Indie Support Sunday: Nellie Wilson
I am so excited for Nellie’s debut and for all of the magic she and her story are going to spread all over the world. From the title to the blurb and all of the awesomeness that comes with this debut, I am beyond ready to get my hands on Need S’more Time!
Like a lot of us debut authors, Nellie also grew up carrying a notebook everywhere she went and read all the books that were accessible at the time. Let’s not even forget dabbling in some fanfiction, because who hasn’t done that, right? Through her stories, Nellie wants to talk about characters with mental health struggles, whatever they may be and however they might manifest.
Nellie is a full time middle school teacher, grad student in history, and bartender. And between all of this, she found a way to write and tell the love story that releases on Wednesday. Have you preordered your copy of her debut yet? Do it now!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I was one of those kids that carried a notebook around constantly and was starting stories all the time. I loved Harry Potter, Tamora Pierce, anything fantasy or young adult. Perks of Being a Wallflower changed my life.
I wrote fanfiction in high school, but then really strayed away from fiction writing throughout college, grad school, and the beginnings of my career as an educator. It took falling in love (hah!) with the romance genre and the pandemic to give me time, space, and ideas to write again.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
Especially right now, it’s so important that we find these small moments of joy in the world. As someone with anxiety and OCD, the knowledge that each romance novel ends in an HEA helped me feel comfort and control. Plus, I love the steam.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
I just wanted to DO IT, not wait months and years for queries and rejections and agents, etc. I also have major imposter syndrome so I figured that if I did it myself, I could just push through it and not deal with so many other timelines.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
Best part: full control of the stories I want to tell. It’s also been a wonderful community that I’ve found to be incredibly supportive. The worst part is the fact that everything feels so personal that the launch is incredibly anxiety producing.
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
Something on the side! I’m a full time middle school teacher, grad student in history, and bartender. I sneak in writing when I can.
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
I love hiking, camping, being outside generally (and you’ll find that in all of my books). I just got a Nintendo Switch, so I’ve been playing a lot of Paper Mario. I enjoy craft beer and brewery hopping, and I’ve recently gotten into kayaking on the ocean here in San Diego.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Oof. I still struggle with considering myself an “author” but I guess I have a book coming out, so here we go.
Just do it. Write the damn book.
Share your goals with your friends. You’d be surprised how supportive people can be.
Find your style of writing that works for you. For me, it’s early in the morning with a cup of coffee and a great playlist.
Keep reading in your genre!
Just do it. Write the damn book.
Can you briefly tell me about your book?
Need S’more Time is a contemporary, instalove (which is not even my favorite trope!) connection between a burned out school teacher and a camp director. She’s stubborn, he’s adorable, and I love the setting and wish it was real.
Of your book, who is your favourite character?
There’s a lot of my own experience in teaching in June, but Colin is a dreamboat. You’ll also get to meet his sister, Phoebe, who will be a main character in a trilogy I’m working on now.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
These are all places and career paths that I’ve worked in and think are important. For me, it’s really key that I’m writing stories about people in their 30s who are finding success and HEAs in a lot of different areas—romantically, of course, but also in terms of friendship, family choices (I will never write a baby epilogue sorrynotsorry), and professional paths.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
Lots! June has my anxiety about teaching and the struggles of the past few years. The MC in my next book (Emmy!) has a lot of my mental health struggles and generally prickly personality I had for a lot of my life.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I hope that people feel seen and feel warmth in their chest.
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
After the museum trilogy, I’d like to write at least two books set in a brewery. I also have an idea about meteorologists.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I’ve got a trilogy about staff in a university museum coming next and the first one (Curated) is a grumpy/sunshine, forced proximity co-workers relationship between two curators who have museums that are forced to merge because of budget cuts.
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
Favorites: GRUMPY/SUNSHINE. Enemies to lovers. Forced proximity. ONLY ONE BED. I also have a secret love for “good girl” and brother’s best friend, but I have to be in the right mood for it. Least favorites: Secret baby, anything with a pregnancy.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
The book I’m working on is grumpy/sunshine, and I have an idea for a modern kissing/sex lessons one that I’m excited about, too.
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
More mental health rep, especially #OwnVoices. My WIP main character has anxiety (like me!) but I’m still hesitant to write an #OwnVoices character with OCD, which is my primary mental health THING. I’ve only seen OCD done well once in romance.
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
You know it’s going to be happy at the end, but there’s a million different ways to get there. I also love the diversity of characters and representation that shows that anyone can find their love story and HEA.
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks or audiobooks: Both, I literally always have a physical book, a few ebooks, and an audiobook going at once
Historical romance or romantic suspense: I’m also working on my MA in history, so I love reading about my favorite eras. I’m a historian of the Progressive Era/GIlded Age in the US, so Harper St. George, Joanna Shupe, and KJ Charles really nail that era.
Single or Dual POV: Especially when one character falls first
Standalones or series: I love getting into a world and seeing the relationships of all the characters. Winston Brothers was one of my first series I fell in love with, and I think anyone that knows me knows I’ll die on the hill of Bergman Brothers. (Is it because I’m an only child and wish for a loving family of seven siblings? Who knows?!)
Music or silence while writing: Music with no lyrics when I’m studying (lofi forever!), but themed playlists for when I’m writing fiction
Plotter, pantser or plantser: General outline of where the story is going/major events, but then just chaos as I write
Tea or coffee
Cold or warm weather: Even though I live in a beach town.
Morning person or night owl: Morning. During the school year, I’m up at 4 am to write, and I like to get things done in the morning and chill in the evening.
Illustrated cover or photo cover: @inkandlaurel does my covers and she’s truly a gem of a human.