About the Author
Author Nicole D’Settēmi is a 33 year old writer, currently living in upstate New York. She has lived in five regions nationally, including South Florida and New York City. She has always been a self-described “poetic, nomadic, creative soul,” and is an enthusiast of a variety of artistic mediums, but considers writing her number one form of art, and feels everything else is just an extension of that passion and creative outlet.
Nicole was raised in Niagara Falls, a tiny town bordering Canada, and can remember being as young as six, when writing her first lyrical, and philosophical poems. She specifically pin-points two pieces during those years, titled “If I Ruled the World,” and “If the World Ended.” She also points out being selected at 6, for the “Young Authors Club,” which was a city-wide project.
Nicole won two city-wide essay contests between the ages 9-11, which was when she received her first typewriter and then she started a fan-club and newsletter for her childhood hero, as well as penning letters to over 30 pen-pals internationally. She also had a poem named “And So It Begins” published which was written at 12.
Though Nicole (who was an honor student) rebelled by 15, and was incidentally expelled from school, she still wrote habitually. She once showed her “alternative-school” teacher a poem titled: “That’s Life,” which she penned at 14. He was so impressed with the piece; he had it faxed to every school in the city.
At 16 Nicole was uprooted from her small town and moved to Boca Raton, where she felt displaced and started to deal with depression. Hereditarily, mental illness and substance abuse ran rapid in her family tree, and by 20 she experimented with a plethora of chemical substances. By 23, she became addicted to shooting heroin, and was engaged to her co-conspirator and partner-in-crime. She attended an art school for photo journalism, but withdrew half-way through the year, due to a devastating addiction to injecting various drugs.
Addictarium was written while she spent two years in a therapeutic community for seriously addicted, and mentally ill, patrons. The author outlines her experiences, including the tale of losing her eyesight due to shooting a poisoned bag of heroin, which is when she was forced to hitch a greyhound bus from South Florida to Manhattan, and after several weeks of surgeries, was admitted to Daytop Village for long-term treatment, and drug addiction recovery. The book outlines many of the experiences she went through in the second phase of treatment, which she dubbed “the village,” because of its extreme and eccentric melting pot of personalities.
During her tenure at Daytop, Nicole separated with her fiancé, and while in her stay at the recovery program in Queens New York, met her current fiancé, who was initially her substance abuse counselor. The book is also highly reflective of their relationship and its roots. Nicole credits the Latin, Brooklyn-bred counselor, 18 years her senior, with “saving her from herself.”
Nicole can now be found residing in the Poughkeepsie area with her fiancé, Miguel. They are both artists, and run a modest side business creatively assisting those in need of artistic direction digitally. Nicole is currently planning to eventually pen a prequel to Addictarium. She is also outlining a third individual novel, Narcssitopia, which she claims will be a “psycho-dramatic thriller.”
What inspires you to write romance books?
I am a very sensual human, it's part of my truest nature. Romance ties into sensuality of course, because it's the most ecstatic state we can achieve on earth–being in LOVE. Addictarium had incredibly erotic undertones, because laced in the story of recovery, is a romance between counselor and resident, and it's explosive! Angel & Danielle have the type of love, all the dreamers and poets write about! White waves, heat, ecstasy!
Tell us about how you write:
I have a very chaotic style. I save EVERYTHING. I save texts, letters, journal constantly, write quotes, ideas, philosophies on paper, on toilet paper–anything! I pin hundreds of images, penning's, and other material around me.
Of course, music plays a large part. I have a playlist of the most relevant songs that shaped Addictarium, which include romantic and sexual classics, such as #1 Crush by Garbage, Cry Little Sister by Gerard McCann, and so on.
I also should mention–I'm an artist, so I paint and sketch many different scenes, to help shape my work. I also created all the graphics, as I do graphic design professionally to bring in the pay, to fund my writing endeavors! So, I created about thirty book covers, before I was satisfied. I had all of my proofs pinned in front of me for months. I purchased hundreds of stock photos, picking out a photo for every character! I made three of my 5 book trailers, myself! So, yes I do have a method, of madness really, versus a "process."
Journaling has been my most effective part of the process!
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Danielle was representative of several sides of me, so I had many conversations with her in my head. And, I also had two or more characters conversing with one another, in my head, often!
What advice would you give other writers?
Try to be authentic of course. Don't shy away from words that can intensify the story, through shame. Some words are created to stress a point, and sexual language is definitely designed to intensify the dialogue.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I opened my own little book publishing & promotion firm, a branch from my original creative services firm.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I want to learn new and innovative techniques. I know that electronic books have just absolutely flooded the market, so many people write who have questionable skill, but it's always wonderful to see anybody and everybody tap into their creativity.
I fear, and question, the direction language itself is heading. Slang is good for certain situations, but so is proper English. I love to use old words, phrases, really hone my skill and understand the language in all its facets! I do think sometimes, we've lost the art of writing, but I am confident it will revitalize itself.
What genres do you write:: romance, literary fiction, memoirs, biographies
What formats are your books in: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print