Friday, October 26, 2007

[Interview] Nadia Aidan

Nadia Aidan lives and works on the East Coast in the United States.

In addition to writing erotic romances, she enjoys watching, reading and writing about strong, assertive heroines and is an enduring fan of Fight Girls, Xena, Buffy, and La Femme Nikita.

Enthralled (iUniverse, 2007) is her first published novel.

In a recent interview, Nadia Aidan spoke about her writing.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I began writing about a year ago when I was finishing my dissertation, but once I finished my dissertation I didn't look at the novels again. It wasn't until my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer that I began searching for an outlet for the emotional highs and lows of taking care of her.

My mom recently lost her battle to cancer, which gave me the courage to submit my work. My mother was (and continues to be in spirit) my biggest cheerleader and support system. She was a strong, courageous woman who wasn't afraid of anything, and she raised me to be the same. I know she would have been disappointed in me if I let insecurity and fear stop me from submitting my work. So that is really how I ended up becoming a writer, and the journey has been amazing.

How would you describe your writing?

I write erotic romance, and within that genre my themes fall under multicultural/interracial, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi and historical.

My target audience includes professional women between the ages of 25 and 45, but I know when I write I am writing to anyone that enjoys romance with spice!

It is funny that you ask what motivated me to begin writing erotic romance because many of my mentors started writing because they became frustrated with a lack of this or too much of that. The same is true of me. I wanted to see more interracial and multicultural erotic romance novels so I figured if that is what I wanted then I needed to write it myself!

How else have your personal experiences influenced your writing?

My personal life has made me more driven to succeed in my career as a writer. It has also forced me to be more diligent in setting aside time to devote to writing and marketing my novels.

The biggest challenge I run across is not always writer's block because the thoughts are there but the will to write isn't.

I try to prevent myself from getting stuck in that type of rut by setting a 10,000-word per week writing goal. As a writer you can set whatever writing goal you want but 10,000 words per week works for me. The great thing about setting a weekly goal and not a daily goal (which is what I used to do) is that some days I may not write at all whereas others I may write all day.

I used to set a daily goal of 1,500 words per day but I hated it because I would force myself to write on the days I didn't want to and then later end up having to scrap all of it or revise a lot of it. The weekly goal has worked for me and it keeps me from hating to sit down at the computer.

What would you say your novel, Enthralled, is about?

Enthralled, from iUniverse, is my first published novel:

Strong willed and beautiful, Candace, Queen of the Amazonian planet Kush, is used to fighting battles, giving orders and subservient men. From birth she is taught the art of war and that men are the enemy. What she hates more than a man is a domineering man!

With a body as powerful as a god's, the heir to the Akkadian throne is far from subservient. A man of honor, Ares is all masculine dominance!

When war tears their planets apart, the two are faced with entering into a marriage contract in order to save their kingdoms and their people. Forced into a marriage neither wants, at every turn the two warriors clash as they battle for dominance. But what begins as a marriage of convenience quickly turns into something more as they fight their growing passion and hunger for each other.

The ultimate challenge comes when they are forced to forsake their old beliefs for a chance at a future together.

How long did it take you to write the novel?

Because I stopped and started, it took me over a year to finish Enthralled, but nowadays it can take me a day to finish a first draft of a novella and about a week to finish a short novel (approx 50,000 words). With my current writing schedule I am much more productive than I was in the past.

When you were writing the novel, what did you find most difficult?

Getting the mechanics and dialogue right. It took several drafts for me to find my voice and to stop making beginner mistakes like head hopping and talking from awkward POVs [point of views].

I enjoyed creating another world. I love fantasy so I had a ball developing another universe and just really stretching the limits of reality because it was a work of fantasy.

What sets the book apart from other things you've written?

My voice in this novel is very different from my subsequent books, which are contemporaries and historical, mainly because I can't take so many liberties as I did in Enthralled. I have to remain true to the time period and the dialogue.

Of course the erotic elements are still there! Also, while my voice may have shifted my writing style is still consistent.

What will your next book be about?

I am working on a five-book contemporary series titled Friends and Lovers. The first title, Sweet Revenge, is currently under review with an editor and hopefully it will be released in the next few months. Sweet Revenge is actually the first book I ever wrote so it is very dear to my heart

What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

Seeing Enthralled receive good reviews has turned out to represent a tremendous accomplishment to me. And while I don't believe good reviews validate my work, it does make me feel like at least there is someone out there who enjoyed reading my book, and if there is one then maybe there are others!

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