Hello Readers! Today I’ve got an excellent interview with Nicole Baart, author of the soon to be released book Little Broken Things. I was lucky to get an ARC of this book and wow…it was an amazing story! I loved it from page one!
Nicole and I collaborated on a candle inspired by Little Broken Things – Everlee. This is inspired by the young girl who is at the center of a complex web of family lies, but who also wins the hearts all she interacts with.
I couldn’t wait to ask her about where this story came from, how she likes her book being compared to Big Little Lies and who she’d love to play the TV/Movie version of her characters! Read on to find out Nicole’s anwers.
Hi Nicole! I’m so excited to be chatting with you today!
First off let’s talk about Little Broken Things and how it’s be compared to Big Little Lies…a huge book and TV series. What do you think about that comparison?
I’m beyond thrilled that Little Broken Things is being compared to anything by Liane Moriarty. She’s one of my literary heroes—her characterization is so powerful that I long to be friends with the people she creates! I read Big Little Lies when it came out and was absolutely riveted, so when the miniseries released I convinced my husband to sign up for HBO On Demand just so we could see it. We weren’t disappointed. So, yes, I couldn’t be happier to be mentioned in the same breath as a work of art I so admire. But I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t suffer from a bit of imposter syndrome… I’m an unapologetic fangirl through and through!
I absolutely loved Little Broken Things and am already scouring your previous books to find more to read. (Sleeping with Eden is SO at the top of my TBR list!) Can you share with us how each story comes to you and a little about your writing process?
I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed Little Broken Things! My book always begin with a nugget of truth. Maybe an experience I had, a story I heard, or a person who fascinates me because of her strength, integrity, or moxie. I didn’t even realize I was doing this when I first started writing, but it soon became clear that my books are a way for me to see the world aslant—and therefore process the things I am thinking and feeling by shifting my perspective just a little. It takes me about three years to write each book: one year to brainstorm and begin the process of creating, one year to write, and one year to edit and publish. By the time I’m done, my characters feel like friends and family members!
Little Broken Things is about family secrets, more than I had expected as I went through the story. Was there a secret (without spoilers of course!) that surprised you as wrote the story?
Absolutely. Even I didn’t know the twist until the day I wrote it. Suddenly it just made perfect sense. Of course, I had to do a few edits to make it all fit, but I was so excited to do so. I love it when a story takes on a life of its own.
Everlee is the little girl at the center of this story and the inspiration for the candle on which we collaborated. She’s a quiet character, but the catalyst for so much in the book. I love her part in the story. I’d love to hear how she presented herself to you as a character.
Everlee is based on my daughter, Eve. I didn’t intend for them to have such similar names, but when I was writing Little Broken Things I held a contest and allowed my readers to name her—they chose Everlee. Our Eve was adopted from Liberia at the age of six, and though we had known her for most of her life, we never imagined that she would be our daughter. When she came home there was a lot to process, and the first few weeks and months were more beautiful—and difficult—than I could have ever imagined. I found myself writing about a girl in crisis because it was the life I was living at the time. Of course, their stories couldn’t be more different, but the overarching theme of child trauma and endangerment was exactly what I needed to be writing as I learned how to be a good mother to Eve.
I noticed that Blackhawk, IA is a recurring location in a few of your earlier books. Do you find that location and setting play a big part in the stories you tell?
For sure. I am one of the most sensuous (not in the sexy sense, in the literal sense—“relating to or affecting the senses rather than the intellect”) people you’ll ever meet. The way things feel and taste and smell and sound really matters to me, and I believe that where is just as important as how or why. This is one of the reasons why I so enjoyed the process of creating a candle with you! The Midwest, and Iowa in particular, is a favorite setting of mine because I think there is a unique beauty that is often overlooked in the “flyover states.” I want to showcase that in my books.
On a more personal note, when I was digging through your website for more books to read I found your About page and the mention that you adopted five children from four different countries. I’d love to hear a bit more about this and your work with One Body One Hope. Did your adoptions inspire your philanthropic work?
As a matter of fact, they did. When my husband and I were adopting our son, Judah, from Ethiopia, we met a pastor from Liberia who became a close friend. Ten years later we are still working in Liberia and have a vibrant, growing non-profit! We never set out to start an NGO, but it has become an integral part of our lives. One Body One Hope partners with a sisterhood of 17 churches in Liberia. We operate three children’s homes that care for over 150 orphaned children, three schools, one commercial-sized farm, and participate in many community redevelopment efforts. Our family considers Liberia a second home!
I’d love to end this interview with a fun question. Earlier we talked about Little Broken Things being compared to Big Little Lies. If you could cast anyone to play in the TV version of Little Broken Things, who would you cast? I’m especially curious about Quinn’s husband, Walker. ☺
That’s easy: Walker is Shemar Moore. With an afro, of course. And in his younger days. Blake Lively is a wholesome Quinn, and Diane Keaton would make a perfect Liz. I’m not sure about the rest! But now you’ve got me thinking…
(yes, that will do!)
Thank you so much for talking with us today, Nicole! I hope all our readers get their pre-orders in today for Little Broken Things!
Thank you so much, Nalana! I hope the same thing. And thank you for creating a scent that so perfectly captures Everlee. I am thrilled that readers will have the chance to not just read Little Broken Things, but experience it.
A sweet blend of honey, jasmine, vanilla and wet rose petals.
What I loved about Little Broken Things
This story was awesome! If you love stories about family secrets – this one’s for you! I loved how engrossed I became in the lives of the women in this story. And how concerned I felt for each of them and how things had turned out. This book had me from the start and I hope you’ll get your copy today! You won’t regret it!Nalana