Today's post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award two personally autographed print copies of her novel, The Haversham Legacy, to randomly drawn commenters during the tour (international contest).
Do you know, this is a very difficult question for me to answer! I suppose it’s not so much what I learned from creating my heroine, but more what the heroine learned from me!
As I was raised by two strong women – my mother and my grandmother – I grew up having a mind of my own and not afraid to do or so anything that goes against what the crowd wants. My grandma always asked of me: ‘If your whole class is going to jump into the river just for fun, would you also jump???’ Of course my answer was ‘no’. I never did anything I did not want and continue to do so.
My grandmother lived through two world wars and it has made her a woman that could make things happen. She was a child when World War I broke out and saw how it affected life in Antwerp. She was married to an office , with four children, when World War II began. She accompanied her husband’s regiment to France, where the Belgian army made a stand against the Germans, and both she and my mother told me about the bombs that came down on their train and the heavy battles in Calais, which they evidenced on site. When the Belgians surrendered to the Germans, and my grandfather became a POW, my grandma boldly asked of the German commander she was given means of transport to return home. That man was so impressed he gave her a cart and two horses!
Later on, when the Germans began losing the war, a lot of POW’s escaped and returned home. So did my grandfather. He hid in the cellar of a neighbor, and more than once the Gestapo came calling at our address to check if he was hiding there. My grandma only allowed my mother to open the door to them, she thought the boys would not be able to lie in the face of such dangerous men. My mother did not blink when she declared she had not seen her father for nearly four years.
So I’m very much formed by their ideas and their independent spirit. I want to give my heroines something of it, as I don’t like weak woman who give in for appearances. My heroines will not suffer abuse by a man, but will fight him by all means. They will want to be equal to man and will have clear views on how everything should be done. That’s me and it is also Sarah from The Gold Crucifix. She is determined not to suffer the fate of her mother and sets out to have the life she desires. She won’t accept to become Richard’s mistress (or any other man’s) but wants marriage.
Sometimes I get mails from readers who admire my psychological insight. Well, I think it’s quite natural to have it when you are a teacher (this is my main profession). You have to understand people to correctly understand situations. And I get along with most people. Students trust me with their deepest secrets and because of it I can help them with advice or help when needed.
About the Author:
She read English Literature at the University of Ghent, and got her master’s degree in philology. Since then, she has been working as a high school teacher.
Her interests besides reading and writing are travelling, skiing in winter and enjoying fine food.
Find Nickie online at
England, mid seventeenth century. When young Sarah finds out that innkeeper Amos Jennings is not her father, she feels uncertain and scared. Her problems grow bigger when she starts a job as housekeeper and gets involved with two men who both want her love: the earl of Linfield, and his younger brother Richard. To escape these problems, Sarah takes off to London to begin a new life as actress at His Majesty’s Theatre.
Richard cannot forget the young woman her met at his brother’s. He is determined to find Sarah and make her his own--even his wife, despite what his family thinks of it. But love never comes easy. Richard and Sarah will have to face many a storm--even the Great Fire of London--before they can become one.