Happy release week to Nikki LeClair! Her new chick lit novel, CATS, CHAOS, AND CONDO BOARD WARS, is available now! Nikki popped in for a little chat. Check it out below!
This is my stop on the blog tour organized by The Letterers Collective.
TQBC: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Nikki LeClair: I realized I wanted to be a writer, at least part time, in high school when I discovered fan fiction and began writing my own. I even wrote my first book, a ridiculous, awful horror story involving my high school friends that I am so embarrassed about!
TQBC: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Nikki: From the people in my life, from their stories, even just by watching them react to a particular conversation or situation. I’m always people watching, not to sound creepy! Sometimes I get ideas from the news.
TQBC: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Nikki: Reading, or at least trying to. If not reading, then I’m either working in my garden (weather permitting), entertaining my kids, binging Netflix or online shopping.
TQBC: What does your family think of your writing?
Nikki: The ones that do read it, think its funny. Some of them try to dissect which character is loosely based on them. Some of them want me to amp up the romance.
TQBC: If you had one tip for aspiring writers, what would it be?
Nikki: DON’T just write what you know. I hate that piece of advice so much. To be a good writer, you have to leave your comfort zone, even if its just by researching from your computer. Keep learning. If you’re a writer you have homework for the rest of your life (in a way) so you need to keep learning. Read other books in the genre you are writing, and read books out of the genre. Be aware that being writer is not for the weak willed either.
READ AN EXCERPT
“I don’t want lilies. I don’t want roses. I want orchids and saffron crocus!”
What the bloody hell is a saffron crocus?
Sarah Graham blinks at me, her thin blonde eyebrows raising high over her green almond-shaped eyes. In her left hand is a long, light-blue lily that she swings violently before me. “Hello! Did you hear me?”
“Right, yes.” I nod and quickly glance down at my cell phone. “But see… The thing is… You requested lilies and roses two months ago and again last week when Eli emailed to confirm—”
Towering over me in her six-inch pink heels, she puts a boney finger up in my face. “Am I not allowed to change my mind? Is that what you are telling me? Isn’t changing my mind one of my civil rights?”
The thing with these types of clients is, well, they do anything they can at the last minute to get a discount. And I mean anything. I once had a client tell me they found out they were allergic to shrimp the day before their anniversary event in which they had hired a caterer who specializes in seafood. Sydney, my boss, approved the discount, and at the event, I found the client downing shrimp cocktail after shrimp cocktail.
Sarah sighs and slumps before me. “Is it that hard to ask for the flowers I want? Is it that difficult of a task for an event planner? I mean, you’re acting as if I’m asking for a golden egg.”
Why do I always get stuck with these clients? Oh, that’s right. Because they ended up giving Sydney too many migraines so she took a seat back from planning. Now they come my way.
“Orchids and saffron crocus,” Sarah repeats, locking eyes with me again. “Can you do it, or do I have to call another planner?”
I can hear Eli, my assistant and junior planner, in my head saying over and over again, Don’t be a pushover. Don’t be a pushover.
I force a smile onto my lips. “Ms. Graham, we are six hours away from your husband’s birthday party. The decorations are on their way, and so are the ice sculptures. I doubt any event planner will come in blindly to finish the job.”
“Are you challenging me?” She glares down at me. “Because I’ll have you know that—”
“I’m not challenging you,” I say quickly. “I’m simply stating the facts—”
“Well, this is me stating the facts. I want orchids and saffrons,” Sarah snaps, adjusting her posture. “Make. It. Happen.”
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Cats, Chaos, and Condo Board Wars by Nikki LeClair
Published by Kindred Ink Press on March 20, 2019
Genres: Chick Lit, Romantic Comedy
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Still recovering from an amazing-turned-terrible date, Hilary Brandt lives each day as best she can with her successful event planning career, flamboyant assistant, escape-artist cat, and eccentric roommate.
Most events run smoothly for Hilary, but occasionally, one goes awry and a client turns...evil. Relieved that her boss knows that type of client, Hilary quickly jumps into her next event, planning two parties for a very handsome executive.
When elections for condo board president come around, Hilary lets her friends and neighbors convince her to run against the by-the-letter, long-sitting president — also known as Hilary’s number one personal critic. As the election campaigns launch, the romance-that-almost-was reappears, a coworker tries to steal a client, and her opponent starts to fight dirty.
Hilary quickly realizes she may just be in over her head, but can she fight fire with fire? Stumble through the awkward encounters with the hot neighbor or swoony client? Fight for a new event when the election begins to meddle with her career? Or is the chaos just too much?