Nicole

Van Den Eng

Nicole Van Den Eng, author

I'm Nicole.

I’m a writer, editor, and book coach. I specialize in speculative fiction–especially stories that explore supernatural themes. Through bookselling, freelancing, and blogging I have gained ample experience connecting people to the stories they need. I love crafting worlds, making them come alive, and helping others do the same.

My Personal History

Nicole Van Den Eng, book coach

I live in Wisconsin and I love the winters here. When the snow falls and cleanses the landscape clean of leafy decay, it feels like an earthly baptism. It’s as if the frigid grasp of space descends upon us and holds so tight we’re forced to look inside ourselves, at the potentials reflected back at us. It’s a lot like staring at a blank page. Then the spring thaw loosens winter’s grip, we take a deep breath of ice-washed air, and wake up. 

I also seize up in anything hotter than 85 degrees so I’m not going anywhere. I live with my husband and highschool sweetheart and our two kids. In my spare time, I cook, design websites, explore the northwoods, and procrastinate on cleaning anything larger than my desk. 

I’m often tempted to tell people I’ve been in the writing practice for the better part of three decades (I’ve been alive for three and a half). When I know people are really asking about my professional experience, I try to be practical, but right now, I’m going to tell you the full story because it’s my page and I can do what I want. 

I’ve been writing for the better part of three decades. I wrote my first full-fledged story when I was in third grade. My teacher liked it very much. She told me so. In it, I witnessed a car accident, but things turned out alright. I remember the rush of having created a whole other reality that I could hold in my hands. I haven’t put the pen down since.

My Professional History

One of my favorite experiences in life and books was working at a local bookstore. For almost nine years, I had the pleasure of knowing some amazing, open-minded, and wicked-smart people. I learned about collectibles and acquisitions. I sifted through literal towers of books on subjects I’d never heard of. 

My brain was so potently colonized by such a diverse set of ideas that I was permanently changed. I feel so privileged to have had the pleasure of not only finding a tribe, learning volumes about my favorite genre, but also getting paid to do so. 

Nicole Van Den Eng

When I made the decision to pursue a career more tailored to me, my time there came to an end, and Conquer Books came to be. Rebecca and I realized we had an enormous asset in each other. As like-minds pursuing the same industry, and family members to boot, we partnered up and tackled the book world as a team.

Rebecca became a permanent resident in my writing endeavors: someone I could bounce ideas off of, trust to give proper feedback, and who understood my quirks and peculiarities. Someone brilliant, bold, and driven (not to mention so witty you might have to sit down). Neither of us would have grown as much as we have, and Conquer Books would not have become what it is today, without the liaison we’ve developed. We’ve spent the last several years building something we knew would serve as a crucial pillar in our future careers and doing so has been a fantastic experience. 

More recently, Rebecca and I, along with our brother, Ryan, put the foundations in place for a local science fiction and fantasy convention called Conquer Con. Our plans were to serve business vendors, talented artists, and devoted fans an eventful treat of sci-fi and fantasy fun. We were wildly excited to bring such an event to our city but COVID put a damper on things. The project is on hold for the time being but we still intend to bring the party to town. You can check out our preliminary plans on our website, ConquerConExpo.com, and stay tuned for more details!

My Vision

Science fiction and fantasy is a special genre I have a great love for. I’ve found few other areas in the world as ripe for future-telling, dimensional travel, and creative magic as speculative fiction. 

It is my personal opinion that when we construct paper-bound stories what we are actually doing is conjuring mini universes. Just because they only exist in our minds doesn’t make them less real. They are whole and authentic for the time we choose to live in them.  

Since my third grade literary achievement, my stories have sought greater and greater divergence into stranger and stranger territories. They have fondly embraced the weird. In order to fully explore something as limitless as speculation, we need to be willing to stretch our imaginations to the point of warping. 

Connect With Me

While my visions of science fiction and fantasy are rather grandiose, I also know that made-up creatures, expansive technology, and elaborate magic systems are a uniquely impactful way of exploring the world we’ve already got in front of us. Often enough, in order to appreciate the arcane side of things we need to first appreciate where we’re grounded. But again, that is precisely why speculative fiction is so powerful. 

If this is your jam, if this resonated with you, if you want to write like this, then you’ve found the right place. Reach out to us, even if just to wave and say hello. We love meeting new readers and writers. We hope we can help you find exactly what you need.

VanDenEngN

Past Projects & Achivements

  • Published freelance writer of articles, blogs, and fiction pieces
  • Co-organized a local science fiction and fantasy convention called Conquer Con
  • Professional Web Designer, SEO Specialist, Digital Marketer, and Blogger
  • Spoke on the cultural importance of books at a Pecha Kuch event: Bibliomania
  • Adept book collector with highly-specialized knowledge of the SF & Fantasy genre
  • Managed staff of up to 15 people while overseeing community donation program
  • Awarded Feedspot’s “Top Sci-Fi Blog” rank and “Top Influencers of Appleton, WI” rank
  • Strives to be a support system for other aspiring authors

Some of My Favorite Authors:

Neil Gaiman

Clive Barker

N.K. Jemisin

Chuck Wendig

Nnedi Okorafor

Ted Chiang

Jeff VanderMeer

China Mieville

Philip K. Dick

David Mitchell

Brian K. Vaughan

Claire North

<<< Check out my personalized store on Bookshop.org

Nicole Van Den Eng