Thursday, February 18, 2016

How Much of Me Goes into My Books?

With: Abby Niles

Congratulations to "Alyssa K.", the winner in Abby's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I’ve seen this question asked a lot. I can’t answer for other authors, but, as for me…well, there’s a part of me in each book I write. Some books, EXTREME LOVE the first book of my Love to the Extreme series for example, has a whole lot of me in it. Other books only have little tidbits that you wouldn’t know is clearly “me” coming through unless you know me personally. 

You’ll find in most of my books my characters don’t drink wine. There’s a reason for that. I don’t like wine…like I REALLY don’t like it. It gives me a raging headache and it doesn’t seem to matter how little I drink, I feel like crap the next day. I’m also not a fan of the taste. (Go ahead boo and hiss at me. I’ll wait.) I’m a beer or spiced rum/coke zero girl. 

Another thing that tends to make its way into my stories is my aversion for expensive flowers. If I had to choose between a dozen roses or a dandelion from an overgrown yard, I’ll take the dandelion.  There’s nothing wrong with roses. They’re a gorgeous flower. I just prefer a simpler, cheaper flower. The best bouquet of flowers I was ever given was wildflowers in a mason jar. If my heroes are giving flowers to their heroines, it’s usually that type of flower they pick out.   

Some broader things that go into my stories are actual life experiences. I do have to tweak it in a way that works for the character I’m writing and their story, but the emotions come from me. One of my heroines is a single mom of two kids. I was a single mom to twins for five years before I met my partner. It was a difficult time. I struggled and worried about things like food, rent and clothes. Being able to filter that experience into my character made her struggles come to life. 

In another story, I have a scene where my characters are participating in a mud race. Back in 2010, I did the Warrior Dash and had a freaking blast. I never believed running in mud could be that fun, but, oh my God, it was! I loved recreating that fun atmosphere in that scene and adding some sexual zing between my hero and heroine. 

Now there are some things I have never done and is written completely from massive amounts of research. I’ve never fought in the cage. Duh, lol. I’ve never stormed chased. Not that I wouldn’t love to. I’d love to take one of those storm chasing tours. I have never taught an exercise class. I’ve attended a whole bunch of fitness classes, but I have never been the instructor. And I’ve never stripped for a living. 

There is a lot of other stuff I have never done that is each of my books. 
What I love the most about writing is the ability to put some of my life experiences in with new ones I’ve never even thought of doing. It’s not only therapeutic, but I get stretch my imagination at the same time and learn new things through my research. 

Speaking of which, I’m always looking for ideas for the next occupation of my hero or heroine.

For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, tell me what kind of occupation you’d like to see more of in romance. 

I’d like to thank Just Contemporary Romance for letting me blog today! 


Doctor Ella Watts wants her old life back. Desperately. But the past has returned for its rematch, and going back home—even telling anyone her real name—isn’t an option until she’s confident in her MMA abilities. Personal trainer Lance Black is the man to help her reach her goals. Not only is he toned, muscular, and gorgeous, he’s patient, a great teacher, and willing to treat her like a worthy opponent. Except his size makes her freeze whenever he gets too close. If Ella can’t learn how to overcome her fear of being attacked, she’ll never be able to move on with her life.

Underground fighter Lance Black knows there’s more to the mysterious blonde ninja than a beautiful woman determined to improve her fighting skills. She can best anyone close to her size – man or woman – but insists on working out with him, even though he’s got a good 70 pounds and several inches on her. Despite her reticence, he’s determined to get her to open up so he can help her get over her mental block. And if that means he can get to know her outside the gym, all the better.

As long as she never learns his secrets. 

Author Bio: 
Abby Niles is the author of the contemporary MMA series, Love to the Extreme, and the paranormal series, The Awakening. She is also the author to the geeky romantic comedy, Defying Convention, where Live Action Role Players (LARPers) set out to teach their favorite author a lesson, but end up playing matchmaker instead.

Abby lives in North Carolina with the love of her life and their combined gaggle of kids. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to catch up on an endless pile of laundry and find time to get some much needed reading in.

Author Twitter: @abbyniles

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Feb. 18th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 


  1. Great blog!

    I want more uncommon professions. I'd like to see a mystery shopper, someone who runs an Etsy shop selling something niche-y or maybe someone who offers a random service (like a personal car shopper).


  2. I always love athlete professions and would love reading more different sports (like rugby or track athletes).

    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

    1. Another great idea! I especially like the rugby idea!

  3. Hi!!!! I would love to see more writers , book bloggers , Lumberjacks ,Graphic novelist,Those people that clean up crime scenes when police are finish with them lol,Store Window dresser,A owner a merch store, A National Geographic Traveler , Private Island Care taker , i feel like its been a while since i seen a librarian. I feel like these are all really interesting occupations for characters in books Iam so excited about your books !! yay giveaway thank your the chance!

  4. electricans, plumbers

    alysap at yahoo dot com

  5. I love blue-collar heroes! Any profession where a man gets his hands dirty, gets a little sweaty, does something that's useful in a tangible way...I love it. Construction, mechanic, ranchers, plumbers, landscapers, etc.

  6. I have seen a nice variety in my reading... I would like to see a jewelry artist...

  7. Sign language interpreter or someone Deaf. I rarely see much about that.

  8. I still love my sheikhs.
    Maureen has my email address.

  9. I love these suggestions! Some had never even crossed my mind and would be a ton of fun to learn about! Thank you all for stopping by!

  10. trashman

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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