Nell has graciously agreed to answer a few questions you might find interesting. Nell,
What is your greatest temptation?
In men: After 24 years of marriage, I’ve learned to ignore temptations. But if you’re asking what qualities I find most attractive: I like a man with a good laugh.
In food: Bread, cheese, and wine. And I give in to them all the time.
In clothes: Dressing like a homeless person.
What is your greatest weakness? Being nice to people who are jerks. I wish I’d speak up more and lose the reflexive smile.
If you could have any kind of car, what would it be? A flying car.
Your dream home – mountains or ocean? I love them both, but if push comes to shove, I’d choose the ocean over the mountains. Watching the tides roll in is my favorite activity on earth.
What inspired you to become a writer? Opening up books with bad prose and realizing their authors were making money. That helped to vault me out of my insecurities and give it a try. Since I was a kid, I’d dreamed of writing a book and was waiting for the perfect inspiration. It wasn’t until I gave up on the idea of writing a great novel that I was able to complete an entire project.
Do you have a daily writing routine? Until I went back to graduate school in the fall, my routine was to write first thing in the morning in the nook off our kitchen, watching the squirrels jump back and forth from the dogwood tree to the eaves of the garage. Whenever I reached an impasse, I’d walk my dogs and wait for inspiration, which almost always came. I’d go back to writing a couple of hours more and then get ready to meet with my students (I teach kids with dyslexia). I’m looking forward to a 2-month break from classes so I can get back to my work in progress.
What is your favorite book? I can’t give you less than five. Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, Cry, the Beloved Country, The Corrections, Invisible Man. I majored in English literature and love reading as much as I love my children, so this is a difficult question to answer.
What is your favorite movie? Another tough one! Room with a View, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Pulp Fiction, Fiddler on the Roof.
Who is your favorite historical figure? Flawed as he was, Thomas Jefferson remains a man whose intellect, energy, and vision inspires me. I absolutely love the portrayal of his character in Hamilton, even though it’s not too flattering.
In your books, who is your favorite hero and please introduce him? In my new release, Turning the Tides, my “hero” is first seen sneaking, hungover, out of the bed of a woman he met the night before. After creating a stainless hero in my first novel, A Leap of Faith, writing a more flawed character was a lot of fun.
Who is your favorite heroine and please introduce her? My favorite heroine is generally the one I’m currently writing. Right now, I’m enjoying being in the head of the heroine of my WIP: a successful stylist to the stars who is forced to return to her small town and face the secret she left behind.
What do you have out now? My debut novel, A Leap of Faith, released last June with The Wild Rose Press. I think of it as an old-fashioned love story, where both of my protagonists are pure of heart.
My new novel with The Wild Rose Press, Turning the Tides, is a bit of a departure from the traditional love story: (blurb)
Ever the black sheep of her adoptive family, Lee Cooper has finally buckled down to a responsible job as a social worker in Southwest Florida. Defending her client against charges of child abuse awakens buried memories of her own abandonment in a Korean orphanage. Can she remain objective for the sake of a child?
Bricker Kilbourn, the court-appointed guardian, doubts Lee’s judgments–and his opinion might determine the little boy’s fate. He’s got his own family issues and haunting secrets to keep. Falling for a woman is not part of his plan.
He’s running from his past. She’s searching for answers. Will their resolution to protect a child bind them together or wrench them apart?
Lee took a deep breath. Time for the sales pitch. “Amber’s been learning appropriate expectations for a child Kaleb’s age. I’d like to see her visitations increased while he’s in custody.” If the guardian ad litem was really so influential, maybe he could pull some strings.
Bricker frowned. “The nursery school teachers report Kaleb plucked at his hair after her visit.”
Great. I wonder if Amber knows and just didn’t tell me. Lee hoped her face was impassive. “Sometimes kids act out when they’re separated from a parent.”
One eyebrow rose high, and the corners of Bricker’s mouth lifted. “He doesn’t pull out his hair after his dad’s visits.”
The man seemed bent on disagreeing with her. Lowering her head, she forced a smile before raising her gaze. “But his dad sees him more often than his mom does. If Kaleb visited with her more often, he might be less traumatized when she left.” She didn’t know if that was true, but she hoped it sounded convincing.
Bricker scratched his chin. “Kaleb seems a lot more comfortable with men than women. A little unusual for a three year old, in my experience.” He shook his head. “Makes me wonder what, exactly, goes on at home.”
Low blow. Her nails biting into her palms, she fired him a look of pure venom. “Are you a psychologist, too, Mr. Bartender?” she snapped. “Otherwise, it’s not your job to psychoanalyze my client.”
He raised an eyebrow. “And what exactly are your credentials? Since you’ve diagnosed Kaleb with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Lee’s pulse thumped in her throat. “For your information, I studied psychology. In a real college. Not Bartending School.” The nasty words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. What was she doing?
He raised his palms, twisting his lips into a mocking smile. “A psychology major! You should have said so,” he drawled. “Maybe you can diagnose me next.”
Lee scrabbled for the door handle with her right hand. If she didn’t get out fast, she’d slap his arrogant face–and ruin Amber’s chances of regaining custody of her son
Nell Castle grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia. Since then, she’s lived in Key West, Anchorage, Sarasota, and Virginia Beach. She moved back to northeastern Ohio to raise her kids closer to the family homestead but looks forward to moving back to a gentler climate. Until then, she revisits white powder beaches and mountain streams in her writing. Turning the Tides is her second release with The Wild Rose Press.