On the Page

Ninie Hammon

Yup, I write at an antique stand-up desk. Easier on the back, better blood flow to the brain … and it keeps me from falling asleep at the keyboard.

It is my mission, my vision and passion, to tell good stories.

I’ve been telling stories my whole life, starting with my first book at age eight, the gripping, suspense-filled, edge-of-your-seat saga of two bees that decided to make chocolate instead of honey.

I made five copies of Chocolate Bees and set up a stand built with cardboard boxes in my front yard to sell them. A book and a glass of Tang (I didn't know how to make lemonade) sold for a quarter. My grandmother bought all five copies, said I could keep the Tang, though, the sugar always settled to the bottom.


"These books will be worth a lot of money someday," she said, "when  you're a famous writer." 

I had only a vague idea what the word "famous" meant, but it sounded exciting and important. And glamorous. Glamor was in short supply on the West Texas prairie, so I decided on the spot that if writing was my ticket to fame, I was in, I'd spend my life as a writer.

I keep waiting for the "famous" part to kick in. No sign of it yet. Good thing my motivation changed and matured over the course of the next half century. But one thing never changed. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, I love to tell stories.

Most of my writing life was devoted to telling true stories in a quarter-century career as a journalist. I was pretty good at it, won some awards, but journalism never felt right, like walking around with sand in your shoe. Six years ago I took my shoe off, dumped out the sand, and settled into a profession that fit as perfect as Cinderella's slipper. I started writing fiction. Became a novelist. Suspense. Ahhhhhhh.

 Since then, I have written seven novels and I hope this is your experience when you read them.

"When you pick up a Ninie Hammon book, you find believable characters, harboring painful secrets, who are thrust into gripping, life-and-death struggles full of twists, turns and surprises. You find inspiration, humor, sadness, hope and spiritual themes in a distinctive voice you recognize. You encounter the unexplainable, too, sometimes, the supernatural smack in the middle of a real-life, ordinary world. And it's always the game-changer."

 

 


 

         It's about branding. Oh, you intuitively know  what a brand is. Duh. Stephen King writes horror fiction—that’s his brand. And his tagline, “King of Horror,” makes it clear his stories will leave you breathless with terror. Jackie Collins writes steamy romance novels. Her tagline “She’ll keep you up all night” captures in a few words what you can expect when you open one of her books.

         Brands are a promise to you, Loyal Reader, that when you pick up a Stephen King book, you can expect to find a goose-bump-feast of horror, and you cheerfully plunk down serious change for his newest release because of the brand promise that it will be as terrifying as the last.

         Branding isn’t something a writer figures out by making a list of 100 possibilities and selecting the one that’ll look good on a business card. Branding isn’t a decision; it’s a discovery. If a writer has been true to her inner voice, then her writing has something unique to offer Loyal Reader and she will discover what is unique about it by looking back over all the books she has written.

         I write suspense—every flavor except pistachio. Psychological suspense. Historical suspense. Inspirational suspense. Paranormal suspense. Suspense thrillers.

         Even though my novels offer different kinds of suspense, they provide a common predictable reading experience. And in the same way that Kentucky Fried Chicken’s finger lickin’ good fried chicken describes a taste experience, the “burning pages” theme of my new website and book covers articulate a reading experience:

        ...a smoldering tale that starts as a tiny flame and catches fire through the telling until normal people living average lives find themselves in a desperate battle just to keep breathing. Killer tornadoes. Catastrophic floods. Deadly coal mine explosions. Secrets from the past, regrets, anger, guilt, revenge and fear. Suspense that constantly turns up the heat, cranks it hotter and hotter...

         What captures in a the word picture KFC’s taste experience is the tagline: “Nobody does chicken like KFC.” What captures in a word picture the reading experience of a Ninie Hammon novel is the tagline: “She sets pages on fire.”

         When I wrote my first novel, I didn’t set out to tell “burning-pages stories.” I didn’t Google "fiction writing" and pick the coolest description. I just watched the movies in my head and faithfully wrote down what I saw. But looking back over nine novels, you can’t miss the rising smoke.

         “She sets pages on fire” is an effort to articulate my brand, to tack words onto what I’m about as a writer.

         And the brand promise I make to you, Loyal Reader, with every book I write is this: I’ll tell you suspense stories that set the pages on fire.

 

 


"Oh, and about the 9 and the e beside my name. Say it fast, emphasis on the 9. That’s how you pronounce my first name -9e. (Think “rhymes with tiny and shiny, NOT with skinny and penny.”)

Suspense Author
NINIE HAMMON

I have soooo many stories I want to tell you, so many worlds I want you to see, so many people I want you to meet. People in trouble, most of them. Big trouble they didn't ask for but there it is. Ordinary folks like you and me who are forced by circumstances to fight for their lives. And then, smack in the middle of their everyday worlds they encounter the unexplainable. It's always the game-changer.

Welcome to my world. If you'd like to know more about me, I'm easy. Click on Meet Ninie and you'll see. My life isn't really an open book; it's more of a pamphlet, and you are cordially invited to read it. I'd love to interact with you on Twitter, Facebook Fan page, and Goodreads. Or come visit with me at 9e's Kitchen Table, a Facebook group where readers and I hang out. I think you'd like it.