Friday, 23 September 2011

Author Q&A with Scott Nicholson

As part of his Be Nicholson's Agent event Scott has somehow found the time to take part in a Q&A with me. Before we get started - A big Thank You for fitting this in!

 When did you first think of becoming a writer and who or what got you interested in writing?

I was creating as far back as I can remember. We were poor and had a big family, so art was an escape, a way to have a little quiet time in the world of imagination. And I just never grew up.

How would you describe your books and style?

I’ve come to use the umbrella of “weird” just because I write in multiple genres, from psychological thrillers to children’s books. I have written comics and screenplays and I used to be a newspaper reporter, so I have done many different kinds of writing. I enjoy it all and I would get bored if I had to stick to one thing, but the thrillers and the paranormal books are the most common.

Have you ever had any paranormal experiences, and do you believe in ghosts?

I used to ghost hunt and hosted a couple of paranormal conferences, and I’ve collected local ghost stories for years. I had the sensation of being “touched” at a haunted hotel during one conference. But I don’t know if it was psychosomatic or not. I believe in the possibility of ghosts, but I haven’t seen anything to convince me.

Do you start a book knowing what the beginning, middle and end will be or does it take on a life of its own as you write?

I trust the process. I am not all that clever or smart, I just stick with it and let the story tell itself. There’s a misconception out there that writing fast means you are a hack, but I look at it as being truer to the natural storytelling talent we all have. Of course, revision is the hard part!

Are you self-published or traditionally published, and what has been the best and worst thing about the route you have taken?

I’ve done a little of everything—traditional, small press, and self-publishing—and I just signed a deal with Amazon for my Fear series. Each path has its advantages and pitfalls, which is why I try all of them. But I will keep self-publishing as my foundation because I like being responsible for my own work and my own audience. My readers are the only people I have to please.

If this isn't too much like asking a dad which of his children he likes best, which of your characters or books is your favourite?

Yeah, you have to love all your children, even the dumb and ugly ones. I think Ronnie Day in The Red Church is the closest to me, as well as Freeman Mills in Troubled. Or at least as I was at around age 12 or so.

What do you like to read and do you have any other passions?

Just as I write in many genres, I read in many genres, from literary fiction to Stephen King to Mark Twain to new indie authors. I also do some freelance editing, so I get exposure to a lot of what’s happening, and there are many great writers now getting a chance to reach readers, and readers are enjoying this newfound wealth of talent that had been denied them under the old system of publishing. I think it’s great for everyone except those who want to sell a book for an obscenely high price.

Briefly, considering all the changes in the industry over the past few years, what do you see in the future for readers and writers?

The future is already unfolding. We are seeing new authors getting discovered, ebook prices dropping to a fair and affordable level once all the middlemen are removed, and generally an explosion of reading and writing as it becomes easier for everyone to communicate and share ideas. The walls are coming down and we’re all connected. It’s the Golden Age of Literature. 

Some people who dearly love paper books are afraid because it looks like “they” are taking away paper books, but what is happening is people are taking paper books away from themselves by choosing to buy digitally instead of driving to a store. As long as people find what they want, I don’t see a good or bad to it.

 Finally, what are you working on at the moment that you can tell us about?

I just finished up revisions to Chronic Fear, which will be out on Dec. 20 from Amazon, along with Liquid Fear. I am working on a vampire book with J.R. Rain and H.T. Night called Bad Blood that should be out soon, and I hope to have one new post-apocalyptic thriller out for Christmas. So I better go type on it now! Thanks for hosting me at Booked Up, TC.

Scott Nicholson is giving away 15 percent of his September ebook revenues to readers who spread the word about his books. Check his blog or sign up for his newsletter to stay up to date. Nicholson is author of more than 25 books, six screenplays, three children’s books, and four comics.

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