Wendy: What is your book Forbidden Blossom about?
Nola: The genres are: Clean Multicultural Historical Romance and Young Adult. And here is a description.
When Anne is plunged into the lives of the top one percent she finds herself entangled with a cutthroat family who will do anything to keep the past buried. The family lawyer is the only one keeping her strong, and Anne is falling for him, but is he genuine or only interested in her new wealth?
Two generations earlier, Rose has newly immigrated to the United States from Taiwan. In an era when Chinese immigrants are not always welcome, Rose knows she must tread lightly in her new home. Will she have the strength to walk away when the boss’s son turns his attention to her?
Wendy: Can you tell us a little about your background?
Nola: I’m a native Texan and a first generation American Born Chinese. My parents immigrated from Taiwan so I lived with one foot in each culture growing up. My focus was always on math and science which led to my first jobs in the space industry. It wasn’t a surprise when I went to engineering school with the goal of one day becoming an astronaut. After years of grad school and working 24/7 I was burnt out and needed a change. I got back in touch with an old coworker who offered me a job in California. My husband and I love traveling and have both lived in many places before so this was a no brainer. I became an event planner for the lighting industry. Yes, I know, totally not engineering related but wow, did I learn a lot about sales and marketing.
Wendy: When did you start thinking about becoming an author? Was there an event or “awesome” moment that precipitated your desire for a change or had this been brewing for a while?
Nola: Being an author was always a dream, but authors don’t make money (or so I was told) so I never pursued it. I left my event planner job when we had kids, but after a while I got really anxious and stopped going out. I had worked my whole adult life and all of a sudden that part of my life was gone. Later, I found out how common mental health issues are for new mothers. My husband was super supportive and was the one who noticed it first. I wish that others had the same support; it took years to persuade me to get help and then many more to get to where I am now. During that time, I found Self-Publishing School and realized this was my chance to pursue writing. What would end up as a discarded page here and there became a novel within a year. And I now have the motivation to keep going. I finally found a career I can work from home, take care of the kids, and we can travel wherever we wanted.
Wendy: How hard was it to make the decision to write your book/s? How did you get started?
Nola: It was actually very easy to make the decision to write my book, but moving forward with it was super hard. I was never a great outliner, and ideas came from all directions. Obstacles in life were great excuses to never start. Finding an accountability buddy and a mentor were what I needed to get started.
Wendy: How supportive were your family and friends?
Nola: They were extremely supportive. I was surprised by the amount of support that came out. We always had our family, but it made me realize how many great friends we have.
Wendy: What challenges did you or are you encountering?
Nola: I’m a full time Mom whose schedule is different literally every day. The biggest challenge has been finding a set time where I can get into a habit of always writing or focusing on my career.
Wendy: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
Nola: That I’m able to still carry through and finish something. I can chase a dream and make it actually come true. That being a mother didn’t define all of me.
Wendy: Looking back, is there anything you’d have done differently?
Nola: I would have thought out my characters in more depth. Their personalities grew as I wrote the book, but it would have been easier to have known them more beforehand. Even with that said, sometimes I don’t know if I can know my characters really well until the story unfolds.
Wendy: What advice do you have for new authors?
Nola: Have a network. Find support wherever you can get it. The one person who can keep you accountable to write every single day. Be it one word or two thousand.
Write every day. One word a day is better than none. Each day it gets easier and easier because your fingers are getting into the habit of churning out words.
Read a lot. In your genre of course, but in other genres too. Read across the board to get a variety of ideas and storytelling.
Wendy: What advice do you have for seasoned authors?
Nola: I’m far from a seasoned author, but I was always impressed when seasoned authors were open about their writing and publishing adventure.
Wendy: What’s next for you? Do you think you have another book in your future?
Nola: I’m currently working on book two of the Forbidden Blossom series. I wrote a novella about two of the side characters and enjoyed it so much I’m writing another. This has blossomed into novellas about other characters, and I’m working through the pipeline.
Wendy: How can people learn more about you?