Nikoo and Jim wrote their first May McGoldrick romance using historical figures that Jim researched while earning a Ph.D. in sixteenth-century Scottish and English literature. Nikoo, a mechanical engineer, is a born storyteller. She is all about characters and feeling. Jim is about action and sense of place. Together, they have crafted over forty fast-paced, conflict-filled historical and contemporary novels and two works of nonfiction under the pseudonyms May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey.
Their stories have touched the hearts and minds of millions of readers all over the world. Their work has been translated into over a dozen languages, and counting. Because of their success, they have been frequent guests on local and national radio and television. They travel regularly, speaking at writers’ conferences, libraries, classrooms, and book group gatherings.
For the past decade, Nikoo and Jim have been conducting workshops bringing 21st century collaboration and writing skills to students and teachers.
These prolific and bestselling authors write historical romance, suspense, mystery, and young adult novels. They are two-time Rita Finalists and the winners of numerous awards for their writing, including the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Daphne DeMaurier Award, three NJRW Golden Leaf Awards, two Holt Medallions, and the Connecticut Press Club Award for Best Fiction. Their work is included in the Popular Culture Library collection of the National Museum of Scotland.
Nikoo and Jim are often asked how they started to write together. Here is Jim’s version…
“When our first son was born, we were looking for a way to support ourselves and not put the baby in daycare, if we could help it. So Nikoo went back to her career in engineering, and I went to graduate school. That way we could take turns at home with the little guy.
We always knew that we were storytellers at heart. So while I was in grad school and had a chance to take a creative writing seminar, I jumped at it. The students wrote stories and then read them to the class. After each story, we’d all give our critique of it.
When I would write my story, Nikoo read it first. Her comments always went something like this. ‘Jim, the prose is beautiful, and the setting and descriptions are pure poetry, the plot is tight, and the action is riveting. But there’s not a single character in here that I give a damn about.’
So I, of course, simply chalked up her final comment to the fact that she was an engineer.
When I went in to read my story to the class, the critique always went like this: ‘Jim, the prose is beautiful, and the description is pure poetry, and the action is riveting. But there’s not a single character in here that I give a damn about.’
So I’d go home and tell Nikoo that they loved it.
Fast forward a few years. I was teaching in a university in Pennsylvania, and I saw a call for submissions for a national writing contest. It occurred to me that one of my stories would be perfect for it. I dug it out, polished it up, but before I could mail it, Nikoo said, ‘Let me read it over.’ She did. And then, with that diplomatic way she has, she looked at me and said, ‘Don’t bother.’
After a brief, more or less civilized discussion, we decided to sit down, side-by-side, and revise the story together. We worked on it for the entire weekend. In the end the story was transformed from a one-dimensional action tale into a story with feeling and depth. We both knew it was better than anything we could have done individually. We sent it off, certain that it was a prize-winner (and it was!).
The ink was not dry on that story when I turned to Nikoo and said, ‘That was cool. What do you want to do next?’ Without a blink of an eye, she said, ‘Let’s write a novel.’
And that’s how it all started.”
Nikoo & Jim now reside in a lakeside community in the northwest corner of Connecticut where Nikoo writes and Jim plays tennis (Nikoo’s side of the story (-: )
Hope you enjoy these few glimpses into their life...
Adventure, Romance, Suspense!
Interview with International Best Selling Authors, Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick writing as Jan Coffey and May McGoldrick by Love Kind Wellness