Posts tagged with: Nikki McIntosh

Meet 2012 Golden Heart Finalist Nikki McIntosh

Today we’re welcoming Firebird Nikki McIntosh, Golden Heart finalist in the Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category and a first time Golden Heart nominee. 

A certified Project Manager by day, Nikki constantly sneaks in writing time while closing her office door and pretending she’s on conference calls. She writes romantic comedies and lives in the beautiful seaside commmunity of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, her 11 year old son, and her clingy dog. 

 Her Golden Heart nominated book FAKING IT is a romantic comedy about a washed-up actress who returns to L.A. to make one last movie and signs up for a fake relationship with a mega-movie star for publicity. Things get messy when she falls for her co-star on the set. 

 You can learn more about her at her website,

or follow her on Twitter – @nikkimcintosh9

 Take it away, Nikki!


Becoming a GH finalist is a little like joining a secret society, without the hooded cape.  I’ve jotted down a few things that surprised me the most over the last few months, and in no particular order, here are my Top Five.

1) The Email

When you first join the loop you think “This will be fun – I’ll get to chat with my other GH nominees – get to know them a little before the conference.”

The reality?  Say goodbye to friends and family because you won’t have time to talk to them once you attempt to answer literally hundreds of messages that are sent to you every half hour.

It became so overwhelming that I had to hire a couple of middle-school girls to manage my email for me so that I could do the ‘extras’ in my life, like shower and eat. Although I had to skirt a few child labor laws, and they occasionally liked to chat with my fellow GHers about whether or not they have a chance to date Justin Beiber (for the record, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘seriously? Not gonna happen’), it was worth it to spend time with my family again.

Kind of.

2) The Dress

You may think the GHers are emailing about the quality of their manuscripts, or the pros and cons of entering the Twitterverse (please use #Twittersucksthelifeoutofme when compiling your list) … but no greater dilemma faces a GH finalist than “what am I going to wear?”  Hundreds and hundreds of hours are dedicated to the pursuit of the “perfect dress.”

I’ve decided to take the Angelina Jolie route and use my dress as a focal point to highlight my favourite limb.  And since Angie’s pretty much done The Leg to death, I’m going with a strong lean toward the often overlooked, and underappreciated, elbow.  I’ve been practicing a “hand-on-hip” stance that really emphasizes the mid-arm, and I think it’s fair to say that I am rockin’ this pose.

Challenge ‘on’ ladies. Challenge on.

 3) The Speech

Although you’re supposed to be humble and pretend like you don’t have a shot at winning your category, we have all been advised to create a speech, “just in case.”  I have labored long and hard over mine, and although it’s not perfect yet, I think I’ve got the core elements down.

I’ve got a strong opening line (“Whazzup bitches … “), the irreverent shout-out to our published authors (“I am coming for you Nora Roberts.  That’s right, you heard me … I’m going to take you down … JD Robb-style.”) and a closing line that will leave them cheering (“we’re going to do this tequila shot on the count of three.  Everyone ready? “).

Combined with the hand-on-hip elbow thrust that I’ve perfected, I think it’s safe to say that I am Conference. Ready.

 4) The GH Group Name

Nothing gets the GHers more excited than picking a group name.  And although it seems like it would be a fun activity, it was clear that any of the names suggested, no matter how innocent, could be interpreted negatively.  For instance, my suggestion of “Demon Writers Practicing a Weekly Chicken Sacrifice To Please The Blood-God” was met with multiple comments that poultry references were very 2011.

In the end, we went with The Firebirds as a group name (although it’s my understanding that Team Corvette is still planning on launching a protest).

5) The Friendships

We’ve had an opportunity to get to know, and bond with, a whole new group of writers.  You would think that the competitive spirit would prevent new friendships from being forged, especially in our categories, as we all know that if one person gets published it takes away our chance at the dream.  But strangely, we’ve all come together in these last few months to celebrate our achievements.  And although I’ve spent many hours attempting to sabotage my fellow nominees in the Strong Romantic Elements category through emails attacking their personal character (did you know Susan Boyer hates spinach?  I’m serious, there’s no way we can let someone who’s anti-vegetable win the category, can we??), I’m confident that the bonds we form at conference time will be lasting and strong.

Unless I lose.  And then I am gonna tear that place up.  JD Robb Style.


Everyone has their own experiences of being a GH finalist.  What are yours?  Anything that I missed?  And do you think Team Corvette is going to go the Gandhi-route or should we expect paint bombs?

The Latest Comments

  • Jennifer Bray-Weber: Great tips! Love what you did with this. Thanks so much!
  • Bev Pettersen: She really is amazing. I’m learning a lot, Beth!
  • Elizabeth Langston: What a great idea–and I think you’re really close! A meticulous Horseman of the...
  • Lydia Stevens: I went and grabbed the revised pitch from the first post and this is what we came up.with: When mother...
  • Jennifer Bray-Weber: You make it sound so easy, Beth! I’ve always struggled with elevator pitches, but these...