Interview with Nora Quick

What do you read for pleasure?
I enjoy reading many genres of fiction and plenty of non-fiction. My favorites are urban fantasy, mystery, erotic romance, horror, and science fiction. With non-fiction I prefer biographies or in-depth looks at major historical and modern events that affect the entire world. And I can't pass up a good cook-book to save my life.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Detroit, MI in the 1980's when crime was high. I lived in the same projects the Supremes and Lily Tomlin had once lived in. As a child I knew the streets best, the cops and whores, the bangers and beggars, and early on I realized everyone has an interesting story if you take the time to listen. I learned the seamy side of life is far more interesting than the sunny side of the street and I try to write about stories from the concrete jungle, where life-and-death is just day-to-day.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I can't remember the first short story I ever wrote, but I completed my first novel at age 12. It was a story about a street hoodlum who tries to escape the ghetto by becoming a top-story thief (high class burglar) but in the process become embroiled in a web of police corruption that exposes a crooked city government. At the time Detroit was having a lot of problems with corruption and I wanted the world to see how the issue affected the poor, and particularly poor black Americans. I myself am white, but I grew up in a black neighborhood with black friends and often its easier for me to see life from their point of view.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I prefer to read eBooks on my computer and keep all my files in one place, but one of these days I will break down and get a Kindle so I can read on the train.
When did you first start writing?
I learned how to write at age 4 and I started immediately learning to write well. My mother was a copywriter who taught me the rules of grammar so I'd know them in and out, and know how to play with them. I began writing short stories at first about my imaginary friend and my stuffed animals as well as pets having anthropomorphic adventures, but by age 8 I tried to start writing stories that reflected reality.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest novel is "The Violin Case" and it's a love letter to the greats of hard-boiled noir detective stories. It gives a nod to Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon" but bears little resemblance. Hammett is my favorite, and my parents named me Nora for his character Nora Charles in "The Thin Man."
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I first sought to get published the traditional way back in 2000 with a crime series. Resoundingly agents told me if I were a man they could sell it, but as a woman I should write romance. I tried writing straight romance and got a contract with the world's largest boutique publisher but we came to odds (I wanted an intelligent heroine, they wanted me to dumb her down to bimbo status) and it ended in court in 2002.

I turned my back on publishing for many years and in 2011 I realized the future of publishing is different now and decided to explore self publishing. Learning the business side has made me sharper and I feel if I decide to publish traditionally I have a better understanding of how it works now, and I will have some beloved fans behind me as a sales factor.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! I plot a story to please myself, but when I start writing it I keep my audience in mind. Having written for several years on I've gotten to interact with my fans and learn what really matters to them. I want every book I write to be better than the last and I want every reader to close it with a smile.
What is your writing process?
First I usually find myself daydreaming after reading or seeing something happen. I think of a protagonist and basic premise that pleases me and sit down and write a short 3 page synopsis. Then I create character bios for each main character and then I write a long (up to 30 pages) detailed summary of the plot. I take a break to do any research I need to and then start writing. I edit in three passes and usually have a fellow writer critique and edit it. Then I take a long break, come back, and read it as a reader. If I like it, I know it's ready to be published.
What inspires you most?
My inspiration largely comes from two sources: either a random daydream (or sometimes a real dream) and reading something I thought stunk.

With daydreams I might see a news story, or watch a series of events unfold for a friend, and think of how I could make that fit the hero cycle and make it deeply interesting. "Case of the Missing Millionaire" was inspired by a very odd unsolved murder profiled on "Unsolved Mysteries" I saw as a child that has always stuck with me, for example.

I admit sometimes I read a book or short story and it's just bad. I'll try to write something similar, but take it in a completely different direction. I once read a really bad erotic romance involving werewolves in a pansexual pack of four that really lacked a cohesive plot, it was just four people having sex all the time (and often in a mixing of human and wolf form- ew!). I thought to myself how I love werewolf lore and could write something better. "Wolf Tales Volume I" was born which I feel has a very strong focus on plot and characterization as well as a heavy dose of erotic romance.
How do you set the mood when writing?
I try to read stories in a similar genre to a current project, watch movies with the same themes, and listen to music that fits the mood.

For example, when writing a Marly Jackson mystery I might read some Mickey Spillane, watch "Brick" and then for different scenes listen to the right mood music. A slow sex scene might call for an Enigma song, or a car chase might call for some hair metal.
Published 2014-11-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Dryad
Price: Free! Words: 32,530. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction
Behind every mask lies burning passions and dark secrets. Raven Keppler must save herself by donning the guise of her dead aunt, Dryad. Forced to recover a lost map she will face millionaire James McBride and legendary superhero Gryphon. When ghosts of the past leave her seduced, defeated, victorious, and stunned, can she survive long enough to save the world?
The Violin Case (The Second Marly Jackson Mystery)
Series: Marly Jackson Mysteries. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,010. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
The Coldest Case Come to Chicago’s Hottest P.I. Marly Jackson. Tasked by her ex-lover Finn with finding a rare violin, the case explodes. From back-alley deals in the slums to the halls of academia, it seems everyone wants a piece of the violin, and everyone is willing to kill to get it.
Wolf Tales Volume I
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 121,130. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction
For centuries werewolves have lived beside humans, only able to add to their pack by turning a select few. Now from Chicago to Moscow, follow the pack as they meet their mates. Irresistible attraction, explosive passion, danger, and intrigue follow them at every the wolves fight for what they have never known: true love.
Case of the Missing Millionaire
Series: Marly Jackson Mysteries. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 70,260. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
Blackmail, Murder, Sex-for-Hire...Chicago's Hottest P.I. Takes Her Toughest Case