Interview and giveaway with Sunshine Series author Nikki Rae

September 24, 2013 Giveaways, Interviews 0

Interview and giveaway with Sunshine Series author Nikki RaeSun Poisoned by Nikki Rae
Series: Sunshine #2
on 6/27/2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eBook
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Sophie’s life has changed. She’s moved to New York, she’s playing music for new people, and she’s making new friends. Then there’s Myles, and the fact that he is now her boyfriend—and everyone knows it. There are a lot of new things to take in, but Sophie has no problem adjusting.
She’s not exactly normal, living in a half-human, half-vampire world, but she’s finally, truly happy. But some parts of Sophie and Myles’ old life still hide in the dark, waiting for the right opportunity to strike.

Sophie’s having nightmares again, but they aren't about her; Myles is hiding something that she’s not sure she wants to know.
And one lie will change everything.

No matter how hard she tries to cover up the marks her monsters have left behind, they never truly go away, and Myles’ monsters are no different.
Once again, Sophie’s caught between life and death, but this time, only she can save herself.

Author Nikki Rae has written two books in the Sunshine series, an adult/NA paranormal romance. Today I have an interview and giveaway for the books. Check after the interview for details on how your can with an ebook copy of both books.

First, a synposis of Sunshine:

18 year old Sophie Jean is pretty good at acting normal. Sure, she’s not
exactly happy, but happiness is nothing compared to being like everyone
else. She can pretend she’s not allergic to the sun. She can hide what her
ex-boyfriend did to her. She can cover up the scars she’s made for
herself. Ignore anything. Forget anything. Then Myles enters her life, and
he has more than a few secrets of his own. When accident after accident
keeps happening to Sophie, she can’t help noticing that he’s everywhere.
That he knows too much. That she’s remembering too much.

It’s one thing covering up her own dark past, but does she really need to
worry about people finding out just how much Myles likes her? Or that
despite how much she doesn’t want to repeat past mistakes, she kind of
likes him back? Not to mention the fact that she now has to conceal that
Myles drinks blood-that he says he’s about four hundred years old.
She almost forgot about that part.
But Sophie has no plans to ruin the normal life she has created for herself.
She can deal with this little glitch, no problem. Even if word has gotten
around to the wrong vampire about Sophie and Myles, even if she’s putting
the few people she loves at risk. Suddenly, those who were monsters before
are just people, and the monsters? They’re real. Now being a normal human
being is the least of her problems. Now she has to stay alive.

And Sun Poisoned:

Sophie’s life has changed. She’s moved to New York, she’s playing music for new people, and she’s making new friends. Then there’s Myles, and the fact that he is now her boyfriend—and everyone knows it. There are a lot of new things to take in, but Sophie has no problem adjusting.
She’s not exactly normal, living in a half-human, half-vampire world, but she’s finally, truly happy. But some parts of Sophie and Myles’ old life still hide in the dark, waiting for the right opportunity to strike.

Sophie’s having nightmares again, but they aren’t about her; Myles is hiding something that she’s not sure she wants to know.
And one lie will change everything.

No matter how hard she tries to cover up the marks her monsters have left behind, they never truly go away, and Myles’ monsters are no different.
Once again, Sophie’s caught between life and death, but this time, only she can save herself.

Interview

For those who have not read the books, can you tell us what the Sunshine Series is all about?

The Sunshine Series is about a girl named Sophie who, when we first see her, is very closed off because of horrible things that have happened to her in the past. As the books progress, we get to see her grow stronger. The series explores the darker sides of human nature with a healthy dose of the paranormal thrown in, of course.

Where did you get the idea for the books?

Sophie just kind of appeared one day and started talking. A few of the ideas in the book came about through different types of inspiration (like Sophie being allergic to the sun coming from my own sun poisoning experience), and I always wanted to write my own “vampire” story, but I didn’t want it to be about how the girl wants to turn into a vampire to keep their love interest. I wanted my characters to have more depth, more flaws, etc.

You’ve got 4 and 5 star ratings for your books. How does it feel to have such success for your first series?

It’s insane! When I decided to self-publish, it was so I could show people I knew what I was working on. I wanted to be able to tell my friends and family “I wrote this. Go here to read it.” And then when people I didn’t know started reading it and liking it, I was kind of shocked. Then I got on Amazon’s top 100 ebook list for about two months, which was even crazier. As far as I feel about it? It’s hard to put into words and not just a series of excited sounds. Grateful, humbled, ecstatic, excited, loved. Some of those words work. 🙂

When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?

I was in middle school when I started writing. I did it as a way to escape my surroundings. I had a lot of problems with anxiety and depression when I was younger, so I thought making up other people, other situations, was a good way to still be in my head but not worrying about my own problems. I didn’t yet consider myself a writer. I think the first time I thought I was a writer was when a good friend of mine read the very first version of Sunshine and said she loved it. That it made her feel certain emotions. That’s when I thought I could do it.

How do you go about writing your books? Do you use an outline?

I usually have a vague idea of what I want to happen. I write out bullet points of those, and then I flesh them out on the computer…and then I try to put them in order and fill in whatever is missing.

Did your books take you in any unexpected directions?

Yes, always. I learn something new about myself and my process every time I write. For instance, I found out that I write better at night with Sunshine, I found out a lot of interesting things about one of my characters, Myles, when I wrote Sun Poisoned. Sometimes I find myself over joyed or really sad when writing certain scenes, and I thought that was bizarre and unexpected, but if I can’t feel what the characters feel, no one else will. There are a ton of things I learn with every project, to say the least.

Who is your favorite character from the books?

That’s such a hard question to answer. I love them all because they’ve been with me for so long, but I think Sophie and her brother, Jade, are my favorites. I relate the most to them and I really love their relationship.

The covers from the books are very nice. Who did the covers and can you discuss the ideas that went into making them?

My cover designer for The Sunshine Series is Regina Wamba of MaeIDesign. For the first book, I just told her the important points of the book, what it was about, and some sample chapters. For the second one, I wanted something that reflected what was going on in the book–how everything was getting “poisoned”–relationships, the main character, etc.

What are some of your favorite books or authors or genres?

How much time to we have? lol.

Here are a few of my favorite authors: Anne Rice, Neil Gaiman, Augusten Burroughs, Michelle Hodkin, Nina Malkin, Edgar Allan Poe, and Franz Kafka.

As you can imagine, I read a ton of different genres, but my favorites are: Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult, New Adult, and sometimes Science Fiction.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time when you are not writing?

I might be the most boring person on the planet, but when I have free time, I like to read and just relax. Find some animals to pet, catch up on TV shows I forgot to watch, play board games with my friends, things like that.

You are working on a new book called Sun Damage (the third in the Sunshine Series). Can you tell us a little about it? When will it be released?

Yes, I’d love to tell you about it! Sun Poisoned (the second book) leaves off at a pivotal point, to say the very least about it, and Sun Damage picks up right from there. The things that were getting “poisoned” in the second book become worse in the third. Every relationship is tested, every character has to make hard choices. I’m about halfway done with the rough draft, and it’s probably the most intense of the series. I can’t wait to show the finished product to everyone. Hopefully it will be in February or March of this year. : )

Have you thought about what you might work on next after Sun Damage?

Yes, and I’ve already started the first idea. The book that’s coming out after Sun Damage is going to be a horror spin off involving some of the characters we meet in book two. Readers will be able to read this one without reading The Sunshine Series, and it’s really, really scary, according to what my critique partners are telling me. The structure is different for me as well, and it’s oddly enough, really suspenseful. I’m excited about that one. Then after, I’ve got some ideas for more self-published things (an art/writing book, a book about mermaids and aliens) and then I have an idea I’m going to try to get traditionally published. My brain, it’s always busy.

If you had to do it over again, is there anything you would change about any of the books?

No, not really. One of the things I love about self-publishing is that once I believe that something is finished, edited, proofread, revised, revised, and revised, it’s finished. I have a tendency to obsess over tiny little details, which comes in handy when you put out work as fast as an independent author does, but it can also be crippling and prevent me from putting my work out for no other reason than “I think ten years from now I may want to change that one word”. Of course, the beauty of being in charge of everything is that if I do decide to change something, the option is there, but once I hit “upload”, I’m pretty certain that the work is the best it can possibly be.

Would you be interested in sharing an excerpt from Sun Damage?

Sure! I’d love to!

There’s a knock on the door, so soft. I try reaching out with my mind, but it fails me.

“Sophie,” Evan says, already standing.

“Sorry,” her brother, Jade, is saying. “You told me she wouldn’t wake up.”

I hadn’t realized I closed my eyes. They open when he says that.

“She wants you,” Jade says. It takes me a few moments to realize that he’s talking to me. She wants you and not me. Jade thinks.

I didn’t want her to see me like this. Weak when everything around us is breaking. But I knew she wouldn’t be able to rest for long without me near. I had planned on only being gone fifteen minutes, but it’s been close to an hour now.

Evan, I force out of my mind. Help me up.

He wants to argue with me. He knows he can’t.

I raise myself onto my elbows, trying not to shake. I throw an arm around his shoulder and stand, my knees locking seconds later. I’m surprised when Jade is at my other side, mirroring Evan’s position.

This is so f* up, Sophie’s brother thinks. How did this happen?

I can’t disagree. I can’t help asking myself the same question.

The walk back to Sophie’s room isn’t long, but my muscles and bones fight me every inch. I am so relieved to be in the doorway once we reach it that I pay no mind to Evan or Jade, breaking free of them and stumbling to the bed where she is.

I remember having Alex change the blankets for me so Sophie wouldn’t have to see the blood, and she lays among the clean, white sheets. Her hair is messy, falling in pink waves that crash around her face and shoulders.

She is beautiful. She is always beautiful. But the light has almost gone out behind her eyes.

Her stare is blank and directed at the wall. Her skin is grey and her cheekbones appear to stick out. It’s all my fault.

But I cannot shatter with her here.

I climb onto the bed gently, trying not to disturb her. She doesn’t look like she’s in pain yet, but the transition stage will soon hit her, and I know that any movement holds potential for agony. Once I’m next to her, she is drawn to me like the ocean to the shore. She lays her head on my chest, and I am home. I am complete.

Evan covers us both with another blanket.

“Is she…” Jade whispers, and my eyes open. He can’t finish the sentence except for in his thoughts: Is she a vampire now?

“No,” I say out loud. “Not yet.”

Giveaway

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About Nikki Rae

Nikki Rae is a student and writer who lives in New Jersey. She is an independent author and has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists. She is the author of The Sunshine Series and concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. She writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.

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