Hello and happy Spooky Season! I’ve got an exciting post for you today, because my friend and Enchanted Anthologies coauthor, N.D. Testa, has published her debut novel!
Hickory Dickory Death is a collection of short, gaslamp, Victorian era, fantasy horror stories, and it’s perfect Autumnal/Halloween reading.
A Soul for A Soul
I am a woman
I am a man
I am the one who seeks revenge
In Victorian Era England, five people come face to face with life’s most feared entity: Death.
During their time of mourning, each is approached by a peddler woman who calls herself Persephone. Surrounded in mystery and magic, she gives the grievers advice and hands them a box which contains an article of jewelry. Beneath the beauty and sparkle, lies a secret that is more than the recipients imagined:
An escape from their sorrow…
A chance for revenge…
A bewitching exchange…
A soul for a soul…
The chosen must come to grips with their own quests in order to right the wrongs that have been inflicted on their spirits.
I was lucky enough to interview N.D. Testa for this blog before release day. Here’s what we chatted about:
Hi Nic, welcome back to my blog! Tell us a little about yourself, for those who haven’t had the pleasure yet.
My name is Nicole. I write under the pennames N.D.T. Casale and N.D. Testa. I live on the East Coast of the United States. I am Italian-American. I am trilingual with aspirations to learn more languages (I speak English, Italian, and Spanish). I love to eat, cook, and experience good food. I am an animal lover. I love to travel and go on adventures. Fitness is a big part of my life. In my free time I lift weights, snowboard, and ride horses. I am a fashionista. I love clothes, shoes, makeup, and skincare.
You’re a multi talented woman! I love how many passions and interests you have, I bet it really helps when it comes to creating characters and fantasy worlds. So, what got you started writing?
I have been writing stories since I was a child. During summer break from school, when I was little, my mom used to give me a notebook to practice my writing. She would give me random topics and challenge me to write stories. My dad and I used to read books together when I was growing up and it drew me into the world of fantasy. When my sister was little, I told my sister stories I created before she went to bed. As I have grown my writing has blossomed into multiple books that I am hoping to publish in the future.
What a dreamy bookish childhood! My dad also got me into reading when I was a kid, he would pick up new books from the library for me every week, asking the librarians what they recommended for an animal loving ten -year-old. And it was actually his mum, my gran, who got me into fantasy when she bought me the first two Harry Potter books. What genres do you like to write? Are they same ones you like to read?
I write fantasy and mystery books. In the coming year, I plan on publishing a few children’s books I have written. I always like to challenge myself and try to write different genres when the inspiration arises. I like to read fantasy books because they allow me to escape reality. I like to read mystery books because I enjoy solving puzzles.
My two favourite genres to read are fantasy and crime/mystery novels, I always think about writing a crime thriller and publishing it under a pen name. Maybe one day! Tell us a little about your debut novel, which comes out today.
My novel Hickory Dickory Death will be available October 13, 2022. It is a gaslamp fantasy/mystery novel with twists and turns, heart-stopping action, and bewitching exchanges.
I can absolutely attest to that, having beta read a few of the stories in the collection! Congratulations again on your debut novel, it’s been an honour publishing our short stories side by side in anthologies, but I’m so excited for everything you have coming up. So, how do you create your characters?
I create my characters based on life experiences. The highs, the lows, the joys, the trials, the tribulations, the people, the feelings, all have a big influence on my writing. I love the quote “what we give power has power,” because being a writer gives us power. In many of my stories, the situations my characters partake in mirror experiences I have gone through and what I have felt.
I create characters of different walks of life, nationalities, races, and backgrounds in my novels because I want everyone to feel welcome in my books. I hope that my stories can help people like myself who have gone through challenging times find hope again. I want readers to know they are not alone. No matter how challenging our lives can be, we can persevere. We can overcome, we are warriors, and we can find happiness again. Lastly, many characters I magically create in my head. I wait for them to talk to me and tell me what to write. 🙂
Real life is such a beautiful and rich source of inspiration for characters and stories, you’ll definitely never run out of ideas! Where do you write? Do you plot extensively or are you a pantser?
I write sitting on my bed. Sometimes I write outside when the weather is nice. I am a plotter. I use notebooks to sketch an outline of how I want the story to go and then I elaborate from there.
I’m a plotter too, I’m in awe of anyone who can pants a whole book and it turns out as a complete story! I need a strict outline that I can veer away from but always come back to. What are you working on as we speak?
I am finalizing my novel Hickory Dickory Death (out now!). I am working on another book titled Sapphora: Shards of Secrecy. It is a fantasy novel that combines Egyptian Mythology and secrecy. I am also working on short stories for the two charity anthologies I am a part of: Enchanted Anthologies Series and What’s in a Name series.
I’m so excited for your fantasy novel, I love mythology and don’t think I’ve read anything based on Egyptian Myths yet! And I really need to start working on my short stories for the anthologies to, the deadline are creeping up! What would your advice be for aspiring authors?
Truthfully I still consider myself to be in the early stages of authorship. I am learning so much yet I still have a lot to learn. Advice I would give to others is write from your heart, believe in yourself, and believe in your writing. Never let anyone try to change your style. Get involved, join groups on social media, and talk to other authors. Lastly, do your research, there are many steps to publishing a book that I never knew existed. Take your time and go at your own pace.
Nic, it has been an absolute pleasure catching up with you. Congratulations on publishing your debut novel today, everybody should go and grab it now! How can we find out more about you and your books?
You can follow my author adventures on Instagram and Tik Tok @ndtcasale!
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N.D.T. Casale https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21051236.N_D_T_Casale
N.D. Testa https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/153233523-n-d-testa
Thank you so much to Nic for chatting with me, and huge congratulations on your debut novel coming out today!
Don’t forget to get your copy of Hickory Dickory Death on Amazon!