Today I’m welcoming Nike Chillemi to Wednesday Writers. Nike is showcasing her book Harmful Intent – a murder mystery book. Nike will be giving away a Kindle version of Harmful Intent to a lucky commenter who leaves a comment on her post between September 24 and noon on September 30.
Can you please to the readers a little bit about the book, Nike?
HARMFUL INTENT is a story with all the classic murder mystery elements. There is a difference, however. It’s funny. I sometimes say it’s in the “humorcide” sub-genre. It’s been compared to Janet Evonovich’s Stephanie Plum series. The only thing is, my female, private investigator heroine, Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, is tough and competent at her job. Something Stephanie Plum is not. Stephanie Plum is also somewhat of a swinging single gal, whereas Ronnie is very married as the story opens. However, soon after she is widowed. The similarities are that both stories are hilariously funny.
Oh, I like stories with a bit of humor. How did you come up with the idea for the story?
HARMFUL INTENT is my first contemporary whodunit. Prior to this novel, I released a historical murder mystery series set in the 1940s. So, this venture was somewhat of a risk. It also was never intended to be a novel, but it ran away with me. This story started out as a kind of writing prompt. The stipulation was to write a very short story in which the main character is plunked down in a setting or situation that is uncomfortable. So, I proceeded to set Brooklyn born-and-bred Ronnie in west Texas where the handsome local deputy thinks she’s killed her cheating husband.
What are you working on now? Do you have a release date for this book?
My work in progress is the second novel in the Veronica “Ronnie Ingels/Dawson Hughes series, DEADLY DESIGNS. In this one, we discover Taylor County Deputy Dawson Hughes is a former Army Ranger and he sometimes does very secret work for a clandestine government agency many believe doesn’t even exist. It exists all right and he’s been called to the east coast to investigate the disappearance of a young fashion model and her seven year-old daughter. There is suspicion of terrorist involvement, but no direct evidence. So, Dawson suggests Ronnie’s private investigation firm be hired…and so the two commence to work on their second case. I hope to release this story by the end of the year.
I’m always curious, and sometimes envious, of other writers offices. Can you tell us about your writing space? (Photos, taken by you, are okay here if you have a great space to show off. Please include a photo byline)
I live and write in New York City, where space is a precious commodity. We have a lovely home. It’s a two-story, brick row-house, or attached-house. These are quite common in many northeastern cities. By Big Apple standards, it’s quite spacious. However, when I see photos of a home in Oregon on a bluff overlooking the Pacific or a ranch house in Texas, I think what huge houses. I’m forever picking up magazines featuring articles on decorating for small spaces…although the square footage makes my living space medium, not small. My writing space is, shall we say, ahem, compact. As you can see in the photo, I often drink hot tea when I write. I also like to munch on dried fruit and nuts.
A crime ficitonista’s writing space. Photo by Nike Chillemi
Wow, that’s definitely compact. And neat. I envy neat, because I always struggle with that. LOL
Do you have a favorite book? (Or books since it’s always hard to whittle it down to one.)
I have a favorite genre…and that’s crime fiction. I love a classic murder mystery or detective story. By its very nature, the genre deals with good vs. evil. The modern trend in crime fiction is for very ordinary, flawed main characters to be charged with finding some sort of justice for the murder victim. This intrigues me. My walls are lined with mostly detective stories. There are a few cozies and thrillers. I generally don’t care for stories about serial killers. Because of the demented psyche of serial killers, they tend to be too gruesome for me. I’m okay with some grit and my novels have a bit. It’s pretty hard to write about detectives at the murder scene without some grit and have it be authentic. I like authentic.
It’s been a pleasure having you here today. As you say goodbye, can you leave the readers with an encapsulation of your life’s philosophy?
Matthew 7:7-8 [NASB] 7. Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. 8. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
I’m something of a “name it, claim it” person…but I hope I don’t go overboard with that. I believe God answers prayer in His way for His purposes which are always good. I believe God is a good God. I believe His will is always for the highest good and is for His children to be blessed. We can’t always fathom how He goes about doing this. I do believe if we ask it will be given, if we seek we will find, and if we knock the door will be opened. We may not get what we want, or find what’s on our agenda, or even go through the door we hoped would open. He will answer according to His purposes. I’ve found that His way, though not always easy, is fulfilling, enriching, and ultimately satisfying.
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category, a judge in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories, and a judge in the Eric Hoffer Awards in 2012 and 2013.
Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has won awards and garnered critical acclaim. Her new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT released in the spring of 2014 under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Christian Indie Novelists (CHIN).
Nike loves animals, the ocean and is a healthy-eating foodie…these themes show up in her novels. http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Nike’s book Harmful Intent is available at Amazon/Kindle