Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, Nike Chillemi.
I met Nike Chillemi several years ago, through an ACFW critique loop. Since that time, I’ve been privileged to work with her on some of her latest releases. So, I’m excited to have Nike here today. She writes mysteries and romantic suspense. Check out her bio (below) for more about her writing life and why she’s called the “crime fictionista.” You can leave a comment for a chance to win Harmful Intent, the first book in her latest suspense-filled series. She recently released Blood Speaks, the third and final book in the trilogy. But I’ve heard a rumor, we haven’t heard the last of Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels and Dawson Hughes!
Nike, I have to ask (because it’s our first question):
What inspires you?
Nike: Good question, and I have to think about this. I actually got up and walked away from my laptop to make a cup of tea. I guess I felt I was supposed to come up with something pithy and significant. I mean, I fashion myself a fairly deep writer. Buried within my action-packed detective stories are hopefully “meaningful” subthemes. But the truth is little, many times off-hand things inspire both my novel and blog writing. Several years ago I was totally taken by a pair of cardinals who were flying north for the summer and how they related to each other for the two days they came to my backyard. I’ve put a red cardinal and his mate in two of my novels as a symbol of love between spouses.
I love that. I’m a big fan of cardinals, and where I live, you have to be careful where you say that (really big basketball rivalry in Kentucky). We have a couple of the birds living in our backyard. Of course, in our mild climate, they don’t go anywhere for the winter, so we have them throughout the year. They seem very dedicated to each other. Funny how the simple things in life touch us so deeply at times.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Nike: Right away I thought “purple” and I don’t know why. I don’t wear purple, there isn’t any purple in the décor of my home, to speak of. I guess it would be the deep amethyst purple. I do have a couple of earrings in that deep amethyst. In fact the first “good” pair of earrings I ever got were from my mom and they were small amethyst studs set in gold.
I’m not surprised by your choice. Lovers of the color purple tend to be unconventional, unique, different…umm…sound familiar? Purple is also dignified and royal.
I love this last question and can’t wait to hear how you’ll answer–
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Nike: I wanted to be Barbara Walters. I thought she had the most fascinating job, and of course she did. Today, interviewing famous people doesn’t interest me. I sometimes think I’d like to be a producer/interviewer for a cable TV station and go around to different towns and small cities in America and ask folks on the street, who is the most interesting, most respected, and/or most loved person in this town? Then I’d walk into that fascinating person’s hair salon, or restaurant, or catch them as they deliver the mail and interview them about their life in that place. My readers tell me that Bertha is the most loved character in my Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes detective series. And of course she’s a very strong secondary character in the final book of the series, BLOOD SPEAKS.
Barbara Walters! She did have a fascinating job. I think your idea is a good one, though. Sounds like fun–catching someone unaware, in everyday moments of life, then letting your reader see the real person. Bertha is a fine example of a strong secondary character. She’s real, and lovable. The good neighbor or best friend we all desire.
Thanks Nike, for taking the time to answer our 3 Questions.
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started at a very young age. Her first major work was a Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned as a little girl (colored might be more accurate) 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 (out of print), set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. The first novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series HARMRUL INTENT won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense category. 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.
Nike’s website: http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Readers, Nike is giving away a copy of Harmful Intent, the first book in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series. Just leave a comment in the comments section below to be entered to win the Kindle version of the book.
Here’s more information about the book:
Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.
Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.
Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.
Sweet, askance romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully.
Her latest release is Blood Speaks, Book 3 in the
Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, Brooklyn gal PI, waited a long time for the solitaire on her finger. When her sometimes boss, a shadowy figure and director of a secret government organization, offers a one-week bridal shopping vacay in Virginia, she jumps at it.
Joined by bridesmaids, Sandra Daube and Bertha Dagney, Ronnie sets off for the village of Heritage Cove on Arrowhead Lake, Virginia. Their joyous stay at the rustic yet luxury Heritage Cove Inn is shattered by a murder with tendrils and a clandestine motive stretching back to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
It doesn’t take long for Ronnie and her gal-pals to become targets of the killer. It goes without saying, Taylor County Deputy Sheriff, Lieutenant Dawson Hughes leaves Texas to protect his bride-to-be. He’s joined by Sandra’s employer, conservative political activist Ben Cohen. Neither hell-nor-high-water can keep Gabby Hayes look-alike Hoot Dagney from the side of Bertha, his new bride.