Nikko Lee is the pen name she uses to write genre fiction from erotica to horror, and to blog about hiking, writing and science at www.nikkolee.com. She's a scientific curator. Born in Canada, she moved to Maine after completing a PhD in Zoology and her post-doctoral training. She resides near Bar Harbor with her husband, daughter, two cats and malamute.
Josh is willing to risk his life to get away from his oppressive pack. He gets a chance to earn his freedom after his leader suffers a fatal heart attack. As a rare omega werewolf, Josh is the only one who can find an alpha strong enough to control the pack. The only problem is that Josh has no clue how.
During his search, Josh befriends a ditzy Amazon trainee and a disarming park ranger. They become more of a family to him than the pack which is at each other's throats. Things only get worse when a local is mauled to death and the Amazons order the entire pack killed.
Now all Josh has to do is restore order to the pack, convince the Amazons to reinstate their treaty, survive a new best friend who might be more dangerous than his enemies, and stop himself from falling for a man who wants someone else.
Maybe then he can start a new life.
As is my habit with guests, I asked her some questions
What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
I’m currently working on a BDSM thriller. Psychiatrist Jacob Riley is used to being in control, especially in the bedroom. The murder of a former submissive thrusts him into the middle of the investigation. He must find the killer before he becomes the prime suspect.
Is there anything you remember which prompted you to start writing? When do you remember first wanting to write?
I can remember writing my first story that was not a school assignment in seventh grade. For me, it was a way of confronting feelings and emotions that were bottled up in my head. I was always very shy and, at least in my fictional worlds, my characters acted in ways that sometimes I wished I had the courage to act.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Wolf Creek started off as a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) project. In 2012, I took an outline that I had written the previous summer and dedicated the month of November to writing the first draft. I did manage to write 50,000 words of the novel during the month. Needless to say it took a lot more writing and re-writing before the finished manuscript that I started shopping around last year. Three days before my daughter was born, I signed the contract with Prizm.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would love to find a book that I’d written for sale in an airport. I want to write stories that entertain and allow people to escape the mundane of the everyday.
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Sometimes I find that my most productive writing sessions occur in a busy environment. I used to write during class in high school. A busy café or a work meeting provides suitable background and allows me to focus on creativity instead of being bored. But it requires a little bit of stealth. The outline for Wolf Creek was written during a basic first aid course. Don’t worry, I still passed the course.
Do you have a day job as well as writing?
My educational background is in genetics. My day job as a scientific curator keeps me immersed in mouse genetic research.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get past it?
I experienced a long writer’s block when I started undergraduate studies. I’d finished my first novella about a drug company using a small town as an unwitting test population. After that, I didn’t feel the passion to write until I discovered erotica. I started writing short pieces for myself, then for online groups in a roleplay community. There’s nothing better for a writer’s ego that an appreciating audience. Whenever I hit a block, I try to remember why I write and what I love about my story. That usually gets me writing again.
What’s your passion in life?
Writing is high on my list of passions. I’m also an avid hiker. My husband and I are slowly making our way north along the Long Trail by hiking sections every year. I’m a volunteer search and rescue team member. Generally, I love being outdoors.
Tell us about the genre you write in.
I often struggle with pinning down my stories and novels to a specific genre. Take Boson’s Mate (published in Valves and Vixens), it’s gay steampunk sci-fi erotica.
I think most works of fiction contain elements of different genres. Beyond letting booksellers know where to shelve a book, genres also set up the basic expectations of a reader.
What’s a romance without a central couple that get together? What’s a mystery without a perpetrator? What’s erotica without sexuality?
Wolf Creek presented me with a particular challenge as far as defining its genre. The story is about werewolves and other fantastical creatures, but the setting in central Maine is hardly metropolitan. So urban fantasy was out.
Then there was the age range of the target audience. The main character Josh is around twenty-one. Too old for young adult but not old enough to be well-established in his own life. Turns out that’s exactly the right age for new adult fiction.
I hadn’t heard of the genre before looking for a publisher. The threshold into adulthood is full of its own challenges. From making it on your own to finding out who you are. I think the struggles in new adult fiction are ones we never outgrow even after our first romances, careers and gray hairs.
In Wolf Creek, Josh is given a chance to escape his oppressive werewolf pack, but only if he finds its next leader. Instead of running away from his problems, Josh learns to face them and his own self-doubts head on. He makes new friends, finds an unobtainable crush, and learns to believe in himself.
So what genre is Wolf Creek? I’m leaning toward new adult gay paranormal fantasy.