L. R. Nicolello has been obsessed with all things suspense and justice related for as long she can remember. When other girls her age were watching the latest chick flick, she was watching Top Gun, dreaming of flying fast. Growing up, if a fighter jet flew over while she was driving, her sister would pray they wouldn’t crash—still happens, actually. She thinks a man in uniform is swoon-worthy and her husband likes to tease her about it, especially whenever they are near a military base. Growing up, her parents instilled in her and her sister that women can be strong without losing their femininity, and she takes that to heart with every character that comes to life.
She lives in blue-sky Texas with her husband and their ninety-pound “dog child”, but travels—a lot. When she’s not writing, she watches and re-watches her favorite television shows, exercises or reads anything she can get her hands on.
DEAD DON’T LIE, her debut novel, came out September 2014 and was followed by the next book in her series, DEAD NO MORE in January 2015 through HQN Books. She is currently working on her next novel and is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
My baby sister could read before I could. Shocking, right? I remember clearly her walking up and reading over my little shoulder the book I was struggling to get through. Made me so mad I cried, but it also sparked something in me. I’m a bit competitive and, even as a young girl, once my mind was made up there was no stopping me. And my mind was made up: my baby sister was NOT going to out read me. Once I learned to read (thanks Dad for your patient love and support) there weren’t enough books in the library for this girl, and I was hooked. Getting caught under my covers with a flashlight and book well past midnight was a common occurrence. Growing up, I wanted to be two things: an A-10 fighter pilot, flying fast and hard over some undisclosed location, and a published author, locked away in her writing studio. Crazy, but true. Hardware in my ankle sidelined the A-10 dream, but a four-inch metal screw was not going to keep me from penning my first novel.
Then life got in the way.
Fast forward ten years and I’d traveled the world, met and married the man of my dreams and landed a great job, with great people, but I still felt like part of my soul–the creative part–was slowly dying. My hubs knew me too well and one night pried it of me, then set me loose. So I started writing again in the nooks and crannies of life and a year later my first full-length novel was finished. Thrilled to the bone that I’d written a novel, and fueled by another not-to-be-named author’s crazy success, I queried my MS before I edited it (cringe). Three agents immediately requested a half and two agents requested a full. (Insert happy dance here!!) After learning to breathe again I promptly sent them off! They all passed (no surprise there) and I was crushed, putting away my computer for a year. That’s right. A full year.
On a girl’s weekend in Seattle the premise of DEAD DON’T LIE dropped into my head and I couldn’t shake it. No matter what I did I could not get the story out of my head. So I did the only thing I knew to do: I wrote Evelyn’s story. Then I edited it (See! I learnt my lesson!) and edited it some more before querying it eighteen months after that Seattle trip. Two agents requested a full, two agents requested a half. Again, I had to learn to breathe before sending out the requested files. Then I waited. And waited. And finally received THE CALL in the airport, right as I was about to board the plane.
Best. Flight. Ever.
After signing with my agent, she sent DEAD DON’T LIE out on submission and then I waited. And waited some more. (Do you see the pattern here? Lol) After what felt like an eternity (Let’s be honest, it wasn’t.) an offer was made and I signed a two-book deal with HQN Books for DEAD DON’T LIE and DEAD NO MORE.
I might not be flying fast and hard over some undisclosed location but I have realized the dream of becoming a published author, and I’m still so grateful and humbled every day. The road hasn’t been easy but has been so worth it, and it’s only just the beginning! I’ve met two of the most amazing women in the business and have been taken into their family of writers that I could have only dreamed of, and I’ve learned that the only person you need to compete against is the person you were yesterday.
I’m still writing in the nooks and crannies of life as I run a boutique production company with my husband that keeps us on the road more than we are home, but I love it. I’m grateful for every moment afforded to me and excited to see what’s next on this crazy, awesome adventure called life!