16 April 2011

Please Welcome Nicki Markus!

Hello, all! Nicki J. Markus is here with me today. Please give her a big round of applause. Thanks for dropping by!

Please tell the readers a little about yourself:

I was born in the UK in 1982, but moved to Australia in 2007 to be with my Australian fiancĂ©. I love reading and writing and also languages. I adore anything in the cultural sphere really – theatre, cinema, art, photography…I’m the expressive type!

How about your latest release?

My latest release is the second in a four part mini-series called Time Keepers. Each part is short story length and they are being released one per month to continue the story. The remaining two parts are out in May and June. It is a paranormal story with a blend of romance and adventure and a hint of sci-fi. You can read an excerpt of part 1 below and here are the blurbs for the first two parts.

Time Keepers - Part One - Running Blind

"It seems like any ordinary day as Nick waits for the train, but then a chance encounter with a young woman turns his world upside down. What is it that she is running from and will helping her jeopardise his own secret, making him a target too?"

Time Keepers - Part Two - The Beast Within

"With Nick’s secret now exposed, he and Ellie must run for their lives, pursued by the Governor and his Time Keepers. Will they be able to stay hidden or is their time nearly up?"

Both these titles are available from Amazon, OmniLit, Smashwords and other sellers. Or you can hop across to my website/blog and click on the “my books” tab for direct links. (http://www.nickijmarkus.com)

Care to share a bit about any of your characters?

Nick and Ellie are both outcasts in their own way and they both have secrets, but they will have to work together if they want to defeat the Time Keepers

What was your primary inspiration for this book?

In think I had been watching Dark Angel that day and was thinking of governments wanting to control these gifted children. It made me wonder what would happen if they could get their hands on other supernatural beings.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

It’s a bit corny but – don’t give up. If it’s want you want to do then go for it. Creative writing courses can be useful to see what level you are at, but mostly I’d say keep writing and improving through experience.

If you could be one animal, person, or at a place for a day what/who/where would it be?

I’d be in Prague – my favourite city!

Five random facts about you:

1) I speak four foreign languages – two fluently

2) I’m getting married this year!

3) I love cats

4) I can’t resist the lure of NetGalley at present

5) I sing and play flute and piano

Are you working on any new releases later this year?

Obviously the remaining two parts of Time Keepers are out soon from Wicked Nights Publishing. I also just signed a contract with Silver Publishing for my vampire paranormal romance called Day-Walker. That is tentatively scheduled for release in September at the moment. Right now I am working on a thriller short/novella that I hope to submit to the publisher in the next couple of months.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Thanks to everyone who has supported my writing and bought my books so far – I really appreciate it!

Contact info (Facebook, Twitter, website, blog):

My website/blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus


Time Keepers – Part 1 – Running Blind

Say No To Fur!!

The poster caught his eye as he stood on the muggy station platform, waiting for the south-bound Northern Line tube. Nick frowned, tilting his head slightly and staring at it. The hologram image of the wolf’s head hovered at the surface in seeming innocence, tinges of reds and greens just visible behind its grey fur and a benign look in its yellow eyes as it watched the passerby. Then a woman stepped a little too close. The wolf’s head jumped out from the poster, eyes bloodshot and jaws open wide, revealing glistening pointed teeth that dripped with saliva and snapped viciously at her. The woman shrieked and jumped back in fright, dropping her handbag as the wolf retreated once more into its poster.

Nick bent down and retrieved the worn leather bag, holding it out to her. He could hear her heart pounding in her chest and he waited patiently while she took a moment to compose herself. Finally her watery grey eyes focused on him and she reached out a gnarled, wrinkled hand to reclaim her possessions.

“Thank you, young man.” She carefully eased the handles of the bag back over her emaciated arm. “It shouldn’t be allowed.”

“No, the tube station really isn’t the place for posters like that,” he agreed with her readily, casting a wary glance at the wall where the wolf still hovered, looking peaceable once more.

“No, not the poster, young man; I mean these werewolves – and the vampires too. As if there isn’t already enough wrong in the world without such evil creatures roaming around free. The sooner the government stamps them out the better.”
A sudden rush of humid air, adding more heat to the already stifling atmosphere, and the approach of two blazing yet flickering lights from the depths of the tunnel, announced the arrival of the tube. The woman waddled off further down the platform and Nick was left alone - for a moment anyway. As the train pulled in people jostled behind him, bodies pressing up against him, invading his personal space and making him uncomfortable, as everyone fought to be first to board the train.

The doors squeaked their way open and the inane high pitched beeping sound they produced rang in his ears, making him flinch. He wasn’t in the mood for pushing and shoving so he let the crowds brush past him, going with the flow as he was knocked from side to side by their urgency. He waited until he was the last one on the platform before carefully and sedately stepping onto the train.

The carriage was packed full, people crammed in like sardines, and there was nowhere else to move to so he remained just inside the doorway. He reached up towards the handrail, the distance no difficulty for his long arm. As he breathed in, he couldn’t help but screw his nose up at the smell of urine and stale sweat that permeated the carriage. Why do I travel by tube? He glanced round at his fellow passengers; all studiously avoided meeting his eyes, heads down, trying to blend in and escape notice. And why wouldn’t they when the government could nab you for just about anything these days?

A repeat of the annoying beeping announced that the train was about to depart. Nick tightened his grip on the handrail in anticipation of the jerky and uncomfortable journey ahead. A sudden movement caught his eye and he glanced back at the platform. There was a young girl flying down the stairs. She was moving so fast that her tiny, bare feet hardly touched the floor as she used the stair rail to propel her into a sharp turn, dashing towards the train and heading straight for the door of his carriage. He saw the doors start to inch themselves closed and he instinctively reached out, gripping one tightly with both hands, forcing it to remain open as the girl shot through the gap and onto the train.


Gale Stanley said...

Hi Nicki, thanks for sharing and congrats on the upcoming wedding!

Pender Mackie said...

Hi Nicki. Interesting excerpt. I liked Wolf the poster - very original.

Nicki J Markus said...

Thanks for having me over Lindsay.

@Gale - thanks - it's in October so only six months to go now till the big day!

@Pender - thank you, I'm glad you liked it.