Good morning, Nina Bloom “stopped by” to answer our questions. Like all of the authors who we have interviewed, we greatly appreciate her taking the time for us! If you’re looking for a contemporary slow burn romance, she has you covered! Let’s learn a bit more about her writing process and get a feel for Nina Bloom the person.
How did you know you had this series in you?
I didn’t. Haha. I knew I had stories in me, but I didn’t know about structuring a story or a series. I’ve always been a writer with a vivid imagination. I just never shared my writing publicly, until now. Being a voracious reader, I immerse myself in all subgenres of romance. I often found myself changing a scene or the way something is worded in my head to suit my mood.
Huh, I should try this. I get stuck on inconsistencies in a text, or find myself not liking a scene, but I’ve never tried to mentally improve it to raise my enjoyment.
I was on a 9 hour flight reading a romance, just totally swept away in the small town the author described, and we went through a bit of turbulence, which snagged my attention. I was so into the story, I forgot I was on a plane 30,000 feet in the air. That’s powerful!
And then it hit me—this is what I want to do. I want to try and write a romance. How hard can it be? < — Famous last words. When I came home from the trip, my mom gave me an article about the 1000 words of summer challenge. All I had to do was start writing and try to get in 1000 words a day. It was true love from there.
I love this!
I learned quickly that being an author is one of the most challenging careers. Writing notes is easy, even an outline, but writing the story with emotional beats is extremely difficult. However, it’s become my labor of love. Since I’ve become an author, so many opportunities have opened up to share my craft, Kindle Vella being one of them.
Why did you choose to use a series format?
I haven’t started my plot bunny series yet—it’s still cooking in my brain. My goals for the near future are to finish The Weight of Our Hearts (book 1 in The Hearts Duet) and outline/write The Weight of Our Truth (Book 2), which will focus on two side characters from The Weight of Our Hearts.
I love when the side characters get their day in the sun, too!
What is your greatest challenge in writing?
Without a doubt, imposter syndrome. I get it so bad, I can’t read or write for several weeks. I’m a perfectionist and if I can’t get a scene right, I get very frustrated and start doubting my abilities. Like, if I can’t do a scene, how in the hell am I going to be able to write a whole other book. But one of my writing friends/critique partners has a saying and I keep it on a post-it note next to my laptop: “No matter what, keep plodding on.” And that’s what I do. Sometimes it’s a 6000 word chapter, sometimes it’s only a sentence for the whole day, but I keep at it. And sooner or later, the book is finished. I only have two more chapters to write for TWOOH and my first book is done. It’s an incredible feeling!
Some very famous authors have used this strategy. It seems to work.
What surprised you in the writing process?
Oh my God, everything! Being just a reader, you don’t see all the blood, sweat and tears writers put into their work. But now, being on the indie author side of things, it’s so much. It isn’t just about writing. It’s marketing, designing, editing and finding readers. It’s also spacing out in the middle of real life conversations because my characters are living, breathing entities in my head and they have no sense of boundary. They nag me, until I give them attention.
I had no idea that the marketing was so time consuming! I love the writing, usually don’t mind, sometimes enjoy, the editing, but ugh – marketing is endless!
Is there something that you found particularly helpful?
I use a calendar for my timelines. It really helps when I’m sequencing scenes or bullet points for a chapter. I admit I have scrivener, but I’ve never used it. I hear it’s great, but it took too much time for me to get used to, so I went back to good ol’ Google Docs.
I actually like Google Docs. I’ve tried other things, enjoyed another program, but it’s Google docs and sheets that I use the most.
Let’s talk about the research
I know we tend to write what we know, but did you need to do research for this book?
Some. While this book is definitely a work of fiction, it’s very close to me. I have personal threads throughout each situation. My subplot is about a homeless community and the heroine vows to help them. There are a lot of logistical things I wanted to get right. So, I interviewed a family member who happens to own a development company that created a nonprofit to benefit the homeless in our own community.
If so, what was the coolest or most surprising thing you learned?
The most surprising thing I learned about is I can be pretty persnickety about fonts. Haha. I will play around with graphics for hours, just to get the font right. It makes me crazy.
What else can you describe in your writing process?
When I get in front of my laptop I just begin to write. I often start in third person and describe what I see in my head, then without fail, my characters start talking and I switch into 1st pov (heroine). That’s how I get the first draft of my chapters. Then I go back and change the beginning where I wrote in 3rd. If I stumble thinking of a word or action, I bracket [word] or [action] and move on. My main thing is, if the momentum is there, I don’t want to stop it.
I do this with names, too. First drafts have a lot of “said AAAAAA” until I find the right name.
Then after the 1st self-edited draft is done on a chapter, I hand it over to my amazing critique partners and they help me fill in all the minor plot holes or tweak sentences. They are my rock when I go through debilitating imposter syndrome.
After my chapters are cp’d, I hand them over to my rockstar editor. And I’m going to gush about her for a minute. If you read my author notes, I credit Nina every time (yes we have the same name, that’s why I knew our match was kismet). Anyway, I work tirelessly on my manuscript and she works just as hard. She’s my editor, teacher, cheerleader and friend. I claim her for life.
I think you have a valid claim.
Let’s talk readers
How do you know your piece is ready to be shared/complete?
When I’ve written the hell out of it and I feel it. I’m weird in that I have to feel the feelings of my characters. If they are upset, I want to feel upset. If they are in love, I want to feel the butterflies of first love. If I don’t feel it, it isn’t ready.
Once it’s out of the oven, I hand it over to my editor and she helps me polish it to perfection. Nina has a saying that I love: You don’t want to feel it in your muscles, you want to feel it in your bones. So I keep that in mind when I write.
Who is your expected audience?
Readers like me who love angsty, steamy romances filled with joy and heartache. Readers who like to feel things in their bones.
Who has been your strongest supporter?
First and foremost, My mother, sister and husband. And also my writing circle and my editor (who’s also in the circle)—sorry, I can’t pick just one. Without each of them I would’ve never shared my story publicly. I would’ve never begun this wild ride of indie publishing.
And also, the author community is one of the most supportive groups of lovely people.
What author, or book, or series most influenced you?
Mariana Zapata is one of my favorite authors. I love her slow burns and the tension between her characters are chef’s kiss. Ashley Jade is also another favorite of mine. She does angst like no one else. And her steamy scenes? I’m here for them!
My favorite book as a child was The Velveteen Rabbit and in the third grade I wrote my first book called The Rabbit’s Bad Life, about an orphaned bunny looking for a family. So, I loved angst from the get go!
My first stories were about bunnies too, but probably not nearly as poignant. I think it was more of a “day in the life”.
Also, a funny little thing, I was in the remedial reading class in grade school. I read really slow; sometimes I still do. My teacher was always so enthusiastic about reading and I loved it too. So can you imagine a remedial reading student growing up to be an author. Just goes to show, you can be anything you want, if you work hard enough.
What else is important to share about your book?
For some reason Kindle Vella threw my book into erotica, I’m scratching my head on that one. I’ve called and called, but the bots keep throwing it in that subgenre. My book is a slow burn, steamy contemporary romance that explores real issues. I want my books to take the reader on a journey and also I want them to be able to take something away from the story, whether it be compassion, learning or kindness toward themselves.
When can we expect more from you?
Fingers crossed, I’ll have book 2 done by the end of the year—I’m a really slow writer. And then, I’m really stoked to take a chance at writing romantic fantasy. I have a warlock story burning a hole in my head. I’m hoping that’s my first series.
I love reading fantasy, I look forward to it!
Where can we find you?
Where can we find your book?
Right now The Weight of Our Hearts is on Kindle Vella. I’m going to put it in ebook format for Kindle Unlimited this summer, when book 2 is well underway.
And, where else?
I’m active on instagram @nina.bloom.author and I also have an author page on Facebook. I’m most active in Shades of Romance Readers group on Facebook, where I admin with several other amazing authors. We have a shade for everyone!
I’m also on tiktok, but I haven’t posted anything yet. Soon. Maybe. Idk. @nina.bloom.author.
Full disclosure, I struggle with Tiktok, but I wish you the best if you choose to use it!
You may also enjoy these links: