It is both an honor and a pleasure to welcome “Crime Fictionista” Nike Chillemi back to Whispers in Purple to give us an interview ans spend a little time with us.
Welcome to Whispers in Purple, Nike. So glad to have you here.
Let’s start with some ‘Getting to know you’ questions:
Tell us five random things about you
1) I think I have a pretty good sense of humor. 2) I like food, am a good cook, and spend a fair amount of time transforming my own personal favorites and beloved family recipes into healthy fare (cutting down sugar and fat). 3) I was a pet rescuer and still have a house full of pets. 4) I was a foster mom. 5) I love Montauk, NY on the tip of Long Island. It's "the end."
Ha What is your ‘typical’ day like?
I try to start my day with some sort of Bible study/prayer. Right now I'm following a teaching on prayer, the different kinds of prayer, what they're for. The study is going deeply into the prayer of petition for oneself and for others.
Oh, that sounds very interesting. What’s the #1 thing on your ‘bucket list’?
In the past this wasn't high on my list. I'm wary of traveling to areas that might be unfriendly to Americans or risky. But recently I feel a deep urge to go to Israel. I want to walk the streets where Jesus walked.
Me, too! You mentioned above that you were once a pet rescuer. Tell us more about that.
I'd always loved animals and met a Christian gal who ran a rescue agency. We had great times rescuing animals together, feeding the ones we fostered, and hanging out listening to Christian tapes (before CDs ruled). I still have a house full of pets. In that day, sometimes Christians would sort of angrily say to us, "Why are you rescuing animals when there are human babies to save?" The Lord gave me an answer. "I've been called to do this in this season. If we all do what we're called to do it'll all get done."
What a great answer!
Fun question: Money being no object, where would be your dream vacation, or writing retreat?
It would be a beach house in a warm climate. Not necessarily a tropical climate, but probably semi-tropical. Maybe a cozy little cottage on one of the islands off northern Florida, Georgia, or South Carolina.
I’m with you there! Sounds heavenly.
Now let’s talk about your writing and your books. I know you’ve written a number of books over the past several years (see ** below) but it’s your current detective series I want to focus on here.
Why a detective series?
I love to read detective stories and natch, it was inevitable I'd write one. Then I fell in love with the characters, not only the main characters, but the secondary ones too. I didn't want to let go of them. So, a series was born.
What made you select Texas as your original setting?
Ah, well, it all started with a short story writing challenge to place my heroine in a locale and a circumstance where she would be uncomfortable. I thought I'd be writing a few thousand words, at the most. I placed Brooklyn born private detective Veronica "Ronnie" Ingels in west Texas and had Dawson Hughes, the handsome and stalwart deputy sheriff, suspect her of killing her cheating husband. That was HARMFUL INTENT. They went on to search for a missing little girl who might've been kidnapped by terrorists in book two, DEADLY DESIGNS.
How did you choose your main characters’ names?
I like strong names. Ronnie's name has significance in terms of the plot. She's plagued by bad dreams in both novels, but in DEADLY DESIGNS we learn someone distasteful in her past called her Veronica. That's why she prefers her friends call her Ronnie.
Tell us a bit about your main characters. Who did you have the most fun writing?
I absolutely love Ronnie and Dawson, but I had the most fun writing secondary characters Hoot Dagney and Bertha. Hoot owns a local diner, has a beard, and wears a beat-up prospector's hat making him resemble Gabby Hays. Bertha is his waitress and baker. While Ronnie is a fledgling seeker at this point, Bertha and Hoot are committed Christians and funny as all get out. I enjoyed creating their 'seasoned citizen romance'.
What else would you like to share about this series, the individual books, and what’s coming up next?
As I mentioned, book one, HARMFUL INTENT, was set in west Texas. In book two, DEADLY DESIGNS, Ronnie and Dawson find themselves in the northeast. The last book of the trilogy, BLOOD SPEAKS, brings them to western Maryland where I bring back beloved characters from the first and second books. In BLOOD SPEAKS it's Bertha Dagney (now married to Hoot) who is accused of murder.
Share your social media links where readers can find you:
- Blog: Nike N. Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista https://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
- Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Nike-N.-Chillemi/e/B0050ZD44O/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
- Twitter https://twitter.com/NikeNChillemi
***DEADLINE EXTENDED TO jAN 29!!
THE GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment, ask Nike a question, or answer this question: Do you like crime/detective-type fiction? to be entered in a random drawing for Nike’s first book in this series, Harmful Intent. Giveaway ends
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chair, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. HARMFUL INTENT released under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press, won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense/Historic Suspense category. Her new release is DEADLY DESIGNS. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network. http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Thanks so much for visiting with me today, Nike. It’s been fun getting to know you and learn about your current writing projects.
**Purchase links for Nike’s Books: