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20 questions and a selfie: A day in the life of Nicole Waggoner, author, literary criticism instructor and manuscript coach

For this installment of “20 Questions and a Selfie,” we catch up with Nicole Waggoner, literary criticism instructor, manuscript coach, public speaker and author of the forthcoming Circus of Women Trilogy.

Nicole is a decorated teacher with 12 years of experience teaching upper level English and literary criticism courses. Some of her lessons include “25 Easy Ways to Improve Every Essay” and “Timed Writing Hacks for Anxious Test Takers.”

You can connect with Nicole on Twitter @NicoleCDFauthor and at

Our 20 questions with Nicole start now:

1) What is your full name?

Nicole Waggoner

2) What is your professional job title?

Literary Criticism Instructor, Author, and Manuscript Coach

3) Describe your organization.

Author of the Circus of Women Trilogy

4) Describe your surroundings right now.

Espresso scented with a parade of fashions from the ’90s . I am working from a Starbucks near OU today.

5) What was your first paid writing gig?

I worked as a ghostwriter on a memoir of a woman who fled her Amish community in a search for freedom and independence.

6) What was the last thing you wrote?

A guest blog post about relationships and dating your spouse.

7) What is the next thing you plan to write?

Chapter 20 in Volume 2 of the Circus of Women Trilogy. Center Ring, Vol. 1, drops nationwide 4-26-16.

8) Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …

on a beach with a mimosa.

9) Besides your computer, what is sitting on your desk right now?

A notebook, pens, my son’s drawing of a Minecraft creeper, a framed Maya Angelou quote, and my daughter’s Elsa doll.

10) So-called writer’s block is no match for you! What is your antidote?

A change of scenery always helps. I also keep a running list of ideas, lines, conflicts, and look through them when I need creativity boost.

11) Finish this sentence: I hate it when I read …

books with stereotypical or underdeveloped characters. I like “onions”–characters with multiple layers to peel back.

12) What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?

Microsoft Word, Track Changes, and Google Drive are my top three.

13) First book that comes to mind? Go!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

14) What are your favorite Internet/mobile apps and why?

I am an FB and Instagram addict with a growing affection for Twitter and Pinterest boards that would qualify me as a hoarder!

15) What have you always wanted to write?

A multi POV novel about an unlikely friendship set in San Fran’s Castro during the height of the civil rights movement.

16) What is your advice for aspiring professional writers?

Carve out the time to work every day. Do what others won’t. Edit, then edit again. Write good content and the readers will come.

17) First famous writer who comes to mind? Go!

Emily Giffin. I admire her relationship with her readers and her humility.

18) Finish this sentence: My favorite thing about being a writer is …

watching readers connect with the characters I sometimes forget are imaginary.

19) Pencil versus pen—who wins and why?

Pen! I have a “Hulk mad”-esque relationship with pencil lead.

20) Finish this sentence: One word or phrase people will never read in my writing is …

Bae. That word annoys me to no end. It’s right up there with Worcestershire sauce.

Would you like to be featured in our “20 Questions and a Selfie” interview? If you’re a published writer, we’d love to interview you. Click here to do your “20 Questions and a Selfie” now.

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