Ardent feminist. Armchair historian. Lover of all things bright and shiny. Mother of cats.
Pen Name: Nicole Evelina (you can also call me Niki)
Why I picked it: Nicole is my real first name and Evelina is a variation of my mom’s name. It’s Celtic name meaning “bright.”
Why a pen name: My real last name is impossible to spell, remember, or pronounce.
Hobbies: Research, Pinterest, travel, cooking, writing book reviews, playing with my cats, seeing musicals/plays, ballet and live music. Someday my eccentric rich lady hobby will be miniatures.
Addictions: Prosecco, vodka, Pinterest, makeup, costume jewelry, books, the band Kill Hannah.
Favorite experiences: June 2013 Arthurian Legend tour of England, March 2014 week-long writing retreat at Hedgebrook, studying creative writing with #1 New York Times best-selling author Deborah Harkness.
Favorite books: I’m a firm believer that to be a great writer, you first have to be an avid reader. I estimate that I’ve probably read several thousand books in my 40+ years on this planet. A few of my favorites are:
- Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell
- Juliet by Anne Fortier
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
- Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell
- Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman
- The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
- A Season in Lights by Gregory Erich Phillips
- Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
- Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
- People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
- The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips
- The Chicagoland Vampire series by Chloe Neill
- The Immortals series by Alyson Noel
Favorite cities: Chicago, Boston, Glastonbury, Oxford
Want to travel to: France (Paris, Lyon, Marseilles, Brittany and Champagne), Tuscany
Want to write: I have Pinterest boards and plans for about 40 more books.
Want to learn: French, oil painting, how to play the cello
Where my inspiration comes from: The muses. I’m convinced my characters pick me. Sometimes I also get inspired by music or very cinematic dreams.
Real-life muses: Rachelle Lefevre, Joseph Morgan, Ashley Clements, Nadine Lewington, Clémence Poésy, Lea Seydoux.
What I would be doing if I wasn’t writing: Well, I’d be crazy, for one. My day job is writing in public relations, but my alternate career would be as a historical researcher, makeup artist, or a historian.
Awards: Listed here
Current Writer’s Groups
- Historical Novel Society (2012-present)
- Historical Writers’ Association (2021-present)
- Novelists Inc. (2017-present)
- Biographers International Organization (BIO) (2018- present)
- International Arthurian Association (2017-present)
- St. Louis Writer’s Guild (2014-present)
- Saturday Writers (a chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild) (2016-present)
- Alliance of Independent Authors (2016-present)
Current Women’s Groups
- League of Women Voters (national, Missouri and St. Louis)
- Association of American University Women (Kirkwood chapter)
- National Women’s History Alliance
Past Writer’s Groups
- Romance Writers of America (2014-2019)
- Missouri Romance Writers of America (2014-2019)
- Women’s Fiction Writers Association (2014-2015)
- Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) (2016-2019)
- Missouri Writer’s Guild (2016-2018)
What else do you want to know? Leave me a comment and I’ll add my answer in here.