The Jazzy World of E's Bookshelf would like introduce you to Nicole Dykes, today's Author Spotlight. Nicole is the author of the Soulmates Series. It follows the lives of a group of friends as they navigate adolescences and adulthood. I had an opportunity to interview Nicole and find out what inspired her books and what she loves about being an author. She also discusses what we can expect to see from her next. Get ready, because it's time to meet Nicole Dykes.
An Interview with Nicole Dykes
JWOEB: Thanks for taking the time to interview. You're the author of the Soulmate Series, which centers on a group of friends from adolescences to becoming young adults entering college. Where did the idea for this series come?
Nicole: Thank you so much for your time. It was mostly just from daydreaming and some personal experiences that have been exaggerated.
JWOEB: The first two books revolve around Madison and Jake. What makes it unique is that you get each side of their story about their situation. Did you have the books planned out ahead of time or after you finished Madison’s story, did you think that Jake's story and POV would make a great story as well?
Nicole: I pretty much wanted to do that from the very beginning. I love the concept that there are different sides to every story. So I wanted to show this group of friends at the same time period, but from their point of view. Sometimes you think you know the story and everything about a person, but people keep things to themselves and put on a brave face more than we know.
JWOEB: I like that concept and I feel like that 's case when you’re in high school and college as you're trying to find yourself.
I think the book that probably showcases that is the fourth book in the series, Evolve. This is the book that has a dual POV. What was your favorite part about writing Andy and Jackie's story?
Nicole: Oh I really loved writing that one for so many reasons. They both made so many mistakes in high school. I mean Andy was actually a cheater and to show how they both grew up and tried to change their images was so much fun. People make mistakes when they are young, the thing that really matters is how you change and work on improving. It's fun to read the reviews and see how much these characters were hated in the first books and then totally adored in this one. Seeing people from their own POV is a game changer. I also loved catching up with the other characters and this one goes past the first two books and shows the whole group grown up.
JWOEB: Sometimes with series, characters don't grow as much as you like them but the Soulmate Series you do see the progression of all these characters. I think one of the books people can relate to of any age is Ryan's story in Rebound because it centers on heartbreak. It also happens to be the book that doesn't show as much of the rest of the group. What made you decide to have Ryan separate from the group?
Nicole: To be honest, I just loved him. He's that sweet sensitive guy that gets tossed aside. And I thought that he deserved better and needed a happy ending.
We always see the, brooding angry tough guys. Which don't get me wrong I love, but I wanted to show the "AntiJake". Ryan was raised right and truly cared for Maddy and got his heart broken. He could have turned into a terrible guy, but stayed true to himself.
JWOEB: You're currently working on the final book in the series, and this one focuses on Michelle. What can readers expect from Michele's story?
Nicole: That one has actually been put on the back burner for a short time while I work on a separate book. I love these characters so much that I want to do their final book justice.
I can't wait though because Michele is one tough girl and there will be a lot of drama and sex. She's had a traumatic past so it will probably be the darkest of the series.
It will for sure wrap up everyone's stories and catch up with the entire group.
JWOEB: Now, for a little more about you. Was writing and being an author something you've always wanted to do? Or was this something you thought about doing more recently?
Nicole: It's been a dream of mine for a long time. I was the strange kid that loved writing long essays. When I was in college I wrote for my college newspaper and that was the first time I got paid to write. After that I had to get a desk job to pay for college and put that idea of being a writer in the daydream category until my husband and I had our first baby last year. I quit my job to stay home with her and I just went for it during late night feeding and when she was asleep.
JWOEB: Sometimes it's all about timing. Since you've reached your dream of writing and publishing books, what has been your favorite part of the whole experience?
Nicole: Finally getting these ideas out of my head and into print. I have also met amazing authors, bloggers, and friends that have been so supportive and good to me.
JWOEB: You mentioned earlier that you're working on a new book, can you tell us anything about it?
Nicole:Yes I am and I'm so excited about it! It's a standalone in a dual POV, starring Brooke Porter and Dylan Monroe.
Dylan is a 26-year-old bachelor living it up with his best friend Jackson and co-owner of a very successful custom classic car shop. His whole life changes when he gets a call that his father and stepmother were killed in an accident and he suddenly has temporary custody of his 4 siblings.
Brooke Porter is the young social worker with a rebellious past whose very first solo case is the Monroes.
They have to work together for a year to help Dylan gain permanent guardianship of the children.
JWOEB: That sounds really good. Do you have an idea when readers can expect to see it released?
Nicole: Thank you. I am planning the cover reveal for Feb 5th and hope to have the book released at the beginning of March. Fingers crossed.
JWOEB: I'll definitely be marking my calendar for that. What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
Nicole: Oh that's so sweet. Thank you. I really want to entertain and make them truly feel the emotions I'm trying to portray. One of the biggest compliments I have received is that they felt that they were sitting at the lunch table with these crazy kids and that they thought about the book for a long time after they finished.
JWOEB: As a reader, it's always great to have that kind of a connection with the characters. Before we come to a close if there anything you would like to say to your fans or readers new to you?
Nicole: I appreciate all of my fans and anyone that takes the time to read my book even if it turns out to not be their cup of tea. I love hearing suggestions and check my messages often and truly love connecting with fellow authors and readers.
I also want to thank you again for this well thought out interview and your time this afternoon.
JWOEB: Thanks you! It was great getting to learn more about you and your books. I can't wait to read what comes next.
Books by Nicole Dykes
The Soulmates Series
5 Book Series with 4 Completed
Note From NicoleIt's about a group of friends going through adolescence and young adulthood.
When the series is finished it will explore all of the main characters and show all of their perspectives.
Since they are a tight group of friends some things will be repeated from a different perspective, but you will get a lot of new information and new interactions in each book. I think it's fun to see the story from every side because you never know what someone is thinking and sometimes you don't know what everyone could be going through at home.
Book 1: Soulmates
The first book focuses on Maddy who is the sweet, innocent and sometimes naïve one in the group. The glue that holds everyone together.
Synopsis:Madison met Jake Keller when she was six years old. They thought nothing could separate them. Everything changes when they enter high school. One fight gets out of control and they go from inseparable friends to bitter enemies.
When tragedy strikes they are drawn to each other again. There is no doubt that they have an insane attraction to each other but, can they fix what has been broken?
Follow Madison and Jake as they navigate through the pain, sexual tension, pressure, tears, and heartbreak of adolescence and young adulthood.
*New adult romance recommended for 18 and older for mature content.
Book 2: Fate
Jake Keller met Madison Wright when he was six years old. They were instantly friends. He makes a terrible mistake in high school that leads to a heartbreaking fight with Madison. They become bitter enemies until a horrific tragedy brings them together again. But can he hold onto her?
Follow Jake and his group of friends through the trials of high school and new adulthood.
This book is the second book of the Soulmates Series, but can be read as a standalone.
*Not recommended for anyone under 18 due to strong language, sexual situations, and alcohol references
Book 3: Rebound
The third book is Ryan. Who dates Maddy. You get to see his friends since he goes to a different school. This is the one book that shows very little of the rest of the group.
Ryan is heartbroken, his relationship with his girlfriend is not what it had seemed. He decides to swear off relationships and women all together to focus on college and playing football. Life of course has other plans for him. Can he let go of the pain and love again?
This is Ryan's story from the Soulmates Series. It starts with his relationship with Maddy and follows him to college, the life of a college athlete. It will show his struggle to move on from Maddy.
***This is a part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.
***New adult romance recommended for people 18 or older for mature content.
Book 4: Evolve
You think you know Andy and Jackie from the Soulmates Series, but how well can you really know someone without hearing their story from them directly?
Andy: Jock, cheater, user, manipulator, all of that may have been true...until one night with a friend at a party changed his view.
Jackie made him want to change and become a better person.
Jackie: Cheerleader, ditzy, slut... reputation is everything in high school. Jackie had played the part well for years, but after a New Year's Eve Party had resolved to change the way people saw her.
This is Andy and Jackie's story from their own mouths. See how they ended up together. Catch up with the rest of the group after Soulmates and Fate ended and see if their love can survive all of the pressures of new adulthood.
Book 5: Untitled
The fifth book will explore Michelle's perspective on things and finally show her with someone. Michelle is the tough girl that doesn't care what anyone else thinks. I was more of a "Maddy" in school so this character is very dear to my heart because I definitely had a Michelle. Every nice girl needs a confident tough girl by her side :)
I love this group of friends and hope you all will too!
Currently Working on:
This is a separate book form the Soulmates Series and is a standalone.
I’m living the dream. A successful business owner of a custom car and motorcycle shop in Oklahoma and master of my own destiny. Other than my best friend and business partner my life is my own, and I answer to no one. Then my life changes with a single phone call and I’m back in Kansas fighting for guardianship of my four younger siblings. Now I answer to her, Brooke Porter.
I’ve devoted myself for the past six years to my dream of being a social worker. My very first case are the Monroes, and professional and personal boundaries blur as I become closer to them. Now my dreams are of Dylan. The attraction Dylan and I have is heading us straight to unsocial behavior. What will be risking if we give in?
Any questions for me I love connecting with new people!
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Nicole-D-1607194522867504/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel