Author of Trouble, the fourth book in the Supernatural mystery Shadow Slayers saga.
Join me as I chat to Nellie H. Steele about her latest book Trouble which launches today! Congratulations Nellie! And find out what else she is working on.
Helen: Welcome Nellie! To start us off, tell us about your latest book.
Nellie: I’ve got a LOT going on with current offerings! In the next few months, I’ll be releasing Book 4 in my Shadow Slayers saga along with the first books in two new series!
The first one to make its debut is Trouble and it is really appropriately named. The Shadow Slayers are experiencing Trouble from all sides! They’ve just come off of a life-changing experience when they travel to an alternate universe and just as things seem to be settling down, the dam breaks and a flood of other issues hit them.
The Shadow Slayers are a great team to write and I’m really excited for people to continue exploring their universe.
Helen: You sound extremely busy! Once you start writing a series and your characters become like family, it’s wonderful to be able to return and write more in the world you know so well. What was the inspirarion behind the cover design?
Nellie: This cover couldn’t be more perfect for this book. It has both literal and figurative meaning. The broken mirror with Celine trapped inside symbolizes her life breaking apart with the amount of difficulty she experiences.
It also has a quite literal meaning. There is a scene in the book in which a mirror shatters to pieces after the Slayers glimpse an image of Celine dancing in a red dress.
Helen: It is a most unusal cover. How about the title, is there a story behind that?
Nellie: The story really hits the Slayers with trouble from every angle imaginable. They’re drowning in problems in this book, so the title fits really well. It also ties well to the ending of the book. I won’t say any more but when the title was proposed, I latched on to it immediately because it felt so fitting.
Helen: I love the stories behind covers and titles. It gives the readers a little more colour and depth! Although Slayers is a fantasy series, you don’t just write fantasy do you?
Nellie: I’m literally a split personality. I can’t seem to pick a lane. I enjoy an eclectic range of genres to read, so it makes sense that I’d also enjoy writing a range.
Currently, I write cozy mystery, supernatural suspense/magical realism, adventure and historical mystery. I’m about to debut another cozy mystery series and a second series which is close to adventure but with a twist.
I didn’t really expect to expand into this particular genre (which is still a secret and will be revealed in the coming months), but I’m a “pantser,” and my characters take the lead. I didn’t expect them to go in this direction!
Helen: Oooh how exiting … a secret … follow Nellie to make sure you hear first! What else are you working on in 2022?
Nellie: In true split personality style, I’ve got two WIPs right now. I’m working on the third Maggie Edwards Adventure. In this installment, Maggie is traveling to Scotland for a relaxing vacation. She’s received an invitation to spend some time at Dunhaven Castle with Cate Kensie (of the Cate Kensie cozy mysteries). What should be a fun, relaxing time will turn into anything but! Look for Maggie’s next adventure later this year.
I’m also working on Book 5 in the Cate Kensie mystery series. Cate’s just gotten an eye-opening in Book 4 with some of our Shadow Slayers characters hopping into her series and causing quite a bit of chaos. She’ll continue to experience some issues from her new discoveries while she solves a decades old murder!
Helen: I’m glad I am not the only one with multiple projects on the go! Do you prefer writing or editing?
Nellie: Writing by a mile! I don’t mind re-reading and tweaking my work, but sometimes trying to parse through a heavy edit to be sure word choice is spot on can be very tedious!
Helen: Pantser or planner?
Nellie: Pantser. My characters take the lead and often, they take the story into a direction I did not expect. This happened a few times. One of my characters in my Duchess of Blackmoore historical mystery series I had intended to die early on in Book 1 (maybe by Chapter 5). He’s still going strong in Book 2. I guess he had other ideas.
I’ll also debut a new series later this year that I did not expect. I wrote another cozy mystery series and, while writing, had an idea to write a prequel to explain the backstory of some of the supporting characters.
One full novel later, these characters will now become the main characters for another new series. I fully expected to write a short story, but my characters had other ideas!
Helen: Which characters do you enjoy writing the most and why?
Nellie: I enjoy writing most of my characters, each for different reasons. One of the most fun characters to write is my Shadow Slayers villain, Marcus. He gets to say and do things no one else can. Writing his snippy dialog and no-holds-barred actions can really be exciting.
Helen: He sounds like fun to write. What is the most useful piece of advice you’ve received about writing?
Nellie: Write daily, no matter what, no matter how hard it is. I’ve heard this from several other authors as well as writing coaches. There’s a sense that writers have a creative spirit and only write when the mood strikes them. There’s always a reason to put it off for another day. I’ve worked hard to build a good writing routine that is incorporated in my day-to-day life. It’s really helped me push past any sticky plot points.
Helen: Thank you so much for joining me today. Just one last question to close us out. Let’s finish with you telling us something random about yourself.
Nellie: I’m an avid animal lover and I have 14 rescue pets. I can’t say no to a furry face (obviously, lol). Right now, I’ve got 8 cats and 6 dogs. I often incorporate them into my stories. For example, Cate’s dogs are based on two of my teddy bears (Kylo and Finn). And in the new cozy series, the cat Cassie and Lily adopt is based on my own one-eyed wonder, Percy.
About the Author:
An Indies Today finalist for Best Book of the Year 2020 with Cleopatra’s Tomb, Nellie H. Steele made the leap from science to art with her first book, The Secret of Dunhaven Castle.
An animal enthusiast, Nellie often features a version of one of her fourteen rescue animals in her stories, though the fictional pets are usually better behaved than her own fur-babies! A literary split personality, Nellie’s work ranges from cozy mystery to supernatural suspense to riveting adventure.
She lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. When she isn’t writing or engaging in animal care, she enjoys teaching Statistics and Data Science at a local university.
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If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my books which are available in eBook, paperback or hardcover: Book One: Sentinals Awaken. Book Two: Sentinals Rising. Book Three: Sentinals Justice. Book 3.5: Sentinals Recovery. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next book releases.
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