was the most welcoming!
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
For many of the same reasons as other indies. I like the independence and ability to choose what I write and when. But I’m also the type of person to never say never! Who wouldn’t love to be traditionally published?
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
I feel like the obvious answer is creative control and freedom. Another draw is the accelerated timeline you can create as an indie. Often, in traditional publishing, books take years to make it from the author’s desk through the wickets to final publication. But with indie publishing, you can write a book in a few weeks, get it copyedited/proofread/etc., and then toss it up on Amazon or some other retailer. The process can be as slow or fast as you want it to be.
My least favorite part is easily marketing. Some authors are brilliant at marketing their books. I am NOT one of those authors. I’m not a fan of social media in general, so being forced to utilize it is sometimes overwhelming. I’d rather spend the energy on writing.
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
On the side. It’s basically a hobby. But my dream is to be a full-time author. Hopefully, it happens one day!
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
I’m basically a professional procrastinator. It’s definitely a talent. Sort of joking, but also sort of…not, lol.
I don’t have any normal talents like singing or playing an instrument. Most of my things are small and obscure, like being really good at Tetris, or hula hooping. Go figure!
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
Either cozy mystery or suspense thrillers a la James Patterson. I love the idea of a cozy mystery series following an eccentric female protagonist as she solves problems, maybe in a small coastal town or something. Doesn’t that sound like so much fun?
And suspense thrillers, also fun in a different way! I love how fast-paced they can be, as well as managing to keep you on the edge of your seat. One of my indie author bucket list items is to write a police procedural like Alex Cross (with some romance sprinkled in, of course).
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
My all-time favorite book is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have reread that book so many times! Other favorites include Harry Potter, all of Beverly Jenkin’s historical romances, Alyssa Cole’s An Extraordinary Union and Hope Divided, Abby Jimenez and Helen Hoang books, and so many others I’d love to list, but won’t to avoid rambling on for way too long!
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Things I’ve learned, and am still learning:
Your first draft is for you only…which means it’s okay if it sucks or if you don’t have anything figured out yet.
Try to avoid self-editing while writing. It slows you down and takes you out of your creative headspace. Writing and editing should be done separately (in my opinion). Bad habit of mine I’m trying to break!
Avoid comparing yourself to others. Pretty self-explanatory.
Find the tropes in your writing! This is something I wish I understood sooner…and am still trying to understand. Be loud and proud of your tropes! It will help when marketing your book. There’s a craft book by Theodora Taylor called “7 Figure Fiction” that discusses the concept of universal fantasy, and how certain tropes and story elements will engage readers. Such a good book I can’t recommend enough!
Note/email apps are lifesavers! Jot down anything that catches your interest throughout the day. You’d be surprised how much it helps creatively!
Can you briefly tell me about your book(s)?
I write contemporary and paranormal romance with women of color heroines. It’s always been really important to me to show positive love stories with WOC as the protagonists. Some steam and sweetness.
Of your books, who is your favourite character?
This is so difficult because I love them all for different reasons. But if I were to choose who I’m most attached to, it’d probably be Aiden and Selene from my Paranormal Hunters series. I’ve spent the most time with them, so I know them best. Their personalities are so different but similar at the same time, which always makes writing them an enjoyable experience.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
It’s always something different. It really depends on the story, but often it’ll be something like a song or a real life event that inspires me to write a story.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
Sometimes, I do slip in some bits of myself into characters. I usually stick to one or two minor details. In my latest book, Love at First Stake, Charlotte loves Mac and Cheese. Totally me sprinkling in a bit of myself!
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
Happy and satisfied. Hopefully, like they’ve enjoyed their trip into my book’s world.
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
So many story ideas! I have an idea for an enemies to lovers next-door neighbor story I’d really love to write!
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I’ll be returning to Aiden and Selene’s universe soon. I hope to work on books 4 and 5 this summer and release them in the fall/winter!
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
Favorites are definitely friends to lovers and enemies to lovers. I’d say least favorite is age gap.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
Enemies to lovers!
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
Some women’s desire to be childfree. Usually romance HEAs are thought of as marriage and children. I think we need to shed more of a spotlight on couple’s who may voluntarily opt out of parenthood.
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
I love the guaranteed happy endings. It might be corny, but it’s comforting to know ahead of time things will somehow work out. You don’t necessarily have that guarantee with other genres. It can be exactly the opposite, but with romance, you know it’ll be HEA/HFN.
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks and audiobooks
Historical romance and romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones or series
Music or silence while writing
Plotter, pantser and plantser
Tea or coffee
Cold or warm weather
Morning person or night owlIllustrated cover and photo cover