Nikki Lynn Barrett

About Nikki Lynn Barrett

No matter where she goes, USA Today Bestselling author Nikki Lynn Barrett hears voices in her head. Instead of calling her crazy and locking her up, her family realizes it's just a product of being an author and allows her to write the stories so that the voices shut up. But they don't. And probably never will. There's no need to lock her up, Nikki knows she'll never escape the voices, not until each and every last story is written. And for every story she writes, about ten or more ideas pop up. When she isn't slaving away at her computer writing books that will probably make you cry and keep you in suspense, Nikki plots to take over the world one book at a time. What? It's a sickness. One she can't escape! Books aren't her only addiction, though. Nikki can be found making up parodies to drive her son crazy, and bantering back and forth with her husband, who somehow manages to steal her away from the fictional world she lives in all the time. Nikki lives in Arizona with her husband and son, where she can be found using every creativity outlet she can find through music, photography, handcrafted things, and random interests that she may pick up from time to time. If you want to learn more about the author who makes people cry for a living, check her out at www.nikkilynnbarrett.com

I love You, I hate you…The Life Cycle of Writing a book

There is a major love/hate relationship that goes on with a book. I can’t speak for every author, but I do have a feeling many may relate to this.

I’m currently working on publishing book number 24. There is a vicious cycle that goes on through every book, some worse than others. It goes a little like this:

1. I’m sooooo excited to write this book! The characters and story line keep calling to me and I’ve been excited!

2. Hmm….I thought I knew how this would go, but now the words aren’t flowing.

3. Okay, I’m skipping this scene. Leaving a note to myself for round 2. Oh, here too. And here, and here and….wow, this is full of holes and notes to self…

4. OMG. WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME, PLOT? WHY DID YOU CHANGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN BOOK???

5. Well, I should have seen this coming.

6. Head desk. Hair pull. Cry.

7. This book sucks. How am I going to fix it?

8. Huh…I like this. Not too bad after all.

9. More hair pulling. OMG, I am going to ruin this book, mess up this series.

10. Lots of second guessing. More revisions. More tweaks.

11. Does this plot point work? Is this too much? Is this too little?

12. Opens up adult beverage and partakes.

13. THIS will make the story better!!!!

14. On second thought….

So, I could go on, but I think you catch the drift.

With writing and publishing, for many, comes this agonizing pain of getting the story right, getting the characters the way we want them…and even then, I wonder: Will the readers love this? Is this character’s flaw too much? Too little? I know I’m not going to make everyone happy. It’s not going to happen, so I have to learn to write the story the way it calls to me.

For some reason, this this current book, I’m going through the “I-suck-itis” phase BAD. And because of that, I thought I’d write a little about it. I know that by the end, when it’s all said and done, the journey will have been worth it, but wow, during the time the feelings hit its peak, it’s quite brutal.

Until next time! Thanks for reading.
Nikki Lynn Barrett

Nikki Lynn Barrett

No matter where she goes, USA Today Bestselling author Nikki Lynn Barrett hears voices in her head. Instead of calling her crazy and locking her up, her family realizes it’s just a product of being an author and allows her to write the stories so that the voices shut up.
But they don’t. And probably never will. There’s no need to lock her up, Nikki knows she’ll never escape the voices, not until each and every last story is written. And for every story she writes, about ten or more ideas pop up.

When she isn’t slaving away at her computer writing books that will probably make you cry and keep you in suspense, Nikki plots to take over the world one book at a time. What? It’s a sickness. One she can’t escape!

Books aren’t her only addiction, though. Nikki can be found making up parodies to drive her son crazy, and bantering back and forth with her husband, who somehow manages to steal her away from the fictional world she lives in all the time.

Nikki lives in Arizona with her husband and son, where she can be found using every creativity outlet she can find through music, photography, handcrafted things, and random interests that she may pick up from time to time.

If you want to learn more about the author who makes people cry for a living, check her out at www.nikkilynnbarrett.com

Confessions of a Panster Writer: Trusting the Muse

My brain is busy.

No joke. 🙂

I’ve tried plotting. I’ve tried outlining. It works for some, and doesn’t for others. I’m the latter.

I go into a book with a few ideas. Sometimes getting stuck holds me back, but even now, I’ve learned in the first draft to leave a note and just move on. Bare bones fast drafting is my method of choice. I’ve had holes in the story. Big gaping ones. I’ve had leads that didn’t go anywhere. Oh, my first draft can be a mess, like a tornado swept through. My poor beta reader, sometimes I put her through the wringer, trying to make sense of my mess. She’s a trooper, though.

I’ve been writing my whole life. I’ve been writing for publication going on six years. I’ve learned if the muse has a wacky, crazy WTF idea to at least run with it. This fickle, darling muse of mine has some wild places she takes me to, but for the most part, she’s led me to ideas I needed to follow. I’ve written stories about characters I didn’t know at first needed stories. (I’ve also written characters based on reader’s suggestions, but that’s another story altogether.)

This time around in the world of “Where’s my Muse taking me now?” is Vibrant, the 3rd book in my Winning Your Heart series. The series (At least the first three books) follows the lives of the Monroe twins, Lizette and Nola.

In the first two books, each twin gets her own story. It starts with a twin switch in So Unlike Me. That book was meant to be a short novel with romantic comedy elements.

The muse said, “Nope, we’re not having any of that. You’re going to add a mystery.”

This happened HALFWAY through the book! How am I supposed to wrap up this element now, muse? I can’t go over 45,000 words! (This was for a boxed set that the cap word count was 45,000!) I was also TRYING to write another stand alone.

Ha ha on me. Truth be told, I’m glad I gave Nola a story. She intrigues many as a secondary character in So Unlike Me, and I loved getting into her head in Forbidden Shelter. And the mystery element the muse decided I needed? It continued on in book 2.

So now, I’m giving the twins a much needed happily ever after. They’ve been through a lot on the last two years.

Oh, things were going great, for the most part. I had a few things I got stuck on, points I needed but didn’t quite have at the time.

And then, all of a sudden, out of the blue, the muse said,” This is what you need to do with the twins.”

Whoa. Just whoa. Stop for a second there. *Holds out hands and stares at the muse in awe.*

Are you serious?

The muse stares back at me. “Have I taken you down good roads before?”

She has a point.

So I followed this path, and oh, it hurt to do what I needed to do, but the signs were there in the previous books, how could I not follow that lead and not only give the girls their happily ever after, but help them discover more about themselves?

It’s a scary thought to give the reins to someone else to lead, and the same thought goes for following an idea in my head that wasn’t originally there before. But damn, the adventures are fun! I’ll have a giant mess to clean up before this book is all said and done, but the story potential and the feels are all there, ready and waiting to wrap up this segment of the Monroe twins’ saga.

Trust the muse. It’s something I’ve learned to do.

That’s today’s confession from this crazy panster writer who goes on a whim all the time.

Let’s rock February, shall we? Welcome to 2018!

-Nikki Lynn Barrett

 

Nikki Lynn Barrett

No matter where she goes, USA Today Bestselling author Nikki Lynn Barrett hears voices in her head. Instead of calling her crazy and locking her up, her family realizes it’s just a product of being an author and allows her to write the stories so that the voices shut up.
But they don’t. And probably never will. There’s no need to lock her up, Nikki knows she’ll never escape the voices, not until each and every last story is written. And for every story she writes, about ten or more ideas pop up.

When she isn’t slaving away at her computer writing books that will probably make you cry and keep you in suspense, Nikki plots to take over the world one book at a time. What? It’s a sickness. One she can’t escape!

Books aren’t her only addiction, though. Nikki can be found making up parodies to drive her son crazy, and bantering back and forth with her husband, who somehow manages to steal her away from the fictional world she lives in all the time.

Nikki lives in Arizona with her husband and son, where she can be found using every creativity outlet she can find through music, photography, handcrafted things, and random interests that she may pick up from time to time.

If you want to learn more about the author who makes people cry for a living, check her out at www.nikkilynnbarrett.com

A Writer’s Thought Process

A Writer’s Thought Process

Today I’m going to do a scary thing.

I’m going to let you in on my mind, my thought process.

Don’t worry, it’s fairly harmless. Promise! But sometimes it’s fun to give a little insight as to how certain characters were created and why they are who they are.

So today, I’m going to talk about one of my most recent intriguing and reader-loved characters, Nola Monroe.

Nola Monroe is an heiress, and she’s the twin sister of Lizette Monroe.

This year, I debuted my new series (Yeah, ANOTHER new series) Winning Your Heart. Last year, the opportunity came up for the Luck of the Draw boxed set. The theme was a big win. Could be a sweepstakes, could be the lottery. As long as the characters won in a big way.

My mind raced with ideas. I bounced back and forth.

Aha! I came up with an idea that I’ve always wanted to write- twins switching places.

So, Nola won a sweepstakes, but couldn’t go. She begged Lizette to take her place.

Now here’s where the thinking really began. I needed a very good reason why Nola couldn’t go. Sending her sister on a much needed vacation after her jerk-face of an ex slandered her name and broke up with her on national TV just didn’t feel real enough. Not when Nola’s childhood best friend, who happens to be sponsoring the sweepstakes, comes into play.

That’s how Nola Monroe became a character who was a prisoner inside her home.

She has agoraphobia.

And being an heiress, the Monroe twins are in the spotlight more than they ever cared to be. Their father created a legacy with Monroe Industries.

Nola and Lizette lost their parents within three weeks ago, and Nola is unable to handle it. She hasn’t left her house in over a year.

That’s reason enough to send her sister. Plus the whole ex thing. It’s a good escape. Nola never expected to win, and why put a good trip to waste? Especially one to Paris!

The Monroe twins have fast become a hit. I knew going in with Lizette’s story in So Unlike Me that Nola would have to have her own. I can’t write about one twin and not the other, especially when giving Nola an interesting history with agoraphobia. So much for that intended stand-alone.

I knew this series would be fun and interesting. I did not anticipate the amazing response so far to this series or the characters. It’s now become one of my highest rated series so far. I have a tendency to tackle different subjects in my books, and having an agoraphobic character would prove to be an interesting challenge. Nola’s story follows in book 2, Forbidden Shelter, and it dives into her battle with agoraphobia. Her difficult personality and back story all started because I needed ONE good reason to have her switch places with her twin, because THAT was the story I wanted to write in So Unlike Me.

So there you have it. A little thought process in a crazy writer’s brain.

Fellow authors, share a little about how one of your most challenging and intriguing characters came about! Inquiring minds want to know!

And here’s a little more on the Winning Your Heart series with twin sisters Lizette and Nola Monroe.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/210390-winning-your-heart

 

Nikki Lynn Barrett

No matter where she goes, USA Today Bestselling author Nikki Lynn Barrett hears voices in her head. Instead of calling her crazy and locking her up, her family realizes it’s just a product of being an author and allows her to write the stories so that the voices shut up.
But they don’t. And probably never will. There’s no need to lock her up, Nikki knows she’ll never escape the voices, not until each and every last story is written. And for every story she writes, about ten or more ideas pop up.

When she isn’t slaving away at her computer writing books that will probably make you cry and keep you in suspense, Nikki plots to take over the world one book at a time. What? It’s a sickness. One she can’t escape!

Books aren’t her only addiction, though. Nikki can be found making up parodies to drive her son crazy, and bantering back and forth with her husband, who somehow manages to steal her away from the fictional world she lives in all the time.

Nikki lives in Arizona with her husband and son, where she can be found using every creativity outlet she can find through music, photography, handcrafted things, and random interests that she may pick up from time to time.

If you want to learn more about the author who makes people cry for a living, check her out at www.nikkilynnbarrett.com

When a story becomes so much more

Let’s create a scenario typical for an author. Or maybe not so typical…

You have this story in your head. There are too many books to write first, so it stews and bubbles and works its way into the back of your mind.

Then the time finally comes! Yay! The story gets to be written.

So, the words flow. The characters develop.

And then that fickle write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants muse says. “HEY! I’ve got a GREAT element to add to this book!’

Oh boy…

I’ll be honest. Pretty much all of my books have been written like this. I’ve learned to let the characters lead me, and so far, it’s worked out in my favor.

Queen Of My Heart is my contribution to the Unforgettable Heroes, Unforgettable Passion boxed set released two days ago!

And this story… Oh man, where do I begin with it?

I call this the book that broke me. The reaction to the story to this day is mind blowing. Sometimes, I go back to pull an excerpt or something and I catch myself reading more thinking… “Did I REALLY write this?”

It’s a story that touches on several deep, sensitive topics. There were scenes I had to walk away from while writing because they were intense.

I often take real life topics and work them into a story. I’ve touched on many things before- PTSD, traumatic brain injury, struggles of single mothers- this is just to start.

In Queen Of My Heart, I’ve given country star Tucker McGinnis a past. And while difficult, I love that he has worked hard to begin overcoming it. But said past still haunts him to this day.

It’s exciting to get this book into many readers hands, and I do hope you’ll check out this collection! It’s great to be in the company of some amazing authors!

https://www.amazon.com/Unforgettable-Heroes-Passion-Unforgettables-Book-ebook/dp/B073RR3PW8

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Nikki Lynn Barrett

No matter where she goes, USA Today Bestselling author Nikki Lynn Barrett hears voices in her head. Instead of calling her crazy and locking her up, her family realizes it’s just a product of being an author and allows her to write the stories so that the voices shut up.
But they don’t. And probably never will. There’s no need to lock her up, Nikki knows she’ll never escape the voices, not until each and every last story is written. And for every story she writes, about ten or more ideas pop up.

When she isn’t slaving away at her computer writing books that will probably make you cry and keep you in suspense, Nikki plots to take over the world one book at a time. What? It’s a sickness. One she can’t escape!

Books aren’t her only addiction, though. Nikki can be found making up parodies to drive her son crazy, and bantering back and forth with her husband, who somehow manages to steal her away from the fictional world she lives in all the time.

Nikki lives in Arizona with her husband and son, where she can be found using every creativity outlet she can find through music, photography, handcrafted things, and random interests that she may pick up from time to time.

If you want to learn more about the author who makes people cry for a living, check her out at www.nikkilynnbarrett.com