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Author Spotlight and Interview: Nichole Van – Writer of Time-Travel Romantic Comedy

Nichole VanToday, I am pleased to introduce you to author Nichole Van. Nichole writes clean, time-travelling romances with light super-natural elements. Her book characters are fun, smart, witty and just downright lovable. Currently, Nichole is the author of seven books split among two series. The first series, The House of Oak features the individual stories of five friends who discover a time portal in the basement of an old English cottage which transports them back to Regency Era England. There, each of them meets a potential love interest and must learn to navigate cultural and historical differences. Think of the film Lost in Austen. 

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If you are a fan of good old-fashioned romantic comedy in films, such as You’ve Got Mail, or While You Were Sleeping, or enjoy Austen style heroes, then you will be a fan of Nichole’s stories.

Nichole is currently in the middle of writing her second series, The Brothers Maldetti. Set in Italy, this series focuses on the Maldetti brothers, each named after a famous English author. The triplets have inherited supernatural abilities which both hamper and enhance their lives. These gifts also transport them back in time occasionally in a unique way. Trust me, you just have to read it, to get it. Plus, who doesn’t love a story with dreamy, chivalrous, cultured Italian men as the heroes? The series will also feature a story on their sister. If you are a fan of good old-fashioned romantic comedy in films, such as You’ve Got Mail, or While You Were Sleeping, or enjoy Austen style heroes, then you will be a fan of Nichole’s stories.


Can you tell us a little bit about your beginnings and journey as an author?

Wow! That’s a huge question. I feel like my journey to this place was full of a lot of twists and turns. My grad degree is in English and I actually taught in the English department at Brigham Young University for about ten years. But then, in 2006 or so, I fell deeply in love with photography. I ended up pursuing wedding and portrait photography for another ten years (and I’m still highly engaged in the profession).

As much as I love photography, I apparently have a short attention span for careers, haha, as I ventured back into English and creative writing in 2013. I love photography, but it can be incredibly frustrating, as once you’re done with a photo shoot, revision is difficult at best. So if you see a problem with a picture after the fact, it can sometimes be impossible to adjust. Photoshop can do amazing things, but it’s very limited as to what it can address when it comes to fixing global problems with a photo.

Writing, however, LOVES revision and there is no limit on what you can change and adjust in a novel. It might not be worth the time to change something but you can certainly do it if you want. So I was drawn back into writing for those reasons. I love creating visual stories through photography and writing now allows me to create written stories.

Tell us about yourself as a reader. Do you have a favorite author, genre or novel?

I do love to read, as do most authors, I think. I read almost strictly romance, though I also adore urban fantasy (provided there’s some sort of romantic side-story). I gravitate toward contemporary, historical and paranormal romance (basically, the genres I write, haha). I’m weird in that I don’t watch TV or movies. I know, I know, I’m a total loser. My brain just shuts down after about 15 minutes watching something and I get super antsy. So if I want to see a movie or show, I try to watch it in tiny snippets, but I’m usually not dedicated enough. So sadly, I still have about 3.5 seasons of Downton Abbey to work through. (See? Loser.)

Since The Silver Petticoat Review focuses on old-fashioned storytelling and romance, what in your opinion qualifies as old-fashioned storytelling? Do you have a favorite story that meets your qualifications?

What a great question! I think old-fashioned storytelling and romance focus on the emotional and intellectual aspects of life rather than just the physical. It’s so easy to use physical intimacy as a substitute for actually building a believable relationship in a book (and in real life, too, if we’re being honest here). But, in reality, it’s anticipation and real emotion that make reading a love story so powerful. When these two things are well done, any description of physical intimacy is really unnecessary. Though it’s cliche to say, classic authors such as Jane Austen have staying power because they do these things so well.

If you could have authored any book other than your own, what do you wish you had written? Why?

Sigh. If I could hang out with Jane Austen for even a day, I would. Someday, I would love to be able to write even a page of text with her same biting wit and ability to see the foibles of mankind.

Which of your books has been the most difficult or challenging to write? Why?

Aside from Intertwine (my first book), which was hard because I was new to the craft of novel writing, Gladly Beyond also gave me fits. Not because I didn’t know what I was doing, but because I was dealing with an incredibly complex plot line. I’ve found that complexity is what gets easier the more you write, but Gladly Beyond was difficult even by that standard. I spent over four months revising it, which is about twice my normal revision time frame. There was just so much to straighten out with the writing and cleaning things up. But revision is your friend as a writer, so it was all good.

If you could choose one of your books to be made into a movie which would it be? Which actors would you like to see play the lead characters?

Mmmm, that is a hard one. I think that Refine would make an amazing movie. The plot moves along and has a lot of built-in interest and humor. That said, I would love to see Gladly Beyond as a film too. As it’s set in Florence, Italy and really takes advantage of the cityscape, the cinematography would be gorgeous and it would be amazing to see the world of 1814 Florence come to life. As for actors, sadly, I’m an idiot about those things (see my answer to the previous question, haha). Someone else needs to help me cast the movies! (Editor’s Note: For Refine, I could see Lily Collins and Rupert Penry-Jones playing the bohemian Jasmine and the up-tight Linwood).

Which of your book characters is most like you? Most unlike you?

The character most like me? That’s a hard one. It’s almost easier to say the characters I’m most unlike, haha. Personally, I think that I’m a mix between Lucy from Love’s Shadow and Fossi from Outshine. I have Lucy’s even temperament and sunny outlook on things, but I definitely have the quiet, introspective side of Fossi too. But if I had to choose one of my characters to be my best friend, it would be Jasmine from Refine.

How do your other artistic interests, including photography and website creation influence/impact your abilities as an author? Does being a writer have a reverse impact on your photography?

Great question! I find that photography and writing actually exercise different creative muscles for me, so they don’t overlap too much in my art-mind. Photography is immediate, very visual and relies heavily on split-second instinctual reactions. Writing is a slow verbal process that is significantly more cerebral. That said, the mixture of moving between the two is fantastic. My photography helps with writing burn-out and vice versa. So if I get to the point that I’m done with writing for a while, I go take some photos. And when I feel overwhelmed with too many weddings and such, I hole up and write. It’s the combination that I love the most!


An Amazon bestselling author, Nichole Van is an artist who feels life is too short to only have one obsession. In former lives, she has been a contemporary dancer, pianist, art historian, choreographer, culinary artist and English professor. 

Most notably, however, Nichole is an acclaimed photographer, winning over thirty international accolades for her work, including Portrait of the Year from WPPI in 2007. (Think Oscars for wedding and portrait photographers.) Her unique photography style has been featured in many magazines, including Rangefinder and Professional Photographer. She is also the creative mind behind the popular website Flourish Emporium which provides resources for photographers. 

All that said, Nichole has always been a writer at heart. With an MA in English, she taught technical writing at Brigham Young University for ten years and has written more technical manuals than she can quickly count. She decided in late 2013 to start writing fiction and has since become an Amazon #1 bestselling author. Additionally, her late 2016 release, Love’s Shadow, was selected as a Whitney Award finalist. 

In February 2017, Nichole, her husband and three crazy children moved from the Rocky Mountains in the USA to Bridge of Weir, Scotland. They currently live in a former Victorian orphanage nestled in the Scottish hills and enjoy long walks through the countryside and along the lochs. 

She is known as NicholeVan all over the web: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Visit http://www.NicholeVan.com to sign up for her author newsletter and be notified of new book releases. Additionally, you can see her photographic work at http://photography.nicholeV.com and http://www.nicholeV.com

A great big THANK YOU to Nichole for joining us today. Take a look at her website and her Amazon author page for additional information on all of her fun books. I would also encourage you to check Nichole’s Pinterest pages for the images which have inspired her books.

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By on May 24th, 2017

About Brittaney B.

Brittaney has had her head in the clouds ever since she first fell in love with books and film as a young child. She's a firm believer in the power of story to transport us to new places while also transforming our hearts. She tends to favor historical fiction and classic films since they also allow her to feel like a time traveler. Brittaney is a native resident of Texas and has been honing her own ability to write and tell stories for many years now. You can find more of her wordsmith skills at her website www.storyenthusiast.com.

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