Nicky Penttila writes stories with adventure and love, and often with ideas and history as well. She enjoys coming up with stories that are set in faraway cities and countries, because then she *must* travel there, you know, for research. She lives in Maryland with her reading-mad husband and amazing rescue cat. She’s chattiest on Twitter, @NickyPenttila, and can also be found at nickypenttila.com.
Which comes first, the story, the characters, or the setting?
It’s been different every time. Olivia drove the story of my regency, A Note of Scandal: What could she be brilliant at but unable to take credit for? The contemporary-set Babysitting the Billionaire grew out of a visit to the Building Museum in DC, seeing them prepping for a big party and wondering who would be attending. As for my big historical, An Untitled Lady, a mass protest in 1819 (30,000 people!) was the first bit, and I had to ask myself: Who would be right in the middle of that action and yet still able to see it from many angles?
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything, and often in waves. Lately I've been on a hard science fiction kick; before that it was fantasy, and before that contemporary erotica. I read a lot of history, science, and social-issues reporting for research and for pleasure (or outrage). Current fiction faves are Mary Doria Russell, Carla Kelly, David Mitchell, Ursula Le Guin, Rose Lerner.