I met Nikki because of Ate Dianne. Nikki gave me a chance to read and review her book, Falling From the Sky. It’s the first LGBT book that I’ve finished and it opened my mind to welcoming more LGBT books on my TBR pile.
We have Nikki today for an interview! 🙂
Nikki Godwin is a YA/NA/LGBT author. She can’t live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, and music by Hawthorne Heights. When not writing, she internet-stalks her favorite bands and keeps tabs on surf competitions. Her favorite surfer is Gabriel Medina. If you ever get her started on surfing or music, she’ll never shut up. You’ve been warned.
What is your full name?
When is your birthday?
How old are you?
Anything Italian, especially pastas
At the moment, “Ready to Run” by One Direction
Favorite TV show?
Pretty Little Liars
Favorite place to read and/or write?
Where You Are by J.H. Trumble
Who are you when you’re writing?
A completely crazy girl who questions every single word she types.
Who are you when you’re not writing?
A caffeine-addicted dreamer who fangirls insanely over surfers.
Which do you prefer more?
I like both… but I will say, when my favorite surfer is in the water, words don’t happen!
What drives you to write more?
I have waaay too many stories in my head. I’d go insane if I didn’t get them out. So for the sake of my sanity, I have to write. Plus, I love hearing that something I wrote made a difference in someone’s life.
How often do you experience writer’s block and what do you do to get out of it?
I don’t really believe in writer’s block. I believe in getting stuck on a scene/chapter, but when I do, I usually just take a break from it, listen to music, and then try to approach it from a different angle and see what I can make of it.
Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your work?
Yes. It’s not always a good thing because it makes it hard to let a book go and move on to the next.
Do you like making outlines when you write, or do you prefer to start from scratch and work your way from there?
I always outline. I’ve tried to go into a few books with basic ideas and wing it, but that just doesn’t work for me. Ever.
If you could do both at the same speed, which would you prefer: Writing on paper or typing your words? Why?
Typing. My handwriting is way too messy. I’d never know what the book actually said.
What is the best writing advice that you could share with us?
Never bite off more than you can chew. I’ve done it far too many times, overextending myself and trying to keep too many obligations at once. It’s overwhelming, and it sucks all the fun out of writing/publishing/blogging. Sometimes, it’s okay to say no, and sometimes, it’s okay to take a break. There’s no shame in taking your time.
Of all the things that you’ve ever written (poems, essays, short stories, novels, etc.), which one is the most special to you?
The one thing I’ve written that’s most special to me is probably a book that I actually haven’t finished. It’s called Three Words Cursed, and it’s a dystopian YA set in a fire circus. The characters are my favorite that I’ve ever written, and the storyline is very close to my heart. For that reason, I’ll most likely never publish it.
ON HER BOOKS
What inspired the idea of your first book?
The first book I wrote in full was my LGBT YA, Falling From the Sky. It was inspired by the carousel horses at my local mall. I was watching them one day and realized how unique they were. I thought they deserved to be in a book, so I wrote one that somewhat was centered about them.
What message would you like your readers to learn from that book?
The “message” in the book is just to open your heart, let love in, and accept love when it finds you, even if it’s not exactly what you expected.
What inspired the idea of your latest book?
My latest book (that I published in April) was the next installment in my Saturn series. I wanted to write something fun and set in a more nightlife/party environment after setting the other two installments in more low-key settings. The idea of a spring break bucket list sounded like fun because I love chasing after dreams/adventures.
What message would you like your readers to learn from that book?
There really isn’t a message so much in Cross Me Off Your List. I just wanted to show a more wild side of hanging out with a boyband versus the sweetness of American Girl on Saturn.
What is the greatest challenge that you have encountered in the publishing world and how did you overcome it?
As far as the bookish community goes, there are a few people out there who want you to fail, and I’ve had to learn to shut out those voices and just keep doing me. As far as personal challenges, I struggle a lot with negative reactions due to expectations. A lot of people read one particular book by me, and they have been continually disappointed in me as an author because my other books weren’t similar to that one. I sadly made a name for myself on a book that was sort of a fluke. It’s been tough having everything I write compared to the one book that’s not very “me.”
ON BOOK DISCRIMINATION
How would you define book discrimination?
To me, book discrimination is the refusal to read a book based on one’s own prejudices. ((This isn’t to be confused with refusal to read due to triggers. I completely understand if someone refuses to read something because it may trigger them.)) This is more of someone refusing to read a book because a character may be of a different race or gender or sexual orientation than the reader and the reader feels. I think it’s a reflection of personal prejudices, like racism or homophobia, as examples. (There are obviously many other prejudices, but these are more common.) It could be as big as a race of people or just a high schooler who hates football players and therefore, refuses to read about them.
How do you feel about it?
I personally think it’s sad. We live in a world full of diversity with people of different skin colors, cultures, lifestyles, beliefs, etc. Refusing to read about them is like refusing to see that they exist in the world around you.
What do you think is the cause of book discrimination?
I think it’s just an extension of a person’s reality. If a person is prejudiced against a certain group of people, this may spill over into their reading selection.
What would you do against it?
I would continue to recommend the books I love, even if the person I’m recommending to is against the book for whatever reason. Speaking out about these books we love is the only way to spread the word. But I’d also have a long list of reasons in my arsenal as to why this book needs to be read. Just because one element may be against what another reader likes doesn’t mean that the book doesn’t have a lot of other elements they would like or relate to. The pros need to outweigh the cons, so I’d be prepared to share the greatness.
Fill in the blanks. More people should read ________ by ________ because ________.
More people should read more LGBT books by self-published authors because these works are equally as amazing but tend to be pushed away because they’re not written by big names such as John Green or Maureen Johnson.
Thank you so much for participating, Nikki! Your answers are very much appreciated. 🙂