Author interview with Nicole Rae and International giveaway


Book Blurb

Emily Jameson thought life couldn’t get any worse. She has an ogre for a boss, a neglectful father and she lives in the smallest hole in the wall town possible. She and her best friend Lucy notice that the town’s residents are beginning to act like pod people, walking around like scared little mice. Little does Emily know, the undead have moved in and they don’t plan to leave until they’ve utilized the ample food resources that Lakeview has to offer. When Emily meets Sebastian, she realizes that she plays a bigger role in the paranormal world than she wants to admit. It’s up to Emily, the hotty Sebastian and the other slayers to take down the vampires. There’s only one problem, Emily doesn’t have a clue how to do it.

My Review

I gave this brilliant book 4 stars because there are some editing issues but these would not have been possible for the author to discover as she is blind and relies on a program which reads her work back to her, the usual spell checker and human eyes to find any errors.
The errors I found were all words which when spoken would sound correct but when spelt wrongly were a totally different word to the one intended.

The book itself is amazing, brilliantly written plot, clear and extremely identifiable character’s and some wonderful descriptive work.
The plot revolves around the main character noticing that people all around the town of Lakeview are acting very suspiciously and totally unlike themselves usually.
This leads to her and her best friend Lucy discovering that vampires are trying to take over the town.
Emily herself has a big part to play as she soon discovers and the vampire slayers have their work cut out.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series which will be out in December.

What was your inspiration for this book?

I started writing Clandestine well over a year ago. I got about a hundred pages in and for whatever reason stopped working. I guess I just gave up, even though that isn’t usually the way I work.

Several months ago I found out that my youngest daughter might have the eye condition that I have. After I got over the shock and anger that I had passed it onto her, I realized something, in some ways she has an advantage that other kids in her place don’t have, she has a blind mommy to show her how to adapt and do things.

That being said, I didn’t want her to ever look back on her life and wonder what if? It’s the ‘what if’s’ that keep you up at night and burn a hole of regret in your gut. I wanted her to know that she really can do anything she sets her mind to no matter how cliché the expression is. I figured, how can I expect her to follow her dreams, if I wasn’t going to follow mine. That same day I started writing and didn’t stop.

How long have you been writing?

I know authors say this a lot, but I’ve been writing since I could. I was always writing stories, poems and even making up my own languages. Before I knew how to spell, I used to label our movies with patterns and shapes. If you asked me to find you a movie to watch, I could go and get it every time thanks to my handy dandy language. It never made sense to anyone else, but I got it. I used to get mad when my parents didn’t understand my labeling system. To me, it was crystal clear and was so obvious.

Who is your favourite character in Clandestine?

That is really hard to answer. I love them all for different reasons. If I had to choose just one, it would have to be Emily’s cute friend Tyler. His carefree laid back attitude makes him easy to love. His silly sarcastic wit makes him fun. And his adorable cuteness makes him easy to crush on. Even though I wrote all of his mannerisms and dialogue, I still find myself laughing out loud at something he says in the dialogue while I’m editing. His is a character that I would love to come to life and walk right off the pages because I would so be his friend.

Are any of your character’s based on real people?

In some ways they all have personality traits of people I know. I would have to say though that no one character is directly modeled after only one person. For instance, some of Lucy’s positive upbeat outlook is based on me. Like her I try not to let anything keep me down. Her perky bubblyness is similar to my daughters personality. Emily’s heroine kick-butt nature is similar to many of my nieces and nephews. They don’t deal with drama and aren’t afraid to speak their mind. I know many people who have the sarcastic charm of Tyler, but in all actuality he is one of a kind. Sebastian’s bad boy hotness was envisioned after Ryan Phillipe from Cruel Intentions. His skeptical, yet at times sweet personality is similar to many guys I’ve met throughout my life.

As a blind writer how do you proof-read your work?

My computer has a screen reader program called JAWS that reads aloud what is on my screen. It can be a vigorous hair pulling experience because the voice isn’t very true to life. It’s monotone and robotic, but I guess you get used to it lol. I read and read the book over and over. I continually go through sections and while listening to the robot in my headphones read the scenes out loud until they sound more natural.

I of course utilize the spelling and grammar checking feature of Microsoft word. Unfortunately, the all mighty spell checker doesn’t always pick up all errors. For this I had a few of my family and friends give it a read through as well. For all my future books I plan to use a professional editor that I have recently found that is really good.

How do you find the errors that I discovered – Words that sound the same but are spelt differently, as the wrong spelling when being read can completely change the meaning.

Unfortunately, the only way for me to catch these types of errors is to put my cursor at the beginning of the text and literally move it letter by letter throughout the entire book.

The reason I think that I didn’t catch the ones you found is because when my computer reads it, the word sounds as though it’s supposed to. The spell check doesn’t pick up on these because they are not technically spelled wrong. When my family and friends went through it, they said they must have missed them because they’re eyes must have glossed over them because they didn’t show up as spelled wrong with the infamous squiggly lines. I feel horrible that these mistakes weren’t caught and hope it doesn’t distract the readers enough that they are turned off from the story. These errors are minimal and sporadic. This really is a great story and hopefully the plot will keep you coming back for more.

I agree wholeheartedly, the story is amazing and I am sure your readers’ will be back for more

Did your own experience influence you to add a blind character into your book?

Sort of. I have always been told to write what you know. I asked myself… what do you know? I know blindness, so it was only natural to incorporate that into the book. Also, I am an avid reader of all genres, especially Paranormal. I noticed that you don’t see blind people in very many books for young adults. I think it’s important to inform the public about my disability so that it’s not a mystery or intimidating. That’s also one of the main reasons I started my second blog Playing The Blind card. It aims to bridge the gap between the blind and the sighted through humor. I also talk about my blindness on my writing site Nicole Rae’s Blog.

Will we see more of this character in the rest of the series?

Yes definitely. The second book will actually feature Lucy on the cover. This book will transition between both Emily and Lucy’s perspectives.

What caused your loss of sight?

I have inherited two genetic diseases. They are Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), COATS (which is an acronym for a really huge word that not even I know lol). Those two diseases caused me to also develop cataracts, nystagmus and glaucoma. The RP affects my peripheral vision and the COATS affects my central vision. So in a nutshell, I was kind of screwed right out of the gate.

I was born legally blind, but didn’t really notice a depletion until  shortly before I turned eighteen. By the time I was twenty-one, I could hardly see anything. Now I have just turned twenty-nine on September 20th and can’t see anything. Occasionally I can make out a really bright light, but not in any real detail and it usually fades out quickly.

Do you think it is harder to cope with blindness after being sighted or harder to be born blind?

I think it really depends on the individual. Someone who is born blind has the advantage of adapting from the minute they take their first breath. Things become second nature for them pretty early on. However, they don’t have the ability to see anything, not their family, friends, a pretty sunset or anything else.

As someone who became blind later in life I can say that it was and sometimes still is the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life. I miss everything. Sometimes even the simple act of a squirrel running up a tree with a peanut bulging out it’s cheeks makes me sad because I couldn’t witness it first hand.

I am a mom of two incredible girls, who are eleven and three. I was lucky with my oldest Alexeea because I got to see her for the first few years of her life. I can still remember her smile and the way she scrunched up her face when she was confused and how her little eyebrows would turn red when she was mad.

With my youngest daughter Ellyana, I don’t have that privilege. I have never seen her face. I know that she looks exactly like me, only because every one says so. I didn’t get to see her learn to walk and I don’t get to watch her dance around like a crazy person to her favorite singer Justin Bieber. I won’t get to see my girls graduate high school, walk down the aisle and have their own babies. These things make me sad and sometimes make me have a depression day now and then.

For the most part I try and stick to the positive. I get to hear them laugh. I get to listen while they sing their favourite songs and if they ever give a speech in school, I’ll hear that too. I might not see them take their vows, but I will hear the words and get to feel their gorgeous dress and compliment them on their intricate hair styles. They are my life and without them I wouldn’t have the courage to do some of the things I have done. Blindness isn’t the end of the world. In some ways… it’s a new beginning.

Do you experience much discrimination?

Yes, but it’s getting better. I come from a small town. There isn’t a huge blind population here so I get a lot of stares, rudeness and funny reactions. I have never had outright discrimination or been told out loud that I can’t do something. I will say that getting a job is next to impossible here. When I was younger I went through several applications and interviews. They never said that they weren’t going to hire me because of my disability in so many words. Either way I knew the real reason.

Mostly I deal with rude comments and eyes boring into either my back, my face or at my cane. I once had someone stare at me so hard that they didn’t notice my cane and tripped over it when they got too close. I didn’t let it bug me. I just did what I always do and made a joke. I looked toward her, smiled and said, “Sorry, I didn’t see you there.” The woman’s face got cherry tomato red and she didn’t say a word.

What are the next books in the series and when will they be available?

The next book in the series is called Divinity and as I said earlier, will feature Lucy on the cover. This book is great because it delves into Lucy’s background a lot more and also some interesting secrets of her own, while continuing the saga with Emily and the other slayers as they fight to rid Lakeview of the vampires that have come sneaking through. This book will be out around Christmas time and will be a great addition to your must read list. I anticipate that the series will have four books. I have not yet titled them. I can promise that the future of this series will have many more twists and turns to keep you guessing. If you love action, humor and love all rolled into one great undead package, you will love this series.

What books have you written and where can we buy them?

The only book that has been released so far is Clandestine. It can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and create Space. I have also been working diligently to make this book available in audio for all of my blindy’s as well as those of you who love reading through listening.

The next book to be released is Divinity and in February my book Sightless Spirits will be released. That one has a blind main character. It will be available in all the same venues as Clandestine. For information about Divinity’s hard back and audio release and also about my other projects, check out my website. I post all my updates there.

What are you offering for the giveaway?
Today I have up for grabs a signed print copy of Clandestine. It is open in the US as well as internationally. Just leave a comment below this post and a winner will be drawn at the end of the giveaway period.
What do you find hardest about writing a book?

The title and the description. I can write a book with multiple chapters all day long. Ask me to summarise it in a few paragraphs… I’m stumped. My description for Clandestine took me forever to come up with. The title took just about as long. For the series title I actually left it up to readers to decide. I put up poles and let them vote. They are the ones that came up with Bound In Blood. I just made the final decision.

Where is your favourite place to write?

Ideally I love to write in my bedroom curled up on my bed, laptop poised and ready. Being a mommy doesn’t make this an option very often. So, I normally write on my couch, with my legs curled up and my computer in my lap.

Do you plan everything out first or wing it as you go along?
Most of the time I wing it. Outlining is no simple task when you’re blind. I map things out in my head and take copious notes. I have separate documents for each book for notes, character info, ideas, test chapters, etc. The only book that I’m working on right now that is somewhat mapped out on paper is an elemental series that I’ve been playing with. For me, the words usually flow pretty freely and I prefer to be just as surprised by the ending as the reader who buys it.
Who is your current favourite author?
That is tricky. I love so many. Hmm… the series I read most often is Rachel Cane, so I would have to say her. I love her Morganville Vampire series. I also love Cassandra Clare and Richelle Mead.
What is your current favourite genre?
Young Adult Paranormal

What is your all-time favourite book?
Oops, I guess I kind of already answered this one lol. It is a toss up between The Morganville Vampires and The Mortal Instruments.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am doing something I don’t normally do actually. I am currently reading several. I am reading Witch Fire by James Clemmens, Dark Lover by JRWard and Caged by Damnation by J.D. Stroube



Website information:

Estore where Clandestine can be purchased


Clandestine On Amazon print and eBook


Clandestine on Barnes and noble print and eBook



Blog Nicole Rae’s Blog


Blog on Blindness: Playing The Blind Card








Nicole Rae



I would like to thank Nicole for her time and for the full answers she gave for this interview, it is so nice to get to know our independent authors better.


If you would like to enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of Nicoles’ first book Clandestine then please leave a comment and a way for me to contact you if you win.

There is one copy up for grabs and anybody is free to enter.

The giveaway will be open immediately until the 2nd of October, one person will be drawn randomly and I will pass on your details to Nicole so that she can send your prize copy off to you.

No contact details will be used for any other purpose than for the express reason to contact you if you win, no details will be kept for future reference and I will not even put them on your comment post on the blog as all comments need to be moderated by me anyway.  I will remove your contact details before approving your comment and will make a note for myself only so that contact can be made.

I hope you have enjoyed learning more about Nicole as much as I have.

Good luck


~ by adelesymonds on September 25, 2012.

15 Responses to “Author interview with Nicole Rae and International giveaway”

  1. Great interview. I would love to have this book in my collection. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Hello, ladies. Lovely interview. What a wonderful story of hope and character. You’re definitely a very special lady, Nicole. I’m really enjoying Clandestine. I have to agree with Adele that it has a strong plot and wonderful characters. Look forward to the second book.

    • Hi Johanna, thanks for your reply to our interview, I am glad you like it. Would you like to be entered into the draw? You can pass the book onto somebody else who you feel will enjoy it.

  3. I am happily married to Nikki’s favorite uncle (chuckling out loud) and have been in Nikki’s life for 10yrs. Nikki is the most humble person I have ever met and she never lets her blindness get in her way. I have never once heard or seen Nikki pity on herself. All I have ever seen Nikki do is smile and laugh, she is truly AMAZING and a huge inspiration. Before I read her book I have to admit that I was skeptical because I have read a lot of books in that genre and put those authors on a pedistal. Well let me tell you, this book far exceeded all my expectations. When I was near the ending of the book all I wanted was for it not to end. I can’t wait to read the next. Nikki is high up on my pedistal now and I am happy to have the privilage of being her aunt. (Please don’t enter my name in the drawing)

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment Terra-Beth, I am sure Nikki will be thrilled to know you think so highly of her. I wish you all the best, and of course I will leave you out of the giveaway if that is what what you want.

  4. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Great post, Adele – truly inspiring when you read something like this. Terrific to offer such an in-depth and honest interview. An incredible lady. X

    • Hi Jae,
      I am pleased you enjoyed the interview, it was fun to do. It is amazing what people are capable of in the face of adversity, it seems to me that the harder things are for a person, if the drive and determination are there it can make the outcome better than it would have been without the difficulties.
      You are entered in the giveaway.

  6. What a great plot concept – the more the merrier when it comes to slayers, I say – and interview!
    Nicole sounds like a wonderful person… And a brilliant writer! And who doesn’t love a giveaway?

  7. Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great style and design .

  8. […] Author interview with Nicole Rae and International giveaway ( Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

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