Sunday, 31 March 2013

Author Interview - Nicole Grotepas

Author Nicole Grotepas

Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother's old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she's forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan--the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.

Tell us a bit about your family.  I'm married to a cool and very hilarious guy named Stoker who works as an audio engineer at a studio. We've been married seven years but he still makes me laugh all the time. Before we lived where we're at now, we were in Nashville where he worked at a studio with songwriters and country singers. I had a job that I loved out there as a production editor for the United Methodist Publishing House. Then we had our son, and moved to Utah where our families live. 

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? Having my son. I know, I know, but it's so easy to have a baby: you get pregnant and boom, a kid. That's what I used to think too. But it's not like that at all. It's a difficult process. It's been an edifying experience that I wouldn't trade for the world. 

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out?
Scrivener is the best software for any writer! I'm in love with it! It's designed with writers in mind so it helps me keep track of all the things I need. My personal productivity went up by a hundred percent once I got it. The coolest thing is that it only costs $45. 

What is your favorite quality about yourself? 
My sense of humor.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? 
Sometimes I wish my sense of humor was more hilarious and that I was a bit less serious about things. I want to learn to lighten up a bit, especially when things aren't life-threatening. And even if they are, I should maybe just laugh in the face of death. 

What do you do to unwind and relax?
When I have time to relax, I watch comedies on TV. Doing that actually interferes with my work, so I try to limit how much I watch. But I really love to laugh, though, so I gravitate towards what I consider clever comedy. Parks and Rec is a big favorite. 

How much of Blue Hearts of Mars is realistic? Well, it takes place on Mars, and while that's not something we're doing now, I'm sure it will happen someday I just don't know how yet, but there are a lot of people working on it, James Cameron to name someone we're all familiar with. Humans are explorers and even if something looks too dangerous or risky, we find a way to do it. The love story is the most realistic part of Blue Hearts of Mars, because love surpasses reason and boundaries, just by its nature.  

Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Not so much in this one, but in others yes. The story I'm working on now draws from a lot of my experiences as a college student and the time after college. The characters in my current project are influenced more than usual by friends and people I've known. 

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Ha ha! Yes, by all means, let me tell you about it (since you twisted my arm). It's something for an older audience that has elements of my favorite Greek myth in it. It's an unconventional love story about a girl who must rescue the man of her dreams from a dystopian world. But, it's not a dystopian story. I'm not sure how much to share because I don't want to spoil it, I will say that I'm having a hard time not writing 5,000 words a day in it and the characters are marauding my life nonstop--this has never happened to me before. It's slated to be released in June. 

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? I'm reading a scif-fi story written by a friend who was in a critique group with me in Nashville. It's his first completed novel and I'm really excited about it. He sent it to me in November or December but I'm just barely able to read it. I'm only into the second chapter, but he's set up a fantastic mystery and built a very compelling world based in a time when technology has reached a singularity. He's a great writer and I hope to see him in print someday. His name is Kim Justice, so keep your eyes peeled. 

Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.

If only it were as simple as being in love.

Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.


"Nothing like I've read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!" ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)

"I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn't understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn't put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!" ~TNielsen (Amazon)

"The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!" ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)

"I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause." ~Megan (Amazon)

"I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I'd give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta's bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I'd definitely hang out with those two." ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)

Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!

Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash (Internationally)
Signed Copy of Cinder & Blue Hearts of Mars (US only)
Ends 4/19/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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