Here’s the situation… You’ve grown up hearing the voices of myriad characters in your head, and have decided to put pen to paper. Three books later you are slowly building a following, but feel that the publishing method you originally selected may be stymying your efforts due to the larger price tag placed on your novels. However, you don’t let that deter your dream and you continue to crank out more novels until a better publishing deal presents itself.
The Situation Room with Michelle Cuttino speaks to Nick Haskins about his love for writing, his novels and what else he has in store for his readers in the future.
Michelle: Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
Nick: My name is Nick Haskins from Toledo, Ohio. I’m a self-published author and I have an Associates Degree in Communications. When I was very young I used to always have characters that would form in my head. When I was around seventeen I scratched those characters onto paper and started writing my first book.
Michelle: Your debut novel is titled On the Edge of Heat and is based on a love triangle and betrayals. Can you give us more info on what the story is about?
Nick: I call On the Edge of Heat my black soap opera. It involves two extremely wealthy families: The Morton’s and The Kennedy’s. Both families enjoy the fruits of their labor, but not without heaps of drama, deceit, and plenty of heartbreak. One of the main characters, Charles Morton, is caught up in a love triangle with his wife, his mistress, and his ex-fiancée that he’s been led to believe was killed in a car crash. While Alexis Kennedy, Beverly Hills princess, falls for a man she shares DNA with.
Michelle: What made you write this type of story?
Nick: Years ago I would always watch soaps with my Mother. I became fascinated with the characters, the plots, and the way the writers would take viewers on an entertaining rollercoaster ride day after day. I’ve always wanted to create something of my own that would leave an audience feeling the same captivation I felt whenever I tuned in to CBS Daytime.
Michelle: Your second novel is titled Jamal, which is an erotic fantasy. Tell us what this book is about.
Nick: Jamal is a rock-hard, oiled body that satisfies his victims to completion each time he’s called upon, but he’s nothing more than a fantasy aimed to please. In this book I show three lonesome women that lay eyes on Jamal in one way or another, and instantly start to fantasize about him and the things they need done to their deprived, lonely bodies. Jamal is willing and ready to take care of each of them in his own personal way, but only in their dreams.
Michelle: Where did you get the idea to weave a man like Jamal into the lives of these women?
Nick: I never thought I would write erotic fiction until I was approached to do a piece in a magazine that focused only on erotica. One night I sat down at my computer and the next thing I knew the characters came to me, then the storylines, names, descriptions, etc. I just wrote what was in my head, and out popped Jamal.
Michelle: Jamal is shown as “Volume One”. Will there be follow-up stories to come?
Nick: Originally when I released Jamal I planned to do an entire series, but I haven’t gone back to that place inside of myself yet to pull out the story. If Jamal Part II comes to me, and/or my readers want a part II, I will definitely write that book.
Michelle: I see that you have published your novels under Xlibris, which in my opinion, is a definite self-publishing No-No. Why did you choose to publish with them over all the other outlets available?
Nick: When I first started all I wanted to do was write. I had no idea what to do, where to go, or who to contact so when I came across Xlibris I instantly started a relationship with them because I felt safe and, at the time, I felt my work would be safe with them as well. Looking back, I should have slowed down, did a lot more research, and went with the best option for my career instead of stopping at the first door I came across.
Michelle: Do you believe that the high price tag Xlibris attaches to your books have an adverse effect on your sales? Why or why not?
Nick: I definitely think the price tag Xlibris has stamped on my books has had an adverse effect on my sales. Pricing is a huge deal for me. Even though I’m on my third novel I feel like I haven’t established myself just yet as an author to charge readers the same amount, if not more, than what the well-known authors are charging.
Michelle: What is the reason for the re-release of your current title My Husband’s Wife? What’s different in this version?
Nick: When My Husband’s Wife was finally released I was so proud. I love all of my work, but this particular book was and still is very special to me. I enjoyed the positive responses My Husband’s Wife was receiving until I started hearing comments like, “Your book is really good, but the errors were distracting.” Or, “Other than all the blunders and mistakes, My Husband’s Wife is a great read!” The final straw was when someone I was working with at the time brought back some pretty harsh, negative feedback from a few readers he’d come across. At that point I started reading my book. I was livid at how many errors I had let slip by. I became even angrier at how many errors my professional editing team let slip by. Right then and there I stopped all promotion, campaigns, book club meetings and anything else I had scheduled and went to work on editing. The re-released version is exactly the same, but this time I’m determined to give my readers a more polished novel they will hopefully enjoy.
Michelle: From where did you draw inspiration to craft the cast of characters in My Husband’s Wife?
Nick: One Friday evening a name, Katie Morgan, kept playing in my head over and over. After a few hours I could see Katie Morgan and her sisters’ faces as clear as day. The same night Erick Reynolds came to me along with his whole backstory. A few weeks later Courtney Byrd and the twist with Courtney came to me. Once the title and the ending started reading in my head I put it all together.
Michelle: You will be releasing your fourth novel, Betrayed, in 2014. Give us a brief rundown on what the book is about.
Nick: Betrayed is about a father, William Majors, who dedicates his entire life to his son, Billy, after the young boy’s mother passes away. Once William raises his son up to be a man, he decides he is ready for a wife. William falls in love with the new lady in his life, Jennifer Payne, and so does Billy.
Michelle: Betrayal seems to be a running theme in your titles. Is there a method to your madness, or is it just coincidental?
Nick: Completely coincidental. I write whatever comes to my heart.
Michelle: What do you feel has been the most valuable lesson learned thus far when it comes to self-publishing?
Nick: The most valuable lesson I’ve learned thus far about self-publishing is I must do my homework before signing at the X.
Michelle: What else can we expect from Nick Haskins in the future?
Nick: Other than Betrayed, I plan to release a sequel to On the Edge of Heat soon. I also plan to write, produce, and direct a web series as well as a play.
Michelle: How can readers contact and/or follow you?
Nick: I am on Facebook: Nick Haskins. I have a community Facebook page where interested parties can read everything I have going on or coming up: facebook.com/NickHaskinsTheAuthor. I’m on Twitter @IamNickHaskins. I am also on IG: MyNameisNicholas, My novels are also accessible in the Market/Play Store on any smartphone. Just search Nick Haskins and book covers as well as sample chapters are available.
Nick Haskins is the author of On the Edge of Heat, Jamal, and his latest novel, My Husband’s Wife. Nick was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. His passion for writing began at a very young age. He completed his first book early 2009. He is actively working on his fourth novel, Betrayed, scheduled to be released early 2014. Nick is currently studying to obtain his Bachelor’s degree in Communications with plans to become a full-time writer.
Readers can visit Nick’s websites at www.ontheedgeofheat.com, www.husbandswife.com, or email him at [email protected]