Nicole Falls is a contemporary Black romance writer who has taken entirely too long to complete her first project. She’s also a ceramic mug and lapel pin enthusiast who cannot function without her AirPods constantly blaring music. When Nicole isn’t writing, she spends her time trolling her friends and family while drinking coffee and/or cocktails or checking off yet another of these great United States visited in her quest to see some land! She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago.

1) When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?

Well, the first half of this is kind of a loaded question, haha. I’d always been nice with the words because I was a bookish sort of kid whose favorite subject was always language arts and English. I wrote my first…novel I guess you’d call it…when I was sixteen. An epically terrible chronicle of a group of boy crazy high school friends called Underscore. But at the time, I knew nothing of how to get that book off my Windows 95 desktop and onto the New York Times Bestseller list where it clearly belonged, so I kind of dashed my dreams of being an author to the curb for a while. I never stopped writing, though. Eventually I decided it was worth sharing with others and here we are!

The thing I love most about being a writer is meeting new people and learning about them. I don’t mean like actual people (they’re cool, too!), but the characters who choose me as a vessel for their stories to be told.

2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?

Sure! So I write contemporary Black romance, for short. I’m a jokey joke kind of girl, so I like to say they’re filled with humor and heart. All can be found on ☺

3) What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on something that I’m keeping most of the details about super under wraps, but it’s what I’m calling an erotic romantic experience. It’ll be a woman who’s recalling her “greatest hits”, so to speak, as she comes to grips with where she is currently in her romantic life. I am very excited about it because I’m incorporating something into it that is very special to me, which also has me super nervous about it at the same time because I want to make sure I do it proper justice.

4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?

Most significant has been deciding to do this full-time. I’m not certain one would call that an achievement, per se, but I think that it has had the single-most impact in the course of being Nicole Falls. Within five years, I’m certain I’ll still be writing – maybe having expanded into different genres. I’ll also have at least one of my projects adapted for screen through SpringHill Entertainment/The SpringHill Company, which is LeBron James’ media company. I’m naming and claiming that in advance. Hoping I can come back to all these places I keep saying it like, “look at God and manifestation!”

5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?

I haven’t really had to deal with rejection in the traditional sense. I am independently published, so the moves that I make are all on my own terms. I didn’t go through the query process so I don’t have stories of being told no, unless I’m telling myself that we need to let an idea blossom a little longer before I get to writing.

6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?

Schedule? What is that? Hahaha! I should be more strict considering that I’m the one who drives the content and production schedule, but anyone who has followed me knows I have one statement that I echo over and over when it comes to my work, it comes at the anointed, not appointed time. When I try to force it into a box of a timeline, it’s almost like my brain is like “hey let’s just sabotage because I’m the boss here.”

With the same regard, I don’t outline heavily. Before beginning a project, I do jot down notes on everything that the characters in charge bring to me. Sometimes that is a smattering of phrases that mean nothing to anyone but the folks who live in my head. Other times it’s an entire scene that’s a pivotal moment in the overall project. When I try to do the typical plotting, my brain does that rebellion thing so I have learned to let the process occur as it may and try to keep up.

If I am in a zone, I could write a novel in fourteen calendar days, but most often it takes somewhere between four to six weeks.

7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?

It is never too late to do anything in life that you have a driving desire to accomplish, full stop.

8) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?

My memory is terrible, so I don’t have an honest answer for this first question. I couldn’t begin to remember, ha! I have many favorite authors – depending on what genre we’re discussing. But my top two (of any genre) are Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison. Both were masters of story construction and language—titans in my eyes- definitely the Alpha and Omega in my literary life. I’m currently not reading anything because I’m writing the project I mentioned a few questions ago. I need to be able to give all of my focus to this project, so I’ve put myself on a reading punishment until it is completed.

9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?

Ha! No, I don’t ever just curl up with my own work—unless I’m revisiting a previous work because my current one is set in the same universe and I want to make sure that the details all line up. I don’t want that to be conflated with me hating to read it though, I just don’t really need to consistently read them because I was in the room when it happened you know?

10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing?

Hmm, drastically? I’m not certain I think that it is changing in any ways that are…drastic quite yet. The rise of independent publishing is bringing forth some changes, but even those are incremental. I would like, however, to see a drastic change, someday. What that looks like? I have a couple few ideas, but we’d be here all day discussing them, ha!

11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?

Ooh, this is a really good question. It’s something I contemplate a lot. What do I want someone to walk away from a Nicole Falls work with? And honestly, I want them to just feel good, which I think is an overarching representation of my authentic self in all facets of life. At my core I’m someone who loves to ensure that the folks around me are doing/feeling all right. If I gotta crack the joke to get a smile, call me Ms. Def Comedy Jam. If I gotta be that listening ear when someone needs to vent, I’m mouth closed, ears open—providing both sympathy and empathy as necessary. Using my art to create characters who maintain the same basic driving principles as me helps empower my purpose. The pen is mighty and I don’t take my wielding responsibility lightly.