Monday, June 29, 2015

Interivew with Nicole Sager

Today I have an interview with the talented author of both the Arcrean Conqest and the Arcrean Companion Novels series: Nicole Sager! Her newest book, Burdney, has is hopefully releasing today! It's the second novel in the Arcrean Companion series, and I'm looking forward to reading it - and Hebbros, the first book in the Companion series!

When a villain's grand scheme takes flight, who will rise up to clip their wings? 

Years after an act of betrayal lowers a dark cloud over Burdney, Lady Agatha seeks vengeance and respect, while her sister, Aeryn, chases after freedom and peace. When a young slave named Epic arrives at the Mizgalian castle disguised as a nobleman in need of shelter, the conflicted youth soon finds himself caught in a web of intrigue that reaches further than anyone suspected. In a race against time and doom, Blunt the minstrel must travel to Burdney for the vindication of a condemned friend. When his travels take an unexpected turn - and sometimes even go in circles - the Arcrean bard must learn to trust that God is always in control.

Secrets and deception lie in wait around every corner, until a conspiracy is revealed that will wage a battle for hope and justice on the grounds of Burdney.
Hi, Nicole! Thank you so much for stopping by! It's a pleasure to have you. Could you share a little bit about yourself and your novels?      
Hi, Micaiah! Thank you for hosting me today! I'm a homeschool graduate in my mid-twenties, and I've lived in three different states. When I'm not writing I'm usually drinking coffee and/or reading (I personally own over 500 books!), and I've also dabbled some in musical theatre. My novels are Inspirational Fantasy and are magic-free and family-friendly. I currently have two series on the market - The Arcrean Conquest Series and The Companions of Arcrea Novels - and both take place in the same medieval "realm."

I have read The Arcrean Conquest series (recently I finished The Isle of Arcrea), and I enjoyed all three books, but especially the last two. What inspired you two write about such a place as Arcrea? More specifically, what sparked the tales for The Fate and The Isle?
The name "Arcrea" was actually given to me by my little brother! He must have been 8 or 9 at the time. I had just finished another series (not yet published), and was trying to come up with something totally new. He had created this imaginary world called Arcrea, and one day he told me that if I wanted to write about it I could. I already knew that I wanted my next hero to be Druet, so when the land of Arcrea became available I simply dropped him inside it and his journey began from there! The plots for Fate and Isle sprouted from the pages of The Heart of Arcrea. There were so many characters whose stories I needed to explore, and because prayer is such a huge part of my writing journey, I felt that each story simply flowed out as I needed it, in answer to those prayers. God is good.

How do you come up with your characters? Did you model any of them after other characters, friends, family...or are they completely your own?
Some characters have been modeled after real life people! I personally know Bruce of Kulbroe-Nog, as well as little Meg (you can visit my Facebook page for a picture), and I know Deridre from Burdney. Luke from Hebbros reminds me of my brother, and my sisters tell me they see themselves in Renny and Elaina. Most of the time I just try to create a cast who are all unique from one another in some way (physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc.). There are other times when characters simply introduce themselves and beg to have their stories told.
What character from the series do you connect with most and why?

Such a hard question! Usually I have one character per book who sticks out to me, but I guess overall for The Arcrean Conquest I would have to say Falconer. He was intended to be a small character (villain) who appeared only in Book 1, but somewhere along the way he decided his story should end differently. Now he's had an appearance or honorary mention in every book! I think I came to know him best because with each book I had to dig a little deeper into his story, and understand the motives behind his thoughts/actions. The other character who I must add holds a special place in my heart is Druet. There's just something about him that makes me smile.
Now, Burdney - what inspired this adventure and why (and how) did you choose the characters that you did for this particular story?
This one is interesting. The story of Burdney has its roots in the tale of Hebbros, when brief mention is made of "Lady Agatha of Burdney Hall." I never expected to do anything more with that character/place, but when I finished Hebbros, I had several characters who reappeared in the Epilogue to let me know their story hadn't quite finished (sounds weird, I know, but you gotta trust me). In the following weeks, ideas started coming to mind until finally inspiration stuck in the middle of church! Everything connected - the Epilogue characters, Burdney, Agatha and her connection to Hebbros - I was so excited!
MK: That sounds incredible!
What went into the writing process for Burdney?
Ah. The writing process. I've spent over a year on Burdney. I take a LOT of notes, some that are humorous to look back on because the idea never makes it onto the pages. But it gets me thinking. I like to find pictures online of models/actors that remind me of the characters, and I spend a lot of time just thinking about where the story/characters need to go, and how I'm going to get them there. I map out who they are and how they're connected to the others, and if possible I write a point-by-point "schedule" for as far into the plot as I can think. So yes, the process: There was a lot of staring at the screen, staring at my notes, and starting into space; there was a little research, a little typing, and even tearing out a third of the book to replace it. Oi.
What books and authors inspired and influenced you most as a writer? Why?

I don't know that there are any in particular. I've found that any author I'm reading at the time will influence my writing in some way. I do remember reading a book, Christmas Carol, by Kauffman, and noting her narration about the characters' surroundings. Some authors have taught me through their writing how to create pictures with my words; others have been examples in wit and meaningful dialogue, while still others have shown a capacity to make every scene count in the bigger picture. I even learn more and more about grammar and punctuation as I look at how other authors use them!
What has been the most challenging part of writing? What has been the most rewarding? The most fun?
The most challenging part has to be writer's block, when the plot just isn't there. Also, realizing I need to go back and rewrite something (like that third of Burdney I mentioned earlier) can be really discouraging. The most rewarding part comes when I've overcome the writer's block, made the changes, seen how much better it turned out, and then I get a review saying the book was a blessing or encouragement in someone's walk with Christ. I guess the most fun has been sharing in the readers' excitement, hearing about kids who play-act that they are the Arcrean characters, and knowing that I get to keep writing as long as God allows!

Now, sillier questions...
So, coffee or tea?

Coffee! With Crème Brulee creamer! It's shameful the amount of coffee I'm capable of consuming when I write or edit!
Favorite book?

This is an unfair question. Haha! Aside from the Bible, I think I'll just have to settle with saying my two favorite authors are MaryAnn Minatra and Lori Benton. Both are authors of Historical Christian Fiction.
If you could spend the day in any book's world, what book would you choose? What character from the book would you want to spend time with while there?
I have to say I'd want to visit Arcrea. *sheepish grin* I would love to visit such a place and pour that experience into my future writing! Specifically, I would love to visit Burdney. I really fell in love with the setting for this book as I wrote it. I would love to explore the nearby ruins with Aeryn, and run up the sagging steps with her to pretend we could fly into the clouds. She has such an imagination, and a passion for living!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Micaiah! I've really enjoyed your questions. Readers, feel free to visit me at any of the following links!

Well, that was fun! :) Be sure to stop by the above places to find out more about Nicole and her books!




  1. Thank you so much for having me, Micaiah! I've enjoyed chatting with you!

    1. Thank you, Nicole! I've enjoyed chatting too, and I'm looking forward to reading the two books in the Arcrean Companion novel series! :)

  2. That was a great interview! Than you both for doing it!

    1. Thank you, Mikayla! I'm glad you enjoyed it!