Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (colored might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series, set in the mid-1940s has won awards and garnered critical acclaim. Her new contemporary whodunit, HARMFUL INTENT released in the spring of 2014 under the auspices of her own publishing company, Crime Fictionista Press.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Christian Indie Novelists (CHIN) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers. http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Paula: I have followed your books with great interest as they are steeped in history, mystery, and suspense. When HARMFUL INTENT was published, I was surprised by the different theme plus the humor inside a mystery. However, you hooked me in page one! Was it an easy transition to move from writing history to contemporary and what prompted you to add grit and humor to this exciting mix?
Nike: I’m flattered that you’ve followed my novels. I had always written in third person because that’s what agents and editors wanted, by-and-large. But first person was pushing to get out. So, when I decided to go indie, HARMFUL INTENT bubbled up from inside me in first person. I was also surprised how funny it was. I have to say that humor was always present in my historicals, but HARMFUL INTENT, my contemporary, is hysterically funny in places. It’s also somewhat gritty here-and-there and has a sweet love story that continues in book two.
Paula: Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels seems bothered by the aftermath of the betrayals she profiles inside other people’s lives, but she likes to catch the unfaithful in the act to prove what is happening. However, in her own married life, Ronnie is still in the afterglow of love at the one year mark until she finds something that makes her question everything. How did Ronnie miss the signs of betrayal inside her own life, and how does it change this character?
Nike: Ronnie’s has had a lifetime of betrayal. Her dad cheated on her mom and then abandoned her and her mom and they slipped from financial comfort to the brink of poverty. As a private investigator, she’s skilled at exposing the cheating spouse for her clients. When the book opens, she’s deliriously happy in her one-year marriage, but that bliss is soon shattered. Ronnie derides herself. She’s an ace private investigator, but she missed all the signs in her own life. She’s also fearful the deputy suspects her of her husband’s murder, but soon comes to trust him, and even have feeling for him.
Paula: Nike Chillemi is known as the crime fictionista, and crime fiction has been a big part of your life. Can you see your titles venturing outside of the crime world into other genres and what other genres do you enjoy reading?
Nike: I love crime fiction, particularly detective novels. That’s what I write and mostly read. I like them realistic, nothing sugar coated. I do read action adventure sometimes, or an epic historical, but even that’s got to have more action than romance. I’ve had ideas popping into my head recently about writing a YA mystery. The other idea that keeps nudging at me is to write a YA Christmas mystery with a bit (just a tad) of a supernatural sub-theme. One of the things about “crime fictionista” that few know is my daughter drew a cartoon-like female detective image to represent the crime fictionista. I have it on my blog and as the icon in my Goodreads group.
Paula: Can you give us a sneak peek into an upcoming title that is simmering to be told?
Nike: Book two in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series is DEADLY DESIGNS and involves the disappearance and possible kidnap of a runway model and her seven-year-old daughter. The investigation takes Ronnie and Dawson to the underbelly of the fashion industry where the specter of international terrorism raises its ugly head.
Courtesy: Crime Fictionista Press
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 meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.
Sweet, askance romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully
Crime Fictionista Blog: https://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Crime Fictionista Goodread Group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/42233-nike-chillemi-crime-fictionista