Thursday, May 9, 2013

"The Danger Game": An Interview and Giveaway with Author Caitlyn Nicholas

Tour Schedule
Flick likes computers. She’s good with them, and they do what she tells them, mostly. People, however, are more of a challenge.

But when a terrifyingly dangerous program is stolen, and her mentor killed, Flick finds herself on the run. The police are convinced she’s committed murder, and a sinister weapons developer will stop at nothing to force her to work for him.

In Ben’s line of work being suspicious keeps you alive. So when Flick turns to him, he quickly realises that she’s up to her neck in trouble and hasn’t fully grasped the danger she is in. 

First he has to keep her safe, and then, together, they have to figure out how to save the world from an epic meltdown.

An Interview with Caitlyn Nicholas
Did you plan to be a writer or did it just happen?
Being a writer just happened to me!  I have always enjoyed writing, and used to write long letters, then emails, to family and friends.  The emails morphed into a blog and then when I was pregnant with daughter number 2 I needed something to do which would keep me sitting down and resting.  So my husband suggested I have a shot at writing a Mills & Boon.  And that’s how it all began. 

What is your favorite non-writing pastime?
Non writing pastimes include the garden, riding horses, cooking and embroidery.  I think embroidery is my favorite.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?
I think my greatest challenge has been rejection, and getting past it.  Rejection is something that, even as an established writer, you have to deal with.  Each book you submit may come back with the dreaded ‘not quite right.’  Its always awful, but I just tell myself that publishing is a very subjective industry and what might not be right for this publisher may be perfect for another.

What inspired the idea behind your book?
I was doing research for a different novel (The Bunker, out July 2013) and came across a Wired article about cyber-weapons.  The article sparked an idea for a story, I had it all planned a few days later and the first draft complete three weeks later. Oh how I wish all my stories were that easy to write.
Do you have a favorite character in the book? Who and why?
I do love Ben, the hero.  He works for ASIO (the Australian equivalent of the CIA). He’s picked up his life from a horrible start and is doing a job he loves.  He’s clever and resourceful, focused on the task at hand, but deep in his heart he’d quite like to be down at Bondi beach catching a few waves.  He admires Flick from the moment he meets her, and is intrigued by her very special skills and abilities rather than being scared away.  He’s just lovely.

What three words would best describe Flick
Stubborn, Strong, Smart.

What is your favorite scene in The Danger Game?
My favorite scene in The Danger Game is towards the end.  Flick, the heroine is imprisoned in a concrete cell deep underground and must carry out a terrible task to gain her freedom.  So she waits for rescue. Her patience runs about after about half an hour and she gets bored with being a Damsel-in-Distress. Then she has a MacGyver moment and figures out how to rescue herself.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
In my writing I like to get my facts right.  It adds authenticity to the story and I love to research.  My books are always based on subjects that interest me, just so that I have an excuse to read about them.

In the Danger game I did extensive research, and cyber-weapons are certainly no figment of my imagination.  I also have inside information when it comes to computer-y things, as my husband is a Geek of the highest order. 

Which character in The Danger Game will be the most difficult to part with?
Flick’s Dad.  His home life is filled with tragedy but he approaches everything with a kind and cheerful heart.  I still get teary when I read the scene where he gives Flick her freedom.

Do you have to be alone or have quiet to write?
I can write anywhere. Anytime. Anyhow.  And it’s a learned skill. 
Now that both my children are at school I do get more quiet time during the day, but in the past I had to grab writing time during naps, when small people were playing at the park, or with Fireman Sam playing on the TV.  Once one of my daughters fell asleep in the supermarket trolley so when I’d collected everything I needed, I parked her in the bread section, pulled out my notepad and wrote a scene when she snoozed.

Of the books you’ve written, which is your favorite?
Okay this sounds trite, but I don’t think I’ve written my favorite yet.  I’ve got so many awesome ideas for more stories and I’m convinced each will be more brilliant than the last.  I love Running Scared because it was my first book.  The Bunker which is coming out in July 2013 is also a favorite because it was so much fun to write.

Do you have plans for a new book?  Is this book part of a series?
Yes and Yes.  I’m nearly done with the first draft of my first book in my first series!  The series is tentatively called Plan X, and the first book, Running with the Hunted, will hopefully be out before Christmas.

The series began as a first draft of a single title novel. When I finished it I realized I had two very strong heroines (the heroine’s sister had stolen the show) and that I’d written two stories in one book.  So I’ve separated them, and during that process another story idea came to me so I’m writing a trilogy.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
My next book, The Bunker, is out in July 2013.  It’s a romantic suspense set in a bunker deep under the idyllic green hills of England.  Geeky Dimity Pond is the only person who can save the world from an epic financial meltdown, but to do it she’s going to need help from the reclusive and terse Lord Richard Summerhayes…

What type of hero do you like best?
Alpha male, but not too alpha.  I like hero’s who are not afraid to show how they feel.  They have to be smart and kind, and have nice eyes.

What type of heroine do you like best?
Smart resourceful girls who take the initiative and solve their own problems, but aren’t afraid to ask for help.

If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you want to know?
Agatha Christie. I’d want to talk about how many drafts she wrote of her novels, and did she plot them carefully beforehand or did they evolve as she wrote. I’d also want to know about her ‘mystery disappearance’ in 1926. Was it all just a publicity stunt?

What’s the best book your mother ever gave or read to you?
The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper

What was the last book that made you cry?
Wait For Me by Elizabeth Naughton

If you could be any character from literature, who would it be?
One of the Little Women.  Probably Joe.

How do you unwind after a long writing session?
In the kitchen creating culinary masterpieces.

Is there a genre you wish you could write, but haven’t made the plunge? Which one and what appeals to you about it?
Historical!  I have a degree in history and would love to write some historicals, I just can’t pick a time to focus on at the moment.  The minute I think I’ve settled on the Roman Empire I have a great idea for World War II.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?
Romantic suspense…Fun intricate plotlines that might come true.  Adventure stories which are really all about love.

What is one trait you despise in people that you tend to give your villains/protagonists?

If you had a chance to rewrite, is there anything about your book you would change?
I always want to tinker. I find it very had to go back and read my own work once its published for this reason, I immediately come up with six different ways I want to write a sentence.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
A real writer writes.  I told it to my husband when I heard it and now he repeats it when I’m slouching around the house avoiding the computer. 

Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
If I’m stuck on a plot point, headphones and loud music usually get the scene flowing again.  I think the music drowns out my internal editor!

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
In 2006, when I was 35!

Did the plot of the book turn out the way you planned or did something change during the process of writing it?
I always plot out my books and think I have a really good idea about how they’ll turn out.  Then I actually write them and there’s characters appearing all over the place, the plot doesn’t work, and everyone insists on living in the wrong city.  It’s very perplexing.

Favorite place?
On top of a horse

Best Christmas present?
It was a bit late…. My younger daughter, she arrived on New Year’s Eve

Favorite smell?

Favorite movie?
Dr Zhivago

Favorite dish?
Anything Chinese

Favorite color?

Favorite quote?
Don’t show me the broken glass, show me the glint of moonlight – Chekov

Your best trait?
A kind heart

Your worst trait?
Obsessively checking my Amazon ranking

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your reader’s today?
My next book, The Bunker, is out in July 2013.  It’s a romantic suspense set in a bunker deep under the idyllic green hills of England.  Geeky Dimity Pond is the only person who can save the world from an epic financial meltdown, but to do it she’s going to need help from the reclusive and terse Lord Richard Summerhayes.

Tour Giveaway

Caitlyn will be awarding three prizes: a $25 Amazon GC and Caitlyn Nicholas gift bag to one randomly drawn commenter, and a Caitlyn Nicholas gift bag to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour.(International)

An Excerpt 
Three hours later she stood outside the thick glass doors of the ITC building and groaned as she remembered that her swipe cards, keys, and phone sat comfortably inside on her desk.  She only had her wallet, and right now money and credit cards were next to useless.

She thought of the Security guard in the Vice Chancellor’s building. Maybe he’d still be there and would have access to get her in, or at least know who could help.  She checked her watch.  Nearly midnight.

“Locked out?” She jumped as a voice spoke, close behind her.

The security guard emerged from the shadows.

“Woah,” she said.  “Are you following me?”

“Yes,” he said.

“I know Tai-Kwon-Do.”

“Really?” he said. “I bet I know it better.”

“I’m bet you do, actually.”

He was tall, she barely came up to his shoulder, and he looked broad and intimidating in his dark suit and white shirt. 

“Its not safe at this time of night, do you know how many assaults there are on campus? Especially on a Friday night.”

“Thanks, but I’m fine -” She peered at his name badge, squinting in the dim light.  “- Ben. I can look after myself.”

“Except for being locked out right now.” He raised his eyebrows enquiringly, with the hint of a smile.

“Yes, except for that.”

Meet the Author

I began writing in 2005. Exhausted, pregnant (sure I was going to expire from morning-sickness) and coping with a demanding toddler, I decided the time was right to embark on a writing career. (In hindsight I may have been suffering from a scorching case of sleep-deprivation).

Still, it worked out. My debut novel - and the first manuscript I'd ever written - Running Scared, was published in January 2007.  My next book, Secret Intentions followed.  Then I had a short story published in the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance (MBSOR) in 2010 - my story is called The Grey Man.

In 2012 my novel Drive Me To Distraction was published, and my novella The Danger Game came out just before Christmas.  My next book, The Bunker, will be published in July 2013.



  1. the book is on my site and blog on it for you wow great looking book

  2. Historical romances are may favorite reading genre. If you're taking requests for your future historical romance, try any time in the 19th century or early 20th century. I'd be first in line to buy it!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  3. I enjoyed the interview and learning more about Caitlyn.


  4. Caitlyn (love your name!), you are a new to me author and I love the sound of your books. Romantic suspense is my very favorite genre!

  5. I am impressed by your ability to write anywhere, I can't imagine being able to focus in a supermarket. Those are some awesome juggling skills

  6. I loved this excerpt. I have been following your tour, and I was hoping for a new excerpt. This one was as much of a teaser as the previous one.

  7. I like the same heroines that you do, Caitlyn.
    NOW, Flick is an interesting name. Where did it come from?

  8. This looks like a great book. I'll be looking for it. Thanks!

  9. Great cover! Can't wait to check it out. Congrats on the release and thanks for the giveaway

  10. I'm looking forward to finding out about this "terrifyingly dangerous program".


  11. looking forward to read 'the danger game'
    thx u for the giveaway :)

  12. Help! My TBR pile is swaying....I may be crushed!

  13. This looks like the most amazing book! Can't wait!