Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Forbidden Things: Dissident by Nikki McCormack - Q&A and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions for Nikki McCormack's newest book Forbidden Things: Dissident. The author will award a $50 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to It's Raining Books! Any weird things you do when you’re alone?

When I’m alone I have a tendency to talk to everything out loud. That includes my truck, my computer, my kayak, the odd figurine or sword. Anything is game and most of those things have names because I have an overabundance of characters in my head to assign to things. That’s probably also why I tend to assign all of my pets multiple nicknames.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“Look, there's a great big hunk of world down there, with no fence around it. Where two dogs can find adventure and excitement. And beyond those distant hills, who knows what wonderful experiences?” Tramp from Lady and the Tramp, 1955

I know this is a really odd choice, but it was something that stuck out in my head. No, I’m not a dog, but I do look at the world and see a great big open place full of wonderful experiences waiting to be had.

Who is your favorite author and why?

It’s hard to pick only one. Many amazing authors have delighted and inspired me with their work over the years. One of the most prominent in my collection is C.S. Friedman. I always find something to love in her work and her tendency to switch between science fiction and fantasy is comforting since my writing ventures into both genres as well.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

The first would have to be the craft of writing itself. Readers deserve a clean manuscript free of plot holes, typos, bad grammar, etc. No matter how good you are, you should be bringing outside parties into this process to make sure that the final product is well edited and as error free as possible. As the author, it can be too easy to see what you wanted to write and overlook the errors in what you actually wrote.

Another element worth mentioning is that of believability. Even writing fantasy, you need to do good research to make the story relatable for your audience. If you character gets hurt, make sure the suffering they experience and the recovery realistic to the injury or have a clear reason why it isn’t. Research historical battles if you’re going to have battles in your book so you can start with something realistic and build upon it with any aspects of your fantasy world that might alter the events. If you give people something they can believe as a foundation to everything in your world, they will make an easier transition to accepting the fantastical elements.

Where did you get the idea for this book?

I’ve heard it said that book ideas rarely come from dreams. I’m not sure how true that is, but this series is an exception to that. A few chapters of the book came entirely from a dream and in that dream, I already knew most of the backstory for myself (I got to be Indigo) and for Yiloch. When I woke, I also knew where it would go from there and I wrote down everything I knew.

Ascard power can strengthen, heal and create. It also has great potential to destroy, enough to topple entire governments. Indigo’s country places strict limitations on the use of ascard so she must channel her talents into the healing arts or risk severe punishment. An orphan from a disgraced family, trapped by her father’s treason, Indigo struggles reclaim her place in a society that has driven her into an abusive engagement.

Then a mysterious stranger from a neighboring country contacts her using ascard. He needs help escaping his prison so he can bring an end to his emperor's oppressive rule or die trying. His unshakable devotion to his cause and the passion hidden behind his cool arrogance move her to help him at the risk of being branded a traitor herself.

When the politics of society bring them together a second time, Indigo decides to use her growing powers to help him fight his war. If only she dared fight for her own future with such passion. Perhaps she can find the courage to do so by helping the man she has fallen for win his revolution. She might have exactly the power he needs to succeed.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Her attention wandered to the fountain sprouting up in the center of a nearby courtyard, simple and elegant like a great stonework lily. A man stood by the fountain, watching water droplets falling with the shimmer of multicolored gems in the bright sunlight. Long silver hair hung to the middle of his back like a frozen waterfall. His smooth pale skin and unusual hair marked him as Lyran, but his regal bearing and rich attire didn’t befit a slave or merchant.

Curious. “Have you seen him before?”

Andrea turned, following her gaze. “Who?”

“The man beside the fountain.”

“There’s no one by the fountain.”

Andrea’s reply tugged at her awareness, but the silver-haired Lyran was turning toward them now. His pale eyes met hers and the air pressed from her lungs as if a corset were being pulled too tight. The buildings lurched and spun in her vision.


She sank to her knees. Andrea crouched down with her, her eyes wide and frightened. She held Indigo’s shoulders tight, her lips moving. Indigo heard only the pounding of blood in her ears.

About the Author:

Nikki started writing her first novel at the age of 12 (which is still tucked away in a briefcase in her office). Despite a successful short story publication with Cricket Magazine in 2007, she treated her writing addiction as a hobby until a drop in the economy left her with an abundance of free time to focus on making it her career.

Nikki lives in the magnificent Pacific Northwest tending to her awesome husband, two sweet horses, three manipulative cats, and a crazy dog. She’s a wine and tea fanatic who loves sitting on the ocean in her kayak surrounded by open water or hanging from a rope in a cave, embraced by darkness and the sound of dripping water. She also enjoys horseback riding, archery, PC gaming, dancing, good anime, etc. She studies Japanese and practices Iaido because she believes we should never stop learning.

Amazon Author Page:
Barnes and Noble Author Page:

Buy the book at Elysium Palace.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I really enjoyed the interview! Thank you for the post and the giveaway!

  2. Thank you for hosting the tour and giveaway!

  3. Great post! I enjoyed reading it, thanks for sharing :)

  4. Fun interview and excerpt!


    1. I'm happy you enjoyed them! Thanks for coming along on the tour! :)

  5. Thanks for the excerpt and interview :) I loved the quote from Lady and the Tramp you picked. It's a good way to look at the world.

    1. Thanks Amber! I thought it was a bit of an odd quote to pick, but it's stuck with me since childhood, so I went with it. Thanks for following! :)

  6. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. You're so welcome Patrick! I'm happy to have you along on the tour! ;)

  7. Replies
    1. You're welcome Rita! I'm happy you liked it. :)

  8. I really enjoyed the interview~you shared some valuable insights for budding authors! Thank you for the great post and contest! Btw as I may have mentioned, oh, a few times during the book tour~I LOVE the cover!

    1. Haha! I don't mind you mentioning it again... really. ;)

      I love sharing with other authors when I feel like I have something to share (and learning from them too). There is so much to writing a book it's easy to miss important things.

      Thanks again for following!

  9. Another great interview and excerpt. THANKS!

  10. Your dreams must be quite vivid. Do you get nightmares?

    1. Yes. I had a fantastically horrible nightmare a couple of nights ago that I thought might make a good short story if I can capture it right. ;)

      Thanks for stopping by!


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?