Author Nicole Grotepas
Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother’s old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she’s forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan–the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Is the time machine is the Tardis? I hope it is. It is, right? Well, anyway, I don’t know if I could stand seeing the future, so I think we’d go back in time. And I’ve always really wanted to see Lake Bonneville (the ancient lake that used to cover Utah). Plus I love dinosaurs. Need to see them, if I can.
One food you would never eat?
Sea cucumber and any of the sea cucumber’s friends.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Aside from the adventure and romance, there’s a really beautiful story about what the soul is, what makes us human, and what we’ll do for love.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’ve always got several projects on my mind, if not in the works. Right now I’m working on a sci-fi novella called the Root, the YA sequel to my Illuminated Universe series, and a project I’m calling my chick-lit novel. The chick-lit story was supposed to just be about a small, fictional town in Utah, but somehow all this romance found its way in. It happens. I love romance, so sue me! I hope to publish all three this year. I believe in making lofty goals. It forces me to work hard.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I have no idea, at least not specifically. My mom always let me check out forty to fifty books from the library when I was a child–the librarians would get one of those manual counters and click off all the books as they scanned them. I’m pretty sure I read all of them, too (ha ha). It just hit me one day that I could make up my own stories. I tried to write a fantasy book when I was thirteen but never finished it because I didn’t really understand world-building. Thinking about it now, I used books to escape, and making up my own stories was a way for me to escape as well. Plus, my mom loves books so much. Some part of me just wants to wow her with an amazing book that I wrote!
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
People reading and enjoying my books is by far the coolest thing ever. Even having one person read one of my books because they read the description or something is amazing. I mean, I hope they enjoy the books. I’m incredibly grateful for readers. I wish I could personally tell each one thank you or give them a big bear hug or something!
If you could jump into a book and live in that world, which would it be?
Harry Potter! I love the idea of an invisible, magical world. There’s something innocent about it, despite the sinister qualities of Voldemort and his evil minions. There are steam trains and schools in old castles and flying cars! What more could I want?
What is your dream cast for your book?
I love questions like this! For Hemingway, I’d cast Jensen Ackles from Supernatural. Retta would be great done by Jane Levy, from Suburgatory. David Tennant would need to play Retta’s teacher, Dr. Craspo. Nathan Fillion would be perfect for Nikodemus, Retta’s father. And maybe Zooey Deschanel as Mei, Retta’s best friend.
If you were a bird, which one would you be?
A Canada goose. They mate for life. And they can fly.
In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
Brandon Sanderson. There are others, but I’m pretty impressed with his writing, and his ideas are unique and his endings are always mind-blowing.
Favorite quote from a movie?
“We read to know we’re not alone.” It’s from The Shadowlands, with Anthony Hopkins as C.S. Lewis. Great film.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Well, people who know me are usually surprised to find out that I love chicklit, romantic comedies, Jane Austen, and romance stuff. I guess because I’m so brusque and rough. Maybe?
If you could take over the world, would you?
Yes, and I’d be a horrible ruler because I want everyone to love me but I have to be the boss. I’d be like the David Brent of dictators. People would starve because I’d try to make everyone and everything equal, which is why I’d never be given the opportunity to run the show.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
Usually with music. It helps with transporting me into a scene.
What do you think of book trailers?
Some of them are amazing. The bad ones are really just crap. I have one that’s borderline. My advice, never watch it. I need to fix it, but I have a million other things I’m trying to get done. 🙂
I have three cats.
How did you go about publishing your book?
I worked in a publishing house for several years. For a while I thought traditional publishing was the best. But then I researched it more and discovered the benefits of indie-publishing. I hire proofreaders and cover designers myself, and then I format everything for ebooks and paperback copies. I love having control of all these things. I appreciate big publishers, but I also love the freedom to do what I want. Cover approval only has to go through me, not a bunch of different departments. I love it.
Do you have any weird or interesting rituals you do to get into writing mode or while you’re writing?
I wish! I’m boring. I just sit down and force myself to begin. Generally I read over what I wrote the previous session so I get back into the mood, but I don’t do anything weird. Or maybe what I do IS weird, but I can’t tell because it’s me?
If you were on Death Row what would your last meal be?
Eggs over-medium with toast, thick-sliced bacon, pancakes, French toast, biscuits and gravy, a scone from Grannie Annie’s in Kaysville (Utah), bistec ranchero and some queso dip from La Hacienda in Nashville (on Nolensville Pike), a hamburger from In-N-Out, and like six things of creme brulee. Too much? Well, it IS my last meal.
Happiest moment in your life so far.
When my son was born, a close second was when I married his dad.
Scariest moment in my life?
When my son was born. All that anxiety for him and the responsibility! Wow. But the happiness and joy really eclipses the other emotions.
If you weren’t a human, what would you be?
Either some kind of bird or a blue whale. Or could I be a concept? Like maybe Time? That would be cool.
Do your characters really talk to you?
No. But I wish they did! That would make everything much easier.
Are you for or against books being made into movies?
I used to be against it, but now I love it. That said, it depends on how well they pull it off. It would be cool if Hollywood learned to make up original screenplays, but I think that died when the studio system died.
Blue Hearts of Mars Playlist:
“Strange Attractor,” Animal Kingdom
“Love to the Test,” Niki & The Dove
“Called Out In The Dark,” Snow Patrol
“Our Hell,” Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton
“Wait For Me,” Shiny Toy Guns
“Demons,” Imagine Dragons
“Dreams So Real,” Metric
“Lights Out, Words Gone,” Bombay Bicycle Club
“Myth,” Beach House
“Shuck,” Purity Ring
“Inch of Dust,” Future Islands
“Human Being,” Cat Power
“Hear Me,” Imagine Dragons
“Walking Through That Door,” Future Islands
“Hysteric,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs
“If I Lost You,” Shiny Toy Guns
“Never Let Me Go,” Florence + The Machine
“Speed The Collapse,” Metric
“Cutty Love,” Milo Greene
Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas
Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.
If only it were as simple as being in love.
Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway–for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.
“Nothing like I’ve read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!” ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)
“I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn’t understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn’t put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!” ~TNielsen (Amazon)
“The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!” ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)
“I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause.” ~Megan (Amazon)
“I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I’d give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta’s bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I’d definitely hang out with those two.” ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)
Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!
Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash (Internationally)
Signed Copy of Cinder & Blue Hearts of Mars (US only)
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://www.iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.