is an award-winning playwright, author of the novels, Borrowed Ground and How to Make a Pot in 14 Easy Lessons, two mysteries - The Case of the Barking Dog and The Man in the Mud Room - and the children's picture book, The Lost Hour. Originally from England, Nicola traveled extensive before settling down in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Washington State, with her potter husband, Stephen. They have three lovely children, Reed, Annie and Esther, as well as two dogs, a cat, and seven chickens. Nicola divides her time between selling her husband's beautiful pottery and writing.
How to Make a Pot in 14 Easy Lessons
is a novel of fire; fire in the kiln and fire in the heart. Joe, a wood-firing potter living in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, falls in love with Lucy, an actress from England. He wants her to marry him. Lucy has other ideas. She wants to keep chasing the stage, not get stuck in some pottery shop in the middle of nowhere. However, the beauty of the setting, the cast of quirky characters that come in and out of the pottery shop and the strength of Joe's love eventually change her mind, and Joe finds his emotions spinning like a pot on a wheel.
Books by Nicola:
The Case of the Barking Dog: a Callum Lange Mystery
Callum Lange is a retired New York City detective who moved to 80 acres in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington State to get away from crime….only to find himself getting sucked right back in. In this first story, The Case of the Barking Dog, a woman is found stabbed to death in the little village of Rockport, just a few miles up the highway from Lange’s yurt on Sauk Mountain, and the detective finds a group of seeds, stuck to the side of the victim’s couch, that will lead him directly to the murderer.
The Man in the Mud Room: a Callum Lange Mystery
In this second Callum Lange mystery, the retired NYC detective is wondering who has been stealing firewood from the 80 acres around his yurt on Sauk Mountain when he receives a call about a woman, missing from her home, on the nearby Rockport-Cascade Road. Once drawn into the investigatation he learns about a series of petty thefts, the art of wildcrafting, some painted gourds, and the story of the man in the mud room. Plus he discovers who has been making off with his firewood.
Some Plays by Nicola:
Carried by the Current
In the late 1800s, in a small town in Texas, a group of women led by Martha McWhirter moved away from life with their abusive husbands and on to financial independence and, ultimately, great success. The women, all from wealthy white families, professed “sanctification” as a way to stop sleeping with their husbands and to stop taking their money. They sold eggs, butter and cheese, chopped firewood and did laundry to save money for their common fund. Eventually the women moved in together, creating the first safe house for battered women in the USA. This play is a dramatization of their story.
Carried by the Current is a drama in 3 acts, with a running time of approximately 2 hours. It has a cast of 5 women and 5 men, with majority roles for actors aged 50+. Doubling required for the smaller roles.
· Recipient of the 2010 Gina Walker Outstanding New Project Award , given by the International Communal Studies Associaion.
· Finalist in the 2010 Woodward/Newman Drama Award at Bloomington Playwrights’ Project, IN.
· Winner of the 2005 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award.
· Winner in the 2003 Northwest Playwrights’ Contest.
The Soul Plays
A series of one-act plays that are related by the theme of the connection or disconnection from our souls. In The Genius Room, God is helping create the mind of a genius while eating a turkey sandwich and lamenting the fact that people spend so much time switching off their souls with their remote controls that they don’t hear the genius calling to them. In The Lobbyists, a young woman is trying to quell the constant bickering between her mind and her soul over what she should do with her life while Waspwoman introduces us to two friends who meet again after a long absence, except one of them has been reincarnated as a wasp. Fulfilling Forgiveness is the story of two men who have died but discover they cannot progress forward in the next life until they leave behind the baggage they carried around so determinedly when they were alive and in The Gift, Angela meets a strange and unexpected messenger of love.
The Soul Plays consist of 9 one-act plays that can be performed alone or in groups. They range in playing time from 10 to 20 minutes, each have small casts (2-4 actors) and simple sets. They have won numerous awards and been produced in theatres throughout the US and in Sydney, Australia.
Publication: Canyon Voices Literary Magazine Fall 2013: The Genius Room and Market America
Canyon Voices Literary Magazine, Spring 2014: The Gift and The Lobbyists
The Blue Light Zone
Quentin has been living alone since his wife died six months ago, surrounded by his collection of recyclables and “blue light special” sale items. Quentin likes to live the “thrifty” life. The only thing that disturbs Quentin’s routine of cutting coupons and seeking out bargains, is the periodic arrival of his three adult sons, Jeff, Jeremy and Andre. They come for his birthday or to deliver groceries, rag him for his penny-pinching ways and then retreat rapidly to the warmth of their own lives. Until Quentin writes a will, saying they each have to move in with him for a month if they want his money. After some frantic negotiations two of the three brothers move in, while the third ends up spending much more time at his father’s house, and all four come to realize that the true wealth in the house has very little to do with bargains or money and a lot to do with each other.
The Blue Light Zone is a comedy in 2 acts, with a running time of 1 hour 45 minutes, a unit set, and a cast of four males, one 70+, and the other three between the ages of 30 and 50.
From Me, To You
It is 1974 and the Worldwide Penpal Organisation randomly connects two teenagers who have applied to them for a correspondent. One is Sally Easton, a girl from a small, seaside resort town in Essex County, England, the other, Patrick Hinton, who lives in an even smaller town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, USA. She likes to read Shakespeare and daydream; he prefers to play his guitar, hike and fish and hunt. They have almost nothing in common yet in the three years that they write to each other, they share their dreams, laugh, bicker, fall in love, grow jealous, misunderstand, drift apart and reunite, without ever meeting face to face. Their letters provide meaning and hope to their lives and give them a place in which they can confront their most difficult teen years and grow together.
From Me, To You has a cast of five, two boys and three girls, who play from 15-18 years of age (one girl plays from 12-15), a unit set with simple technical demands and a running time of one hour and forty-five minutes.
· Chosen for the 7th Annual EDWARD ALBEE THEATRE CONFERENCE in Valdez, AK.
· Winner in the 2007 Fremont Theatre Centre New Playwright Competition.
Michael Manning is a Hollywood television personality. He co-hosts a morning new show, makes guest appearances on documentaries and is being sought out to host a talk show. His wife, Michelle, runs a high priced art gallery in LA, his son, Chris, is at college and his daughter, Sophie, is sailing through high school. Life is good. Until one day, Michael gets home to a message from God on his answering machine, warning Michael about some changes to the population of the earth. Suddenly Michael finds himself with a headline story, a major headache and questions that he just can't answer.
The Messenger is a two-act drama, with comic overtones, that plays in 1 hour 45 minutes and has a cast of 6 actors, 2 male and 4 female, as well as the off-stage voice of God (either gender) and some other off-stage voices that can be doubled by the actors.
Finalist in the 1997 WILLIAM P. AND ARLENE R. LEWIS PLAYWRITING CONTEST FOR WOMEN.
Les Aventures du Concierge Masqué
Written and published in French, this is a collection of short stories where each story has 3 authors and must include a reference to a “masked janitor.” After Dark, written by Nicola Pearson, Stéphanie Hérisson Delattre and Joel Henry begins with Dani, a janitor for the National Park Service, donning a balaclava and dark clothes to cross through a friend’s property alongside the Skagit River at night to hunt for something buried in the dirt next door.
The Lost Hour
What happens to the hour we lose to Daylight-Savings time?
If he’s Six O’Clock, maybe he packs his bag and goes looking for work. And because time flies, he flies around the world, finding himself in music and numbers, and even on the front of a bus!
The Lost Hour, delightfully illustrated by 13-year old Maya Keegan, is a humorous story about time and travel and finding yourself when you are lost.
While the community gathers to celebrate Joe and Lucy's marriage in the winter magic of the Upper Skagit Valley, there is one person who refuses to feel the love; their neighbor, Hilda. She is determined to mar their happiness with a vindictive property line dispute, and before the ink is dry on their marriage certificate, their find themselves embroiled in a series of stomach-churning ordeals that they must overcome in order to keep their marriage, and their pottery business, viable. All this they endure while trying to reason with Hilda. But when she sabotages the ancient apple tree growing in front of their house, they can't help but wonder if it's truly the property line that's bothering their neighbor, or something deeper.
Borrowed Ground brings Joe and Lucy back from How to Make a Pot in 14 Easy Lessons and sets them up with new, shared lessons, that cause them to reflect on the validity of the eathly boundaries we seem so intent on guarding.