Vash Karuppa: Romance with a South Indian Flair

Vash Karuppa: Romance with a South Indian Flair

Which comes first–your voice or your niche? Author Vash Karuppa found both through a writing hobby that became a passion. Her debut romance, Destiny for Love Arranged, delivers an engaging romance that delves into the bonds of family, friendship, and South African Indian culture. Please join us for a talk with Vash as she details her journey to becoming a published author and find out what’s next.

Tell us about your journey to become a published author.  

It has been an incredible journey thus far. I started writing my novel with no intention of publishing it. Writing is a hobby and at first it was simply a way of me enjoying putting my plot onto paper. Once complete, a few friends read the draft and motivated me to consider publishing it. That started my journey into the “real” world of an author. I was blessed indeed because when I made the decision to go ahead with [publishing], I had a tremendous amount of support from the writing fraternity. As a debut author, it has been phenomenal. 

For many years, I have read articles around the call for diverse romance novels that incorporate multi-cultural aspects into a traditional romance plot. In addition, I’m a hopeless romantic myself and always had a plot in my head around a story that integrates family and friendship bonds (which I have been blessed to have throughout my life) together with a typical romance story. When I eventually decided to put pen to paper, it all just naturally came together, giving birth to Destiny for Love Arranged. Finally, I do believe there aren’t too many novels written which share intricacies of the South Indian culture and I was determined to do this. Looking at the feedback received thus far from readers, it was well received.         

Whats parked the idea for this romance series?

Destiny For Love Arranged is a contemporary, gripping and angsty, second chance Indian romance that reveals the love of family and friendship bonds during trying times. All protagonists are of South African Indian origin.

The story revolves around Aariyan Ranjan, a highly successful CEO of a Hotel Empire and Varini Iyengar, an Oncologist, who are forced into a temporary marriage of convenience to help them resolve personal dilemmas. While Aariyan is determined to treat their marriage as he would any other business deal, love rarely listens to logic, and what follows is anything but business. On the other hand, Varini soon finds herself gravitating toward and rejoicing in the love she thought lost forever with a hidden hope that their marriage of convenience will end in a union of everlasting love. The story is embedded with cultural anecdotes familiar to any family of Indian origin. It takes their family, friends and a life-threatening situation to show them the love they lost is worth fighting for. 

In short, this is a story about family, friendship, and starting over, as Aariyan and Varini embark on a journey toward a second chance at love. You will get to share in their moments as they discover that vulnerability can actually be their strength and the most perplexing problems can be overcome with the support and resourcefulness of a loving family and faithful friends.

This is Book 1 of a trilogy.

Give five words that best describe this book.What message do you hope readers get?

A gripping, angsty, emotional, fun-filled and diverse book.

Give us one or two of your favorite lines from your current book.

I will understand if you don’t want to be a part of my life any longer, but I need you to know, for as long as I live, you will always have my heart. I want and need you more than I do my next breath, but I will let you go if you want to be free of a life with me.

Tell us about your writings pace and your daily routine.

Writing Space – A quiet space in my little apartment directly next to a window where I can have the warmth of the sun and sounds of chirping birds to keep me company while writing.

Daily routine – Have a day job so get to writing a night for at least 2 hours in the week and whatever time I can hijack on the weekend. ”      

What’s one of your favorite comments you’ve ever received about your writing? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?

“No spoilers from me… This book was just wow for so many reasons… Mostly I just want to say thank you to Vash Karuppa for the journey and that you made it possible for me to understand and enjoy the Indian culture… The characters in this book and the emotions wow… So Real… And then the country… South-Africa! Can’t wait for more great books from this Author and for the journey to continue… I enjoyed it so much…”

It is a review by a member of my Reader Network. It had an immensely positive impact owing to the reiteration that my intention to showcase my culture was well received. In addition, I was pleased to know that the emotions I so desperately wanted readers to feel was indeed achieved. ”      

What’s your biggest struggle as a writer? 

Biggest struggle – not enough time to write. Trying my best to manage a day job, family and writing.    

What has been the high point of your career, so far?

That my debut novel has received an 4.8 average rating in less than three week since it went live. In addition, the fact that so many readers are recommending the novel to friends and family.   

What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?

Having to cut down on the story line due to publisher maximum novel length requirements. I handled it by taking what parts I had to remove and added them to Book 2 🙂       

Give us the name of a diverse author you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.

Brenda Jackson           

What’s next on your writing journey?

Destiny for love arranged is a trilogy so I am busy with Book 2 & 3 currently.

What’s your favorite piece of advice to writers?

Keep on going!            

My family, friends and people I encounter everyday are the greatest inspiration for my novels. 

If your latest book had a soundtrack, what would be the first three songs? 

Everything I do, I do it for you (Bryan Adams), We are Family (Sister Sledge) and I’ll be there for you (The Rembrandts)

To learn more about Vash, visit her online at: 

WEBSITE:  — (In construction – will be live by 24th April 2019 at the latest)

FB PAGE:    






Lynn Turner: From STEM to Romance

Lynn Turner: From STEM to Romance

Writing is a calling. No matter how circuitous the route you take, life will always find a way to bring you back to it. This is the case with Lynn Turner, author of ballet romance Pas De Deux: A Dance for Two. Her journey took her from retelling Huckleberry Finn’s story in her teens to finding her voice in the beauty and power of dance. Please welcome Author Lynn Turner and enjoy this short trip into a life-long creative journey.

So many authors take circuitous routes to the art. Tell us about your journey to become a published author.  

I’ve *always* wanted to be a writer, even before I knew that “author” and “writer” were synonyms! When I was 12, I totally pirated Huckleberry Finn’s story and made it my own, complete with a free-spirited tomboy heroine named “Sketch” who runs away from home and takes a paddle boat downriver with her dog and her best friend (not her dog, lol). The entire story spans about four days, but filled every page of a yellow legal pad (front AND back, thank you very much) and I was SO proud! 

The desire to create my own stories persisted through obtaining my STEM degree, which I almost quit Junior year to switch my major to English/ Communications. My adviser convinced me I could do anything with a STEM degree, including write, so I persisted. Fast-forward to 2015, I timidly posted my very first fan fiction one-shot, which became a 130,000-word full-length story because of the amazing readers who encouraged me to keep going. I published my first contemporary romance in 2017 and I’m working on my third.        

Congratulations on your progress. So, what sparked the idea for this romance series?

I saw Misty Copeland’s documentary, A Ballerina’s Tale, on Netflix in 2016. I’d known who she was far before that, but she’s just so…so—so beautiful, so talented, so eloquent and humble and freaking sexy—that she almost seemed unreal. On top of that, I don’t have any dance experience, so I felt quite intimidated by the subject matter, and afraid of how readers with knowledge of that world would react if I got it wrong. But when I watched that documentary, I saw the sheer scope of what Misty overcame to make it, and I HAD to write a black ballerina. 

For context, as a black ballerina, there are already challenges enough inherent in the world you’re trying to exist in. It’s overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly waif-like, with even your feet needing to look a certain way—a certain shape, width, length—before you ever rise en pointe for the first time. If a girl’s got better ankles than you, hang it up, sister. It’s a very homologous world, so your very existence singles you out. The pressure to be exceptional is there for every ballerina, but it’s magnified when you’re “other.” Misty had that to contend with, but also poverty, lack of access, and people who seemed eager for her to fail. 

I wanted to write a story with a heroine as resilient as Misty, who had to overcome such intense beauty standards, as well as personal life challenges, but ended up stronger for it. On a lighter note, The Cutting Edge is one of my favorite movies of all time and the sparring/ sexual chemistry between those characters is everything. I wanted to balance the more poignant/ serious themes with some great chemistry and comedic moments.     

It sounds amazing–a perfect mix. Give the Diverse Romance audience five words that best describe this book. What message do you hope they get?

Passionate. Hopeful. Resilient. Inspiring. Art.

I hope readers take away the powerful truth that our unique experiences (life, love, sadness, failure, triumph, hurt, anger, hope) make us extraordinary; that we each bring something invaluable to the table, and there’s room at that table for all of us.”

Every writer crafts a line that sticks in his or her mind. Give us one or two of your favorite lines from Pas De Deux.

 “She was like an origami swan, coming apart fold-by-fold to reveal the steps that made her.”  

“We were never meant to be perfect, our pieces wouldn’t fit together that way.”

Great lines only make it to the page when we put butt in seats and fingers to the keyboard. Tell us about your writing space and your daily routine.

HAHAHAHAHA!!! ::makes dolphin sounds:: a) I WISH I were so organized! I literally write wherever, whenever I can, b) I’ve accepted that my life is BANANAS (working full time, kids, etcetera) so, some days I’ll write 500 words, and some days I’ll write 4,000, and that’s totally okay so long as I KEEP GOING, and c) I plot everything on Pinterest (the visual stimulates my imagination).

Let’s shift gears. Tell us–what is one of your favorite comments you’ve received about your writing? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?

It’s always lovely to receive compliments about how lyrical/poetic my prose is, or how hot The Sex is, or how smoothly the pacing flows…but my favorite comment to date came to me in an email from a reader in Singapore. She said:

“I’m a reader from Singapore and have been dancing for about 3/4 of my life, most of that in ballet. I’m amazed at your level of attention to detail – I love the way you describe dance, movement, and the mentality required to succeed in ballet. I also was shocked to hear you’re not a dancer yourself – your passion and knowledge is so impressive, it was like a glimpse into the mind of someone who has lived that life.”

Reading that blew me away! For one, writing about music and movement is HARD. It’s so challenging to put that kind of passion and drive into words that don’t fall flat, or that may not resonate with people who’ve never worn pointe shoes. That a dancer said that about my writing proved to me that my research into this fascinating-but-extremely-intimidating art form was worth it. That my gut was right: I HAD to write this story. It just felt…good.

On the other side the praise is the critiques. Those we have to fight through to keep going. What was your worst? And how did you handle it?

I’ve made it my business not to know what my worst critique is, because I’ve learned not to check reviews unless I’m tagged, lol. How’d I learn this gem of wisdom? Well, I checked, of course…and a reader had DNFed the story citing “purple prose.” Initially, it hurt my feelings, because I put my heart and soul into the story and I’m sooo in love with it. But then I realized, so what? One person’s poetry is another’s purple prose. There are plenty of stories out there I couldn’t connect with that others have fallen in love with. I’ve learned to accept CONSTRUCTIVE critique, say “thank you” for compliments, and let anything else go. Once a work is out there, in some ways it’s not mine anymore. It’s for other people to consume however they choose. In other words:

::insert Kermit sipping tea meme here::

That’s none of my business. Lol!

What has been the high point of your career, so far?

Being reviewed in The New York Times. Hands-down.

That’s an incredible high point. What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?

Rejections. Soooooo many rejections. I indie-published my gorgeous black ballerina, and worked with a team of close friends to come up with a marketing strategy which HIGHLIGHTED, rather than downplayed her “otherness.” The result was overwhelming support for my unique little story, and for my unapologetically black, temperamental, gifted and sexy ballerina. I came away from this experience with a sense that I’ve found my people. I can’t wait to continue indie publishing!

Now it’s time to pay it forward. Give us the name of a diverse author you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.

Kennedy Ryan. Kennedy. Ryan. Kennedy freaking Ryan! Lol!!!

What’s next on your writing journey?

Romantic Comedy! I’m working on my third book, Love At Cruise, featuring a WOC commercial pilot and a hunky teddy bear of a British hero. A meet cute gone wrong evolves into love. 

My fourth book will be an enemies-to-lovers story featuring an American heroine of Chinese ancestry, and my fifth book will be a love story between a black American heroine and Ghanaian immigrant hero. I’m keeping busy!

What’s your favorite book on the writing craft or your favorite piece of adviceto writers?

Stephen King’s “On Writing” has some amazing tips! He’s really helped me pare down my writing so it’s descriptive without feeling like a chore to read. My absolute favorite piece of advice isn’t about technique at all, it’s simply, “If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” -Toni Morrison            

What is something your readers don’t know about you that you wish they would?

I’m not always the most confident person in the world, and anxiety is REAL. My readers are the kindest, most hilarious and thoughtful people in the world. It makes me smile every time they slide in my DMs like, Hey Lynn! Just checking on ya! How’s it going? 

It. Means. Everything.

Love you guys!

If your latest book had a soundtrack, what would be the first three songs? 

Funny enough, it’s got one! Kind of? I like to make playlists for each story, so Pas De Deux has its own playlist on Spotify. The first three songs on it are “The Greatest” by Sia (ft. Kendrick Lamar), “The Middle” by Zed and Maren Morris, and “Help Me Out” by Maroon 5 and Julia Michaels.

To learn more about Lynn, visit her online at: 

Twitter: @Lynn_Writes

Instagram: @lynn_writes


Check out Lynn’s current and upcoming romance releases in the Contemporarysection of this site. 

African Author Empi Baryeh: A Case of Persistence

African Author Empi Baryeh: A Case of Persistence

West African Author Empi Baryeh has been putting word-to-paper and work-to-dream for two decades off and on. That’s a long time. A few setbacks early in her career weren’t enough to stop this now award-winning writer from selling and publishing her novel in 2011. Since then, she has published three stories of love and romance centered in the beautiful continent of Africa. Join Diverse Romance and Empi today as we learn more about her story.

Tell us about your journey to become a published author.

My first publication was a short story in a national weekend paper in my country. That was way back in 1997! I got paid, too. Unfortunately, after a second short story in the same paper, my writing took a back seat to education. Fast-forward to 2011, when I finally had a completed manuscript for a full-length novel. I heard Savvy Authors was holding an editor pitch contest, so I pitched CHANCING FAITH to the editor of Black Opal Books. This was my first sale! It was followed by the acceptance from Evernight Publishing for MOST ELIGIBLE BACHELOR, which ended up becoming my debut novel.

Tell us about your latest romance release.

FOREST GIRL is a story of love in an arranged marriage set in 1990s Ghana, West Africa. Here’s the blurb:

Esi Afriyie has been in love with Michael Yaw Badu since childhood. When he receives a scholarship to study in America, all hope seems lost … until he returns to Ghana ten years later. An arranged marriage contracted by their families makes her dreams come true, but does the reality of being Mrs. Michael Badu live up to the fantasy?

Michael may have married Esi, but he is in love with someone else—Forest Girl, a mystery woman he encountered just once in the forest. His heart belongs to her, and he doesn’t need his beautiful wife awakening his carnal desires. He is even willing to sacrifice his marriage for another encounter with Forest Girl.

Reality is not what either Esi or Michael imagined. Esi is disillusioned; Michael feels trapped. Will Michael give in and allow his heart to discover a love that was always meant to be, before it’s too late?

Give five words that best describe this book. What message do you hope readers get?

Heartwarming, Passionate, Emotional, African, multicultural.

Message for readers: Love and marriage aren’t clean-cut or black and white. Love doesn’t exist in perfection – even when two people are meant to be together.

Give us one or two of your favorite lines from your current book.

The temptation to take him at his word overwhelmed her, but she’d learnt how quickly bliss could turn to pain, and even though his actions matched his words right now, they could change tomorrow. So, she’d take this moment and hide it in her heart.

For a second, he considered lying, knowing the immediate consequences were going to be better than the truth. But if he wanted to earn her trust, he had to be honest.

Tell us about your writing space and your daily routine.

Anywhere I can perch with my laptop is my writing space. I tend to be a night owl, so I do more writing at night just before heading to bed.

What’s one of your favorite reviews/comments you’ve ever received about your writing (on this book or any other)? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?

This is a paragraph from the first review I received for FOREST GIRL, and I still read it and think ‘Wow’:

There are not enough words to describe how much I loved this story. The author painted a vivid picture with her fantastical storytelling. She crafted a story that made you fall in love with the characters and their stories that they had to tell. There were moments where I ugly cried because of what happened between the characters, and I hurt because I knew they were hurting.  ~~Cranky – The Book Curmudgeon

What’s your biggest struggle as a writer (or what was your worst critique)? And how do/did you handle it?

My biggest struggle is finding time to write, since work and family obligations take a lot of my time. For a while now, I’ve started writing on my phone during my commute to and from work or whenever I’m in a car that I’m not driving. I then transfer it onto my WIP when I get home in the evening. This also helps to minimize interference from my inner editor. It’s a win-win.

What has been the high point of your career, so far?

My most recent high point as an author was being invited to a panel discussion on writing, literature, and the business of publication in Ghana as part of the inaugural Accra Book Festival.

What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?

A personal tragedy brought my then WIP too close to home, and I found myself unable to muster enough enthusiasm to write more than a few words a day. It took literally years to finally get past it and begin writing again.

Give us the name of a diverse author you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.

Amaka Azie, Nana Prah, Kiru Taye, Ines Johnson, Nana Malone, Aziza Eden Walker, Brenda Jackson.

What’s next on your writing journey?

I have at least 3 books coming out soon.

1) His Inherited Princess, book 2 of a multi-author Africa royal series (Yay!) from Love Africa Press. All three books in the (initial) series will release together, so there’ll be no waiting for readers.

2) Expecting Ty’s Baby, (sequel to Chancing Faith) will release in Spring 2019.

3) Another installment of the African royals series later in 2019.

There might also be a Valentine novella in the mix

What’s your favorite book on the writing craft or your favorite piece of advice to writers?

HOW TO WRITE by Chrys Fey.

It gives tips in bite-sized chapters, easy to read and digest.

How can we find you online?



Twitter: @EmpiBaryeh

Facebook: Empi Baryeh, Author

Instagram: EmpiBaryeh

Thank you, Empi, for taking the time to join us here at Diverse Romance.

Thank you so much for joining Diverse Romance today! Please check out Empi Baryeh’s latest releases in African Contemporary Romance and pick one up today!



Jamaican Author J.L. Campbell: From the Caribbean with Love

Jamaican Author J.L. Campbell: From the Caribbean with Love

The path from writer to published author is rarely a short, straight line. It’s usually long, winding, and replete with fits and starts and the challenges of finding the right balance between life and “the calling.”  J.L. Campbell’s love of writing and a dogged persistence paid off after a couple of decades, landing her the deal that sparked a prolific career. Today this Jamaican author weaves realistic and engaging characters and lush Caribbean settings into contemporary romance stories that will have you longing for your book boyfriend and calling your travel agent—yesterday. Join Diverse Romance today as J.L. shares a little background on her writing life and her new release—The Thick of Things!

I know you’ve been writing for a long time. Tell us a little more about your writing journey.

I’ve been writing for many years, stopped for 20 of them before I started again by writing short stories. I submitted queries to several agents and publishers before deciding to submit to an African-American publisher. The result was that she said yes to two manuscripts and I signed another contract with a second publisher at the same time. That was 2009. In 2011, I self-published a collection of short stories and kept on that path.

So, what sparked the idea for this for your latest release?

This new book is with Garden Avenue Press. Golf has been a part of my life for a long time and the idea for The Thick of Things started marinating in my brain when I was at a resort for a week during a golf event. I wondered what would happen if someone working at a tournament was attracted to someone she met there and what complications could arise if that happened.

The Thick of Things is about a woman who goes through upheaval in different areas of her life. Khalila loses her son and is on the edge of divorce. She lives in Jamaica and her love interest is from Antigua, but resides in Miami. The distance and her situation prove to be a challenge, but determination on the hero’s part turns things around and Khalila begins to explore possibilities she never thought possible.

Give five words that best describe this book. What message do you hope readers get?

Thought-provoking. Educational. Humorous (in parts). Descriptive. Poignant.

Life sometimes does not go as planned and we need to keep an open mind and adjust our expectations. Love never happens on a schedule and good things can come from bad situations.

Give us one or two of your favorite lines from your current book.

“My name on his tongue was a caress that scattered my thoughts.”

“His fingers roamed every hill and valley that defined my body.”

Hello! I can’t wait to pick up this read. Tell us about your writing space and your daily routine.

I have a small desk in a corner of my bedroom. Not ideal, I know, but it’s what I have to work with unless I move downstairs which is not as comfy. The television usually provides background noise while I write.

I don’t write every day, nor do I have a set routine. I write anytime, anywhere, as long as I have a few minutes.

What’s one of your favorite comments you’ve ever received about your writing? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?

I did a workshop with one of the Caribbean’s noteworthy writers (now deceased) some time ago. He looked at a vignette he’d asked me to write and asked how long I’d been writing and why I stopped. He then told me I should have been writing again ages ago. With his encouragement and recommendation, I submitted stories to a literary paper. Having those stories published gave me the oomph I needed to submit my novels to several publishers.

What’s your biggest struggle as a writer? And how do/did you handle it?

Sometimes, my biggest struggle is motivating myself to write. I’ve been trying different methods to find new readers and that has worked to an extent. Without a strong base of readers, this writing journey can feel like a lonely, uphill climb. The urge to write never leaves, no matter how long a break I take.

What has been the high point of your career, so far?

As weird as this may sound, that would be when I signed three contracts with two small publishers. That happened around the same time and launched me into the only thing I’ve done consistently over the years. Write.

What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?

I believe if people understood the power their words have to hurt, they would be less free with them. I’ve read some cutting reviews on my perma-free story collection that sucked away the desire to write. The only thing that kept me going then was that the work in question included several short stories that won awards.

Give us the name of a diverse author you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.

I’ve read several books by Nia Forrester and enjoy her stories thoroughly.    I am currently writing two books, an interracial novel for a boxed set and an inspirational story. After that, I’ll be writing book two of the In Medias Res series.

What’s your favorite book on the writing craft or your favorite piece of advice to writers?

My advice to writers (no matter what stage you’re at) is to continue to study the craft. No matter how long you’ve been at it, there is always you can learn that will improve your writing.

What is something your readers don’t know about you that you wish they would?

I sometimes write about subjects that can be controversial, but I doesn’t mean I’m promoting the lifestyle about which I’m writing.

How can readers connect with you online?


Facebook page:

Facebook group:




Thank you so much for joining Diverse Romance today! Please check out J.L. Campbell’s latest releases in Caribbean Contemporary Romance and pick one up today!


Nicki Night: A New York Romance with Writing

Writers often get their story inspirations from writing what they know…and Nicki Night knows New York. Born and raised in the great state, she found writing success in romance grounded in home and family. She has stopped by Diverse Romance today to share with us the details of her journey to Harlequin, the highs, lows, and the source of her page-turning tales.

Tell us about your writing journey.

I’d been writing for a long, long time and have written almost everything there is to write. I became intrigued by romance and decided to give it a try. At a romance conference, I pitched my story idea for The Barrington Brothers to an editor at Harlequin and week later was offered my first deal.

Attending romance conferences is such a great way for authors to get their stories in front of editors. What sparked the idea for your Chandler series?

I’m a born and bred New Yorker and love writing stories in and around New York. The concept of the Chandlers came to me when Harlequin offered me a second book deal and I wanted to write about a family that owned a consumer goods company. I love food and much of my family gatherings are all around food, so I thought it would be great to have this family, who hails from my mother’s home town in South Carolina, own a food business. It has really been lots of fun.

The South is practically synonymous with food sounds like an intriguing story. Tells us more about the Chandlers and your latest release.

Desire in a Kiss is my latest release. It’s Christian Chandler’s story. Chris is the only boy in the family clan with three sisters. Each has their own story. I’ve always been curious about online dating and asked a question to my friends on Facebook about whether or not they would engage in online dating. Also a close friend had just begun to date a gentleman that she’d met online. This inspired me to tell a story about a couple who met online and talk about the successes and fears of online dating.

Great inspiration. Give us five words that describe Desire…and what do you hope readers get from the story.

Sexy, inspiring, surprising, romantic, and passionate. I want readers to enjoy exploring love while being safe.

In almost every book I’ve written, I’ve had a favorite line. Share one of the favorite lines you’ve written.

This is from a book prior but I loved when one of my characters told his heroine, “I’m gonna make you love me.”

If Desire in a Kiss had a soundtrack, what would be the first three songs?

I Want To Be Your Lover, I Want to be Your Man, and Computer Love.

All right now. Makes me want to turn on the iPod. Switching gears, tell us about your writing space and your daily routine.

I have two writing spaces. One is my home office, which I have renamed, my “Writing Studio” because it sounds cool and kind of elegant. Plus it’s where I create my art so studio is fitting, besides being over the top. I love over the top, by the way. My ‘Studio’ is filled with books, art, images, and textiles from various aspects of my journey as a writer. It’s cozy and with a large l-shaped desk. I sit facing the window so I can be inspired by natural light. I love my space. When I’m not writing there, I go to Starbucks, which is also fun. I call the other patrons my ‘co-workers’ since we’re mostly there to work. I often talk about them on social media or add aspects of them to my writing.

Writing can be such a rollercoaster, filled with ups and downs. What’s one of your favorite reviews you’ve ever received? How did it impact you?

The most touching reviews I’ve ever received was an email from a woman who said that my books inspired her to hope. That’s it. The moved me.

What has been the high point of your career, so far?

Hm. Being nominated for awards. I don’t write for award recognition but it certainly feels great to be acknowledged

Lows in this business are inevitable. What’s your biggest struggle? And how do/did you handle it?

My biggest struggle is having enough time to write. I do so many other things and maintain a hectic schedule. I love all that I do and it’s hard to put things aside. I get through it, though.

What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?

I often get great reviews for my books. I got one bad review and a friend and fellow author had to talk me off the ledge. It actually made me question my writing and ponder if I wanted to continue. With all the time you spend writing and crafting these characters, your books are like your babies when they are complete. I felt like this reviewer was insulting my child. I have a great network of friends who are also authors, they share their bad reviews with me and reminded me that everyone gets one, even the best writers and the I wasn’t alone. I’ve developed much thicker skin since then and completely understand the reading is very subjective. I’m also in an MFA program and now have my work critiqued constantly. I’m used to feedback now, whether it’s good or critical.

One of the best things we can do with the blessings we receive as authors is pay it forward. Give us the name of a diverse author you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.

Lalita Tademy. In addition to romance, I love literary fiction and she’s writing two of my favorite books.

What’s next for your writing career?

More writing. More romances, and other genres.

What’s your favorite book on the writing craft?

The Emotional Thesaurus. I love that book!

What is something your readers don’t know about you that you wish they would?

I’m almost an open book, especially for those who follow me on Facebook. However, as much as I post, I try to keep my private like…well, private. One thing I would like for people to know is that I love teaching writing. Besides writing books, I could spend my entire days teaching writing.

Sounds like a great plan. Tell us how can we find you online?

I’m on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter. Also, my website is being revamped and I plan to launch the new look by April 1st. When the time comes, check out

Nicki, thank you so much for joining us on Diverse Romance today. Please check out her latest releases in contemporary romance.