Safkhet Publishing ~ Summer Reads

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Taking the Plunge ~ Nicky Wells!


Today I have with me uber-talented Queen of Promo and published author of Sophie’s Turn, the lovely Nicky Wells! Nicky is sharing her ‘Taking the Plunge’ moment, and it is such a brave leap into the unknown, the girl leaves me in absolute awe!
~ Take it away, Nicky! ~   
 
Taking the plunge?  Who, me?  Nah, I’m just emigrating.  No big shakes.
 “So what do you want to do with your life?” he says to me, switching into his native English and issuing a challenge:  will I speak English, or my native German?  He looks at me expectantly. I resist the urge to bite my fingernails and stare fixedly out of the window, at his desk, the floor, anywhere but his probing eyes.
 
How to answer this impossible question?  If I knew, I wouldn’t be in this office, I wouldn’t be in the mental mess I am in.  What I do know is that I can’t, don’t want to, continue living my life like this, in a teenage relationship gone so far beyond stale that it is practically putrefied; living at home with my parents; studying something that bores the hell out of me and fundamentally doesn’t interest me.  Heck, I’m only nineteen!  There’s got to be more to life than this!
 
What I also know with inescapable certainty is that this linguistics lecturer, who has just disabused me of any notion of ever getting any funding for my selected course of study, or earning any money anytime soon, he is waiting for an answer.  Six months of abortive study, relationship despair, and an urgent desire to leave home have converged, bizarrely, on this one moment in time.  The pressure is on.  I must speak, or I’ll look completely stupid.  I open my mouth and—

“I want to move to England,” I say.  And before I can stop myself, more words tumble out.  “I want to enrol in a university and study something useful, and something interesting.  I don’t want to study English, I want to speak it, live it.  I know I can do it.  I…”

I peter out, feeling foolish.  Surprisingly, my lecturer, who had previously slouched in his swivel chair with an expression of bored detachment, is sitting upright and regarding me with new interest.

“Then why don’t you?” he asks, simply.
 
He took me seriously, even if my family didn’t.  I knew they wouldn’t, I knew they would put all manner of obstacles in my way, the obvious one being money.  So I didn’t tell them.  I quietly and with an unfamiliar sense of purpose, destiny and absolute certainty, went about obtaining application forms for various universities, taking a crash-course in the English admissions system (then still run by UCCA) and in filling in wholly unfamiliar forms in a non-native language.  Amazingly (and thankfully!) the institutions at the other end took me seriously, too, and before I knew it, offers started rolling in.  The third letter was the one I had been waiting for, an unconditional offer from Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London, in Egham.  I completed and returned the acceptance slip, and then I told my Mum.

Mum, bless her, was completely bowled over.  Presented with a fait accompli, she hugged me with a proud fierceness that took me by surprise.  There was a glint of something in her eyes that I have since discovered was admiration, and envy.  Apparently, and without knowing, I was fulfilling one of her lifelong ambitions:  to leave the country, to start over, to do something fresh.  And scary! 

The next four months were a whirlwind of planning and organisation, preparation, packing and goodbyes.  I don’t think I ever once stopped to consider the enormity of the task I was undertaking.  It was just what I was meant to do.
 
So when I arrived in Egham on an extremely rainy and dull late September day in 1993, I knew that I had come home.  That was slightly odd, bearing in mind I’d never even been to Egham before.  In fact, the longest time I had ever spent in England before that day was a five-day trip to London with my boyfriend (yes, he of the stale relationship) just after A-levels.  And still, I belonged.  I don’t quite understand how, or why, but I slipped into a life, my life, over here in the UK as though I belonged.  I had never belonged anywhere before, not like this.  I spoke the language, I learned the customs, I made friends, and I never looked back.

Clearly, I never went back, either, even though my family expected me to return home within three weeks.  OK, then, three months.  Well, certainly after three years at the end of the degree course, right?

Wrong.  I found a life and a sense of being here, a confidence and an outgoing personality that I didn’t know I had (and still don’t have when speaking German!).  At the end of the degree course, I moved on to another course, then found a job, eventually met my husband, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Looking back now, I shudder to think at my utter naivety.  I certainly couldn’t emigrate, up stick and leave, just like that, ever again.  I might have made it all sound very easy, but it wasn’t, in retrospect.  For starters, within three hours of arriving, I hit my first bureaucratic obstacle when the local bank refused to open an account for me as they classed me as ‘overseas, with no source of income.’  It took the signature of a guarantor to open an account, and then it was on strictly limited terms.  Hey ho, never fear!  Obstacles were there to be overcome, and I was an unstoppable force.  I committed many a cultural mishap along the way but was fortunate enough to find friends to show me the light (or the right way to hold your fork in these parts).  So no, it didn’t feel like taking the plunge, but it does, now.

I simply hope that I will afford my children the same level of freedom and trust when they get ready to do something seemingly utterly insane, irrational or crazy.  I also hope that that endeavour doesn’t take them to the other side of the world!
 
 
~ Told you it was a biggie, didn’t I? Nicky, my parachute jump pales into insignificance by comparison.  At least I was landing in familiar territory – I hoped.  I take my hat off to you!  And, oh boy, I – along with your reader fans and the many other friends you’ve helped make feel at home at loveahappyending.com  – am sooo glad you stayed. ~
 
 

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

 
Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door.  She recently signed her work with U.S. publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing.  Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters.  When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and occasional teaching assistant.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys.  In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.
 
Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress, the second and third parts of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy.  You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook.  Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Nicky also has author pages at Sapphire Star Publishing and, of course, Goodreads.
 
 
 
About Sophie’s Turn
 
 
Slapper.  Slut.  Adulteress.  These are hardly words that Sophie Penhalligan would normally use to describe herself.  Yet this is exactly how she is behaving, all things considered, even if she isn’t quite married to Tim yet.  And it’s all happening because her past is coming to tempt her!  Nine years ago, she met her teenage idol and rock star extraordinaire, Dan, up close and personal.  Well, almost.  Now Dan has crash-landed back in her life.  How could Tim ever stand a chance against the charming, handsome singer?  How could she?
 
Sophie, now twenty-eight and a budding newspaper journalist, is happily embroiled in a relationship with Tim, her boyfriend of two years.  Until recently, she was confident that Tim would eventually propose—probably as soon as he could get his act together.  But just as Tim’s persistent inaction is beginning to cast a cloud over their relationship, Dan’s sudden reappearance turns Sophie’s world upside down.  Thus unfolds a roller-coaster of events including an ill-fated trip to Paris with Tim, a night of unfulfilled romance with Dan, Sophie and Tim’s engagement party gate-crashed by Dan, and Sophie’s professional secondment to accompany Dan’s band on their revival tour—at Dan’s special request and very much against her will. 

And then, one fine day in Paris, Sophie suddenly finds herself engaged to Dan while her erstwhile fiancé Tim is...  well, doing whatever it is Tim does back in London.   What is she to do now?  Who wouldn’t give anything to meet their favorite star, let alone marry him? 
 
Find out how Sophie gets into this impossible situation, and how she turns it around, in Sophie’s Turn, the honest, funny and sometimes bittersweet story of one woman’s entanglement with a rock star.
 
Sophie's Turn is available in Kindle edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and many other Amazon sites.
 
The paperback edition is also available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
 
In addition, you can obtain Sophie’s Turn from Barnes & Noble.
 
 

10 comments:

Suzie Tullett said...

Good for you, Nicky.

We can always come up with excuses as to why we 'shouldn't' do something, when really we need to take the bull by the horns and just get on with it.

I'm a great believer in going for what we want in life and dealing with any issues after the fact. Like you say, obstacles are there to overcome x

Carol E Wyer said...

Fantastic story. You were incredibly brave to take that plunge at that age but hats off to you! I am a big believer in grabbing opportunities and I shall show this to my son now. Maybe it'll hep him realise you can do anything if you set your mind to it.

Linn B Halton said...

One brave lady and why am I not surprised you've turned out to be one successful author??? My Godson has just left the UK to go and live in Germany. He has a job but has the same problem setting up a bank account. He's only 17 and it's all a huge upheaval for him, but he's in love! Fab to hear your background Nicky, and so glad made the leap!!

Nicky Wells said...

Good morning, ladies! First of all, thanks again to the lovely Sheryl for hosting me on her FABULOUS blog with my own ramblings. I am so happy and proud to be here today! :-)

Suzie, thanks for visiting, it's really nice to see you here and I'm so pleased that I'm not the only one blithely believing that obstacles are to be overcome, ha! Life's too short, right?

Carol, I am honoured that you will show this to your son. I hope it inspires him! Thanks for visiting and commeting today, you rock!

Linn, wow, brave lady, who me? Foolish, perhaps, but brave? The very same lecturer also told me, wryly, that 'ignorance is bliss' and therefore I was bound to make my journey then, not knowing (and therfore not fearing) what I was letting myself in for, LOL. Good luck to your Godson, it's lovely to hear that he's following his heart. There's a book waiting to be written there! If he needs any advice... you know where I am! Rock on, everyone. XX

Kit Domino said...

Thin line between brave and foolish but sometimes a woman has just gotta do what a woman wants to do. So pleased you took the plunge. X

Joanna (Lazuli Portals) said...

I believe that life-changing moments often sneak up on us so that we make the decision we 'need' to make without overthinking it.

Seems to me your 19-year old self was in that position - and took the plunge!

It was courageous, and rewarding. And we're so glad you're here!

Melanie said...

Good for you, Nicky. You knew what you wanted and you achieved it.

Sheryl said...

Ignorance might be bliss, Nicky, but I still think you are one brave lady. Gobsmacked and full of admiration, m’dear! Thanks so much for sharing! :) xx

Nicky Wells said...

Aww, ladies, you make me blush! Thanks for your lovely comment, Kit, I'm very glad I'm here too, although I still miss Bristol!

Jo, you're absolutely right. The big decisions I seem to make almost in 'snap' mode without overthinking. Otherwise I'd just get paralyzed.

Mel, thanks so much for visiting. Does that make me Scary Spice, I wonder?

Sheryl, thanks yet again for your very lovely comment. I'm sure we'll chat about lots more stuff at Festival of Romance, etc. Who knows whether any sleep will be had at all? xx

AliB said...

Help - I have got here a week late, but this is such a fantastic story. Loved hearing it!
Ali B