Thursday, June 17, 2021


I want to thank Nicole Gabor for taking the time to answer my interview questions!

All I can say is "WOW"!!!  I am always excited when I am invited to be on an Advanced Reader Team for an author, especially since it gives me reinforcement to my decision to start this blog and be a book reviewer.  

I also love when these writers agree to take the time to answer my interview questionnaire (because a few have said "NO THANKS" 😏 - who doesn't want some free advertising?)

But I have to say this is the first time I have been truly intimidated.  This is an amazing woman as you will see after reading my interview.  How Nicole has the time to take a refreshing breath during the day amazes me.

Nicole Gabor is a new author (to adults, that is) and I highly enjoyed her first book Catwalk (my review link is below) and I look forward to reading more from this amazing author and woman in the future!


Nicole Gabor is a published author of more than twenty children's picture books and early readers and an award-winning health writer and editor.  As a young child, she knew she would become a writer, constantly penning stories and being encouraged by her supportive grandmother, an artist who saw her early talent.

In writing her debut young adult/new adult fiction novel Catwalk, Nicole knew she had something important to say.  The book, inspired by the author's own experiences living and working in New York City as a model, chronicles the pinnacles and perils of the gritty and glamourous fashion model world through the eyes of its eighteen-year-old protagonist, Catherine Watson.  Nicole felt compelled to write about the inner workings of a world that our society seems to glorify, and yet which can have a soul-sucking underbelly.

Nicole believes that all good stories still follow the tried-and-true formula we all learned in English class:  exposition, rising action, conflict, and resolution, with dynamic characters who are relatable.  She hopes that her young readers who are interested in modeling perceive her story as a cautionary tale, not to discourage them but to highlight the importance of doing your own research, aligning yourself with reputable professionals rather than unscrupulous ones --- and the wisdom to know the difference.  Se believes that all readers will enjoy her book's theme of self-discovery and coming f age, about following your heart and your own internal moral compass.

When she isn't writing thought-provoking young adult books and educational stories for children, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, talking to her girlfriends, and singing.  As a trained soprano, she grew up singing in choirs (and was once invited to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts) and earned a voice scholarship in college.  An interesting tidbit is that Nicole once sang Porgy & Bess's "Summertime" at an ice cream social with the piano accompaniment of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.  But when stage fright tabled her ambitions of singing professionally, Nicole turned to her creative focus of writing.

An English journalism major at Rutgers, Nicole chose to end her modeling at the age of 22 and began her career in journalism, working in broadcasting for the local CBS news stations in Philadelphia and New York City until she turned to writing and editing for trade magazines specializing in health and children's wellness.  For more than a decade she has been a senior editor at the award-winning, the Web's most-visited website for children's health, and a health coach.

Nicole's choice to become a health coach was inspired by her wish to help people manage their health conditions and crisis, especially those who experienced similar grief:  Nicole tragically lost her baby daughter at twenty weeks.  Her insight informs her health writings and blog posts and also helps clinicians at the local hospital where she volunteers to help families cope with loss.

Nicole lives in Delaware with her husband, three young children, and their Goldendoodle named Ginger.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

As a child, I loved to sing, dance, and write.  My grandmother was an artist who really inspired me to follow my artistic pursuits.  She gave me a lot of confidence and made me feel like I could do anything that I put my mind to.  She would always ask me, "When are you going to write a novel?"

So writing was always something I thought was within my reach.  To be honest, though, my dream would have been to become a classical singer (I am a soprano and had a voice scholarship in college).  But my stage fright was so bad that I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it long-term. 

I choose writing because it was still a way to perform and practice an art form, but the creative process was very private so it's something that I could cultivate behind the scenes. 

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

I majored in English in college, so I read many of the classics.  Some of my favorites that come to mind are the British romantic poets like Wordsworth and Keats.  I also loved Emily Dickenson an American poet who came later.

Once I was reading more for pleasure, I got addicted to a lot of chick lit, like Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones' Diary and Sophie Kinsella's Shopoholic series.  Those stories really inspired me to write something similar set in the fashion world.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Catwalk is loosely based on my real life as a fashion model during my late teens and early 20s.  But while there are similarities between Catherine and I, there are many differences!  I didn't become a famous model (dang!), but I did earn enough money to help pay for college.  I used my experiences, and those of my friends in the business, as a starting point for the book --- and then just ran with it.  The book is a work of fiction.

One of the love interests in the book was inspired by my husband, but to figure out who, readers will have to read the book!  LOL!

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

This is my first novel.  I've written more than 20 children's books and stories for educational publishing companies, but those are always written with a goal in mind, and parameters that I need to hit.

For Catwalk, I knew that I wanted to say something --- something about the fashion industry, but also something about finding your way in the world, about coming-of-age and self-discovery.  I began writing with a very loose outline of what might happen, and who the characters might be, with a goal of at least 1,000 words a day.  For the most part, I was able to accomplish this.  The scenes flowed pretty easily, but what I struggled with at times was the plot.

My husband is an English teacher and he really helped me plot out the storylines.  We would often discuss them and come up with ideas together.  I remember at one point having about 50 index cards spread out on my bed, with a plot point (scene, chapter idea) written on each card.  It really helped me visualize the story.  I needed to do it to keep it all straight!  LOL.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Haha!  That's a good idea.  No, I don't, but when I'm "in the zone" with writing, I will often visualize the scene in front of me like I'm writing a movie.  Then, it's almost as if I am recording what I'm seeing.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.   What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

I am a mom of three young kids and also an editor at a health website.  It's rare when I get a chance to sit and relax!  But when I do, I am usually reading something (historical fiction is my current fav!) or watching something on TV.  Netflix's "The British Baking Show" helped me to keep my sanity through the pandemic.  I would watch and then get inspired to bake something for my family to look forward to each week!  I am not much of a baker, but they didn't seem to mind!  LOL!  I also enjoyed "Emily in Paris", which some people say my books reminds them of.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

This year I read and loved A Single Thread (Tracey Chavelier) and Firefly Lane (Kristin Hannah), which is now a Netflix series.  Looking forward to reading Kristin Hannah's latest book, The Four Winds.

What are your favorite books by others?

In addition to loving historical fiction right now, I also read a ton of non-fiction and psychology books.  Right now, I'm reading Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman (the book that inspired the movie Mean Girls) as research for possible middle grade novel.  But I also reading it because I am mother to a daughter approaching elementary school (ack!) and I want to teach her to be more assertive and stand up for herself --- it's never too early to start!

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Yes.  Like Cat, I lived in Brooklyn, NY for part of my modeling career.  I also modeled in Philadelphia and grew up in the New Jersey suburbs.  All of these locations are in the book.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

Single, first person

What do you find to be your best research tool? 

The internet!  How did we ever live without it!?!

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name? 


What genre do you write and why is this your preference? 

All of my fiction writing has been for kids and young adults.  I really love writing for these audiences and helping them to learn, grow, and make sense of the world around them.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky traits...what led to you being you? 

In addition to being a writer, I am a certified health coach!  This is an extension of the work I do as an editor at a health website, where we provide health information to help families live healthier lives.  Health coaching helps people make lasting changes to improve your health and happiness --- whether that's stopping smoking, losing weight, improving one's diet, or finding ways to live more mindfully.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Have a day job!  LOL.  If you can, try to find a job that enables you to write or edit.  This way, you are building your skills and making money at the same time.  Then, on the side, follow your more creative writing pursuits.  Few authors can pay the bills based on their creative writing alone.  It's just not a lucrative profession.  But most of us aren't in it for the money!


Connect w/ Nicole:

Check out my review of Nicole Gabor books!

Below find photos of some of her published children's books!

Get your copy now!
Available in Kindle Unlimited!

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