Indie Support Sunday: Nina Arada
When Nina made her author account on Instagram and started talking about her book, I got really excited for her. Like me, she started out as a bookstagrammer and I’d always look to her account for great recommendations and beautiful photographs of books she loved. And then knowing that she was going to write a romance made me so giddy that I picked up the book as soon as it was released.
Because of Us, is Nina’s romance debut and it was a glorious read! With a tattooed and sexy hero and a badass and beautiful heroine, the book sucked me in right away. I fell in love with these characters and Nina’s smooth way of writing, so now I’m obviously itching for so much more of her stories and all of the magic she has to give us. Using her own Cuban culture and her swoony husband for inspiration, Nina crafted a story that will tug at all your heartstrings, but also get you hot under the collar.
Currently working on her second book, Nina is an author I truly believe everyone needs to keep an eye on. You can find Because of Us in Kindle Unlimited right now!
1. BEING AN AUTHOR
Who or what inspired you to write?
I grew up with my mom always reading historical romance novels. My dad built her a little library basically so romance novels were always around. My sister also writes dark poetry and I fell in love with her words as a little girl.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
I love that I have done this all on my own and can be creative in how I run this “small biz”. Aside from the cover and editing, I’ve put my all into every detail. I kind of wish I did have a boss to give me deadlines and stuff because I procrastinate and make excuses to not write.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
I think, to me, this just seemed like the “easier route”. Although, it’s not easy at all. 😂
When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
Music! I always have a specific playlist that gets me in the mood I need to be in for my current WIP.
If you were to recommend books to me (in any genre), what would they be?
OMG, where do I begin? I’m a huge CoHort. I also love the Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy. And Jay McLean, she has my heart.
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
So weird to answer this 😂
Write often. Even if you have to delete some or “kill your darlings” just write.
Don’t go over what you’ve written too much. I swear, I rewrote the beginning of Because of Us so many times and I think that’s normal as you grow during the process—as a writer, as a reader and as a person in general.
Get creative! I started off mostly pulling from what I know and real life experiences but when I started to get creative, it’s like I opened up a new door to another world.
Don’t do this just for the readers, do this for YOU! I didn’t jump into book 2 thinking what if BoU flops. But I also told myself I’d keep growing and learning as I go. So now I’m kicking myself for not being further along in book 2.
Easier said than done: don’t compare your story. While writing, I never stopped reading and I would find all these little details and think OMG I wrote that too. This is normal and at the end of the day your story is your story!!
2. ROMANCE AS A GENRE
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?
I’ve always been in love with love. The feeling when you first fall in love and nothing else matters, those butterflies… ahhh the best!
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
I don’t think I could!
What are your most and least favorite tropes?
I love brother’s best friend, second chance, friends to lovers, surprise pregnancy, age gap. I’d say my least favorite is love triangle.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I’ve got an idea for an age gap (the woman being older) and I’m so excited for it!
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
I love a plus sized heroine and disabilities (Ineed to read more of these). I also would love to see more mental health and more talk about being sober/clean. Nothing against drinking but it’s such a norm in society that you stand out when declining a drink—I hate that!
If you write open door romance, why did you choose that and what inspires your sex scenes?
I just love a good spicy romance! I really love reading and writing it, not sure why 😂 But once my characters start to get hot and heavy, it’s like they can’t stop ! 🤪
3. YOUR BOOKS
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
Honestly, I just was obsessed with reading when the idea came to me. I just had this vision of a couple frantically making out and she dramatically pushed him away, “We can’t keep doing this!” they had history and her brother was his BFF. This was like 8 years ago and it took me this long to actually finish it. This scene doesn’t even exist in my story. Haha!
Can you briefly tell me about your books?
Because of Us is about Josie, who was always in her twin brother’s shadow and one night something traumatic happens, pushing her to leave and move in with her aunt out-of-town. After she graduates high school, she comes back home to reconnect with her brother and his best friend, Wes. It’s an unforgettable summer until fate pushes them all apart again. The timelines go back and forth from these times as teens to seven years later when she returns home for good and runs into Wes, her first love. It’s a lot about healing and growth.
Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?
This is hard. I do love Wes’ grandmother, she’s a hoot. Josie is very much like me. Cora, her best friend, is a little more fun for me to write—she is materialistic and a bit sassy, not like me at all! And Wes is my honey
If you were to cast your book for a movie/television show, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Model Matt Noszka for Wes, please and thank you! I love Ana de Armas, she’s Cuban as I am, and so is Josie.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
So much! Josie and I are very much alike, similar interests and characteristics. It was just easy and “safe” to write what I know. Book 2 is bringing out a way more creative side of me, which I love!
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
I’m not sure why but I have a blood clotting condition and how I found out was really scary. I want to write about that. At the same time, I also want to steer away from pulling from my own life. But I’m really hoping to have that in a book. Kinda put that awareness out there.
Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?
Flirty heroes, smut, and emotion.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I am working on book 2! I started it then the excitement of the Because of Us release got in the way. I’m getting back in the groove and loving it. Let’s just say…it's in a hotel setting. Military hero with Taron Egerton as my muse and a swanky jacuzzi I can’t wait to put to use! Friends/friends with benefits to lovers!
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I want my readers to fall in love and get those butterflies that make you giddy. And I want them to cry! It’s horrible, but when a reader says my story made them cry: mission accomplished.
4. AUTHOR’S CHOICE
Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks
ebooks! Paperbacks take a close second!
Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones, series or standalones in a series
Standalones in a series
Music or silence when writing
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Water, tea, coffee or….wine?
Cold or warm weather
Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?
Illustrated or photo cover?