1. Do you write in different genres?
Oh, yes. Most of my books are romances with some kind of magical or paranormal element, but I write everything from young adult fiction (like Tiger Lily), to adult paranormal romance. I do the adult stuff under my pen name, Abigail Drake. I wouldn’t want the younger people who read my YA books to accidentally pick up something with more content than they might expect. That would be bad.
2. If yes which is your favorite genre to write?
That’s a tough question. I like to read in many genres, so writing in different genres felt very natural to me. If I had to choose, I think I’d have to say that romance is my favorite. I love a good love story. Who doesn’t?
3. How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
My character is named Lily, which is kind of a delicate looking flower. But lilies are actually quite hardy, and my character is stronger than she seems. Oddly enough, I sold my book to Inkspell Publishing in June 2015 – right when tiger lilies were in bloom all over where I live in western Pennsylvania. I took it as a sign!
4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The bonds that tie us to those we love are stronger than anything – even death.
5. Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
When I was pregnant with my first son, I had dreams that black, fuzzy objects were flying around the room. I usually woke my husband in a total panic, thinking something was about to attack us. Once I realized it was just a dream, I fell right back asleep. My poor husband couldn’t, though. There is something about getting jarred awake during a deep REM sleep by your screaming wife. Anyway, he’d usually lie awake for hours, staring around the room, holding onto a tennis racquet for protection. Later I saw a ghost hunting show on television, and the way they depicted the ghosts was exactly how I’d seen them when I was pregnant. My husband was convinced it was just pregnancy hormones, but I’m not so sure….
6. Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?
I love to travel. I studied Japanese and International Economics in college and spent three years living in Japan. While there, I met my husband. He’s originally from Istanbul. We spent three years living in Turkey as well. The things I’ve seen and the places I’ve visited all play a part in my books. With some of them it’s pretty obvious. In others, it’s a bit harder to pick out. Tiger Lily, for example, has a lot of Chinese culture, legends, and folklore in it. I’ve never lived in China, but I did study about it in college, and my character Mr. Wan is based very loosely on several people I met while working in Japan.
7. Who designed the cover of your latest book?
Najla Qamber designs all the covers for Inkspell Publishing. She’s a total genius and an absolute delight.
8. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. Force yourself to sit in the chair and write a little each and every day. Some days are harder than others, but you have to make writing a habit. Also, finish what you start. It’s fine to abandon a bad idea or a story that’s leading no where, but often writers get so stuck in trying to make everything perfect that they never get past the first chapter. Don’t edit as you write. Save that for later. Write forward, finish the book, then go back and tear it apart.
9. What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I have a contemporary romance called THE ENCHANTED GARDEN CAFÉ that is currently under consideration with several publishers. That will be published under my pen name, Abigail Drake, as would a New Adult series I’ve almost finished. I just started writing the sequel to Tiger Lily as well. It’s called Black Orchid, and it’s the story of Zoe (the Goth girl from Tiger Lily) and Josh. I missed the characters in Tiger Lily, so it’s been a lot of fun to write a sequel.
10. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
From Black Orchid:
What you seek is seeking you.
“I hate this dress.”
Adjusting the heavy, bright red satin to make it cover more of my body, I glared at the person who’d caused all this pain and suffering in my life. My best friend, and now, apparently, my own personal stylist, Lily.
“Stop fussing, Zoe. You look gorgeous and you know it.”
I growled at her, not feeling gorgeous at all. “Why did it have to be red? I told I you I wanted to wear black. Black is my signature color. I should never have let you talk me into this.”
I took another peek in the mirror. Ebony hair pulled into a complicated up-do. Blue eyes staring back at me from a thick curtain of bangs. Bright red lipstick. Pale skin and a curvy figure. Way too curvy. Bursting out of the top of the dress curvy.
I let out a whimper as Lily forced me to turn around and face her. Small, but mighty, she glowed in pale green chiffon that shimmered as she moved and brought out the green of her eyes. With her her red hair falling in loose curls around her shoulders, she looked like a walking advertisement for the perfect prom queen. She probably even carried around her own tiara. Maybe even two. But she was ruthless.
“You needed to be knocked out of your comfort zone. I’ve been very accommodating. I even let you keep the black polish on your nails.”
I held up my hands so that she could see them. “But you insisted I get little red sparkly hearts on them. That kind of ruins the whole effect. I look like a Monster High Doll.”
She grinned. “But an adorable Monster High Doll. We’d better hurry. Josh is waiting for you downstairs.”
My heart did a funny little flip flop in my chest. Josh, the golden god, star of the local soccer team, and the most popular guy on the planet, was my prom date. Me. Zoe Sage Kaplan. Goth girl, ghost whisperer, and social outcast.
Life had definitely gotten even stranger than usual.
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Date of Publication: January 13, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-939590-59-6 (ebook)
ISBN: 1939590779 (paperback)
Number of pages: 156
Word Count: 56,000
Cover Artist: Najla Qamber
Lily Madison thought dying because of a bad manicure was the worst thing that could happen. She was wrong.
Waking up in the hospital and realizing she's being stalked by an entire herd of naughty little ghosts turns her entire world upside down. She begins to doubt her own sanity until she realizes she isn't alone. A Goth girl, named Zoe, can see the ghosts, too.
Most of the ghosts look like fuzzy blobs, but one is not blobby at all. He's a very hot, very annoying dead guy named Nick. Although they dislike each other on sight, Nick soon realizes Lily is his only hope. With the help of Zoe and Mr. Wan, the manicurist who almost killed her, she has only days to get Nick and the other ghosts back where they belong or the whole world will be in terrible danger.
But sending the ghosts back means saying goodbye to Nick forever, and Lily isn't sure she'll ever be able to let him go.
"First Wende Dikec grabs you with her fresh writing, then she keeps you in the throes of her story with an incredible voice and a gifted talent for spinning tales that will amaze and delight. I am stunned. Tiger Lily will consume you, and before you know it you are fighting for air yet begging for more. You've been warned!"
--NY Times Bestselling Author Darynda Jones
I died because of a bad manicure. It wasn’t a nasty fungal infection from the manicurist using dirty equipment, or a cut that allowed deadly bacteria to creep under my skin and rot me from the inside out. I died because on impulse I let Mr. Wan of Wan Fine Lady Nail Salon paint my nails a color called Pretty and Pink.
With my red hair and pale skin, pink is tricky, but I trusted Mr. Wan. When he told me, “New color, big discount for you, Lily Madison,” I didn’t realize he actually meant, “Bad color, nobody else wants it.”
I’ve never been a risk taker. My idea of living on the edge was not having an extra bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse. I knew the pink would be a mistake, but I ignored my inner voice. I guess the smell of acetone and the hum of the nail dryers had lulled me into such a relaxed state that I didn’t realize how awful the color actually looked until I drove home in the BMW my parents had given me for my sixteenth birthday.
Pretty and Pink was false advertising, but as I learned long ago in my ninth grade science fair project, neither the government nor the FDA regulates the names of nail polish colors. I didn’t have a case, but I felt extremely upset.
I didn’t see the ice cream truck stopped in the middle of the road. I was staring at my nails, wishing I’d gone with my first choice, Princesses Rule!, a frosty pale pink that would have enhanced my natural skin tone. I glanced up just in time to narrowly avoid hitting the truck and several small children caught in a snow-cone-induced feeding frenzy.
It’s funny how accidents happen in slow motion. I remember the shocked faces of the people on the street as I swerved and flew over a small embankment. Someone screamed, and it took me a full second to realize the high-pitched wail came from my own mouth. I’d started screaming the minute I’d steered away from the ice cream truck, screamed some more as my car became an airborne missile, and continued screaming until it landed in the deep, murky waters of Lake Eugene.
I tried to open my door, but it refused to budge. My windows wouldn’t roll down either. I pressed the buttons anyway, even the one on the dashboard to turn on the radio, but none of them worked except my hazard lights. I didn’t know I had hazard lights, although I’d read all about them in my driver’s ed class. They blinked on and off, illuminating the darkness around me with an eerie, red, pulsating beacon.
I unbuckled my seat belt and searched for something to break a window with, but couldn’t find anything. I swung my purse at it, pounded it with the heel of my shoe, and even tried stabbing it with my nail file. I reached for my phone to call for help, but it was too late.
As the car filled with water and I gasped for air, the last thing I saw was that awful color on my nails as I scratched and clawed at the window until my fingers bled and everything turned black. As I died, I thought about my parents, and my friends, and all the things I would never get to do, and the fact that Mr. Wan had just lost his very best customer due to his own negligence. I hoped he would be sorry. Thinking about how bad he’d feel gave me just a little peace before I slipped away into darkness.
About the Author:
Wende Dikec has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, and fun. Fluent in several languages and married to a man from Istanbul, Wende is a trekkie, a book hoarder, master of the Nespresso machine, and mother of three boys. A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.