Authors Celebrating Authors: Nicole Trilivas

In Authors Celebrating Authors, Blog, Interviews, Real Life, Writer's Life by Jacquelyn Middleton48 Comments

Let’s celebrate authors and the gorgeous books they create!

I’ve decided to add a new feature to my website, and hopefully, it will make a regular appearance. As a big-time lover of books, I want to share my favourites with fellow readers and whenever possible, showcase an interview with the authors. First up is a novel perfect for us gals who suffer from serious wanderlust…Girls Who Travel by Nicole Trilivas.

Nicole’s novel was a must-read for me because much of the story takes place in London, but once I dove into its pages, I discovered that Girls Who Travel offers much more beyond British borders!

JM: Hi Nicole! Care to give us a taste of Girls Who Travel? 

NT: Girls Who Travel is a witty debut novel about women, wanderlust, and how far you have to travel to become the person you want to be . . .

Ever since she returned from her year-long backpacking tour, Kika Shores has been steeped in misery, battling rush hour with all the other suits. Getting back on the road is all she wants. So when she’s offered a nannying job in London, she’s thrilled at the prospect of going back overseas and getting paid for it. But as Kika’s about to discover, the most exhilarating adventures often happen when you stay in one place . . .

Heartfelt and hilarious, Girls Who Travel is a novel about finding your way to yourself – and the unexpected detours that make the trip truly unforgettable.

JM: If anyone was qualified to write a novel called Girls Who Travel, it’s you, Nicole! You’ve been to over thirty countries on six continents. What is it about travel that makes for a compelling novel? 

NT: I’m up to nearly forty countries now!

I always loved the idea of travel as a means of reinvention, and I’ve always been interested in the way that travel can change a person or be a formative experience in life. Travel—especially long-term or solo travel—forces character development, so that made it an easy choice for the sort of coming-of-age story that I was attracted to write. Also, I could talk about the topic of travel forever, and I think that’s really important when you’re writing 80,000 words about something—you cannot let yourself get bored, so travel was a natural backdrop for me.

JM: Kika, the heroine of Girls Who Travel, has some amazing (and sexy!) adventures while backpacking around the globe—including a relationship with Lochlon, a hot guy (with a big secret!) from Northern Ireland. Do you have a favourite story from your journeys abroad?

NT: I don’t have one particular favorite story, but I have these flashes, these brightly colored snippets of dazzling memory that I carry with me always: Things like making eye-contact with a great white shark while cage diving off the coast of South Africa; “dancing” to capoeira on a small Brazilian island; sitting in the shade of a café in the shadow of the acropolis in Athens and drinking an icy frappe (a shaken ice coffee). These are just a few of my favorite moments.

JM: Did any of your firsthand travel experiences end up becoming Kika’s experiences on the page?

NT: Kika’s love- and work-life is way more interesting than mine, but most of places she travels to are places I too have been. I found it far easier to write about places that I knew and loved, so I sent her to some of my favorite destinations.

JM: The world can be a scary place, especially when you’re alone in an unfamiliar country. What tips do you have for women who, like Kika, want to experience different cultures on their own?

NT: This isn’t an original tip but one thing I do if I’m in an unfamiliar place and concerned is look for other women. If there are other women around, it’s usually a good indication that wherever you are is safe. In general, trust your gut and don’t be worried about being polite. Do what makes you feel safe.

JM: Girls Who Travel has so many memorable scenes in drool-worthy locales such as Spain, Rome, and India. Why did you decide to centre much of Kika’s story in London (not that I’m complaining!)?

NT: At the time of writing Girls Who Travel, I was back in my hometown of New York, but I was planning on returning to London. After studying abroad in London, I always wanted to return, and so I was waiting for my visa to come through. I set Girls Who Travel in West London as a sort of homage to one of my favourite cities while waiting—it was a way of keeping London with me even though I was no longer living there at the time.

JM: And now you call London, home! What are your favourite places, attractions, or things to do in the city?

NT: I love living in London, and I love having people visit me! My go-to list of favourite things to do (baring the obvious must-sees like Big Ben) are stuffing my face at Borough Market, the gourmet artisan food market near Tower Bridge; indulging in a swanky and quintessentially British afternoon tea at the Wolseley in Saint James; picnicking in Holland Park (don’t miss the peacocks in the Japanese Garden); visiting the National Portrait Gallery and checking out all the awesome old and new portraits (if you go during the Late Shifts there’s even a bar and DJ!). Really, I could go on and on!

JM: Do you have favourite travel stories/books (either fiction, or non-fiction), or movies?

NT: Eat Pray Love will always be a favourite travel book of mine. I am in obsessive love with the movie Before Sunrise, and as a ritual, I used to watch it the night before a big backpacking trip. I try to mimic the magical synergy and chemistry of its characters in my own writing, and it was the first piece of art that showed me the importance of dialogue and how that alone can carry a story. If you haven’t seen it (or the other two movies in the trilogy), I’d recommend you check it out. It’s not for everyone, but I think anyone who has an interest in travel will find it resonates.

JM: As a seasoned traveller, you must have plenty of tips on how to do it right! What would you never travel without? What would you recommend women leave at home?

NT: In my carry-on bag, I’ve started packing antibacterial wipes and that’s been a game-changer. As soon as I enter a plane, I wipe down my whole area like a crazy person, and it makes me feel so much better (and hopefully stops me from getting sick). I also never fly without an eye-mask since it really makes a difference in my sleep quantity and quality. Lastly, I started doing hydrating face sheet masks on flights, which makes me and my skin feel super fancy (though the down-side is that you may scare the crap out of children while wearing one).

Once you think you’re done packing, I would recommend doing a vicious edit on your clothing because chances are, you’re over-packing. I almost always cut out half the clothes I’m thinking of packing, and I’ve never once regretted it.

JM: Let’s talk about writing. When you’re creating your stories, do you start with a character first, a setting, or a situation?

NT: I start with a situation. For Girls Who Travel it was an American au pair in Europe. I had no idea who Kika was or where she’d end up, but I was intrigued by that thread so I kept pulling it to see where it lead me. As far as the “plotter v. pantser” debate (sketching out your plot first or just flying by the seat of your pants), I’m a plotter, but not compulsively so. I just like to have an idea of where the story is going, but like any good traveler—I’m cool with the detours.

JM: As a first-time author, do you have any advice to other writers hoping to have their work appear in print?

NT: I once heard that the writers who become successful aren’t necessarily the best ones; instead, they’re the ones who got the work done, who met deadlines, who finished what they started and then put it out into the world. Hearing that was a revelation to me because I knew I wasn’t necessarily the best at the craft of writing, but I knew that I was hard worker. So my advice would be: Just do it. Just get it done.

JM: Nicole, what are you working on now?

NT: I just sent off my next novel to my agent! Like Girls Who Travel, it’s another travel-themed romantic comedy, but this one takes place in Lake Como, Venice, and Marrakesh—among other amazing spots. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it all goes well!

I will, Nicole! Can’t wait to read it. Thanks so much!


Want to win your own copy of Girls Who Travel? You’re in luck! This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, so all are welcome to enter. Here’s the scoop:

Leave a comment below answering this question: My top wanderlust destination is? And if you want to say why, go for it! Special note: comments on my blog have to be approved, so if you don’t see your answer showing up in the comments right away, don’t panic! It’s just awaiting moderation and once that’s done, it will appear.

For an extra entry, head over to my Instagram @JaxMiddleton_Author, and do the following:

Like the giveaway photo (the one you see above) for Girls Who Travel,

Follow me (JaxMiddleton_Author), and NicoleTrilivas,

Tag three friends who might be interested in this wonderful giveaway!

Entries will be accepted here until Thursday, July 27/17 at 5pm ET.  This giveaway is not associated or sponsored by Instagram.

**THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED…congratulations to Annissa from Malaysia! Looks like Girls Who Travel is off on another plane ride! Thanks to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for future giveaways.**


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  1. My top wanderlust destination is Singapore. I don’t have a specific reason why – I just feel the pull. The culture shock would be insane!

  2. There are so many places I want to go. I’ve been to London twice but stil have places to see. I’m a serious fan of the Royal Family and an Anglophile. Next trip would love to include Edinburgh, Brussels, Paris, Ireland ……..
    Not to mention so many places in the United States!

  3. I would like to go to Austin,Tx. Because a part of my family is living there and I have never gone to visit them. So, I hope I could go soon. ??

  4. My top wanderlust destination is Australia. I’ve been obsessed since I was about four (blame The Man from Snowy River). I don’t know why it’s taking me so long to get there! (I’m sure my wallet has something to do with it…)
    Cheers for the opportunity, and what a great read about Girls Who Travel!

    I have ALWAYS wanted to go to soak up all the beautiful variations of GREEN land to the breathtaking pop of color on the home/store/bar fronts. IRELAND calls to me, in so many ways! I feel an unequivocal PULL in my being that I pray one day comes to fruition!

  6. Uff, there are so many places that I’d love to visit! But mostly I’d love to see the pyramids in Egypt, try dog sledding in Alaska or try scuba diving in Australia Great Barrier Reef 🙂

  7. I have always wanted to go to London. ??It’s seems strange to fall in love with a place by reading or seeing it in a film but one day, soon, I hope to visit ?

  8. I do travel to find out who I’m going to be. I just got back from the UK a few months ago, and soon I shall be off to Ireland… Which is where I’ve dream ed of living for half my life.

  9. My dream is to become a pilot and I loved this book I love traveling a lot and I love planes.Planes are like homes for me and I really love to see and explore somewhere

  10. My top wanderlust destination is Scotland! Since I’ve watched the first season of Outlander, I’ve fallen in love. There are so many wonderful things to see and many stunning places to visit, and all that greenery, it’s just so beautiful!

  11. My top wanderlust destination is Italy!
    Since little I fell in love with the language, it’s so pleasing to hear someone talking as well as singing, I’m finally learning Italian and I have fallen more in love with it’s culture.
    I hope to go soon and make my dream come true.

  12. I have always wanted to see London and the British countryside. The history there has always intrigued me.

  13. My top wanderlust destination is Québec. I have never been and I’m a French teacher.

  14. My destination…it is London. Why? I’ve always loved England, felt connected to that country, somehow. If I lived before, if the life I am living now, is not my first, then I think I was born in England (in my previous life). London calls me, it wants me to go there, and to stay, forever…

    I am going to reply the calling, I am going to move there someday. And there is another reason, why I love London so much – someone lives there, someone very, very important to me. I would give even, if onlymy life, sacrifice it, to protect that person…And I would give my life, everything I have, to be able to hug him, even, if only once…

  15. I’ve always wanted to go to England. It had so many historical places I want to go to. Lots of beautiful castles not to mention the beautiful scenery. ???

  16. I’ve been lucky enough to cross off a huge bucket list travel destination already – Australia. My boyfriend and I visited 3 years ago and are hopefully returning this November (his third visit…my second…his dad’s…seventh?). But one other place I’m desperate to travel to is Scotland. I’m a Stewart and both my great-grandfathers on my mom’s side came from Scotland. I just want to see where many of my ancestors lived and experience the country that seems oh so beautiful. Thanks for the chance to win – this book sounds amazing!

  17. My wanderlust is London……love the vibe, art, theatre and the comedy scene. Haven’t been there in 8 months and miss it!

  18. I kind of wish my answer was more original but my top wanderlust destination is England! I don’t know how to explain it really but I’ve wanted to go since I was a child. I suppose my love for Harry Potter has something to do with it, as well as all the other books London-based I’ve read. I love the English language to (my first language is Spanish but hopefully next year i’ll officially become a translator). I love its traditions, its buildings, its beautiful scenery, people’s accent, everything! Of course, my dream is to live there someday 🙂

  19. My Top Wonderlust Destination is London!!! Why I say London,because after I’ve been reading this “The Girl WhoTravel” synopsis & “London Belong to me” novel,I feel like London was a Great Place to travel!! To get an inspiration!It make me obsess with London..Besides,London is a wonderful,tranquility & full of inspiring place ever. I hopes to be lucky to win this wonderful novel…Xoxoxxo??????

  20. My Top Wonderlust Destination is Germany. I’ve always been fascinated by its history and language. I want to feel overwhelmed by the architecture, by the museums, by the culture, by the language, by everything. I feel like I could never have enough of Germany.

  21. My top wanderlust destination is Paris. I had been there once, only for a couple of days but feel in love with the city. I’d also love to go to London!

  22. My top wonderlust destination is Canada. Bcs it’s a big country and there are absolutely many gorgeous places that I want to explore..

  23. I’ll love and it’s my long time dream to live in London for a while, I just feel that it’s city with so much history and culture besides all the things that has to discover!

  24. My destination would be Copenhagen. I’ve wanted to go there ever since I saw on TV how amazing their pastries are. I’m also reading a book right now with Copenhagen as the setting so it would be really nice to see it one day in real life instead of just imagining it.

  25. I’ve been lucky enough to visit some of my wanderlust destinations such as Australia and Ireland, but the next one on my list has to be Iceland!

  26. My wanderlust destination is Paris ! (honestly, the whole Europe) . I’ve always been curious with their culture and the stories behind their cities and maybe because I’ve only ever been to my home country and just to Singapore. I’ve always wanted to travel with my family and Paris (and other European countries) would be our dream destination. <3

  27. Oh gosh. I have a very long list of places to visit. One place near the top of the list is Peru. And while I’m down there Argentina. Would also love to see Europe. Go back to New Zealand and explore Australia. So many places.

  28. I really want to walk El Camino De Santiago in Soain with my best friend Sarah Campbell! She is my travel soul sister and so far, we have been camping in the Sierra nevadas, Road tripped to Utah Zion National Park, hiked the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii and adventured the mountains on my home island of Oahu, Hawaii. We’ve been getting psyched for this Spain trip for a year now and I’m reading The Pilgramige by Paulo Coelho to get inspired. I feel like I would really love this giveaway book because I AM a girl who travels! Happy reading! Next trip: Portland Oregon for REI Outessa, then Nicaragua! Xoxo Aloha, Annika

  29. I would love to visit Scotland and Ireland due to their wonderful history. Thank you for the chance.

  30. I would love to go to Italy and ride on the gondolas. There are Foods over there that I would like to try like the pasta and pizza because the Italians really have an art for making those things. I live in New York and there are many varieties of foods over here but I feel like it wouldn’t take the same as it’s made its place of origin, and I wouldn’t know until I try it.

  31. My top destination is Egypt. I have always dreamed of seeing the sunrise over the Great Pyramid of Giza. Sitting in a cafe, mystery book or travel journal in hand, sipping tea(shai) and eating a scone or croissant.

  32. My top wanderlust destination is … the whole world.. 😛 I cannot choose just one location. I want to visit Iceland, Ireland, England, India, China, Thailand, Egypt, Russia, Canada, Argentina, The Amazon, Madagascar, Morocco etc .. I want to explore a whole bunch of different civilisations, of different cultures.. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book <3
    Extra love from Greece <3

  33. My favorite wanderlust destination would be anywhere in the UK!!! I just found out that I am actually from British descent via DNA thing…yes!!!! And if I wasn’t already obsessed with all things British…it’s like in overdrive now…hahahaha! My wanderlust is outta control !!!!! Thanks for the opportunity to possibly win this book! I could live vicariously through her written word!!!

  34. My top wanderlust destination is Hawaii !! I’ve been to Oahu but I would love to see the other islands too <3

  35. My top wanderlust destination is Madagascar, such a remote place with the most amazing wildlife!!

  36. My top wanderlust destination would have to be Ireland! I love the accents and so incredibly beautiful!!

  37. Mine is Paris. I’ve literally dreamt of wandering the streets of Paris and laying on a blanket under the Eiffel Tower for years. I even had an Eiffel Tower themed wedding. To me, “Paris will always be a good idea.” One day it will be a reality!

  38. My wanderlust destination would be Sicily, Italy, for sure. It’s such a beautiful place full of historic with a perfect scenery to write a love story. It’s been my dream to go there since I was a little girl, and I know that deep inside one day that dream will come true.

  39. It’s so tricky to say where my favourite wanderlust destination is. I love the idea of travelling and cannot wait until I am able to finally start! Australia is a place I’d love to visit because it just seems so exciting! However I’d probably have to say my top destination is Verona, Italy. I watched the film Letters to Juliet when I was off sick from school (I pretty much had it on repeat for an entire week!) and I completely fell in love with Italy! Especially Verona, because of the history of the area, the gorgeous buildings and to me it always seemed quite magical. When I start travelling Verona will definitely be one of the first on the list!!

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