“Occasionally a story resurfaces and resonates with a generation.”
That’s the tagline of Nicole Paquin’s upcoming novel, “The Islanders”— a book that she dedicated to her fellow hometown alumni who have the niche, shared experience of growing up in Coronado and Imperial Beach in the 1980s.
Even more specifically, she said the book will resonate with those who were raised during that time and remembers that “secretly crossing the border into Tijuana was a rite of passage for San Diego teenagers.”
Third generation Islander
Paquin was raised in Coronado and now lives in Imperial Beach.
She is an author and screenwriter of contemporary, historical, women’s, paranormal and young adult fiction as well as steamy romance, romantic comedy and coming of age novels.
Before her first book, “Sofia Madison and the Voice Within,” was published in 2020, Paquin spent 25 years on the stage as an actress and singer. She also worked in real estate, and continues to do so in addition to working on her new book endeavors.
Paquin is planning to release “The Islanders” in February, along with a local lore book, “The Haunted Room,” a paranormal historical fiction novel set in the iconic Hotel del Coronado.
Appeal to her local audience
Paquin said “The Islanders” is close to her heart.
Although the book is fiction, little snippets are inspired by people and the environment, and plenty of local history can be found within its pages, she said.
“My first step is always to appeal to my local audience—people who I’m around all the time, people who have known me my entire life—and I want to make them smile. I want to make them remember.”-Nicole Paquin, author of “Sofia Madison and the Voice Within.”
“My first step is always to appeal to my local audience—people who I’m around all the time, people who have known me my entire life—and I want to make them smile. I want to make them remember.”
These snippets of a different time also have been developed for three screenplays as well.
The journey from a real estate agent to a published author did not happen overnight.
In fact, Paquin said she’s known she has had quite a few books in in the works from a young age.
Catharsis found in writing
“I was dyslexic, so the first experience I had with a book was me throwing it against the wall in frustration,” Paquin said. “But my dad was on it. He was on top of my education.”
Paquin said she went from being afraid of the written word to loving it more than anything.
She began journaling, finding catharsis in communicating on a blank page at a young age.
Then her father gave her books like “The World According to Garp,” which has numerous plotlines including the struggle to become an artist, and Paquin knew she wanted to become a writer.
At 40, Paquin said she knew she had a story that she needed to write, and it came to fruition through her first novel, “Sofia Madison and the Voice Within,” which is about the main character going on what becomes a romantic adventure in Las Vegas.
The journey of publishing a book
She began taking writing classes at the San Diego Writers Ink, and joined Read and Critique classes to get more sets of eyes on her work.
While Paquin said critique groups were really important to learn how to write a novel, they did not come without their fair share of criticism.
“That’s one thing every writer needs to have, thick skin, because you’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea.”-Nicole Paquin, author of “Sofia Madison and the Voice Within.”
“That’s one thing every writer needs to have, thick skin, because you’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea,” Paquin said. “Once you finish writing the book, that’s the easy part. Then you have to edit it, re-edit it and revise it ad nauseam.”
Paquin understands the ins and outs of getting a book published— what not to do, and what to avoid— and she teaches a class on publishing at the San Diego Writers Ink twice a year to help others in their publishing journeys.
“You have to just put yourself through it and don’t give up,” Paquin said. “I’m one of those people who has lots of books in me, and I’m going to keep going.”