Nicky Wells is no stranger to being talked about on Jera’s Jamboree but what has changed, is Nicky’s move from writing romantic comedy into a completely different genre. I’ve been honoured to be a part of Nicky’s writing journey since her early days and am excited to see how thriller, Dead Hope, will turn out for her.
Today you’ll find out why that change happened, intel on her characters and much more.
Nicky Wells writes captivating romance and breathtaking thrillers featuring famous (or infamous!) feisty heroes and extraordinary villains. DEAD HOPE is her eighth book and the first published novel in her “Wake Up Dead” themed thriller series, with the next two books scheduled for release through the course of 2017 and 2018. Nicky has previously published seven works of romantic fiction both with US publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, and independently.
Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. She loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s hopelessly addicted to reading crime novels by the truck load.
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Dead Hope in 20 words or less.
When Cat and Kay investigate the truth behind the deaths of Cat’s parents, their quest is putting Cat in grave danger…
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
Originally, this novel was going to be a romantic comedy. The idea was to transplant a rock star from his normal life in a glittery metropolis to an office job in a sleepy rural town. The potential for comedy and fresh romantic involvement was endless, and ideas abounded. I started planning and weaving my ideas together, but there was one big question I couldn’t answer: Why? Why would this happen?
I took a step back and allowed myself to think out of the box to come up with all possible scenarios that would give rise to my story. Very soon, one idea jumped out that transformed the story from a romantic comedy to a romantic suspense and also turned my hero into a heroine who isn’t even a celebrity in her own right. That was quite a leap! When I started writing, the “suspense” element took over in a big way to the point where I’d describe the story as a thriller with a romance subplot rather than a romance with a suspense element.
Please tell us about the characters Nicky.
The two main characters are Cat Hope and Kay Mahon. Cat is the daughter of two famous rock stars, Jackie and Adam Hope, and she lost her parents in a tragic accident when she was twelve. Since then, she’s been raised by Ron Bostard, her parents’ erstwhile manager and best friend, but somehow, she hasn’t got her life together. She’s been kicked out of more schools than she can remember, and she fell in with a bad crowd and started on drugs. We meet her just after the nineteenth anniversary of her parents’ deaths, when she was trying to drown her sorrows in a night club. She was caught in a drugs raid with cocaine in her handbag—which definitely wasn’t hers, I hasten to add—and a judge slapped a rehab sentence with a difference on her: no more cosy clinics and access to her substantial trust fund; instead, she has to find a job, pay her own way, and serve a community sentence in a sleepy town miles away from London and everyone she knows.
Kay Mahon is an office worker by day and a hacker by night. He ran away from home when he was sixteen and somehow ended up in Littleby—my fictitious sleepy town—where he found himself a job and put himself through night school. He is a tough guy through and through and has the shorn hair and tattoos to prove it, but when he meets Cat, he turns out to be a bit of a softie and a thoroughly good man at heart.
If Dead Hope were optioned for a movie, who would you cast in the role of your characters?
The lovely Kiera Knightley would take the role of Cat, and Matt Damon would star as Kay.
Did you do any research for your book Nicky? What resources did you use?
Yes—loads! I interviewed a magistrate about court procedures, types of sentences, what would happen to Cat after she was caught with the drugs, where she would be tried first, what kind of sentence she could expect, and what would happen after that. I pressure-tested with that same person the scenario I had envisaged for this novel, and while it’s highly unusual and unlikely, it is possible.
I also visited a multitude of websites and blogs to gain insights into police procedures and ranks, I downloaded a guide to coroner’s services to figure out what would have happened to Cat’s parents after they were found dead, and I researched the forensic detail that will give vital clues as to the true events of that fateful night. I learned a lot more than I used in this current story, but all of that knowledge is well stored and will be used in future thrillers. It was a truly exciting journey!
Do you have a most creative time of day?
Typically I write like a woman possessed first thing after my sons have gone off to school, and occasionally I write in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. I say occasionally… I’m a terrible sleeper, so I’m actually pounding the keyboard quite a lot in the wee small hours of the morning!
Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?
I get my best ideas on the bus and when cleaning house. It’s got to have something to do with having my brain on “idle” whilst travelling or scrubbing tiles, but I seem to come up with all my best ideas then.
Finally Nicky, if you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be …
Listen to your heart and think, really think, about your past.
Thank you for being my guest.
Wishing you heaps of success Nicky!
Cat Hope doesn’t want to go to prison. She needs a job, and she needs it fast: judge’s orders.
Kay Mahon, office worker by day and hacker by night, is on the run from a past life that he’d rather not remember.
When their paths cross, they discover that the night that derailed Cat’s future nineteen long years ago also changed the path of Kay’s life. Confused and intrigued, they begin to investigate the truth behind the deaths of the successful rock star couple Jackie and Adam Hope. Little do they know that their quest is putting Cat in grave danger.