Friday, August 3, 2012

Please welcome Author Sandra Nikolai

Sandra Nikolai is the author of FALSE IMPRESSIONS, a mystery novel featuring ghostwriter Megan Scott and investigative reporter Michael Elliott. She lives outside Ottawa, Ontario, where she is currently at work on book two in the series. Visit her blog at or follow her on and Twitter: @sandranikolai.

Find her book on Amazon and other online retailers:

How/why did you start to write?
It began with a love of books—especially mysteries. As a teen, I had ideas for stories and began to write them down. My passion for writing stories continued to grow over time.

How did you become an author?
I joined writers’ groups and attended workshops and conferences. I wrote a dozen short stories that were accepted for publication. The progression to writing mystery novels took longer as I had to learn the different techniques involved. All the while, I read lots of books and studied other writers’ styles.

What was your first published piece?
My first published piece was a short story, “The Grotto,” in Canadian Writer’s Journal. The piece won an Honourable Mention prize in their short fiction contest in 2003.

My first mystery novel, FALSE IMPRESSIONS, was published as an eBook in May 2012. It’s the first book in a series featuring ghostwriter Megan Scott and investigative reporter Michael Elliott. The story is set in Montreal and involves betrayal, murder, and a bit of romance, of course.

When Megan’s husband and a female friend are found murdered, startling evidence surfaces to reveal that Megan and Michael are prime suspects. As they try to prove their innocence, attempts are made on their lives. Their only way out is to catch the real killer before they become the next victims. And that’s where the plot thickens!

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
I worked in sales, finance, high tech and customer service, to name a few. Writing always formed a part of every job I held, and I enjoyed it. The skills I gained from working in structured environments helped me to organize my thoughts. The creative part came from interacting with different types of people through my work. I’m sure some of their mannerisms, attitudes, and experiences made their way into my book—though none of them were murderers!

What inspires you?
I’m a visual person. Anything I see can inspire me. I imagine a theme and the possibilities around it, then write my ideas down in story form. Early mornings are especially inspiring for me. I can sit at my computer for hours and let the words flow without feeling any pressure.

Please share one of your successful marketing techniques.
Write the best book you can. If possible, use professional editing services. A quality product will generate positive feedback that will spread from one reader to the next. Use a blog and other social media to engage your readers.

What do you write about on your blog?
I share my writing experiences and offer tips. I have posts on how to organize your writing schedule, how to keep an open mind when writing—even how to pace your time on virtual activities!

Parting words

Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Leanne!

(It was my pleasure, Sandra. Thank you for your interesting post.)