Featured Author Nicole Givens Kurtz, author of Browne Candidate
In an interview conducted by editor Karen MacLeod, Nicole Givens Kurtz (author of The Soul Cages) offers a sneak preview of Browne Candidate.

Excerpts from that interview give us an intriguing insight into this diverse and talented author.

<Karen> Now, I'd like to advertise your chat. What can I tell people that would entice them to meet you?
<ngkurtz> I'm really excited by this chat. I have not done one before as a writer.
* Karen smiles. "I've done them as an editor."
<ngkurtz> My book, Browne Candidate, was an EPPIE Finalist in SF this year.
<ngkurtz> http://www.crystaldreamspub.com/sales%20sheets/kurtz_n/browne_candidate.html
<ngkurtz> The link goes directly to where readers can buy it.
<Karen> I edit for NBI books, and am the resident editor of Simegen.com
<ngkurtz> Wow! I love NBI...
<Karen> So, you are primarily a writer of SF.
<ngkurtz> Yes
<Karen> Care to tell me a little about your book? Or yourself?
<ngkurtz> Oh, Browne Candidate received 5 stars from Marge at Simegen!
<ngkurtz> Browne Candidate is the story of Aurora Browne. A woman ,who in the prologue, is sold into a forced slavery by her mother. She serves the Candidacy program. The Candidacy program is a place where women are farmed out to the wealthy families to help them reproduce.
<ngkurtz> When she starts her third assignment, she meets a guy. Falls in love. Risks her life for freedom to be with him.
<ngkurtz> Because her body belongs to the candidacy, the only way to truly love him is to be free of the program.
<ngkurtz> As she tries to escape, her lover rescues her and takes her with the Resistance.
* Karen smiles. "I gather Aurora is a favorite character, and this is her dilemma. The plot tells us how she resolves this?"
<ngkurtz> Yes.
<ngkurtz> She attempts to escape but is nearly killed.
<ngkurtz> Her lover comes back for her and rescues her. But that's not the end of the book.
<Karen> Who were/are your major influences that guided you to become an author?
<ngkurtz> My major influences has been Stephen King, Octavia Butler, and Sue Grafton.
<Karen> If you wish to expand on this, please do.
<ngkurtz> Stephen King's Dark Tower series and the Eyes of the Dragon were two of the most powerful, stunning books I had ever read.
<ngkurtz> The worlds Stephen created just mesmerized me. I wanted to be apart of Roland's Ka-tet.
<ngkurtz> The interlocking imagery between Roland's world and ours wasn't over done or boring. But more a blending of worlds.
<ngkurtz> Butler's work is also extraordinary for reasons unlike Stephen's. Her worlds are very much ours, yet twisted with the pain, suffering, and humanity that makes each of us human.
<ngkurtz> Grafton's novels are all mysteries. Yet, she too, has the ability to see into the human being and present that person's fears, dreams, and desires in the shortest amount of words possible.
<ngkurtz> Her character's humor and toughness was the first demonstrated act of a female p.i. I'd read up until that point.
<Karen> I gather that these diverse elements are what you aim for in your own work. I must admit that the authors you cite are a diverse group.
<ngkurtz> Yes, but my own work is very diverse.
<ngkurtz> I like to think that I incorporate all of these writers in my novels.
<ngkurtz> The humor, the suspense of Grafton, the humanity of Butler and the world building expansiveness of King.
<Karen> The style, however, would be uniquely yours alone. Tell me a bit more about your own work. Past projects, current, and future.
<ngkurtz> Currently, I'm working on a sequel to Browne Candidate. In the future, I would like to see Aurora's world become more vast.
<ngkurtz> I am also working on a sequel to The Soul Cages. I'd like to see Zykeiah pull out her daggers and get to work again.
<ngkurtz> I just finished a sf novel with a female p.i. that is entirely fun, tough and crazy enough to hunt down the origins of a dangerous virus all by herself.
<ngkurtz> With a little help from her inspector-in-training.
<Karen> That sounds interesting. Give us a little taste of something, that will make someone who reads our chat want to search out your work.
<ngkurtz> Like an excerpt?
<Karen> A short teaser would work... a few sentences of plot, to make us want to pick up the review, and then the book.
<ngkurtz> "They enslaved her body, but not her heart. Would she risk her life for love and freedom? The last attempt almost cost her life. And Browne has the scars to prove it."
* Karen smiles. "Is writing your career, or do you have another occupation that presently pays expenses? Tell us a little about Ms. Kurtz the person."
<ngkurtz> I am a teacher at Gallup Junior High School and an adjunct professor for the University of New Mexico. I love reading, writing, my cat, Bonkers, and my husband, Chris.
<ngkurtz> I am the publisher of Mocha Memoirs Ezine of Short Fiction and Poetry.
<ngkurtz> I'm a movie lover and sometimes a terrible poet.
* Karen smiles. "What subjects do you teach?"
<ngkurtz> I teach language arts and reading
<Karen> If someone wanted to submit to you for your ezine, what would you be looking for, and how can they contact you?
<ngkurtz> Our ezine publishes fiction of less than 2000 words (flash fiction). We take almost any genre except hardcore erotica.
<ngkurtz> Our website has submission guidelines listed http://www.mochamemoirs.com.
<ngkurtz> I may also be contacted at ngkurtz@lycos.com or at mocha_memoirs@lycos.com
<Karen> That will be included in our chat log, so people can send submissions.
<ngkurtz> We've been online for 5 years and we have a really talented staff of editors and web admin. Wow! Thanks!
<ngkurtz> We pay for short fiction, but not for poetry and creative nonfiction.
<Karen> In my chats with various people who want editing advice, they often ask where to get their work submitted. You are a source that I didn't know of.
<ngkurtz> Hmmm, we've been around a long time.
<Karen> Let's tackle one more question. I'll save the others for the May chat.
<ngkurtz> Okay.
<Karen> Answer this one in any way you wish.... What advice do you have for potential authors?
<ngkurtz> The best advice I can give potential authors is proofread, proofread, proofread! Initially, 90% of my rejections stemmed from my poor proofreading skills.
<ngkurtz> The second best advice I can give potential writers is to read. Read everything you can get your hands on.
<Karen> That's surprising, about your proofreading skills, as you're an educator.
<ngkurtz> I just recently became an educator.
<ngkurtz> Two years ago.
* Karen smiles.
<ngkurtz> I started writing about 6 years ago and I've learned a lot since then...
<Karen> I see.
<Karen> Share more of that practical experience if you want.
<ngkurtz> Reading what you wish to write is also good practical advice for potential writers.
<ngkurtz> Be professional and be prepared for rejection.
<Karen> In other words, don't let rejection stop you from reaching your goal, but use it to guide you to improvement.
<ngkurtz> Absolutely!
<ngkurtz> Now, I truly feel special. I'm going to recommend your package to other authors.
<Karen> Is there anything else you wish to tell us about that is important to you?
<ngkurtz> I started a writing group for sf writers of color called Dark Village.
<ngkurtz> Do you know anyone who might be interested in joining?
<ngkurtz> It's free.
<Karen> Give me details about the project here, and we'll fit it in, to make it available.
<Karen> Please tell me more about "Dark Village" as that I will include here....
<ngkurtz> That would be great!
<ngkurtz> Dark Village is an online writing community of sf writers of color. DVWG's mission is to provide Our purpose is to provide honest, in-depth critiques. In addition to critiquing, members will also give support, share ideas, and information.
<ngkurtz> Our website is http://www.geocities.com/nlkurtz/index.html
<ngkurtz> There you'll find how to join, who we are, etc.
<ngkurtz> We're currently looking for reviewers and members to join us for workshop-like critiquing
<ngkurtz> Readers are encouraged to join my official newsletter at http://www.mochamemoirs.com/NGivens.htm
<ngkurtz> Every 2 weeks, I send out a newsletter with new stories, contests, infertility information and writing help.
<Karen> Diverse.
<ngkurtz> Yes. I'm all over the place...
<Karen> Anything else you wish to cover now?
<ngkurtz> No, not right now.
<Karen> Then I hope this little practice session made you a bit more comfortable.
<ngkurtz> Absolutely.
<ngkurtz> Thanks again.
<ngkurtz> I feel very comfortable...
<Karen> My pleasure. The chat at http://www.simegen.com/techtools/chat/ will be announced for May 8, 2003 in #sgchat, 6 p.m. mountain, 8 Eastern, 7 Central, 5 Pacific.
<Karen> I'll announce this chat, and our upcoming one on Simegen's "What's New" page before May 1.
<ngkurtz> Thanks again, Karen. You've been great.
<Karen> Thank you for being here. I'll see you May 8, and if you have questions let me know before that.
<ngkurtz> Sure thing.
<ngkurtz> Good bye for now.
<Karen> Good bye.
Session Close: Mon Apr 21, 2003

For more from this interesting author, please contiue with our next chat http://www.simegen.com/writers/nikurtz/maychat.html