An Interview with Nicole Burnham

Please help me welcome Rita Award Winning Author Nicole Burnham to my blog today.

ChristmasWithAPrince_final_600x900_2Tell us about yourself.

Hi Cynthia! Thanks so much for inviting me to the blog. The nutshell answer: I live in Boston, though I’m originally from Colorado. When I’m not writing, I walk (a lot!), watch baseball, take yoga classes, and travel whenever I can. I’m the master of finding good travel deals.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?

I was lucky enough to live in Germany for six years while my father was serving with the military. I would go back in a heartbeat. The public transportation in Europe is outstanding and Germany is a good central location from which to visit all of Europe. I wouldn’t say no to living in Italy, either. I could explore Italy’s villages for years. In the last few years I’ve also been fortunate enough to visit Turkey and Malta. I don’t feel like I’ve seen enough of those two countries yet, so living closer would give me that opportunity.

Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?

I graduated with a master’s in political science and a law degree, then practiced law for about a year before turning to writing. I figured out during my law school summer jobs that being a lawyer wasn’t going to be a satisfying lifelong choice for me, so I looked elsewhere. I took a graduate course at NYU in publishing, and then went to work for a magazine. I then started freelancing for bridal magazines and worked on my first novel on the side. Once it was published and others followed, I let the freelancing taper off.

HoneymoonWithaPrince_Final_600x900_2Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?

I’m now a full time writer and I love it…though I’d say in some ways it’s more than full time. I write whenever I can catch free time on evenings and weekends, too. I’m not a fast writer, so I need those hours in the chair if I’m going to steadily produce good books.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I’m currently working on my fifteenth book. I don’t have a favorite, though for sentimental reasons I adore The Knight’s Kiss. It was a paranormal romance I tucked into the middle of a series of contemporary royal romances, which was a big risk…and it ended up winning a Rita Award and helping a lot of readers find my books.

Tell us about your current series/WIP.

I’m in the midst of writing book three of my Royal Scandals series, which is about the Barrali royal family. The first book is Scandal With a Prince and the second is Honeymoon With a Prince. Both were released in late 2013, along with a prequel novella titled Christmas With a Prince. (Do you sense a theme here?)

The next book in the series, Slow Tango With a Prince, is largely set in Argentina and features the crown prince, Vittorio Barrali. At the end of Honeymoon, we know that he was deceived by his girlfriend and is keeping a stiff upper lip through a bad breakup, but we don’t know the details. I’m having a wonderful time writing his story. Slow Tango will be out by mid-2014. As soon as I have a firm date I will post it on my website, announce it to my e-mail newsletter list, and post to my Facebook page.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

I love writing about royalty. Royal Scandals is my third series centered around a royal family. The first was written for Silhouette Romance (the San Rimini series) and the second was a young adult series I wrote under the name Niki Burnham. I’m endlessly fascinated by what it’s like to live with that kind of pressure from the time one is born, always knowing that your life is not your own. How does that affect a person’s relationships? How much freedom does a royal really have to pursue their own interests? How does the constant spotlight affect a person’s psyche? How would different personalities deal with life in a fishbowl? How hard is it to trust those around you? The story possibilities are infinite.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

So far, the self-publishing experience has been wonderful. I wouldn’t say no to writing for a traditional publishing house again, but for the Royal Scandals books, self-publishing was the way to go. It offers me the control I need to ensure the stories find the right audience through a combination of good covers, the timing of releases, and—most important of all—strong content that speaks to readers who love royal romances. I’ve been working with a fabulous editor who understands my vision for the series and helps me make the stories as rich as possible. It’s been great for me and great for my readers.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

Don’t be in a hurry. Write the very best book you can, then hire the best editor you can. Don’t get feedback from your spouse or friends. Hire a pro. Take those editorial comments seriously. If you need to, hire a second editor. Then, think carefully about your cover and your back cover copy. Your self-publishing goal shouldn’t be to produce a story as good as one from the publishing houses in New York…it needs to be better. Readers aren’t simply buying your book, they are giving you their time. Make those hours they spend reading your book rewarding, entertaining, and memorable.

Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have the helped you with your writing? How?

I belong to the Romance Writers of America. I learned a great deal about both the craft and the business of writing from attending their workshops and reading their monthly magazine, the Romance Writers’ Report. If you plan to write romance, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

ScandalWithAPrince_Final_600x900_2Where can readers find you?

I’m online at, on Facebook at, on Twitter at @nicoleburnham, on Goodreads at, and on Pinterest at My Pinterest page has some of the inspiration behind the books, as well as a lot of home design and landscape design pins. I’m obsessed.

Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?

My books are available in ebook from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, and Apple. They’re available in print at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


Mahmoud cleared his throat. “Prince Stefano, may I present Megan Hallberg, the Grandspire’s director of business development? Megan, this is Prince Stefano Barrali of Sarcaccia. His father and I frequently host charity events together, so I wanted Stefano to see the Grandspire’s new facilities. I’m certain he’ll give King Carlo a favorable report on the hotel’s suitability for future events.”

Megan’s mouth went dry as sand as he rose. She’d forgotten how tall he was, how fluidly he moved. As Stefano stepped toward her, the memory of their first meeting returned in a rush that threatened to flatten her. He’d moved in that same easy manner when he’d approached her a decade ago, offering to carry a length of pipe for her as she struggled to maneuver it through an alley in the congested Venezuelan village where they both worked as volunteers. She’d joked that he was her hero when he’d hefted it onto one shoulder as if it were no heavier than a loaf of bread.
But there were changes in him, too. While the celebrity gossips frequently commented on Stefano’s athleticism, his playful nature, and even his dimples, no report could accurately convey the ways he’d matured in the years since Megan had last seen him. Television and magazines couldn’t capture the masculine line of his shoulders as they filled his tuxedo jacket, the texture of his sunkissed cheekbones, or the utter charisma he exuded.

Megan forced herself not to flinch as he came within arm’s reach. She hadn’t thought it possible his appearance could improve over the years, but it had. He’d become broader, stronger, more confident…more him.

Of course, his most distinctive physical characteristic could never change. His eyes were a clear sea green with a distinct ring around each iris, as if Picasso himself had taken up a narrow paintbrush to edge the green in black. She remembered all too well the last time she’d looked into those eyes. She’d been twenty-two, as had Stefano. They each sported grubby clothes, having worked the entire day to finish installing a water system, but they’d been unwilling to use a single precious moment to change, knowing it was their final night together before returning to their separate lives. Their real lives.

He’d threaded his long fingers through her hair as they stood on a secluded beach not far from the village. Even in the waning light of the setting sun, she’d seen the deep passion in those green eyes. “I will never, ever forget you,” he’d whispered before pulling her into a heart-stopping, explosive kiss. “These have been the best days of my life.”

It felt surreal to look into those same eyes now, knowing she’d been forgotten within days, relegated to what would become a long line of disposable women, starting with the one to whom he’d become engaged less than a month after leaving Venezuela. The one to whom he’d run, barefoot, across the palace courtyard in a photo that appeared around the world.


Nicole Burnham is the RITA-Award winning author of over a dozen romance novels, most featuring modern-day royalty. She has lived and traveled all over the world, absorbing different cultures and visiting the opulent palaces and lush gardens that inspired the Royal Scandals series. All About Romance declares, “Nicole Burnham gives life to a fictional kingdom and monarchy that feel as though they could be real” and “gosh darn it, Nicole Burnham is good…readers should definitely check her out.”

Nicole currently lives in Boston. She enjoys yoga, games at Fenway Park, taking her dog for long walks, and reading the many romance novels on her bookshelves. Most of all, she loves writing stories about far-off countries, deliciously powerful heroes, and passionate heroines for her readers.

The buy links are:

Christmas With a Prince:

Scandal With a Prince:

Honeymoon With a Prince:

And my website is

8 thoughts on “An Interview with Nicole Burnham

    • Hi Linda,

      Sarcaccia is a blend of several places I’ve been lucky enough to visit. If I had to pick one strongest influence, it’d likely be Corsica. The topography of Sarcaccia is a lot like what I saw there, and the agriculture and architecture are similar. However, Sarcaccia’s inhabitants speak Italian (with a distinct accent) rather than French, and a big part of their national identity is that they have maintained their independence despite being located only a ferry ride away from Naples.

      Thanks for asking! Good question.

  1. Enjoyed the interview very much. HUGE congrats on the RITA…how wonderful! I also love watching baseball. 🙂 MLB for me, my fave team is the Cincinnati Reds. Lovely cover and nice excerpt. Best of luck!

    • Thanks, Alicia! I’ve been very happy with the covers on the series. One of the big upsides of self-publishing is being able to work directly with a cover artist to create a look that fits the content and speaks to readers.

  2. Have you been lucky to meet royalty? What type of questions would you ask them? I suspect that you’d have different questions than many of us. You covers are wonderful and I agree with the strength of self-publishing.

    I wish you all the best.

    • Sadly, Melissa, there have been no royal meetings for me. As for questions, I think it’d depend on the person. Let’s take the British (because they’re the easiest example.) Life for someone like William or Harry would be quite different than for someone like Kate Middleton, who married into the family. I think I’d want to know if William or Harry have had times where they’ve truly felt like one of the guys…where those around them can put aside the title and treat them as equals. I suspect they’ve each gotten a taste of it in the military, but it’d be interesting to hear their perspective. I doubt either have ever gone anywhere unrecognized. I’d love to know what they’d do if they could be anonymous for a day. With someone like Kate, I’d like to know the most difficult parts of her adjustment, and how her marrying into the royal family has affected her parents and siblings.

      All fun stuff!

    • It’s the fantasy of living that life that appeals. Look at the popularity of castle and mansion tours in Europe and of royal costume dramas on television and in the movies…there’s a very good reason for it!

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