Monday, February 10, 2014

SOMETIMES I GET ASKED STUFF… PART 16


One of the perks of being a writer is getting to meet some of the most interesting people. Whether it is at conventions, store signings, through the Earth Station One podcast, writer’s groups, on social media, and sometimes just from people I run into on when I venture out of the cave I call my office, and they have questions. Sometimes they are about writing or what I’m working on. Other times they’re out of left field. I thought it would be interesting to share some of them along with a few answers. Regardless of where they come from, here’s a few of the latest.

Check out past installments of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff... Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, Part 5 here, Part 6 here, Part 7 here, Part 8 here, Part 9 here, Part 10 here, Part 11 here, Part 12 here, Part 13 here, Part 14 here, and Part 15 here.

Q: What person in your life has influenced you so much that you created a character in one or more of your books similar to them?

Good question. In my novel, Evil Ways, the two brothers who are the main protagonists in the story have mine and my brother’s personalities and quirks. I found that helpful in having their dialogue sound more true than it did on my first pass. Aside from that, I rarely pattern the main characters after a real person, but secondary characters are often based on people I know. At least partially.

Q: What does your antagonist care about most in the world?

In my novel, Deadly Games!, Darrin Morehouse only cares about one thing, winning the game. The game he’s playing… revenge.

Q: What makes the Domino Lady so appealing to you?

The Domino Lady was the first pre-existing pulp character I wrote and in researching her and reading those original adventures, I fell in love with the character and the world she inhabits. It has all the elements I love. She's a strong woman in a world where that can actually work against her, but she learns how to use it to her advantage. She is intelligent, graceful, and skilled. She has a clear sense of duty and is not afraid to do what needs to be done. She's also flirty, which is fun to write.

As I was writing that first story, "Target: Domino Lady" I got the sense that her adventures would make for a great TV series. I could easily see her working in a modern day setting with only a few cosmetic changes to her story. I was lucky enough to be able to return to the character. I really appreciate Ron Fortier introducing me to her.

Q: We all face times when the words don't flow as easily than usual. What are your tricks for writing yourself out of a corner or blockage?

When the words just aren’t flowing as they should, that’s usually a good indication it’s time to step away from the computer and do something else. Take a walk, clean your kitchen, mow the lawn, go for a drive, fold laundry, anything that doesn’t require a lot of creative thinking. Once relaxed, I find that the ideas start flowing again.

Q: How does a book go out of print in this day and age?

I have several books that have gone out of print. In each case it is because the publisher stops it. The reasons vary.

One early novel of mine called Fantastix was taken down after a month on a POD site because the publisher said it wasn't selling well. This was before I started having a fan base. How much money did we both lose out on because it is not available? Plus, since it was using the publisher's characters, I can't reprint it elsewhere so I basically got screwed. I even tried to buy the rights to the characters so I could put it back out, but the publisher refused to sell.

In another case, the publisher said sales were too low on a particular anthology and that it was not worth the time and effort put into the book keeping and paying of talent on such a low selling title. Or something like that. I also heard the publisher might be closing its doors too.


Q: I like the name sky ranger!!!!  Very star wars-ie.

Thanks. Lance Star: Sky Ranger is a pulp-inspired character. There are 3 anthologies and a comic book out now. Volume 4 of the anthology series is coming in a few months as is another comic and I have a novel in production. Whew. You can learn more about Lance and the Sky Rangers at www.lance-star.com.

Q: Mr. Nash?  Yin and Yang the comic looks awesome.  But I’m sorry, Yang should have been a gorgeous chubby guy.

Thanks for checking out Yin Yang. When I came on board the project, the characters or Yin, Yang, their boss, and Widowmaker were already established by the publisher. I took those characters and crafted the story around them. It was fun and I think it came out very well. Thanks for checking it out. I believe that Yin Yang is still on sale. Hopefully, one day I will see a penny for my work on it, although I’m not holding my breath. You can learn more about Yin Yang here, here, and here.

Q: Have you ever considered writing comic books?

I actually started out writing comics. I did several things for small, indie presses. In 2000 I started scripting tales of Marat Mychaels’ Demonslayer for Avatar Press. That project ran for quite some time. I still write comics from time to time and have a graphic novel that is scheduled to go on sale in February called Operation: Silver Moon. If you go to www.bobbynash.com and click the Comics tab at the top of the page you can see the various books I've worked on, some of which are still available for purchase. Sadly, a lot of my comic work is out of print.

Q: Have you considered working for Marvel? Marvel is the house of ideas. They could use you. Come up with some stuff and send it to them.

Oh, if only it were that easy. I've talked with and to Marvel a few times with no success. They don't really want me. An editor there once told me that she liked my work and would hire me in a heartbeat if only I had a New York Times Bestselling novel or hit movie to my credit. At the time I had neither. I still don't.

I think it would be fun to work for Marvel. Maybe it will happen one day. I haven’t actively pursued it in some time. You never know.

Q: Tell us about your newest work in progress. What are the exciting challenges of this project that drew you to write it?

I’m always juggling a few things. I’m finishing up a screenplay I co-wrote with a friend of mine. Just putting the polish on it. I’m tidying up layouts on the Operation: Silver Moon graphic novel, and writing the first Ghost Gal novel. Plus, there is daily marketing/promotion for soon to be released books (Zombies Vs. Robots: No Man’s Land from IDW and Snow Falls from Bookxy) and prepping for the next episode of the Earth Station One podcast. That’s today’s to do list.

Q: How much time do you set aside each day for marketing?

At least two hours, but more when there is a new announcement. I break that up into different times of the day, especially where social media is concerned. If I only post during the day it is very easy to miss those who are only on at night.

Q: What is the most exciting thing to ever happen to you as a writer?

Being nominated and winning the 2013 Pulp Ark Award for Best Author tops that list for me. It was such an enormous shock to find out that I won. I didn’t even realize that someone had nominated me. I was honored to win. It’s also led to a lot of fun as my friends lovingly refer to me now as “The Award-Winning Bobby Nash” all the time.

Second moment would be when someone recognizes my name and then asks me, "Bobby Nash, the writer?" That has happened a couple times and both times were very cool moments for me.

Q: How much research do you do when you write about your characters in a place you've never been?

It varies depending on the needs of the story, but I try to research pretty heavily for unknown locations.

Q: What’s your Favorite Stephen J. Cannell TV Series?

WOW. That's a toughie. So many good ones. The ones that stand out are Rockford Files, Stingray, and The A-Team. I also love his novels. Great reads.

Q: Do the characters come to you or the does the story form first?

It depends. It can, and has, happened both ways. Sometimes I get an idea for a story and then figure out what character(s) are best suited for it. Other times, I get to know a character and the character defines the story. I’d love to say there’s some science or planning behind it, but really, I just play it by instinct.

When you get to know your characters, they will inform how the story flows. I've had surprising twists happen because I realized my character wouldn't do what I had originally planned and the story took off in a different, usually better, direction.

Q: How many words do you shoot for a day? As you do this for a living an all.

I would love to do around 3,000 words a day. That’s what I shoot for. Sadly, I rarely hit that number. Usually, it’s between 1,000 - 2,000 words a day. Now, I should clarify that the only words I count are the words written for the story. I don’t count press releases, Q&A sessions like this one, podcast updates, website updates, interviews, and the like. If I did, I’m sure my word count would suddenly seem much higher.

Q: Are you the kind of writer who can tap deeply into your personal pain and emotions and translate it into your stories, characters, and plots? I'm NOT talking about memoirs here, I'm talking about getting those powerful emotions into your fictional characters.

I hope so. I certainly try. There is a little bit of me in each of my characters, especially those I create myself. It’s hard not to put those little touches in there to help make that character feel real. If they feel real to me then hopefully they will also feel that way to the readers.

Q: What’s your Favorite Alice Cooper Song?

Found this on-line. neat.
“School's Out” and “Eighteen” are favorites of mine. I met Alice Cooper at an industry party once several years back. He was a really nice guy and we chatted briefly. All he wanted to talk about was good places to play golf in Atlanta. :)

Q: How do you keep a story moving forward in hour exposition? How do you increase tension through exposition? Do you have/use patterns in your exposition? Is exposition always from the POV of the scene protagonist? And do you know of good resources addressing this topic?

Exposition is important to the story in that it gives the characters and the readers large doses of information necessary to the story. What I try to avoid, sometimes better than others, is writing a massive info dump scene where you just drop the information on the reader in one big clump. I usually try to dribble this part out while things are happening and using dialogue as much as possible. That’s my preferred method, but it doesn’t always work, depending on the story.

I have no problem with having two or more characters discussing the issue they face in the story to help get the information out there. That may mean multiple POVs (Point Of View) and that’s okay. I try to use what works best for the story.

I don’t know of any good resources off the top of my head. Sorry.

Q: You are now the main character in the last book you read. Who are you?

I am Raylan Givens. Oh, yeah. I can live with that.

Q: Which Star Trek series have you most recently binge-watched?

Star Trek Deep Space Nine. DS9 is my favorite Star Trek series. Every year or two I break out the DVDs and do a rewatch. I only plan to watch an episode or two when it starts, but I eventually plow through them all.

Sounds advice.
I have a system... sort of.
Q: How do you keep track of details - like hair or eye color, cities, timeline, name spelling - while writing a book? Lists? Cards? Pictures? Memory?

I keep notes and paste a list of names and short bits of information into the writing program (I write in WORD) below where I’m working so I can make sure I’m spelling the names the same and keeping important details close at hand. Other things come from memory, but I try to write things down as much as possible.

Q: Question of the day: Happy Friday! Time to share any news, posts, or anything else about your writing.

Thanks. I'm getting ready for a few new releases hitting book store shelves this month. You can learn more about all of these at www.bobbynash.com I also post at my FB Author Bobby Nash Page, Twitter, and Google+.

IDW's Zombies Vs. Robots: No Man's Land is in stores 2/26. I did an interview with The Book Cave podcast as part of my promotion for that book this week.

My ebook novella, SNOW FALLS will be available later this month at Bookxy and at all other ebook purchasing venues shortly thereafter. This is the first in a series.

The graphic novel, Operation: Silver Moon is on tap to come out either late Feb. or early March. More on that soon.

Q: How do you advise getting the terminology right when writing a period piece? If a writer is working on a tale set in 1930s how can he nail the vernacular?

My new marketing plan.
Research, research, research. And when that fails, make it up. Okay, so that’s only partially true. Google and Bing are your friends here. Old movies and TV shows set in those periods can also help. One thing to be wary of is remember that you are writing for today’s audience. Even though it is a period piece, you may want to avoid some of the terminology that was more prominent in those days, especially in terms of racial or sexist slurs. Publishers will often have rules in place for those instances as well.

Q: What do you do with extra books or books you no longer want?

My new writing plan.
Donate those unwanted books. If taking them to a used book store isn’t your thing, try donating to your local library, hospital, nursing home, school, church, shelter, prison, or local charity. They can put these books to good use.

As an odd coincidence, I saw this link today on Twitter.
Do a good deed today: leave a book behind for a needy reader.

Q: Ever realize that you enjoyed a writer's work much more before you came into contact with them?

That has happened to me a time or two. Without naming names, I've met creators where it was not a good experience and when I read the work it triggers that memory. I try not to let it color my opinion of the work, but sometimes it does.

The opposite has also happened. I've met creators whose work I didn't enjoy and found myself liking the person and then liking his or her work more as a result.

The 1st novel that I
remember reading.
This is one of the reasons that I make sure I treat everyone who meets me with civility and professionalism. I don’t want to be that guy who turns people off from my work because meeting me was a bad experience.

Q: So...what did you read when you were a kid that adults thought was 'beyond you'?

I don't recall being told that anything I was reading as a kid was beyond me. I did have family and friends that wondered why I read some of the things I did, but that was mainly because it wasn't a topic or genre they had any interest in reading. Plus, there were the non-readers who were surprised that anyone would crack open a book. I still run into people who seem surprised to see people reading.

Q: What is the one book, TV show, or film that you were SURE you were going to hate but actually really enjoyed?

Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series. I remembered the movie and passed on the show simply because I assumed it would be more of the same. I wouldn’t have given it a look if my brother had not told me how good it was and that he thought I would enjoy it.

Q: What’s your favorite Olympics Event?

I don’t really have one. I don’t generally watch the Olympics. Nothing against them, I’m just not a sports fan. I do admit though, that the sky jumps are pretty darn incredible. Of course, I’m sure my enjoyment of that comes from my favorite scene from For Your Eyes Only.

Q: Why do you write?

It’s the only way to get the stories out of my head. I love telling stories. Creating situations and plots is fun for me and my brain is always putting things together. If I didn’t write them I would still create them in my head. I have more plots and ideas than I have time to write them all.

Q: The last TV show you watched is now your life story. What is it?

Elementary. Cool. I get to be Sherlock Holmes.

Q: So who's Ghost Gal?

Ghost Gal is a novel I'm writing for Raven's Head Press that tells the fictionalized exploits of real-life ghost hunters Alexandra Holzer and her father, Hans Holzer. Ghost Gal will be a little bit horror, a little bit pulp, a little bit action, and a whole lot  of fun.

My 1st comic book
Q: Someone said "every comic book is someone's first and every comic is someone's favorite." The first thing I'll buy, but do you think the second is true? And we're not counting the creator of that comic, either.

Yeah. I think that is possible. I have comic issues that rank as favorites of mine for various reasons, including a scene I really liked or the creative team. I’ve also met other fans who list favorite issues that just didn’t do anything for me. It’s all subjective, I think.

The first comic I remember owning was amazing Spider-Man # 192, which came in a three pack with issues 193, and 194 also. It was in the middle of the story, but I had no trouble getting right into the action.

Q: What are you reading presently or have you read recently?

I don’t get to read as much as I used to, but I try to knock out a chapter or two on something daily. I am nearing the end of A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack, which is part of the Star Trek: The Fall series. I’m also reading This Girl For Hire, a Honey West novel by G.G. Fickling, partly for research, but also because it’s really good. At The Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs is on tap next, also for research, but I read this as a kid and am looking forward to giving it a re-read. Also on tap is Raylan by Elmore Leonard. I love Justified and am interested in reading some of Dutch’s stories about Raylan Givens.

Q: How do you celebrate when you finish a writing project?

I used to take a few days off after finishing a project. Now, I breathe a sigh of relief, refill my drink, and jump over to the next project.

And I think that is a good place to finish this round of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff… Do you have any questions you’d like me to answer? Post them here as a comment or send them along to bobby@bobbynash.com and I’ll answer them in a future installment of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff...

Also, please sign up for my mailing list. Drop me an email at bobby@bobbynash.com and I'll happily add you to the list.

You can find my books at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Smashwords, and more.

Thanks.

Bobby

No comments:

There was an error in this gadget