A Writer’s Life – In Pursuit of Dreams – Nike Chillemi

A Dream doesn’t become reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work. ––Colin Powell

I’m fascinated by those who weave good suspense stories. How do they come up with some of their ideas?  Nike Chillemi is one of those writers who “fashions” her stories of suspense and intrigue complete with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the end. And she isn’t above adding a dash of humor into the mix. It’s been my honor to be among her critiquers the last couple of years and let me tell you, it’s not a chore.

So how did she answer my questions? Let’s find out…

Would you consider yourself a dreamer? 
Nike: I’d consider myself a grounded realist with a great imagination. When I was much younger I was a dreamer, often lost in my own thoughts, my own reality. I think that was good, and was the foundation for my creativity. But the toughness of life and life’s lessons has brought me down to earth. Now I think more in terms of purpose and vision.
Daydreams or night dreams? How else do you come up with ideas? 
Nike: Interestingly enough, I often come up with ideas, sometimes entire scenes either right before bed or when waking up. If I don’t have a notebook at bedside to write it down, I’ll run straight to my computer before I forget. I also get great ideas for my novels in the shower. I think my demeanor at bedtime and in the shower must be very relaxed. Those are times when the cares of the day fade away and cease crowding my mind. So, creativity is better able to flow.

 What steps do you take to bring your purpose and vision to life? 
Nike: I’ve put in the time and honed my craft. When I started out, I took a free online writing course given by Harlequin. I still use a modified version of the character information sheet they offered in that course. I participate in author discussions online to keep up with industry trends, and I read articles on the ins-and-outs of publishing. In addition, of course, I write, write, and write.
Filling in the middle: How do you keep yourself moving forward? 
Nike: I’m excited by the novels I have inside me. I have a great desire to see them in print and to have people reading them. I hate it when newbie authors says, “God told me to write this book,” and then of course, it needs a great deal of rewriting. However, my desire to have my books in print and to have them read has sustained itself. It is the desire of my heart. So, I do believe God placed that desire there.
    My big dream right now is to see my new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT, released. This novel is the introduction to my new mystery series which will have tons of thrills and chills, lots of action, as well as laugh-out-loud humor. Each novel will have its own male and female investigator main characters, so natch, there will be romance at various levels, depending upon the personality and life situation of the characters. I’m very excited and have big dreams for this new series.
Do you have any advice for other dreamers? 
Nike: Keep dreaming. It’s fun to dream and stirs up creativity. But don’t fly so high that you never touch the ground. You have to have you feet on the ground to take the practical steps necessary to have your dreams become a reality.
Find and connect with Nike Chillemi here:
Nike Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Coming soon from Nike Chillemi
Harmful Intent  Betrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.

Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.

Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the side of this meddling, female New York PI. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.
Nike doesn’t have a cover for Harmful Intent at this time. The very talented Ellen Sallas (Ellen C. Maze)* is working on it. Since the novel is set in the horse country of Texas, Nike visited a stable as part of her research. This is one of the photos she took while there. 
“I carry a digital camera with me nearly all the time so I can spontaneously snap photos that are useful for my writing research. This is one way I work. Taking photos helps me focus on my writing project(s) and also helps me dream.” 
 *To see Ellen Sallas’ work http://www.ellencmaze.com/artwork-of-ellen.php

The Skinny on Some Christmas Traditions, by Nike Chillemi


I’m so glad you stopped by today. It is with great pleasure I welcome Nike Chillemi as a guest writer. I am so honored to promote her latest release, Goodbye Noel. As you may have guessed, it has a holiday theme. Nike writes historical suspense/crime novels and she’s such a good storyteller! If the reviews (found here) are any indication, this one doesn’t disappoint.  

Nike Chillemi- 

In popular publications we’ve been told umpteen times the first “Christmas” celebrations came from the mid-fourth century during Constantine’s rule in ancient Rome and were adopted and adapted from solar pagan rites. This is not entirely accurate.
There is evidence the Ethiopian Church celebrated the birth of Jesus on December 25th in the 2nd century. Other Eastern churches in the second and third centuries determined the birth of Jesus to be January 5th or January 6th. The Eastern Church still celebrates the birth of Jesus on January 6th, while in the Western Church that date is Epiphany. These December 25th calculations came wholly from church history and heritage (much of that oral). This was before and separate from the papacy decision to declare December 25th the birth of Jesus for conversion reasons. The second century Egyptian theologian, Clement of Alexandria, wrote that ancient Egyptian church scholars practically tried to outdo each other with efforts to pinpoint the date of the birth of Jesus. They also came up with April 20th or 21st and May 20th…all of this having nothing to do with Roman paganism. Is December 25th the actual birthday of Jesus? I don’t know. To me every day is Christ’s birthday. 
It’s true worship of the oak and other trees were quite common in pagan Europe. However, the modern Christmas tree originated in Germany where legend has it St. Boniface cut down a great oak under which human sacrifices were made. Supposedly, in its place a tiny pine sapling grew the following spring and Boniface remarked it pointed to the heavens. That autumn he dug up the small tree and brought it into his house to have for Christmas. Many claimed these trees’ triangular shape signified the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The custom of a potted fir tree in the house at Christmas rapidly spread among Germanic Christians. In time they began decorating trees with bits of sugar candy which they gave to children on Christmas day. That tradition soon evolved into candy canes on tree boughs. Soon other gifts such as dried fruit and small bits of jewelry found their way onto trees.
Then in the 17th century, on a walk home from church late one night before Christmas, Martin Luther passed a grove of evergreen trees. When he looked up, it seemed as if the stars adorned the trees. He immediately cut and decorated a tree with lit candles for the Christmas Eve service. Cut and candle-lit trees quickly spread among Germanic Christians. When Germany’s Prince Albert married the love of his life, the young Queen Victoria, he brought to England the practice of decorating the Christmas tree with candles, candies, fancy cakes, small gifts, and toys. German immigrants brought this to Pennsylvania in the 1800s and the custom rapidly spread across America.
Eggnog is entirely American. While it’s true Europeans of wealth enjoyed eggy-milky drinks with fruit. The first true batch of eggnog was mixed up in 1607 at Captain John Smith’s Jamestown settlement. At that time it was called “egg and grog.” I’m sure we can all imagine what the ingredients were, as colonists called any drink with rum grog. It soon became a drink given to carolers at Christmas along with sweet meats and confections.
Stock.Xchng image #1148932
What about ye olde fruit cake? Cakes with fruit have been baked, well…as long as cakes have been baked. What we think of as the fruit cake, made with preserved fruit and nuts goes back to the middle-ages and the Crusades when people took this type of hearty cake on trips to sustain themselves while away from home. The British love affair with fruit cake began in the 1400s when dried fruits first arrived in the misty isles from the Mediterranean. In the mid-1800s cake with candied fruit had become a Victorian tea cake. It also became a cake served at weddings. Naturally in a time before fruit could be flown to markets from orchards and groves in a warm climate, the candied fruit cake made a perfect Christmas cake. In modern times it seems not to be as popular as years gone by, but fruit cake sales are still surprisingly high.
Whether you’re looking for a good holiday read, or the perfect gift, Nike Chillemi’s Goodbye Noel is a good fit. 

Links to order the book:

Amazon – ($2.99)                          Christianbooks – ($2.89)

Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning). She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes monthly book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. Burning Hearts is the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series. 

Fruitcake photo from: Stock.Xchng image #1148932