Nicole

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Hello, everyone. I’m Nicole – the nerdiest of book nerds and a crazy-passionate writer of speculative fiction.

My first paid job in the literary world was at a used bookstore, which turned out to be a significant part of my life both personally and professionally. I made life-long friends there and found it to be a place that allowed me to discover the person I wanted to be. It was also probably the only job that could cultivate my love for books and provide a paycheck at the same time.

For nine years I blissfully sifted through mountains of books, discussed literary trends with some of the most brilliant minds I’ve had the privilege of meeting, and learning—consuming—everything labeled Science Fiction or Fantasy. It was a hard decision when it was time to go, but I’d grown so much in that time, I needed to find new things to explore in order to grow more.

Thanks to all my years in second-hand books, I built myself an irreplaceable collection of thousands of titles, mainly speculative fiction. Rebecca and I often use the word “speculative” in place of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Horror. It encompasses what we’re trying to say better than listing three different categories.

Speculative fiction explores the potentials of science, technology, culture, and metaphysics. It should not be limited by whether or not it involves space ships versus dragons. It can be the most entertaining type of story but also a huge driver of social change at the same time and that makes it a powerful medium.

SONY DSCI could write an essay on this subject, but I’ll spare you. What I want out of my time as a reader and writer is to prove this genre is not only a spectacular art form, but has the capability of planting mental seeds that sow changes well into the future. You want magic? You want time travel? You’ve already got it. It’s in the books.

After I left the bookstore, I wrote monthly articles for a local magazine. That was a fantastic experience, getting to know the people in my community better, and seeing what it felt like to write non-fiction on a deadline. For now, however, I focus my time between Conquer Books, the book blog I run with my sister, Conquer Con, the Sci-Fi & Fantasy convention I’m co-hosting with both siblings, and putting the finishes touches on my own novel. Once I’m done with my first, I will write a second, and a third. I will write until I can’t anymore.

There are a few samples of my short fiction right here on the website. Most of my stuff leans toward dark fantasy.

Wintertide and Eve: a story poem.
Canine Repentance: a creepier type of story.
The Mites of Hilarity: an off-the-wall goofy piece that isn’t my typical style but was a lot of fun to write.

Please feel free to drop me a line. I love talking with other book people. You can fill out the Contact Form here on the site or email me at NicoleVanDenEng@gmail.com.

And finally, thank you for visiting our page. Thank you because the most critical thing that makes a writer is a reader.

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Some of my favorite writers:

  • Neil Gaiman
  • China Mieville
  • Clive Barker
  • N.K. Jemisin
  • Chuck Wendig
  • Nnedi Okorafor
  • Ted Chiang
  • Jeff VanderMeer
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Philip K. Dick
  • David Mitchell
  • Brian K. Vaughan
  • Claire North