‘Whisper of Witches’ was penned by the 31-year-old, a tattoo artist, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Once I turned 18, I started tattooing in Larne, and have been etching designs on people for the last 15 years. I have had the opportunity to tattoo all around the world, ” said Nikita, originally from the Inver area of the town.
“When the pandemic hit, obviously I could not tattoo anyone for quite some time, and as much as I missed the artwork, writing and reading has been in my veins a lot longer than art has.
“The pandemic left me with so much time on my hands, and I decided to turn back to my first love - writing.
“I finished the first draft of 100k words in 56 days, then after the second and third drafts were done I sent them to my editor in California, and after that to my cover artist in London. I really couldn’t have done it without them.”
‘Whisper of Witches’, described by Nikita as a “slow burn romance”, was self-published by the former Larne High School student. "Self publishing was a major learning curve," she said. "I considered traditionally publishing, but after further research I realised how little of control the author actually has when you do that. You pretty much lose all the creative rights. I wasn't willing to do that.
"Instead, I had to learn the formatting, editing and marketing all by myself, and as stressful as it was, it was so rewarding."
Family support was also key to her writing journey. “I was so lucky to have my husband by my side the whole way. He was so patient when I was at my desk for hours, always bringing me coffee and a sandwich when I needed reminded to take a break."
Whisper of Witches tells the story of journalist Ana Davenport, who is tasked with writing an article about a group of witches who live in the local countryside.
As she reluctantly takes the job, convinced her career is doomed to failure, she instead finds herself embarking on a thrilling quest with the charming occult historian, Ezra Sullivan.
The discovery of a mysterious witch box, found at the excavation of an ancient monument and burial ground, launches the pair on a journey of revelation - exposing the mysteries of the box, solving its hidden secrets, and uncovering magical relics.
Suddenly, Ana’s article takes a ground-breaking new spin, but there is betrayal and danger ahead. Together, they soon find there is much more than meets the eye with their discovery, and when people who are connected to them and the excavation are brutally murdered, they must race to finish what they started before they become the murderer's next victims.
Due for release on Ocotber 22, the book is available for pre-order now on Amazon.
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.