Being Kind, Being Green, & Being Nikita Slater!

Dear everyone I’ve loved before, and now, and also in the future. And the rest of you too!

There is so much happening in the world right now that it makes me want to focus on the little things, like how Greek yogurt tastes with a splash of maple syrup, and my tablet full of e-books written by fantastic indy authors. Add walking in the sunshine, cold smoked tuna, and a cozy bed and I’m a happy girl.

You know what I’m talking about.

We all know what’s going on outside our front doors so there’s no need for me to reiterate. All I can do is impart my limited wisdom on how to do your part to lighten the burden.

  • Share your toilet paper unless you don’t have enough.
  • Stay home if you can.
  • Have sex to pass the time, but don’t get pregnant.
  • Take the opportunity to have sports-free conversations with your loved ones.
  • Make sure to profusely thank the delivery people who are bringing to your doorstep what you need.
  • Don’t go to Saskatchewan because it’s brutally cold there.

Speaking of Saskatchewan, guess what today’s blog is about? Yes! You guessed it. My one and on one with Nikita Slater, where we hit all the gritty topics! In your face Barbara Walters. I’ve got Nik twice now and you, well, you’re a ZERO (imagine taunting laughter).

Who is Nikita Slater?

She’s this awesome dark romance writer, who despite her protests, is incredibly nice and sometimes even helpful. She’s a darling girl who pole dances, eats chocolate, and has regular meltdowns.

Fortunately for me, she lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in the great country of Canada, so I rarely see her in crisis (I also block her number during her meltdown moments). I’m very fragile and she can be mean despite her niceness.

But, as an intrepid interviewer, I will go anywhere and do anything to get my story (I’m like Clark Kent that way), so I hauled ass to Saskatoon* in the dead of March to get the goods on Ms. Slater (not the real goods, she doesn’t give up those to girls).

We met in a pub rather than her home because she claimed her llamas ate the couch. I’ve had a similar encounter with goats, so I sympathized. The pub was an Irish one, which seemed fitting, since we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th for those of you who have been in a coma your entire life) this past Tuesday.

I love St. Paddy’s day. Why (I know you’re not going to ask, so I’m just going to say)? Because March 17th was also my mother’s birthday. Quite a coincidence given that she’s Romanian; okay, that’s not really a coincidence, but my father was English and Scottish, which also isn’t Irish although my mother said that Grandpa Quinn was a happy drunk who danced like an Irishman and liked to brawl. Also, we always got green birthday cake on March 17th.

Speaking of the luck of the Irish (a term, by the way, that has to do with early 1800 American miners), I met my girl at O’Shea’s Irish Pub, where we ate chicken wings and drank green beer. I tried to order the green wine, but Nikita cautioned against it. Something about projectile vomiting and hives.

It was freaking cold outside and Ms. Slater was dressed weather appropriate in a big parka and snow boots, a toque on her head that practically obscured her vision, heavy mittens on her hands, and a scarf tightly wound around her face. It took me three drinks before I realized I was interviewing Jan Arden, not Ms. Slater. I was not impressed that Canada’s most-loved singer (if you don’t count Celine Dion, which I never do) tried to elbow in on Nik’s interview.

Jan Arden singing Insensitive

I finally tracked down Nikita, sitting in a corner with five empty shot glasses in front of her and a boy toy under the table. I accidentally kicked the boy, who seemed to like it, but decided to leave the two of us alone until after the interview.

The real Nikita has pink hair, long and fluffy, with a fair amount of static in it. Each time I tried to stroke her head, I got shocked. She was also wearing leggings and a blouse with skulls on it, and black wrist cuffs with metal gears and other shit.

We ordered a fresh round of drinks, the Stuffed Leprechaun Platter and a side of calamari that came with feet and faces, which I refused to eat. Nikita advised me that the green wine was perfectly safe to drink and had no clue what Jan was yapping on about. Nik’s a sweetheart that way.

The Interview!

I started the interview with some soft questions, getting her warmed up for the down and dirty ones.

JQ: You and I’ve known each other for several years. Is there anything complimentary you’d like to say about me to your readers? Perhaps, I have nice knees?

NS: I’m so glad you asked, I have so much to say on this topic! You are so freaking good at breathing. You are incredibly here and fabulously alive. I really particularly love how you exist. I really can’t say enough about your lovely peopleness.

Jasmin’s bendy knees (stunt double used)

JQ: Gosh, I’m blushing. Right back at you, girlfriend. What about my knees?

NS: Ummm, your knees are super bendy?

JQ: Thank you. Mr. Quinn says that too. We have so much in common, don’t we? We’re both writers, we both drink copious amounts of wine, and also, neither of us skis. Do think it’s a coincidence or a cosmic intervention?

NS: I’ve cut back on the wine because weed is legal now and less damaging to my liver.  And I think people who ski are batshit insane. What kind of a mentally responsible person straps slippery things to their feet and hurtles themselves down a slippery mountain? People in need of some serious intervention, that’s who.

JQ (noting that Nikita didn’t really answer my question about cosmic intervention. This writer has truly mastered the art of evasiveness): I understand you like to eat chicken wings. Are you at all dismayed at how your predilection contributes to the wingless chicken problem currently taking place in various parts of Kansas?

NS: No. Next question?

JQ (noting that Nikita seems a little of out of sorts. I’m concerned she’s heading for a melt down). Regarding calamari, it appears you’re an all-in kind of girl. I recall an incident where you were only able to eat the calamari that was disguised as regular food and left the rest of the squids on the plate.

I feel a little green as I watch her pick up a little calamari body by one of its legs and stuff the entire thing in her mouth.

I just can’t…

NS (after she chews and swallows – her manners are impeccable): I used to feel squeamish about eating the calamari legs and stuff, but since embarking on a career in writing many a bloody scene in my dark mafia romances, I eat those motherf@cking legs like a champ.

She insisted on adding the @ in fucking even though I told her she didn’t have to. She’s so wonderfully aware of other people’s sensitivities.

JS: I know there are some things that you find repelling, so I want to know how you’d react under extraordinary pressure. If you found an abandoned child eating bell peppers drenched in marshmallow syrup and there was no one around to rescue you, what would you do?

NS: I would get some big tongs and put her in a transporter and send her to Willy Wonka.

Happy Birthday Darling!

JQ: Speaking of birthdays, are you excited about turning 40 this year? Do you have any plans? Will this be the year I finally get invited to your birthday party?

NS: Ouch. This got personal fast.

JQ: It’s always personal, Nikita. 

NS (staring at me as she tests the sharpness of the knife she’s holding): I plan on partying with a whole lot of legal marijuana, unlimited wine and nudity. Of course, you’re invited. I like BC weed best, so be sure to bring as much as you can carry.

JQ: I can’t help but think that you are only inviting me because I have access to the BC bud. I need to feel wanted too, Nikita.

NS: Can you also hit up some Kelowna wineries on the way here? I like Mission Hill and Quail’s Gate.

See what I mean about evasiveness?

JQ: Here’s another personal question. I’ve been told by my secret Nikita source that your face looks funny when you wear earrings. Can you describe what it looks like in hoops? What about studs? Is there a particular earring you’d consider wearing despite the effect it has on your face?

NS: Who told you this? Did you read my diary?

QS: A serious reporter never reveals her source. And no, I would never read your diary because it would involve a trip to Saskatoon, which I’ll admit is lovely in the summer except for the heat, mosquitoes, and Broscht.

Maybe it’s her taste in earrings?

NS (appearing defensive – you know, the whole crossing her arms across her chest, frowning sternly, wrinkling her forehead): Okay, yes, my face looks weird with earrings. All earrings. Hoops, studs, danglies. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to seeing them attached to my head. I no longer have holes in my ears. That’s a whole other traumatic story. But I would definitely consider wearing earrings if they were extremely expensive and gifted to me, and I could pawn them immediately after wearing. 

JQ: Speaking of holes in your head, what happened to the one that your brother drilled into it when you were four?

NS: I have no memory of that. But I do remember cracking his head open when we were playing hide and go baseball bat in the dark. That was the fastest I’ve ever run away from something. He and I are probably even now.

JQ: Have you considered a nose ring?

NS: Yes.

JQ: Will you be getting a nose ring? Or a nipple ring?

NS: Oh, I want both now!

JQ: I find the earring thing fascinating. Are you also aware that when you wear shoes, they make your feet look funny?

NS: I did not realize this. In what way do they look weird? Like, cool weird? Or weird, weird?

Nikita’s boots

JQ: Depends. If you’re wearing hooker boots like the ones you currently have on, it’s definitely cool weird. But if you’re wearing little socks with matching canvas shoes, you appear to be wearing condoms on your feet. Either way, like the package on a hot guy, it’s hard to look away.

NS: I choose to be flattered.

JQ: You have brilliantly high self-esteem. Let’s talk about your tattoos. How many do you have? What are they? Which is your favourite? Which is the cherry popper? How old were you when you got it? What did you parents think about it?

Did someone say Cherry Popper?

NS: I have three tattoos, but I want more. One on my shoulder, one on my forearm and one on my lower back/hip. My favourite is the grim reaper with a rose on my forearm. My first tattoo was a baby lion on my shoulder, I think I was 20 or 21. I don’t think my mom cares much. My dad doesn’t like them, but he’s used to them now. My brother has way more than me and he started younger, so he set the bad example.

JQ: What are you thinking for the next one?

NS: I want to get a sugar skull bride on my shoulder that merges with the grim reaper. She’ll hold a bouquet of dead roses and she’ll wear a crown. Above the crown it’ll say “The Queens”.

JQ: It sounds… urm… painful. I should have asked this earlier, like around the time you insisted that I fly out for the interview. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Why?

NS: Once upon a time there was this incredibly talented, beautiful and naïve young woman of 26. She met and married a guy from University. That man decided he should get a job in the one of the coldest most prairie-like, barren places on Earth. The beautiful heroine followed her heart. Skip ahead thirteen years and the incredibly talented, wonderful young woman is now a beautiful divorcee who asks herself every single day between the months of October and May WHY THE F@CK she doesn’t move someplace warmer. The end. (Did I mention how beautiful the heroine of this story is?)

Saskatoon in the Winter. Ugh.

JQ: Yes, you did mention the heroine’s beauty, but are you going to answer my question?

NS: Uhm. See above.

JQ: Let’s move on. You have an obsession with jealous possessive males in the books you write. What traumatic experience do you blame this on? Which one do you love the most? Least love?

NS: I’m not sure why I’m attracted to a certain kind of male character. I’m definitely not attracted to jealous possessive in real life. I love Reyes from Scarred Queen the most. He was just so extreme and brutal but lived for Casey. He’s also a little atypical from my usual male characters. He’s Bolivian, he’s shorter than my other men but no less fierce. I don’t think I have a least love since they’re all pretty awesome. But if I had to choose, I would probably say Mack from In His Sights. That guy was pure mean with very little sense of humour (which only made him hotter!)

JQ: Two of my favourite books of yours are In His Sights and Fear in Her Eyes. I very much loved Mack and Daniel. Could I have them both please?

NS: Ummm, yes, but only because I’m now moving onto Mateo in Born a Queen.

JQ: Thank you so much. I’ll make space in my closet when I get home, then send for them. Next question. You recently released Loving Vincent. Is it autobiographical? Are you secretly a prison nurse?

NS (laughing her ass off, though I’m not sure why. I check my teeth for parsley): No, although I worked as a GED instructor and a counsellor in a prison. The stories I could tell about prison life would make your hair stand on end.

JQ (trying to touch Nikita’s hair): Like yours is doing right now. Ouch (no, not shocked. she bit me!)!

NS: Sorry, thought you were a spider.

JQ: If Loving Vincent isn’t autobiographical, then is Scarred Queen a fictionalized version of your life? Is Casey your secret twin? Who is Reyes modelled after?

NS: Scarred Queen is not a fictionalized version of my life and Casey is not my twin. Scarred Queen is my re-imagining of what might’ve happened to Elvira Montana’s character after the events of the movie Scarface. Reyes was sort of a combo of Tony Montana and Sotza from Scarface.

JQ: Which book(s) that you’ve written to date is your favourite and why?

NS: I think my absolute favourite book is Scarred Queen. I wrote it at a very tough time in my life and it was extremely cathartic. When I think about that time in my life, I think about how Scarred Queen was such a lifesaver for me. Among my other favourites are all three Sanctuary books, Burning Beauty and Savage Vendetta. I don’t think there’s a particular reason why I love those books, I just have warm feelings when I think about them.

JQ: Tell me more about these warm feelings. Are they also wet? Where in your body are they most apparent?

NS: (staring at me and allowing an uncomfortable silence to develop, but I don’t really get uncomfortable, so it was a 15-minute silent standoff that only broke when I forgot the question I asked)

JQ: What are you currently working on? When will you unveil it to the world? What else should we know about.

NS: I’m currently working on a few different projects. I’m editing The Princess and Her Mercenary, a Driven Hearts Novella starring Ndari and Keane from Capturing Victory. This book will release on March 28, 2020 and is up for pre-order. I’m also working on a vampire charity novella for the NOLA Bookstars signing in May. That one is almost done; it’s quick, bloody and sexy. And finally, I’m working on my next big release, Born a Queen. I don’t have a release date for this one.

JQ: All of us Nikita fans are so looking forward to the release of these books. Let’s switch to something more controversial. I heard that you’ve become a pole-dancer. Are you in it for the money? Do you plan to be certified in it and go pro? Do you like it better than stripping and hooking?

Nikita’s pose. Not unsexy.

NS: First of all, I have never stripped and hooked. Except for that one time, but we don’t talk about that. Honestly? I love the feeling of flying when my feet come off the ground and I’m spinning around the pole. I love seeing what my body can do. I’m not very young and I’m not particularly small or flexible, but week-by-week I’ve been building muscle tone and flexibility. Sometimes it’s frustrating when I can’t do something I badly want to do, like flip upside down when I’m spinning, but there’s nothing like nailing a move I’ve been working on for months. When I first started pole-dancing I couldn’t imagine doing the things I do now. I can climb that pole like a spider monkey and strike a (deeply unsexy) pose. I will probably go pro if the book thing doesn’t turn out.   

JQ: Uh huh. So you deny that you slept with a man in exchange for money? And maybe not a stripper, but I’ve heard you give one hell of a lap dance.

NS: How did you know I slept with a stripper for money? The things you know about me… it’s creepy.

JQ: So’s my secret source, but he gets the job done. Next question. What do you find attractive in a man?

NS: His brain. Literally. I’m probably actually a zombie.

Zombiefied Nik

JQ: Can you please elaborate on this. Do you find brain’s attractive or tasty? If attractive, explain. All the men in your novels are tall, built like brick shithouses and menacing. Are you telling me that the only thing about them that gets your jellybean quivering is their brains?

NS: In reality, I do tend to be more attracted to brains than bodies. My man-friends have all been a wide variety of sizes, shapes and heights. I’m attracted to people who are kind, open-minded and treat me like the princess I am. Fantasy is different though, and that’s where I love building my “brick shithouse” men.

JQ: Do you think you’ve insulted all your man friends by saying they are unattractive?

NS: Umm, did I say that? Or did you?

JQ: How could I say it? I don’t know all your man friends; there’s way too many. Also, if you find brains tasty, how do you prepare them?

Nope. Never seen it.

NS: Have you seen iZombie? I get my recipes from that show. I would say brain smoothies are probably my favourite, although brain pizzas are pretty epic too.

JQ: Is Hannibal Lecter your father?

NS: No, he was my mentor.

JQ: What’s the biggest difference between Canadians and Americans (note – not Canada and America)?

NS: I would say Americans can be more straightforward. Canadians tend to keep their assholiness on the inside. We pretend we’re all nice and polite, but really, we’re complete dicks. If I get pitchforked by one or both nationalities mentioned, I blame you.

JQ: I’m a big girl, I can take a little pitchforking, but not in the face please. Preferably the ass. It has the most resistance to pitchforks. My next question is a little more personal. I’ve been told by a secret source that you hate Chinese 5 Spice. Is it because you don’t like their brand of music?

Not Chinese 5 Spice

NS: Give me my diary back! And Chinese 5 spice is a spice for seasoning food, not a 90s UK girl band. The reason I don’t like it is because in my early 20s, I had this boyfriend who was obsessed with that stuff. It was in all our food. Now I can’t even smell it without gagging. Luckily, most people don’t use it so I can easily avoid it.

JQ (wryly, but Nikita seems not to notice): Perhaps Chinese people use it.

NS (changing the topic): These calamari are so f@cking good!

JQ (also changing the topic): Would you sleep with an alien who looked like an alien (providing you had a hall pass)? If you did, what physical alien trait would get you the most fired up? If it’s alien penis, what makes it different from human penis?

NS: Tentacles. I don’t know if those are technically penises, but those are what I like. I heard DD Prince is totally into them too. I try to keep my tentacle obsession on the down low. Ha! Down low. Get it?

JQ: Oh yeah, I got it, you dirty girl. So you and DD Prince bonded over alien dick? I’m a little jealous.

NS: So you should be.

JQ (sighing and jealous): Describe your ideal penis.

NS: I have a dream where I’m tied to a bed and penises are jumping all around me. Big penis, small penis, here and there a penis, everywhere a penis. They rub all over my body and in my hair. Did I answer the question?

JQ: Wow, are you currently seeking professional help? Do they… you know… do they do the hokey pokey? Do they shake it all about?

NS: Yes! That’s what it’s all about! Also, yes, I do have a therapist, but she’s small, hairy, sleeps a lot and doesn’t say much. She’s also my dog.

JQ: Speaking of dogs, what do you fear? 

NS: Tiny dots, spiders, crusty things, cardboard scraping against cardboard (like when you fold a box – yuck!) and flying.

Jasmin’s box collection. Seriously.

JQ: I don’t know how we can continue to be friends. I collect boxes. Could you please elaborate on what you mean by crusty things. Are you referring to men’s underwear after several days of use or the stuff you get in the corners of your eyes after you’ve been sleeping (BTW, spiders love the taste of that fluid and will suck it up while you’re sleeping) or the hard cover of snow in the winter that you think you can walk across but then it breaks and you sink into it up to your pearl of pleasure?

NS: Wow, I hadn’t thought about many of these crusty things you brought up, but yeah, I also don’t like those things. What I mostly mean by crusty things are like dirty showers (shudders dramatically). Or the bottom of a sink that gets all that crud in it and then doesn’t get washed out, so it dries on and becomes all crusty. I’m super grossed out right now thinking about this stuff.

JQ: I momentarily forgot my name. It might be your mention of dirty showers. I’m going to explain to the readers that Nikita Slater is not referencing a kinky sex act, but the actual physical shower that is unwashed. Is that correct?

NS: Oh, yes, that’s what I meant.

QS: Are you winking at me? Rhetorical, you don’t have to answer. But here are some quick questions you do have to answer. Please feel free to provide quick answers:

Friday, the unknown breed.

QS: What is your secret superpower?

NS: I can tell a dog’s breed just by looking at it.

QS: That’s awesome. What breed is your dog, Friday?

NS: I have no idea.

JQ: I’m starting to understand why it’s a secret superpower. What’s the difference between making love and fucking?

NS: Making love is about connection, fucking is about getting off.

JQ: If animals could talk, which would be the rudest? Explain.

NS: Parrots. They can already talk and they’re usually complete assholes. I was once bitten by a parrot that called me Shakira. It was weird.

JQ: I’ve met that parrot. You should be flattered; he called me a weed whacker. Peanut butter, maple syrup or Nutella in your belly button?

NS: Nothing in my belly button! Seriously, what is wrong with you!?

JQ: It’s a perfectly legitimate question. Belly buttons are erogenous zones… aren’t they? What are you most likely to get arrested for?

NS: Public nudity.

JQ: Hopefully it’s summer when that happens or you’ll freeze all your girl bits. Famous man you’d like to see naked?

NS: Jason Momoa.

JQ: I seriously tried to find a nude of him. I think he might be a saint. What will it say on your tombstone?

NS: Death by cupcakes.

Jan with three of my favourite things: jam, peanut butter and a sexy cowboy.

JQ: No doubt about that. Thank you Nikita Slater for indulging me today. I’d like to stay and chat, but Jan Arden looks like she wants to body slam me, and I’m a pacifist. Not really, but I’m delicate and prone to screaming. Anything you’d like to add before I get the hell out of Saskatchewan?

NS: Take me with you.

*Disclaimer: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is a beautiful city surrounded by vast prairies and the occasional tree. It has winding rivers separating the downtown core from the rest of the population. Also, it’s a frozen wasteland in winter and I’ve twice made the mistake of visiting during this season (once was work-related so that doesn’t really count). Thus, while the interview is real, the meeting place was not. And Jan Arden, she was never there (she made me say that).

Nikita Slater is the International Bestselling author of The Queens series, Fire & Vice series, The Sanctuary series, Driven Hearts series and several standalone novels. She lives on the beautiful Canadian prairies with her son and her crazy awesome dog.

She has an unholy affinity for books (especially erotic romance), wine, pets and anything chocolate. Despite some of the darker themes in her books (which are pure fun and fantasy), Nikita is a staunch feminist and advocate of equal rights for all races, genders and non-gender specific persons. When she isn’t writing, dreaming about writing or talking about writing, she helps others discover a love of reading and writing through literacy and social work.

For more information on Nik’s upcoming book releases, giveaways, works in progress and her insane cupcake addiction check out her Facebook page and join her private Facebook group, Nikita’s Underworld: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1853193748048614/

You can also keep up with her by joining or following her social media profiles.

What’s next for me?

In April, I’ll be posting my interview with the lovely and talented Bijou Hunter who is an author of Romantic Comedy and Suspense. Living in Indiana with her three sweet sons, three wacky cats, one super mom, she loves 1970s rock, Call of Duty, Phelan Porteous, and sitcoms canceled before their time.

Thanks Sheri!

I was introduced to Bijou’s writing by my proofreader, Sheri, to whom I’ll be forever grateful. Bijou is a binge-worthy writer of the MC romance genre, but her books are unlike any you’ve ever read. She’s also a one-click for me. She hates ass-kissers, so I’ll stop now although inside I’m still gushing.

At the end of May, Mr. Master (Running with the Devil Book 11) will be published. It’s not for the faint of heart as Jackman shows his true colours, and even though I created him, I also dig him… a lot. Seriously, I want a 3-D printer so I can bring him to life.

Late June, Unleashed will be unleashed! See what I did there? (Yeah, I’m out of cleverness). This full-length book has been a labour of love that I’ve been working on in my spare time for well over a year and I’m excited to see what readers think of it.

A few last words

I tried to find an alien sex joke on Google to pair up with Nik’s and my chat about alien tentacles, but there seems to be only one silly joke in cyberspace, so Mr. Quinn kindly made one up:

A female, being tortured by an alien, was loudly groaning and moaning.
The Alien’s general walks into the room. “Why are you still torturing the human woman?”
The torturer replies, “Because the last one was faking it.”

Hmmm. It sounded funnier when he said it.

Moving along, I want to end this blog by acknowledging the health care front line professionals who are working to ensure patient health and comfort, no matter the illness. We don’t say thank you often enough.

Take care and stay safe.

Love & Kisses,

Jasmin

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