Today I bring you an author interview with Nicole Zelniker. Nicole (she/they) has written several books, including Until We Fall, which was a finalist for the Forward Indie Awards in LGBTQ+ adult fiction. Her first YA novel, All I Know So Far, publishes January 2025.
Nicole is the founder of Knee Brace Press, a lit mag featuring work about chronic illness, disability, mental health, and neurodivergence.
So, lets find out more:
Tell me about yourself: Hello! I'm Nicole and I'm a twenty-something author from New York living in North Carolina. I read way more than is healthy and my cat is my best friend. It's great to meet you. How long have you been writing? For forever. I wrote my first (terrible) novella in high school and did my college thesis on creative writing. What do you like to read? Everything! My favorite genres are probably contemporary, horror, and thriller, but I'll read most things. Some of my recent five-star reads have been YA fantasy (written by Tracy Deonn and Bridgette Dutta Portman), sci-fi (Julian R. Vaca), and poetry (Clara Olivo). What was the first book you published? The first book I published is Mixed, which is a nonfiction book about race and mixed-race families. It started as my thesis in journalism school and spiraled out of control. The interviewees include Cirleen DeBlaere, who is a mixed-race psychologist studying race; Asian college student Gillian Sherman who grapples with her difference from her white family; and Simone Thomas, who is Black and living with her partner, a Latina police officer.
Tell me about your latest release? My latest release is Until We Fall, a dystopian thriller that follows Isla Logan, whose history teacher is arrested for conspiring to take down the dictator that rules over the United States. It sets off a chain of events that leads Isla, her fellow refugees from the U.S., and their allies partaking in the fight of – and for – their lives. Are you working on anything at the moment? I'm always working on something. My current WIP is a queer, YA rivals-to-lovers with disability and neurodivergent rep. Out of the books you have published, do you have a favourite? That's like asking me to pick my favorite child! They've all been so different that it's hard to compare. What comes first for you? The plot or the characters? Often a scene will come first, or else some sort of vague idea, and then I go from there. I will say, most of what I write is character-driven, with the exception of Until We Fall. Are you a plotter or a panster? Plotter all the way. I tend to outline the manuscript and any relevant events from before the manuscript's beginning before I even start writing. What advice would you give to a new author? Just write! You can't get good at something until you do it. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I read a ton, plus I buy new books, which should count as a hobby all its own. My friends and I have regular walk dates because none of us produce enough serotonin, so low-key exercise helps. Also, I make loads of TikToks about being queer and chronically ill. You can follow me there at @nicolewritesbooks or on Twitter and Instagram at @nicolezelniker.
Thank you to Nicole for joining us on the blog.