Today, I’m happy to be chatting with author, Nikki Prince. Nikki is a mother of two, who always had a dream to be a published author. Her passion lies in raising her children, gaming, reading and writing. She has two Masters, one in English and the other in Creative Writing concentration in fiction.
Nikki’s a multi-published author with several publishing houses. She loves to write Interracial romances in all genres but wants to let everyone know to not box her in because there is always room for growth. Nikki believes that love should truly be color blind and for all.
Nikki’s a member of Romance Writers of America National, DARA, and several online chapters.
Bakersfield Romance Writers Links
Nikki Prince: It’s actually about 25 books and I earned another Masters in Literature during this time frame. My two teens have been a great help as well as inspiration for me because I want them to know that anything is possible in their life as long as they go for it.
I went back to school in 2014 and garnered the BA, and two MA’s in a 3-year span and have maintained a 3.9 GPA. I’ve been wanting to write since I was 11 years old. I finally made that dream a reality when I turned 43 and realized it is never too late to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Writing and reading has been a passion for since I first found romance books at age 11. Before finding my grandmother’s romances, and Johanna Lindsey on my father’s dresser I hated to read.
Reading helped me in so many ways, you see I had a learning disability. However, once I found romance books and started reading that all changed for me and the only inkling of a disability that I still have is in math which is another part of the brain. Reading and writing saved my life in so many ways and knowing that I can bring joy to someone else from reading the worlds and characters that I build is so satisfyingly wonderful. Another shining part in my writing and real life is belonging to RWA it is a wonderful community where writers of like minds can be together to nurture one another.
Nikki Prince: I’ve had this thought of creating a bunch of friends for who all intents and purposes are the best of girlfriends with great guy friends. Three sets of friends and the desire to be together and yet there is something holding them back. Ashton and Keiko’s love story has a few twists along the way to get to the HEA, because everyone deserves a happy ever after.
Nikki Prince: The last story that I had come out is a short called Blurred Lines, and it came out June 2019. I am working on edits for the second book in the Undeniable Series with Áine Reid and Darian Tisdale in a story called “It’s Work” and following that the next story which is Emmerson Collins and Royce Hanson’s story called, “It’s Real.” Beyond that I have a lot of stories still left in me to write. Stories that may be paranormal, contemporary and love between the same gender, opposite gender, interracial mix or same racial mix as I believe everyone’s story should be told.
Nikki Prince: Indeed, I have. I know there are some that say that writer’s block is imaginary. In some ways I think that is true because there is inspiration to write everywhere. However, there are times when the brain doesn’t want to function and let you put out the stories as you have before. Because let’s face it, life can be messy it is one of the reasons most of us read romance is because it lets us get out of our own heads, our own lives and for a moment in time live a life of beauty.
How I get past it is I game (I play World of Warcraft have since 2006), I spend time with my children, Travel somewhere different , read something else and sometimes a nap will rejuvenate the mind and spirit. When I moved to Dallas last year in 2018 it was hard to get a chance to write and for me that was a block, however if it is in you to write and to create it never goes away so here I am.
Right now I am working on putting together a writing community here in Bakersfield, California. I knew when I moved here that RWA wasn’t represented here and I want to change that. So far I have about 7 other people within the group. I hope to gain more so that I can apply for Bakersfield Romance Writers to be a full chapter of the Romance Writers of America. I am also in grad school for a third Masters. This is a Masters in Marketing and Social Media. I’m taking my time with this MA as I already have two and there is no rush, besides I have plenty of stories within me that I want to share with the world.
My writing day really depends. Between having two teens in High School, being in grad school and looking for a full-time job here in Bakersfield (I’ve only been here since June), I write wherever and whenever I can. That has always been the way of it since 2012. I love writing and creating so I will write at night, in the afternoon, and in the morning. Whatever it takes to get the stories done, I’ll do it. One of the ways to do that is I love to do National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo) every November so that I can just immerse myself in my stories for a whole month.
A Few Books by Nikki Prince
Books are written with chapters. Some books organize thoughts and points by chapter. Others are just continuing the story either from a different POV or a new plot twist, which makes us want to continue reading, wondering what will happen next.
Some can be really long chapters and some can be short. A lot depends on what we are doing in the middle of the chapter and our control over whether we are starting fresh or not. Sometimes a new school year can be a new chapter, sometimes a new semester, or sometimes it’s changing schools or graduating. All these stages in life can be a new chapter.
The oldest had his a few weeks ago from the Community College he has been attending. And today we celebrate the other two – my youngest graduates 8th grade, while my middle son graduates high school. Both on the same day. It’s been a bit nuts the past few weeks. Lots of lasts, lots of goodbyes, lots of getting things ready for the next year, whether it was math placement tests, or turning in paperwork for college. It has been so fun to be on this journey with them, but I’m also very excited to turn the page and see what happens next.
At my age it’s a lot easier to reflect back and know what an exciting time this is for all three of them. They can do anything they put their minds to. Many doors will open and some will close. It will be up to them to make it all happen. And it’s interesting to see how quickly something can change or an opportunity presents itself.
It makes me think about my writing and somehow trying to put that same expectancy on the page. So that when we read we can’t put a book down because we are excited for what’s around the corner and we don’t want to miss it.
I sort of forget how flexible we all were when we were younger. Not so set in routine and order. Maybe that’s something I should keep in mind when I’m working on my book.
Happy Graduation boys. Mom is super proud of you!
Over the last many months I have been helping my mother prepare to relocate. We have spent hours choosing the furniture she will take and trying to determine how many dishes, glasses, and cookie sheets she’ll really need.
Dusty and dirty after spending the day cleaning the garage, we found ourselves in the dining room at the end of the day. I looked at the huge breakfront overflowing with crystal, silver, and china. I opened the glass door and took out a piece of bisque colored china.
“Do you want to take it with you?” I asked.
“That’s Limoges,” she said. “One of dad’s patients gave it to him after he delivered her baby.”
“And these?” I held up two tall crystal vases. Certainly one would do in a smaller place.
“Keep them both,” she said.
“Because I like them,” she answered.
On we went sorting through soup tureens, more vases, statues of ballerinas, and teacups. It was the teacups that enthralled me and the work slowed as I set them on the dining room table, one after another. Some had fluted edges and others were like little pot-bellied stoves. My favorite cup was sleek and modern with a shallow bowl. It was made of porcelain so white and delicate that I could see through it. The sweep of the golden handle made the cup look like a swan. The cups were miss-matched because that was the style in another elegant era.
My mother and I touched the teacups, nudged their saucers, and ran our fingers over tiny raised paintings of roses and lilies. We looked for the china markings and grouped them: Wedgewood, Meissen, Limoges. There were stories about my grandparents, and of my mother growing up in Germany, and of guests coming for lunch.
When we were done, when she had chosen the teacups to take with her, we went to bed to rest up for the next day’s work. As I drifted off, I realized that in the course of getting ready to close the door on a house we had opened the door to memories that could inspire a hundred novels. I had heard tales of hardship, of gratitude, of uncertainty – even danger – but mostly I had heard tales of graciousness, hard work and above all love.
Someday I will write one of these stories. Until then, I will drink my tea from one of her cups and remind myself that the best stories are those that are rich in flavor and best served with style.
By: Denise M. Colby
Since my post is set for the day we celebrate Veteran’s Day and I love history, I thought it would be fun to celebrate my family in the military and do a bit of research. I don’t have a long list of family members in the military, nor do I have a lot of stories passed down from generation to generation. What I do have are snippets and a few photos.
I will start with my great-great-great-grandfather James Clyman, who I wrote about a few months ago. He wrote down information in his journal and it is here that I learned he enlisted as a private in a company of Mounted Volunteers on June 16, 1832. He was in the same company with Abraham Lincoln for a month (and together they fought in the Black Hawk War). He is quoted in James Clyman, Frontiersman (quoting a quote from another book by R.T. Montgomery, “Biographical Sketch of James Clyman”) of saying “We didn’t think much then about his ever being President.”
He was then commissioned as a second lieutenant of Mounted Rangers, and later appointed as assistant commissary of subsistence for the company. It’s here that several of the receipts and inventory papers he signed are in the Huntington Library. I was able to go through these papers and take photos a couple of years ago, which was an amazing experience. And finally, I get to use them in something I’ve written.
Clyman transferred to the First Dragoons and nine months later sent in his resignation, which was accepted on May 31, 1834. He wanted to get back to his farm and business and, according to the Frontiersman, after he returned home, “he was besieged with accounts from the Commissary General of Subsistence at Washington, requesting the return of vouchers and abstracts of ration issues made during campaigns in the field, some of which were dated back to the time of his predecessor in 1832. Clyman stood charged on the books with over $400.” I’m interpreting this as basically the government sent bills to pay for the vouchers and ration issues made while he was in the field.
I believe that my grandfather, Carroll W. Marsh, Sr. was in the military, but I don’t have any specifics on him. As I’m writing this, I realize I need to ask and find out something. We have lots of details on my grandmothers side of the family, but not my grandfathers.
Next on my list is my father, Carroll W. Marsh, Jr., who left the National Guard long before I was born, so I didn’t know him in that capacity. Nor, was his service really talked about. He didn’t fight in any wars that I’m aware of, nor did he have any big stories that were shared to me as a child. My dad passed away over twenty-one years ago and the information I have on my dad and his stint in the Army National Guard is actually very small. But, I decided to find out more.
It’s amazing to be able to research via Google. This large company photo has a title above it that says “Local Boys In Sonoma County’s National Guard Company”. One of the men holds a banner with 579HQ on it. I was able to search up the number. The 579th was an Engineering Battalion, based in Petaluma and still exists today. My dad turned 18 in 1950. I don’t know how many years he served, although I do know he was still in when my parents were married, which would’ve been beyond 1952.
My nephew, Jason Burrows, just retired from the Navy earlier this year after twenty-four years of service. We are close in age, raised more like brother and sister. I’m quite proud of him. He’s been all over. Italy, Japan, Florida. On the Atlantic and the Pacific. The few times our families have gotten together, I have loved hearing his stories. The little things, that as nation we have no visibility to. The inside scoop. I remember staying on the U.S.S. Midway with my family for a scout event and finding how tiny the bunks were for even myself. I couldn’t imagine how they were for him for six months at a time given he’s 6’4”. He said when on ship he’d jog for exercise but would have to duck to clear the doorways. I loved every minute of my twenty hours on board, feeling closer and gaining an understanding of where he was and what he did.
I remember when my dad was sick and close to passing, email was new. Hard to believe now, but given my corporate job at the time, I was the only one in the family that could communicate with Jason and keep him updated so that he could be flown off the ship when the time came to come home.
As I’ve written this, I realize I have much more information than I thought I did about my family and their military history. I’m very thankful I have the ability write about it and an audience to share it with. Thank you for joining me in learning more about my family and its military roots.
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