The podcast where TWO passions become ONE!
Sept. 5, 2022

2. Author Nicole M. WIllden

Nichole M. Willden is a poet, writer, and author of The Guild series. A survivor of indoctrination and abuse, Nichole has spent decades writing fiction that sizzles with themes of enslavement, hope, and resilience. Releasing her new book Obedience to...

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Nichole M. Willden is a poet, writer, and author of The Guild series. A survivor of indoctrination and abuse, Nichole has spent decades writing fiction that sizzles with themes of enslavement, hope, and resilience. Releasing her new book Obedience to the world was the first step in what will be a great series. We will talk about her life, her book, the concept to write the book, what she has survived. You DO NOT want to miss this episode!

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Cover Art and Logo created by Dazzling_Rai

Sound Mixing and editing by David McClam

Intro script by Sophie Wild

Intro and outro jingle by YourImagingGuy


Emma doesn't know she's in a cult, but she knows her family has secrets. She knows their job is to hide in plain sight. They have to blend in and pretend to be a normal family, yet they call themselves the Guild in answer to one man, Leader. With his rigid expectations and harsh punishments, Leader rules the Guild with an iron fist. He demands compliance and secrecy. But now Emma has secrets of her own.

When Emma meets a charming stranger, she begins to question her life in the Guild. She starts to fight against leaders' expectations in the dangerous life he's grooming her for. When offered the chance, will Emma share her secrets once and for all, or will she finally accept leaders' demands of obedience? Join me today as we talk to the author of Obedience, the Guild Book One, Nicole M. Wilton, on this episode.

Welcome to True Crime and Authors Podcast, where we bring two passions together. The show that gives new meaning to the old adage, truth is stranger than fiction. Here's your host, David McClam. What's going on everybody? This is your man, David McClam. Welcome to True Crime and Authors. So today we do have a fantastic author with us.

bit about who our guest is today. She is a poet, a writer, a teacher, and of course an author. She is author of the Guild series, which we're going to be talking about here today. She is a survivor of indoctrination and abuse, and she has spent decades writing fiction that sizzles with themes of enslavement, hope, and resilience. She is the author of Obedience, the Guild Book One that just came out this summer. So welcome to the show, Nicole M. Willden. Nicole

Thanks for coming on. How are you today? Oh, I'm doing great. Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure. We're going to get to your book a little bit here in a minute. Just want to sit here and chat with you a little bit. So tell us a little bit about yourself. You wear a lot of hats, an author, a teacher. Yeah. Yes. I have been writing since I was 10 years old and I have loved it. And I explored my writing through fiction, through poetry, and lots of different things.

And then, yep, I grew up and I became a teacher. And now I teach children to write as well. So it's been, I mean, I teach them lots of things, but writing is one of the things. So I'm gonna ask all the authors this question because I'm always intrigued by it. So you are an indie author, which means independent author. Which means you handle everything on your own. You don't have no big publishing house. Is that by choice or? Yes. Okay. Because reading your book, I'm like, there is no publishing house

know that would turn it down. Yes. So it's true that I chose to be indie published to do it on my own. And so I never did inquire because this was this was always the avenue that I wanted to go. I really admire indie writers and their ability to get their work out there. And also, let's be honest, I wanted to maintain creative control of my work. And that's really what it comes down to.

I've been overwhelmed by the response so far. So I'm really excited that this is the choice I made. Well, it's interesting that you say because you want to create total creative control. I know years ago, Garth Brooks had a song called The Thunder Rolls, and he talked about in his concert because when that was as a family, it's like, hey, man, where's that verse is missing? And he said, hey, the they came and said, I got to remove the verse. Is it the same way in books? It can be from what I understand. It can be. And that was what concerned me.

is when I read through and reread Obedience over and over as I was revising it, there was just no part of it that could be lifted out, in my opinion. Then I actually asked my editor the same thing. And she said, she told me if I go through a traditional publishing house, they are going to want to cut things because it's too long for what most publishing houses are willing to take

So that's why I just chose to do it on my own. And I just didn't think anything lifted out. And honestly, neither did my editor. And I do appreciate that because reading a lot of independent books, like I do, I have noticed that. Like the length of the book has varied between authors, but it seemed like they had the freedom to do that. I always felt like too, that I got a lot more from the author because you wasn't forced to change anything or reword anything you didn't want to reword that way.

you have your own editors and friends and things that read it, but that's why I like to read independent books. And I've compared that to other books I've read that like James Patterson, who's one of my favorite authors, but he's a big publishing house. So sometimes I always wonder, did he really want to write it that way or did he want to change it? I just read Paul Holes' book too about catching the Golden State Killer and there's got to be some things in that would be written. So I can totally understand where you're coming from with that. So Obedience, is this your first book?

Obedience. Yeah. So I decided to start with the Guild Series because it's the one that I am feeling the most passionate about as I have been writing. Obedience came to me and I just, I have loved the, I love the passion that I was able to put into Obedience. And so I decided to start with the Guild Series. So on your website, there was a quote that you

I want to kind of talk about that a little bit. A bundle of words from the author. He wrote, Emma is a quiet character in my head. Emma is the main character in the book, at least one of them. Says she has been living here since 2011, quietly waiting for her series to be released to the world. Leader, on the other hand, has never given me a moment's rest. He took her residence before Emma did and has never been quiet, polite, or patient. Every time my hands strayed to another work, Leader pinned me with a dark stare from the recesses of my mind.

He kept me up at night when I no longer had the willpower to resist him I placed my book into final edits and soon leader will be released upon the world And then your joke was no characters were backhanded into oblivion during the creation of this work So let's kind of break that down so Emma who is the main female here in this book She's been living in your brain or she came since 2011. So you've been thinking about this book since that long I actually started writing it then so that was when I started

when I started book one was in 2011. And yeah, she's kind of been, like I said, she's a quiet character in my mind. He just like rolls with the punches as I go through. Leader is not like that. So in my brain, Leader is exactly as demanding as I claimed he was in that little snippet. He wants the world to know his story. If you read the book, you can kind of feel that.

there. He doesn't take any BS. He's matter of fact. And if this is what you is filling in your brain, it totally comes across on the pages of this. So the premise of it is that Emma doesn't really know that she's in a cult. I'm not gonna give it too much. I don't want to spoil it, but this was in your synopsis. But she does know her family has secrets. A cult these days is a big thing. I know on my other podcast they were crying, we do a cult month, where

because it seems like every time we turn around, there's a whole new cult out there. I just watched a documentary one called The Way Down. I'm like, I've never even heard of this cult. What made you want to write something that was somebody being in a cult? Well, I consider myself to have been raised in a cult. So I was indoctrinated and just very oppressed. And I wanted to write that perspective

the mind of that person, of me, when I was younger. And a lot of things that happen in the book never happened to me in my life, but there are a lot of things that are inside the mind of someone who's traumatized and indoctrinated. And I don't think that everyone really recognizes or sees that. And that's what made me want to write, Emma. Well, you just answered one of my questions, because another question when I was authors is, you know, they always say that when people write

they've been there or lived that in their life. And then you read some of these books, you're like, man, they live that. This is pretty... So you consider yourself to be raised in a cult, which is why you wanted to write in this direction? Yes, I do. So a lot of the things that happen, just the emotional abuse and neglect, that comes from my lived experience. The cult itself is fiction, but I was raised in a cult-like environment. And there is this kind of hierarchy

and you listen to your leaders and you do what your leaders tell you. And I didn't want to be subtle about that, which is why I named the leader of the guild cult leader. That's his official title. That's what everyone calls him. And I did that on purpose because it's just pretty oppressive to grow up expected to just do everything your leaders say without hesitation. And so leader became leader.

that you have to do everything everyone says and leaders to the top of that chain. Now, the one thing I have noticed that differs from you than some of the other indie authors that I've read is your chapters are very long. So like the first chapter is like 40 minutes long. Is that because this is how it's flowing in your brain that you had to get out that way? Did you intend for them to be that long or that you just felt like they'd all jive together? No, I did not intend them to be this long. I had no idea that they were

they are until it was like going into publication. I had no idea these chapters were so long. Honestly, when I was writing them on my computer, I don't know what the length of a standard chapter is. And I know people prefer shorter chapters. I have to be honest, I prefer shorter chapters. So I had no idea that they were as long as they are. And I don't know what this means going forward. The rest of the books that I have written in this series are probably going to end up with

length of chapters. So I don't know what that means for revisions, but who know, I had no idea that they were going to be this long. And, and I am sorry to all of the readers that I wasn't paying attention to that when I wrote it. Well, I've read a lot of reviews for the book. They've all been raving. Everybody's loving the book. Page Turner was one thing somebody said, I'm going to say the same thing. I didn't see anybody complaining about the length of the books. Have you heard anybody complain personally to you about how long the book is?

I just because I am also an ARC reader, so I read other books and things like that, I've noticed a trend in the shortness of chapters and a lot of people talk about that. In fact, I'm in a Facebook group that saw a whole bunch of readers and one of the things they said is, what is something that authors do that you can't stand? And so many people said super long chapters and I was like, I am sorry world.

So within all of this, so we know that Emma's family has secrets, we know how rigid leader is, I mean, he controls everybody, but then the cool thing is it goes down and says, now Emma has secrets of her own. Yeah. So when you're writing this book, where did you come out that, okay, so here's this big old family secret, but now we're gonna give Emma some secrets of her own. How did you derive at that? It's the natural progression of growing up that you start to become your own person. And up to this point,

like this is her family and this is all she knows. Until Emma starts to realize and see that there are differences, that there's a world outside of the bubble that she's been raised in, she's had no reason to question or think outside of it. And really we're coming to Emma right as she's turning what 14 years old. So she's just like right on the cusp of a teenage rebellion. And we're getting hints that,

struggling for a while and she's looking for an outlet. And so it just sort of came into that the best way for her to sort of explore who she is, independent of the guild, was to give her some secrets. And so that's what happened. She ended up with some secrets of her own. And so now she's having to juggle the secrets of the guild and the guild family with her own personal secrets.

So I would be remiss if I didn't mention the way that I found you or even heard about you is because I'm a part of a group called Katie Embrace. Katie Embrace is a group that they put together readers who are avid readers so that they can read ARCs, which is advanced readers copies from authors that's going to drop them. The other good thing about being an independent author as well is because you can drop as many ARCs whenever you want and don't have to worry

I'm a proud member of that group. How did you find out about Katie embrace? I got on Instagram I did a professional account for my just my author account and I just started getting into Like bookish accounts and I found them through Instagram I they popped up as a suggested like contact friend and they were saying that they were taking new authors and so I

talk to them and see how they would do. So that's how I ended up with Katie and Brie. And I am just so grateful for what they've been able to do connecting me with a whole bunch of great readers. Well, you've been very active in the thread. I've already, I've seen you in there a bunch of times. This book is amazing. The cover alone draws you into it. You kind of want to read the snobbish. You're like, why is this dude standing behind her with her hands on her shoulders? Just the cover alone. I know you had another cover before and then you changed it.

reveal was I was very happy to be a part of that. What do you want the world to know about Obedience? What do you want the world to know? I think I want them to know that this is the beginning of an epic storyline of Emma's life. And so we are just getting her at the very, very beginning in Obedience.

figuring out who you are and the story of the guild is also just about figuring out who you are in your family and in your life independent from your family. And there are there are many more installments to come.

All right, so I didn't go real deep into this book today because I wanted you guys to go pick it up. I don't want to ruin the story. The story is so good that I think if I was to delve as deep as I want to, it'd start giving things away. So at the beginning of this episode, you did hear me give you the synopsis of the book. I want you guys to go and check that book out. Obedience is available right now on Kindle Unlimited. For those of you guys that does not know how that works, I know there's a

there, you download it, you get paid. Nicole does not make a dime on this book if you don't read it. So she gets paid by the page at Kindle Unlimited. So you guys need to download it and read it. If you don't have Kindle Unlimited, it's free trials, but this book is a page turner. I'm really enjoying the book myself. This is Guild Book One. Are you set for Guild Book Two at this point or when can we expect that? Yes, actually, the Guild Two is already written. It is called Diligence.

And we are hoping to get it out later this year. So that's our goal. I have actually written nine of the books in this series. There will be 12. So there are nine written or drafted, I should say. So right now I'm in revisions for diligence and we are hoping to release later this year or at the very latest early next year. Wow. You're busy. Yes. Well, I cannot wait to read it.

So I could pick that one up to anything that you write. You already have one fan that's going to be picking it up, which is me. I can't, I can't say enough about this book. Can't say enough about you. Incredible woman. I come from a background of abuse as well. My father was very abusive to my mom. So we share that. I know how that is. I wrapped a lot of things that I do into that. And no matter what anybody thinks, when you get older and adult, it doesn't go away. Oh, you'll grow out of it. You never grow out of it.

handle it in different ways, in your case, as books and obedience and written very well. So. Thank you.

Thank you for coming on today. Anything else you'd like to say to your fans or people reading out there? Thank you so much for reading is what I wanna say. I'm just, I've been amazed at just the love and everything that I'm getting for this book. And just thank you so much for reading. Thank you so much for reviewing. Indie authors just rely on our reviews. So thank you to the people who are leaving reviews and are talking about it on your social media. It's getting out there. People are hearing about it and they're reading it. And I really appreciate all of the help

of awesome readers reading my book and telling other people. So thank you so much. I love my readers. I thank you for coming on today. It has been a pleasure and an honor having you on the show. Anytime you want to come back, let me know. Maybe when diligence comes out, we'll have you back and we have a discussion about that as well. That would be great. I would love that. All right. Thank you very much. Thank you so much. All right, guys. So you heard it there. That was the wonderful Nicole M. Wilden. Her book is Obedience.

The Guild Book One. You can pick this up at Kendall Unlimited or any place else that you buy books. Let's go out and show her some support. Especially if you get down on Kendall Unlimited. Please make sure that you read every page so she can get paid for the work that she does.

All right, guys, well, thank you for tuning into this episode. We'll be back as usual next week with another True Crime episode for you. Remember, this is the podcast where two passions becomes one. We're going to talk to you guys next time. Thank you for listening to True Crime and Authors. Don't forget to rate, comment, and subscribe. Join us on social media, on Facebook at True Crime and Authors, on Twitter at Authors True, on YouTube and TikTok at True Crime and Authors.

and authors and email at truecrimeandauthors at Cover art and logo designed by dazzling underscore Ray from Fiverr, sound mixing and editing by David McClam, intro script by Sophie Wild from Fiverr and I'm the voice guy, your imaging guy from Fiverr. See you next time on True Crime and Authors.


Nichole WilldenProfile Photo

Nichole Willden

Author, Poet

Nichole M. Willden is a poet, writer, and author of The Guild series. A survivor of indoctrination and abuse, Nichole has spent decades writing fiction that sizzles with themes of enslavement, hope, and resilience.