S. B. Niccum is visiting the blog room today.
I couldn’t be more thrilled to have an opportunity to share some space with this up and coming author. You may find that I’ll be doing this from time to time.
Welcome to Choosing to Grow. I am looking forward to introducing you to some of my blog readers and to give people plenty of reason to get their hands on Veiled.
I think you have an amazing personal story, can you tell us a little about that.
Let’s start with where you are from?
I was born in Rosario, Argentina; the second largest city in the country, so not what most people think when they think South America.
Neither do I look Latina or Hispanic, though I am. Argentines are mostly of Spanish and Italian ancestry and that’s precisely what I am; third generation,both. My mom grew up speaking Spanish and Italian. I only spoke Spanish until my family moved to the U.S. when I was fourteen years old. Then I had to learn English or be an outcast. Being as white as I am, I even got discriminated by the Latinos in school!
Where do you live now?
Now we live in Dallas, Texas. It’s growing on me. In my 12 yrs. of marriage we moved 10 times! (Remind you of someone? This was one of the reasons why your book hit home with me!)
We do have a lot in common! How long have you been writing?
I have loved to write since I was little. In fourth grade, I wrote my first set of books. That was a very prolific year for me! I wish I still had some of them. After that I always found solace in writing. As a teenager, moving to the U.S. was a traumatic experience and those first two years were very prolific as well. I should find those journals and see what I can do with them.
That would be an interesting read, I’m sure!
In college I loved my writing classes, and I think I got by in school by being able to write well. In fact I’m pretty sure I passed World Economics mostly because I can
write a pretty good paper.
I would bet you are right… you sure can write!
Most of my fiction has been in Spanish, Veiled was my first attempt to write in English and my first attempt at a full length novel.
I have to tell you, I’m not sure what I expected from a novel that was a first attempt at writing in English, but people reading it who don’t know, would never guess that English is not your first language.
What are some of the other “jobs” that occupy your time?
My time is very well occupied. In fact, I have every half hour scheduled. Besides writing every day, and working out, I homechool my three children, then I drive them to sports and then take care of my hubby. …Well I cook for him. I also read A LOT! ( my favorite pastime) On weekends we like to Kayak and ride bikes.
I like to tell people that I am busy, but I think your list of daily responsibilities makes me sound a little lazy 🙂
Tell us a little more about the people who share a home with you?
My husband and best friend (my sunshine and my storm, as someone once said), then my oldest son 11, my 6 year old son and my baby girl, 4 years old. We also have three tortoises, a dog and a pac-man frog named Java (he eats small mice).
That is a lot of life in one space. Again…you have shamed me!
The characters in your book are all gifted in some way…if you were to pick one gift of yours that might be most dominant in your personality, what would you say it is, and why?
I picked Discernment for my main character because I’m familiar with it. I get vibes about people; always have. I have had the good sense to know when to stay away from certain characters I’ve encountered over my lifetime and I have lived to be thankful for this later.
I still remember getting really bad vibes about this dude, and low and behold, a year later it came out what a creepy, nasty fellow he was. Likewise, I have had good hunches about people that would not look like your traditional person and they have turned out to be some of my most trusted friends. I can’t read minds or anything, but sometimes I just know….
Thank goodness you do.
Let me ask you a couple questions about you as an author. How
many books have you written?
I just finished the sequel to Veiled, named Living Soul, so now I’ve written two!
Congratulations! What an accomplishment.
Where is your favorite place to write?
Kitchen table, with some toast and my Yerba Mate tea.
What has been your most memorable experience as an author?
When someone I don’t know leaves me a message, telling me how much they’ve enjoyed my book and how it’s opened up a whole new way of seeing things for them. One lady in particular made me cry (in a good way) by how much the story touched her. Like any author, my books are part of me and my heart has gone into the making of it. So hearing that others liked it, is the best feeling in the world!
What is one thing that you never expected when you decided to pursue a career in writing?
I never expected it to happen! I hoped, I dreamed, I worked toward it; but I
must say that it was unexpected that it actually happened! Something else unexpected has happened, and that is the onslaught of ideas that pour into my head daily. Before I wrote Veiled, I struggled to get a whole story in my head to work out. Now I see them from beginning to end and they come at me in an almost magical way. This has been a great blessing, because I have found that I enjoy writing more than almost anything.
We’re all blessed by that, you know. You need to keep sharing your stories, most definitely!
Let’s tell people a little about Veiled. shall we? I loved it, by the way! It was, without a doubt, unlike any story I have ever read. It offers such an interesting way to look at life…the before-life and ultimately the present life. You really did a good job opening up those new thoughts.
When did the story of Veiled start to take shape in your mind?
The plight and the ending to Veiled came to me one day as I was reading the Scriptures. One thing led to another and pretty soon I found myself daydreaming about the two main characters. I started writing immediately because I didn’t want to lose them. They were so real! After that I wrote every day for a whole year until Veiled was done.
You are incredibly disciplined. I could learn from you!
What scene gave you the most trouble?
The beginning for sure! There was so much to explain and I had a word limit restriction for YA’s. I had two or three different beginnings and in the end I went for the one I thought best explained the situation. The premise is so different from anything else out there that I’m afraid people have had to hang in there with me until the story takes shape.
That’s true, but I contend it is worth hanging with you!
The concept of your book is about the idea of eternity prior to existence here on earth. People think about life, and the after-life, but very rarely the before-life.
What is it about the before-life that called you to this story?
Oooh, I can talk for hours about this…and I did! My fascination with this, are the seemingly odd things that we experience now. For example: Déjà vu, but with people. Have you ever experienced this? I have. With friends…my husband…my children. I still remember seeing one of my sons smile for the first time and my immediate thought was “that is so Porter!” like I knew him! As if he had been cracking jokes for years and I knew this about him, but he was only a new born.
How about those feelings we have that we need to get to know ourselves, like we know who we are deep inside, but we have forgotten… and we need to live in order to remember.
Also, why is it that people always say that newborns have just left heaven? Where does that come from? It’s so universal too. I know people from all over the world that have similar beliefs.
People read books for the experience of it…what will readers experience when they read Veiled?
Readers will experience a YA unlike any other. Veiled does not follow the typical norm when it comes to romantic YA literature. It is a fantasy and a journey into a world unlike any other. I firmly believe that you can have fun and be uplifted at the same time, and that is what Veiled is.
I could not have said it better myself!
Can you tell us a little about the sequel, Living Soul?
Living Soul takes place on Earth and it chronicles Tess’ life.
“Birth is but a sleep and a forgetting…” William Wordsworth
After a traumatic childhood experience Tess ends up in foster care and with no recollection of the first five years of her life. As she struggles with all the typical high school dramas, she also has to put up with her evil foster sister, help her
Autistic foster brother and ignore some funky paranormal phenomena that she
would rather not have in her life.
Let’s not even mention the fact that the most popular kid in school and
her biggest crush, Alex Preston, has a gorgeous girlfriend that likes to torture her on the side.
What are some other things you hope to do with your writing?
My main goal with my writing is to entertain and inspire or uplift. I’m not into depressing lit.
Well, you’ve achieved your goal with your first shot out, I can only imagine where you will go from here.
Is there anything else you really want the readers to know?
No thanks, I’m good J
Thanks for having me!!! I really appreciate it.
Anytime! This has been really fun.
To learn more about S. B. Niccum, you can find her at the following connecting points. You won’t be sorry you’ve started following her.
I have it on good authority that there is a copy of Veiled up for grabs. I would bet I can get S.B. Niccum to sign it too. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blogpost, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the book. The giveaway will run until 9/23/11. Good Luck!!!