Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meet Nike Chillemi, Author of Burning Hearts

Guest Post by Jennifer Slattery

Nike Chillemi, author of Burning Hearts, knows how to craft an intriguing novel and so she should. She's been writing since she could hold a crayon. "Actually, my first book, about horses, was done in Crayola," Chillemi says.

By adolescence, she dabbled in poetry, per her teachers' requests of course, but didn't do much more than that. Although she always knew she could write, life got in the way. "Then about five years ago I thought I had a novel or two in me, that perhaps there was even a calling there," Chillemi says. "So, I fiddled with the idea for a while and finally started putting words together and came up with a truly awful manuscript, which I still keep around for laughs. After that I got serious about learning the craft and the Sanctuary Point Series came out of that effort. And it was effort."

The plot for Burning Hearts didn't spark to life instantly, but instead, burnened slowly. "I tossed around ideas for a novel and the image of fire niggled at me," Chillemi says. "From that Burning Hearts was born. I wanted a real fight between good and evil and, well, arson is premeditated. I wanted something that would rend my main characters to the quick. So, an inferno in the opening scene started to take shape in my mind."

Although she loves a really bad bad guy, she enjoyed creating her hero, Lorne
Kincade. "He had a tragic childhood and got pretty messed up fighting in Europe in World War II," Chillemi says. "Yet he remained honorable and steadfast."

But soon a second character captured her heart. "In later drafts my heroine, Erica Brogna began to emerge with more color and she touched me deeply as well," Chillemi says. "She was an only child for the first six years of her life and was very protected, yet taught to think independently. That independent streak would get her into some trouble in the book."

Perhaps this was because out of all her characters, she relates most to Erica.

So what does she hope her readers will walk away with after having read her novel?

"A sub-theme in the entire Sanctuary Point series is the idea of seeking justice for the victim," Chillemi says. "I guess that's a sub-theme in all my work. I try to show the human condition as I see it. My main characters have all the frailties and weaknesses of any human, and the flaws. Then I pit them against some of life's tougher situations and issues. I try to show that it's not cleverness, or brawn, or financial gain or power that wins in life. It's love that triumphs. Love endures and never fades out. The ability love in the face of evil, is the victory."

Hop on over to Desert Breeze Publishing to get a copy of Burning Hearts, then be on the look out for the second book in this series, Goodbye Noel. "It's set at Christmas and of course is a murder mystery," Chillemi says. "It goes without saying I seek to shake my main characters up as much as possible. In my research for GOODBYE NOEL, I found it fascinating how in the 1940s Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany were simply part of the warp and woof of American lives. I tried to convey the ease Americans had about these holidays in that time period."

Nike is giving away a $5 Starbucks gift card.


Jo said...

Love hearing about another new author to me. I do enjoy reading mysteries so will have to check it out. I enjoy Starbucks as well so thank you for the giveaway.


Linda Kish said...

Sounds great. Count me in please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

ann said...

would like to enter for the book....thanks

karenk said...

i'm interested :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very good book!

lgm52 said...

Would love to read this new author's books..(new author to me)

Charity U said...

Please enter me! Thanks. :)

apple blossom said...

love to be entered

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

This is a new author to me......Sounds like a wonderful book to read!

Meredith said...

I'd like to read this. I'm adding it to my wish-list.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Ann Lee Miller said...

I'm intrigued!

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