Nicola has the ‘write ‘stuff with three-book deal
While many mums of two young children are delighted to just get dressed in the morning, Nicola Cassidy is putting us all to shame by signing a three-book deal!
The Drogheda author, whose first book ‘ December Girl’ was a massive success, is now busy working on not one but three follow-ups for her triple deal with Poolbeg Press, with her next book already due to hit the shelves in June 2019.
“I have known since August and couldn’t wait until it was finalised to tell everyone,” says Nicola, who also writes an award-winning blog Lady Nicci.com.
“It’s very exciting, and an honour too, because it’s a real validation of your writing.”
Married to well-known musician Ronan McQuillan of the Enemies fame, and mother to August (4) and Bonnie (18 mths), Nicola is thrilled to be in the company of writers like Marian Keyes and Patricia Scanlan with her new publishers and says she has learned so much in the past few years.
“I’ve learned so much in the year since December Girl came out and I knew what to expect when my literary agent started her work on book two,” she explains.
“With book two, I found the whole novel so much easier to write, and really enjoyed the process and I hope readers will see a progression in my writing.”
The first book with Poolbeg will be released in late June 2019, entitled The Nanny at No. 43. It’s a standalone story, set in Drogheda in 1880 and was inspired by an advert Nicola saw in the Drogheda Conservative, a newspaper of the time.
“I came across the ad when I was researching old newspapers in the library and it just said ‘Wanted, a respectable woman to care for a motherless child’, she says.
“Widower William D. Thomas then gets more than he bargained for when a mysterious woman responds to the advert, and when the bodies of twin babies are discovered buried in a back garden in Dublin, a woman hunt begins for one of Ireland’s most poisonous child killers.”
Nicola says she finds it easy to set her novels in Drogheda, as she knows the landscape.
“It is such an historic town, with beautiful buildings, and if I can start with a nugget of truth, I can make up the rest from there,” says the writer.
“I’m working on the next book now too, as that must be completed by next summer too, so I’ll be kept busy.”
With all that you wonder how Nicola finds the time to also run her successful lifestyle, parenting and literary blog LadyNicci.com, which is currently up for two major national awards.
“I’m delighted to have been shortlisted in two categories in the Irish Blog Awards (Books and Literature and Lifestyle), and I’ve been writing it for five years and just love doing it,” she says.
“It’s sort of like keeping a diary, and while it is really very lovely to be selected as a finalist for anything, the real rewards are in having people read your material, comment on them, or mention to you in passing that they like what you write.”
This is not the first time her blog has been recognised - it was short-listed at the Irish Blog Awards in 2014 and 2015 and was a finalist in 2016.
The website is also the home of Nicola’s series How I Write, where she interviews authors about creative process.
When she isn’t conjuring up prose, Nicola is a marketing manager, with regular gigs as a singer.
So, with two children and two books already, does that mean a third baby is on the horizon with book number three?
“Eh, no more children,” she says emphatically, with a laugh.
“I am already working on my next book, which will be a biofiction of a real person, which will maybe mean a few trips to the States, so I really have enough on my plate!”
Famous last words Nicola...!