Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Friday, January 20, 2006

Ask Nic Q&A Part Duex

Yesterday, or actually very early this morning I posted part one of the Ask Nic Q&A. They were some really great questions. Well this post is no less great! :) I've been having so much fun with this, really! So lets just go ahead and jump in with Ask Nic Q&A Part Duex.

Next up is a good old Texas boy, er man, and fellow romance writer (hopefully someday the “writer” will be changed to “author”) John who is also known as Duke_of_Earle. John is kind and compassionate and has some really funny stuff on his blog. He is a devoted and loving husband and father who takes his family every year to ski at Winter Park – John you rock my man! That is THE BEST place to go skiing. :^D John asked...

OK, Nic, I want to know more about the romance novels you've written -- since I've written one, and am still working towards the dream of publication. Are yours fantasies, autobiographical, historical (maybe hysterical?), or what? What got you started? Tell as much or as little on the subject as you like.

Nic’s Answer: Ok, so I’ve never actually disciplined myself to sit down and finish a manuscript, even though I know how each and every one ends. I have written a couple hundred pages on each one and then find myself getting bored or my characters won’t talk to me anymore. I started writing b/c I thought that if I couldn’t have an HEA or romance in my own life at least I could write about it and put my wishes on paper for someone else to have the HEA that I dream of.

I have one series of four and two stand alones. Most of them are geared for category and not single title, but the series of four are actually geared for a long contemporary and not short contemporary. Yes, this is in industry speak so John will understand it, and probably my friend Lois Lane will too, but not too many outside the industry know what I’m talking about. The series of four revolve around two fraternal twin sisters and two brothers, non-related but are connected through work and friends. The first book is for one of the brothers, the next two are the sister’s stories and the last one is the second brother.

These four stories all have a little different format. The first one is more sweet, an unrequited childhood crush that grows into love after the hero and heroine see each other for the first time in 9 years and are thrown together to help each other out of a couple of humorous, but sticky situations professionally and personally. The second story, the older, more introverted twin’s story, is darker, dealing with the echoes of past abuse and blackmail but you know who the villain is at the beginning, just the hero and heroine don’t and it’s a surprise to them at the end that is complete with the action scenes and an ending that leaves you hanging until you read the epilogue which has the HEA in it. The third book of that series deals with the younger twin who is a real outgoing flirt with a very loyal streak. She and her hero get way off on the wrong foot in the 2nd story, but he ends up being the only one she can trust in her story to help her with the stalker she has acquired. The stalker is a big surprise to everyone at the end. The fourth story is the brother of the hero in the first story and it’s a story of unwanted feelings and the bonds that are created between two people who were not looking for love but found it anyway.

The two stand-alones, one is the story of long lost love and a hidden pregnancy. The man and woman met as college grads, drifted apart through a misunderstanding before she found out she was pregnant. The story is about them meeting unexpectedly 8 years later as he is about to get married and she is a successful business owner and single mom. The second stand alone is much racier about a single woman in a rut after her live-in boyfriend leaves her for a much younger girl/woman (yes, part of this was based on my life). She longs to break out of her ordinary life and a fling with a much talked about movie star in town filming a movie provides her the opportunity to do just that but it provides an surprising twist that the ordinary woman looking for a fun fling and the (confirmed bachelor) movie star find a love that they never expected. That one was targeted for the Blaze line, but I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it b/c while I can certainly write some really hot, ahem, scenes, that’s not really the way I want others to see me. I don’t want to be known as the author who can write coughsexcough. I’m more than that and I have more to offer in my writing than that which is why I am now working on writing my story, my autobiography, if you will, about everything I have been though since childhood to let others know that there is life after the tough times and if I can get through those things, including a neighbor-attempted molestation as a child, anyone can.

Anyway, like you wanted to know what the stories were about, I’m sure. LOL!

I could never write anything but contemporary b/c I’m not interested in writing any other kind of romance, other than paranormal, but I read all kinds of romance.

Good question John. Maybe this will help me to get out of that romance rut and start writing again. :^) Don’t ever give up on your dream. You’ll get there some day and I’ll be waiting in line on your book tour to get a copy signed!!
My next questioner is a really neat guy. He has an entertainment resume that is longer than most actors’ resumes. Not only is he fascinating, funny and a fantastic blog writer, but he is kind, caring and encouraging. He’s my personal blog cheerleader who always brings a smile to my face with his comments. Friends, blogreaders, I give you Mr. Michael Manning, who asked:

Okay Nic: What was the last concert you attended and did you enjoy the music?

Nic’s Answer: I will not be ashamed of my answer on this one, though others can be ashamed for me! The last concert I attended was......... Yanni. It was a Christmas present to my mom in 2003 (his concert was early 2004). I took her and her best friend Marty, who is my “other mother” (her husband is my “other daddy”) to go see him. We had 12th row seats just slightly left of center - like 4 seats left of direct center, and really, really enjoyed him. He was fun, witty, entertaining, interactive and very high energy. He was a real firecracker. We really loved his concert! Of course my mom and Marty love his smile. That’s just about all they could talk about after. LOL! My personal favorite of his is “Aria” with the two sopranos singing against each other. It’s ethereal, beautiful and enchanting. In fact I’m humming it now as I type this. It’s been used in several commercials since the 90’s when it became very popular.

Whew! A short answer for once. ROFL!
The next person to volunteer to do this Ask Nic session is a delightful young lady who knows who she is, knows what her life is about and has herself very together. Believe me when I say that her blog name suits her to a tee. She is astute, bright, deep and not ashamed to let others see her light shine. I had the good fortune to have her visit my blog in December and she and I have frequented each other’s blogs ever since. I just wish I had her presence, her common sense and self awareness when I was her age. I call her “M” b/c it is the first initial of her name but in the blogsphere she goes by no_average_girl. M asked me:

what is the one most important decision you've ever made - well, other than accepting Christ? How did you make it? Why did you make it? Did anyone, anything, or any circumstances help you make that decision?


what is the best and worst choices you've ever made?

Nic’s Answer: What really good questions, M. Hmmm, the most important decision I have ever made, without a doubt, was to have and keep Emily. In my mind there was NEVER any doubt that I would keep her. Matt and I had been broken up for several months but were still living together and all that entails when I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked and stunned. I had been “taking precautions” to ensure I wouldn’t get pregnant and had been for 10 years and yet here I was showing up pregnant. To me life is a gift. It is precious and it is a miracle. The though never once entered my mind to have an abortion or to give my baby up for adoption. If Matt didn’t want any part of it then I was going to do it alone.

I have always been against abortion b/c my own biological mother could have aborted me. She was 3 months pregnant with me when Roe v. Wade was passed; her parents told her she could have an abortion, give the baby up for adoption and not be allowed in their house until then or keep the baby and be disowned. I owe my life to her decision to go through with the pregnancy and give me up for adoption.

I would never choose to kill my own baby, which is exactly what abortion is without the whitewashing. A choice to kill a baby, to take a life b/c one doesn’t want to take responsibility for one’s own actions. I believe that if you make the choice to have sex then you must take responsibility for that choice and the consequences that go with it. Most abortions in this country, as a proven, documented fact, are not for “medical” reasons but are used for birth control b/c someone didn’t want to take responsibility for their decision to have sex and the resulting pregnancy that came from their decision.

It has been documented in studies that the majority of women who have had an abortion and thought it was a good idea, end up a couple, a few or several years down the road with PASS - Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome, and have to go into therapy and/or counseling in order to live with their decisions. A New Zealand study reveals that young women who have an abortion have a higher risk of mental health problems, including depression, suicidal tendencies and attempts, anxiety and drug and alcohol abuse, than women who continue with their pregnancies. In fact 42% of women who have had abortions suffered major depression at some stage--a third higher than those who continued with their pregnancies and double that of those who had never fallen pregnant. On top of that here are some further medical conditions that can occur after an abortion:

•"According to the 1992 Hospital Discharge Summary . . . there were 27,000 hospitalizations for missed abortion, 8,000 hospitalizations for incomplete abortion, as well as 14,000 hospitalizations for complications, and 7,000 hospitalizations for genital tract and pelvic infections following abortion and ectopic and molar pregnancies." (Strahan, "Legal liability for physical injury or infection following induced abortion," Research Bulletin 9:3, March/April 1996)
•Repeat abortion is associated with 2-2.5 fold increase in low birth weight and short gestation in subsequent pregnancies when compared with either one live birth or one abortion. (World Health Organization, Special Program of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction: 7th Annual Report, Geneva, 11/78)
•Women who had two or more induced abortions are 2.7 times more likely to have future first trimester miscarriages and 3.2 times more likely to have a second trimester incomplete abortion than women with no history of induced abortion. (Levin et al, "Association of induced abortion with subsequent pregnancy loss," JAMA 243:2495, 6/27/80)
•Women with two or more prior abortions have a relative risk of 2.3 for secondary infertility, and women with one abortion had a relative risk of 2.1 compared to women with no abortion history. (Tzonou et al, "Induced abortions, miscarriages, and tobacco smoking as risk factors for secondary infertility," Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 47:36, 1993)
•Twenty-eight out of 37 studies published since 1957 link abortion with breast cancer. Sixteen out of 17 statistically significant studies report an increased risk. For more information on the link between abortion and breast cancer, visit the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer website.
•A review and analysis of available studies on abortion and breast cancer concluded that abortion raises a woman's lifetime risk of breast cancer by approximately one-third. The literature "documents a remarkably consistent, significant positive association between abortion and breast cancer incidence." (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, October 1996)
•A study of African American women found an increased odds ratio for breast cancer if they had a history of induced abortions. (Laing et al, "Breast cancer risk factors in African-American women: the Howard University tumor registry experience," Journal of the National Medical Association 85:931, 12/93)
•The rate of mortality from legal abortions and abortion related deaths from 1977 to 1982 was 0.6 per 100,000 abortion procedures for white women and 1.8 per 100,000 abortion procedures for African American women or women of other races. (Atrash et al, "Legal abortion mortality in the U.S., 1972-1982," American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 156:611, 3/87)
•Another study showed a 2.3 relative risk for cancer of the cervix for women with one abortion and a 4.92 relative risk for women reporting two or more induced abortions compared with women with no prior abortion history. (Le et al, "Oral contraceptive use and breast or cervical cancer: Preliminary results of a French case-control study," in Hormones and Sexual Factors in Human Cancer Etiology, Wolff and Scott, eds. Excerpta Medica, NY, 1984, pp. 139-147)
•Induced abortion by suction curettage (the most common kind) is directly implicated in the spread of sexually transmitted diseased into the uterine cavity, causing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. PID is a major cause of infertility, chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, and death. (Avonts et al, "Genital infections in women undergoing therapeutic abortion," European Journal of Obstetrics 20:3, 1985)

Sorry, I’m on my soap box there and that’s probably a WHOLE LOT MORE than you ever wanted to know! LOL!

Now for your second question:

Best choice? See above about Emily. Worst choice? Wow, there are so many bad choices that I’ve made in my life but the top answer all leads to the bad choices I've made in my life. The worst choice I made was to deliberately turn my back on God’s will for my life, to do my own thing instead of following God’s plan for my life, which is nothing more than to obey Him and follow where He leads me. From there, the second worst choice I made was to have sex outside of marriage. It causes too much heartache and too many problems down the road when you sleep with multiple partners other than the one that God chose for you inside of marriage. TRUST ME, I know what I'm talking about on this one. I wish I would have waited until marriage. It's true that every person you have sex with you also have sex with everyone they've ever had a sexual relationship with and so forth and so on. If one person has an STD it gets passed around to everyone they have had sex with and then gets passed on to everyone their partners have had sex with and on and on and on. I am very thankful though to have never, ever have gotten any kind of STD at all. Did you know that a study done by The Heritage Foundation shows that 25.3% of the girls that participated in the study and were sexually active said that they experienced depression all, most or a lot of the time as opposed to only 7.7% of non-sexually active teenage girls who said that they experienced depression all, most or a lot of the time. Information is also shown in the online journal Medical News Today and is discussed in depth in a great commentary by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Excellent questions darling M. Sorry for the sex ed class there, but there is so much to be said on those subjects. That you seek to learn from others mistakes and/or successes shows great wisdom for someone your age. Keep it up dear one. I'm proud of you for making your stand!

Ok, that's it for this post. Probably more info than you ever wanted to know health-wise. LOL.

You DEFINITELY DON'T want to miss the final installment of Ask Nic Q&A! I got a chance to write about where I see myself in 5 years in my wildest daydreams, a beer preference and more! I can't wait for you to get to know the next group of people in this Q&A and to read my responses to what they had to ask. See ya in the next post!


Duke_of_Earle said...

Thanks, Nic, for the sweet comments and the great answer to my question. Since my novel is 90% autobiographical, there's no overt sex in it at all, and that may be a problem, because as everybody knows, sex sells. At least one good sex scene is expected in most novels. Don't be afraid to put one in one of yours.

(Hey, don't misunderstand that! I'm no prude, but the story covered the three week period during which I met Carol, and there wasn't any steamy sex going on then. That came later!! (Grin))

I'd love to see you finish at least one of yours (pick the one you like the most) and query a few agents and/or publishers. you never know!


no_average_girl said...

hey nic...thanks so much for the sweet "intro"! sometimes i wish i had my self together half of what people though i did! lol

those are some amazing answers! you also have a great testimony there - of what happens when you turn your back on God, but then how He can transform it into huge blessings when you choose the right paths!

and, wow, about how your mother could have aborted you. that must give you a creepy yet intensely special feeling knowing your mother was encouraged differently, yet she chose you!

this goes to show that you never know what is behind the people you see...i've often looked at aged grandma's and grandpa's and thought, "i wonder what their story is?" it seems so many people would have a story to tell (filled with wisdom) if only others would take the time to slow down, ask, and listen with both ears!

many blessings, girlfriend, as i eagerly await the next installment of your "ask nic!"

Plaxibo said...

Finding out you were pregnant after your husband leaving had to be hard. My son was 3 when me and his mom separated. To this day Connor thinks we will get back together. I finally divorced her after 4 years of infidelity. And I truly believe it was the correct choice. After all its not like she was coming back.

Connor still dreams of mommy and daddy being together. Even being only 3 he still remembers how things were so crystal clear. My memory isn't even close to his. I can hardly remember the good stuff anymore. Even though there must have been some.