Saturday, November 17, 2018

Indie Author Interview: Nala Henkel-Aislinn

Indie Author Interview with Nala Henkel-Aislinn - Author of the Contemporary Romance Novel Blueprint for Love.

Nala Henkel-Aislinn was born in British Columbia, Canada. Her writing career started in school as the co-editor of her high school newspaper and she brought that love of writing into every 9–5 job she had—from staff newsletters to policy manuals and websites. Now she's doing what comes naturally—storytelling. Her goal is to bring sassy, strong female characters to life, and create complex, romantic male characters.

Interview with Nala Henkel-Aislinn

Author Nala Henkel-Aislinn
Author Nala Henkel-Aislinn
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Nala Henkel-Aislinn: My first published writing was in 9th grade—I wrote a descriptive paragraph in English class and my teacher thought it was worthy of being published in the yearbook. Except they forgot to add my name, so I had to tell my friends it was mine. I’ve been a journalist, an advertising copywriter and a ghostwriter. In fact, when I found out the steamy romances I wrote as a ghostwriter were well-reviewed, I decided to write for myself.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
My early romance influences were Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey and Judy Garwood. I also love Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin and Roald Dahl. Good story-telling and interesting character development are my favorite things.

"Writing has always been something that I just did [...]"

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in elementary school, I wrote a community “newspaper”. It was a one-sheet page with made-up stories, and I wrote it using my mom’s carbon paper (yes, it was that long ago!) Writing has always been something that I just did, from employer’s newsletters to letters to the local newspaper editor to written contest entries.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was when I was ten years old. I re-told the story from the 1976 L.A. Summer Olympics about a man who stopped the American flag from being burned in the stadium. I changed the characters and drew pictures to illustrate it.

"The characters always take on a life of their own [...]"

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
I start with an idea for the basic plot. For the Cranberry Hill Inn series, I knew there would be a story around its inheritance by the character Katy, and then Katy’s best friend Summer coming to live there, and a third story about Summer’s brother Carson. For each book, I find an image online that matches what I see in my imagination, and then develop the character. I write an in-depth backstory, and then try to figure out what their flaw or challenge is when it comes to love. I do this for the main characters—I even explore what their D.I.S.C. personality profile is! After that I sketch out the major plot points and beats of the story, and then start writing. The characters always take on a life of their own, and I’ve learned that they write a better story than I plot for them! The development process takes about a week, and then I write about 3,000 words a day.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
We converted a bedroom into my workspace, with washed oak hardwood and cozy area rug under my desk. It faces north, so I get the afternoon sun. But often I’ll drive to nearby Lake Padden (I live in Bellingham, WA) with my laptop and a coffee and either sit outside at a picnic table or sit in my car if it’s raining and plunk out my word count.

"The hardest part for me is writing love scenes."

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
Once I really know my characters and their flaws and wants, the words just flow. If I ever get stuck it’s usually because I’m trying to write something that’s not in their character or motivation. The hardest part for me is writing love scenes. These characters are like real people, and it takes an emotional toll to do a scene justice.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is when my characters say or do something that catches me by surprise. It’s like watching a great movie, not knowing what will happen, and then laughing out loud at a witty one-liner or a clever action.

Nala Henkel-Aislinn - Blueprint for Love.
Click to Read an Excerpt

Nala, please tell us a little about your Contemporary Romance Novel Blueprint for Love.
Blueprint for Love is an enemies to lovers romance. It starts with entrepreneur Katy Williams inheriting a house and deciding to make it a bed and breakfast. But it’s not as easy as it seems, since her troubled childhood meant she denied the inheritance until it was almost too late. As she’s getting a look at the property the night she arrives in town, she notices someone in the supposedly uninhabited house. Mitch Howard—mistaken as a squatter by Katy—had filed a claim on the house, since the heir hadn’t stepped forward. He also wanted to convert the house into an inn. And despite their disagreements and misunderstandings about the inn, they find themselves attracted to each and fighting what their hearts want as well. It’s a dual point-of-view novel, so seeing inside both Katy’s and Mitch’s thoughts and struggles makes it a fun read.

What inspired you to write the book?
I’ve had the characters in my mind for quite some time. Then earlier in 2018 I was on Whidbey Island in Washington State and I realized it was the perfect inspiration for my fictional town. I’m also a part-time digital marketing consultant, so I wanted to bring a female entrepreneur to life.

"Readers who like authentic, smart, funny and sassy female characters [...]"

Who do you see as your target audience?
Readers who like authentic, smart, funny and sassy female characters will love this book.

What makes your book special?
I think the struggles the characters go through as they deal with their misconceptions about love and what it means for them is very realistic. My husband tells me I nailed the guy’s point of view, so that’s fun.

"[...] so many readers are identifying and enjoying the stories."

How would you describe the success of your self-published books so far?
I’m a new author, but I’m really excited at how the sales have taken off. As of this publication date, I have three books published in the series, and I’m writing the fourth right now. The read-through from novel one to three has been surprising. I’m grateful that so many readers are identifying and enjoying the stories.

"[...] just putting your butt in a chair and putting in the writing time."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
For me, really understanding the values of the characters is key. And then putting them in a situation that challenges their perceptions makes the writing easy and fun. And then it’s just putting your butt in a chair and putting in the writing time.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
In Blueprint for Love, the reader meets Mitch’s ex and Katy's estate lawyer, Rally Lawson. In the second book, Deadline on Love, the reader meets a friend of Summer’s, Phil McKenna. The fourth book, Spark of Love, is Rally and Phil’s story. Rally has a secret in her past that is bubbling to the surface in confusing ways. Phil is a firefighter who is seeing his long-held belief that he’s a good uncle but not dad material crumbling unexpectedly. Rally and Phil are thrown together in situations that challenge their beliefs—in themselves, in each other and in love.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I don’t think books or books stores will be disappearing in the next 10 years. In fact, interestingly, Barnes and Noble sells records now! I think the industry will change and adapt the way records stores have gone from large stores everywhere to niche businesses with smaller footprints.

What is your e-reading device of choice?

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a part-time day job as a digital marketing consultant. I also hike, do yoga and am currently helping my daughter plan her August 2019 wedding!

"I would love to hear from readers [...]"

How can readers connect with you?
I would love to hear from readers by email ( or invite them to follow me on Instagram at I’m also on Facebook at

Thank you very much for the Interview, Nala.

About the Book Blueprint for Love

Nala Henkel-Aislinn - Blueprint for Love.
Click to Read an Excerpt

Entrepreneur Katy Williams thinks love is a distraction. Architect Mitch Howard thinks emotions are overrated. Their fight over the Cranberry Hill Inn will be nothing compared to their fight against falling in love.

When Mitch Howard caught a prowler one night, he’d expected it to be the neighborhood trouble-maker, not the adorable absentee heir to the inn he was determined to own. And despite his tricks to get her to sell, she was somehow chipping away at his walled-off heart.

When Katy Williams traveled across the country to claim an inheritance she hadn’t wanted, she didn’t expect to find tall, dark and arrogant Mitch Howard squatting on the premises. In that split second, the inn on the coast became more important than she ever expected.

Link to the Book

Link to the eBook Blueprint for Love on Amazon

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