Apseudonym used by Nikki Poppen
Bronwyn Scott is a pen name for Nikki Poppen. Nikki lives in the Pacific Northwestern United States, where she is a communications instructor at a small college. She enjoys playing the piano and hanging out with her three children. She definitely does not enjoy cooking or laundryshe leaves that to her husband, who teaches early morning and late evening classes at the college so he can spend the day being a stay-at-home daddy.
Nikki remembers writing all her life. She started attending young-author conferences held by the school district when she was in fourth grade and is still proud of her first completed novel in sixth grade, a medieval adventure that her mom typed for her on a Smith-Corona electric typewriter!
She has since moved on to RWA conferences and a computer. She loves history and research and is always looking forward to the next story. She also enjoys talking with other writers and readers about books they like and the writing process. Shed love to hear from you! Check out her Harlequin Mills and Boon links and her personal Web page.
Interview with… Bronwyn Scott
JANUARY 23, 2015
Bronwyn Scott first sold to Harlequin in 2008. Her Harlequin Historical debut was Pickpocket Countess and since then, she has written 30 (correct as of Dec 2014!) books. Her most recent book is Playing the Rake’s Game.
Follow @Bronwynscott on Twitter, visit her website and find her on Facebook!
1. How did you celebrate selling your first manuscript?
In my nightgown with coffee (normally I just drink herbal tea but I splurged, I needed something stronger). The call came in at 5:30 AM in the morning. My husband had already left for work so it was just me and three sleeping kiddos.
2. Which of the many books you’ve written has stayed with you the most and why?
Pickpocket Countess for so many reasons: 1) it has the best cover ever. There were even blogs that went up strictly dedicated to that cover. 2) because it was the first! Nobody forgets their first (wink wink) . 3) It’s a great adventure story with a real sense of pace and tension to it as Brandon and Nora escalate their cat and mouse game.
3. What’s top of your TBR pile?
I’m actually all caught up but right now I am waiting expectantly for the next Pennyroyal Green book due out in March.
4. What book do you wish you’d written and why?
I have this time travel series I sort of cut my teeth on when I was ‘practicing’ aka seeing if I could actually finish writing a book length story, a story called “Seamless,” and it was meant to be followed up by two other books but I got busy selling Regency manuscripts and never got back to it and it’s still there, the second book too in some unfinished state. I still really love those characters, but it’s one of those things that will probably stay under the bed in a box.
5. What’s harder – first or last lines?
Last lines. I just love first lines—they are totally my thing.
6. How do you choose your characters names?
I read name lists. 1) I read baby name lists 2) I read historical baby name lists 3) I read swim meet heat sheets (my son is a swimmer and he goes to these meets where there are 400 kids swimming and the meets take 3 hours or more. There’s nothing to do but to read the heat sheets. I write down first and last names that l like. 4) When I get desperate, I read the phone book—not just American phonebooks, but international phone books, especially British phone books.
7. How do you push through writer’s block?
I try very hard not to get it in the first place and I seldom do. 1) I outline the book thematically before I start and that helps a lot because I know what needs to happen and when 2) At the end of every writing session, I always write the first paragraph of the next chapter so I have the next day already started while the ideas are flowing and that becomes the prompt for the next morning
8. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever had.
It’s from bestseller John Saul, who wrote thrillers in the 80s and he was Stephen King’s primary competition in those days. He said to be a writer, a real writer, you have to do something every day for your writing. The reason for this is 1) it creates discipline 2)it keeps your writing at the forefront of your personal daily agenda—your writing becomes your ‘normal’ not something you just pull out from under the bed when you have time for a hobby. 3) It makes becoming a writer ‘real’ and possible to you. It’s like going to the gym. He also pointed out that you don’t have to actually write every day, you don’t have to do a chapter. You can edit, you can blog about your latest project etc. There’s a lot of ways to do something for your writing every day. Not every day is cut out to be a ‘lets write a chapter day.’ But every day, you can do one thing for your writing.
9. Your preferred writing snack?
10. is your favourite fictional couple?
Just one? Here’s my top three:
Jamie and Claire (not because they’re the new hot thing, but because I’ve loved them since 1999 when I first read Outlander)
Scarlett and Rhett
Aragorn and Arwen
11. If you could rewrite your life, what would you change?
Not much at all. But there are two things. First, I’d like to have said more to people who are no longer with us. I don’t think I’ve handled death very well so far in that respect. Second, I would have liked to have found a way to live in Europe. Still working on that, but it’s harder now with kids who are entrenched in their activities and you can’t exactly move a horse overseas unless you’re super rich.
12. What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
That I ‘met’ the Queen of England once, it was unforgettable. I’m sure she would say the same.
13. What is your most overused word?
I think it changes from book to book. In one series, I just got hooked on the word ‘exquisite’ for instance. But I think overall, one of my favourite overused words is ‘perhaps.’ There are just so few synonyms for maybe!
14. If I wasn’t a romance author, I would have liked to be…
a historical author. I want to be Philippa Gregory
15. When was the last time you said ‘I love you’?
About 15 minutes ago, to my son who called from his New Year’s Eve party—his swim group from the team got together to ring in the year with a co-ed sleepover. He was just calling to check in. I end almost all of my conversations on the phone with my family with I love you. It’s the last thing I say when the kids walk out the door for school and the last thing I tell my husband every night before I go to sleep. But he’s always asleep before me so he doesn’t always hear.
16. What does love feel like?
I feel like I’m supposed to have an amazing answer for this and show off my insightful ‘writer-ness’ but I will fail miserably. It feels like a hug. It feels like ice cold champagne going down your throat at dusk on a summer’s night.
17.What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Talking about my kids because I know no one is nearly as interested in them as I am but I do it anyway. Although I really do try to limit my indulgences.
18. What’s your most romantic song?
I’ll give you two: First, Vivaldi’s Adagio and then on the total other end of the spectrum—Bonnie Tyler’s Holding on for a Hero—it’s not necessarily romantic, but it sure gets me fired up, makes me feel inspired and powerful like there’s nothing I can’t do. And any ballad by Meatloaf works pretty well too.
19. Every hero needs a…weakness because perfect heroes aren’t really all that perfect are they?
Hope you all enjoyed these insights into the wonderful world of Bronwyn Scott… who’s met THE QUEEN! Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? Go on, make us jealous…
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