Meet Debut Novelist Nikki Duncan

Do you like intrigue, danger, and fast-paced stories? So does Nikki Duncan, author of romantic suspense novels published by Samhain Publishing. Her debut novel, Sounds to Die By, which will be released in print on August 3, is currently available as an eBook.

Nikki lives in North Texas with her husband (CIS – her Calm in the Storm), two children (Chaos and Destruction), three cats (Frack, Lovely, and Rose), and a new puppy (Slightly, named after a Peter Pan Lost Boy). A busy mom, when Nikki has some time to herself she loves to go to the movies with girlfriends or have them over for a night of gabbing and pizza.

Nikki spent a large part of her youth competing in gymnastics, advancing to a regional level in tumbling and trampoline. She also competed in Arabian horse shows with Texas Tuff Act, a horse she and her mother trained, and went all the way to the Nationals before retiring him when she graduated high school. Although no longer actively competing in gymnastics or horse shows, she enjoys plotting new ways to torment her characters (which sometimes includes killing people.)

Join me as we learn more about Nikki and her journey to publication.



Nikki’s Journey Begins


•Are you a born writer, or did your interest in crafting stories emerge later in life?

I didn’t always know that I wanted to write, but I think the idea that I could do it was planted by my Senior English class. My teacher was tough and challenging, but she taught me more than just how to spell and construct sentences. She encouraged my love of books and helped me learn to shape even the driest research paper into a story. It was a great many years before I did anything with her lessons, but she’s in a part of everything I do.


•You’ve had some pieces published, which would no doubt make your English teacher proud. Would you tell us about those?

Most recently I published a three-part article series in the RT Book Reviews Magazine on the Agent Hunt. I interviewed many agents and best-selling authors to put it together, and was very pleased with how it came out. I’ve also done several other articles that have been published in numerous RWA newsletters and list serves. I have the complete list on my website at


•When did you begin your first romance novel? What prompted you to start it?

Honestly, the years run together for me, so I’m not sure exactly when I started. I did rework that story several times before setting it aside to work on something different. I decided in 2006 that I wanted to pursue publication, though.



Nikki’s Milestones


•You finaled in the 2008 Golden Pen, which is impressive. That’s a tough contest with serious competition. How did you react when you got the call from the coordinator?

Hmm. I think this came as an email. I don’t remember screaming anyone deaf. I do think I probably read the email a few times to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood. And then I probably checked to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day. After that, I settled in to pure elation and pride at having finally accomplished a contest final.


•One of the highest highs for a writer is The Call. Please tell us about yours.

The Call came in the form of an email. An email that I nearly missed during a mass delete of messages after a long weekend away from the computer. Fortunately, I saw the editor’s name flash across the screen and went back through the emails to find her. 2500 emails or so later, hoping it wasn’t a rejection all along, I found her response. After yelling at CIS that I had sold a book, I calmed myself down and replied back to the editor that yes the story was still available. I had a signed contract a few days later, and I haven’t regretted the decision for a moment.


•You’ve celebrated your cyber release. Do you plan to hold a launch party when the book hits the brick and mortar shelves?

I’m not sure what I’ll do yet when the book comes out in print. I’m certain I’ll have a book signing/launch party of some sort. It’s just too good a reason to celebrate to miss.


•Your book is out in e-format. What has been the response to your story?

I’ve received several great reviews for Sounds to Die By from assorted review sites. So far, all of the feedback seems to be that people love the story, and I celebrate every bit of feedback that I get.



Nikki’s Best Tips for Writers


~ Don’t say you WANT to write. Do it.

~ Associate with other writers.

~ Respect other writers and don’t talk trash.

~ Be kind and remember that what goes around comes around.



Nikki’s Debut Novel


•Please tell us about Sounds to Die By.

Rookie FBI Agent Kieralyn Beckett is in a delicate position. Her team refuses to buy into her theory that a string of kidnappings is connected. If she pushes too hard, they’ll discover the latest victim was her college roommate and boot her off the case. A garbled recording is the only evidence, and there’s only one man who can decipher it. The hard part will be convincing him to take the case.

Blinded as a child, NSA “listener” Ian Cabrera spends the majority of his time analyzing data while secretly searching for his father, a missing CIA operative. His plate is full, but Kieralyn’s passion and determination, as well as the erotic beat of her heart, spark his interest. So does the mention of his father’s code name on her recording.

There’s only one way to follow this new crumb-trail of clues without tipping her off about what he’s really after. Convince her she needs him to be her undercover partner, despite his handicap. Between her eyes and his ears, they make one beautifully orchestrated team. Every time they touch, though, the sparks they generate create one red-hot element of distraction…



Nikki’s Journey Continues


Sounds to Die By has hit the cyber shelves. What are you working on now?

I recently contracted Scent of Persuasion, book 2 in the Sensory Ops series, with Samhain and just turned in Ransomed Hearts, a spin off book, to my editor. I am currently working on book 3 for the Sensory Ops series, which is going to prove as big a challenge as any of the other stories I’ve tackled. I seem to be incapable of taking on non-complex plots, and putting a lot of complexities into 50,000 words and doing it well is very difficult at times.



Five Items Nikki Has at Her Fingertips When She’s Writing


~ Dictionary

~ Grammar Book

~ Drink

~ Music – either iTunes or iPod

~ Pen and notepad – to jot notes of things I’ve introduced as well as eye colors and so forth to maintain continuity



Five Things That Make Nikki a Unique Character


I cheated on this and asked a friend and my husband for help. 🙂

~ Storytelling – the retelling of an event

~ Handy around the house – sometimes

~ My DNA

~ Characters talking in my head. Some would think I need shock therapy.

~ Good multitasker.



Nikki’s Question for You

•I’ve enjoyed having you as my guest, Nikki. You gave great answers to my questions. Now it’s time to see what your guests have to say, so go for it.

Many people look at romance books with their nose turned up. What is your favorite part of a romance novel? Characters? Relationship? Plotline? Why?



Learn More About Nikki

Visit her website ~

Visit her personal blog ~

Friend her on Facebook ~ Nikki Duncan

Friend her on MySpace ~ NikkiDuncanWriter

Follow her on Twitter ~ NDuncanWriter


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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6 Responses to Meet Debut Novelist Nikki Duncan

  1. Keli Gwyn says:

    Welcome, Nikki!

    In answer to your question, when I read a romance, I want most of the focus on the main characters. A compelling plot is good, but if it takes away from the romance, I’m often disappointed. I don’t care for stories in which secondary characters or subplots take over scenes. I want to see the hero and heroine interacting.

  2. michelle ann says:

    Romance novels are my favorite fiction. I enjoy the banter of the characters along with an active, colorful story line with coincidences bringing people together. I like the hope and knowing the characters feelings and thoughts.

    Multiple characters creating a series is always fun. How your writers bring them all together is special.

    Books are under rated as they can share knowledge and change hearts, lives and perspective.

    And hearing Nikki’s story promotes dreams, having a vision, setting goals, being commitment and and following through with action. You go girlfriend.

  3. Nikki Duncan says:

    Keli, Thanks for having me. I know what you mean about wanting to see the hero and heroine together. That’s a big one for me.

    Michelle Ann, Hey! Everything you love in romance books is everything I try to bring to the page. Like you, I love stories that change people.

  4. Quilt Lady says:

    Hi Nikki, great interview! Romance is what I read most of the time. I read them for the happy ending and some not so happy. I just enjoy them. I travel to all parts of the world in them and even travel through time. What more could you ask for in a book.

    Your books sound fabulous!

  5. Nikki Duncan says:

    Ah, Quilt Lady, I love the journeys I take in books. lol

  6. lje1 says:

    Thanks for a fun and informative blog Nikki!
    My favorite part is the HEA. I love happy endings. 🙂

    Speaking of happy endings, Keli, I nominated your blog for a Sunshine Award, ‘cos of all the joy you spread.

    You can find out more here if it doesn’t pop up on your Google Alerts:

Comments are closed.