Wednesday, December 7, 2016

SOMETIMES I GET ASKED STUFF... #38-- SUPER-SIZED HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR!

Welcome back to the 38th installment of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff… another jam-packed super-sized edition. In addition to questions from fans and readers, I've also pulled questions from writing groups/blogs/facebook as well to round things out. Thanks for all of the amazing questions. Please, keep ‘em coming. I absolutely love answering them. Yes, even the silly ones from time to time.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. It was a quiet affair for the Nash family this year, just a small meal with the family. With the holidays right around the corner, I decided to drop all of the gathered questions into one big stocking-stuffer of a Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff… I had to skimp on the photos/art this time around. Just the Q and A this time.

You can check out all of the past installments of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff... here.

Bring on the questions... Click Read More... to see them.
Q: Why do you write?


The ideas keep coming and I need to get them out. Plus, I love the challenge of crafting a story, getting to know characters, and hopefully entertain readers.

Q: HOWS YOUR YEAR GOING? Are you where you want to be yet? How does next year look? Too early?

It's not been a good year for many reasons, not all of which are writing-related and most of which I won't go into here. Hoping things start to turn around soon though. On the writing side of things, this year has been just okay. I have fallen behind on deadlines due to the things I didn't go into detail on, but I am working on catching up. My output has been less than previous years, but new books do come out. I'm already booking writing gigs for publishers into 2017.

Q: What are your 2017 writing plans/goals?

At least 4 novels/novellas and a graphic novel will be released. There are other plans in place as well. Hopefully, I can write more comics.

Q: What other writers have influenced you?


This could be a very long list because all writers influence me in one way or another, not just in writing but how they interact with their fans, promote, act at cons, etc. You get both the good and the bad by watching others. I learned a lot by observing writers in the wild. In terms of writing, authors like Michael Connelly, Stephen J. Cannell, Alex Kava, Christopher Golden, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Jonathan Maberry, Michael Crichton, and even James Patterson have all taught me a thing or two about writing. This is just the tip of the iceburg though. New Pulp is full of incredible writers I've learned things from like Van Allen Plexico, Ron Fortier, Tommy Hancock, Sean Taylor, Win Scott Eckert, Tom Johnson, and Derrick Ferguson just to name a few. I'll stop here or this will be a long list.

Q: What writers do you like to read?

See that list above? It’s pretty much the same and then some.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years both personally and professionally?

I'd love to see myself on the New York Times Bestseller List. More realistically, though not by much, I'd like to make a decent living as a writer. These are dreams I strive to achieve.

Q: What do you see as the major obstacle in New Pulp being accepted by the larger, mainstream reading public?


Branding. To the average reader, those who spend a lot of money on books, the term "New Pulp" means nothing. In fact, the term "pulp" means nothing. Or, their thoughts go to the Tarantino movie. I know a lot of people hate to hear that comparison, but it's a fact of life. To 99% of the world, Pulp fiction is a Tarantino movie and that's all they know.

These readers are not going into a store or an on-line retailer looking for a New Pulp book to read. They are there looking for a good book to read.

To get mainstream/average/whatever we're calling them these days readers to pick up a New Pulp title, I think we need to focus on making a product that looks like something that they would want to read. That means starting with covers. That's not a knock against anyone as there are some great covers being created for books, but are they covers that only speak to current New Pulp readers or do they have mass appeal? Walk into a bookstore and look at the books on the shelf that are more mainstream then pull up a New Pulp book cover on your phone. Would your New Pulp cover reach the same audience these covers do? Is that the audience you want to reach? Then, of course, the story has to be good, but I think we in the New Pulp field need to work on our shelf appeal a little bit more.

Q: How many comic books do you currently own?

I lost count a long time ago. It’s a lot.

Q: What are some of your favorite shows that were cancelled before their time?


seaQuest, Farscape, Deadwood, The Newsroom, Human Target, Stargate Atlantis, Person of Interest, and Longmire (twice).

Q: Have you ever found yourself excitedly writing a wonderful book only to discover another book or a film telling the same story?

I wrote a comic book story for a publisher. After reading it, the editor said, "You're a fan of Westworld I take it?" I told him I'd never read the novel nor seen the film (and now, the TV show). He said it was amazing because my plot was really close to the plot of that movie.

Q: We're all know the importance of caring for and maintaining an active relationship with our muse. 
What do you do to keep your muse alive and whispering to you? Do you invite her in with intention by doing creative things? Do you search for her in the real world, like newspapers, community events, and family dynamics? Or do you just let her slip in whenever she feels like visiting?

Are you kidding? I keep that bitch chained up in the corner where she can’t hurt anybody. HA!

I kid. I kid. My muse and I have an understanding. She visits often and I listen to what she says when she does. I have to be careful though because she lies a lot and tries to trip me up. HA! HA!

Q: If your current work in progress was a cocktail, which cocktail would it be?

I am not a drinker so I have no idea how to answer this question.

Q: Are you satisfied with the number of reviews your books receive?

Not really. I would love to have more reviews and consequently, more sales that will lead to more reviews. There just never seems to be enough.

Q: When creating characters do you start from scratch or use models?

Usually from scratch. Sometimes I have a mental image in my mind of what the character looks like, but usually, I start with personality.

Q: What is the best clue you’ve inserted into a novel?

Good question. I love inserting clues into stories to set up twists and turns that are coming up so they do not come out of nowhere. Not sure if I have a favorite or not, but I also don't want to spoil any stories by revealing it here.

Q: What are your favorite places for settings, and why?

I set several stories in Atlanta because that's where I live and I know the area well so research is easy.

Q: What are your characters’ favorite activities?

When creating characters, I like to round them out by giving them favorite activities, hobbies, interests, etc. It adds an extra dimension to the characters, I think. Abraham Snow from Snow Falls plays guitar. Benjamin West from Deadly Games! is writing a book. Alexandra Holzer from Ghost Gal spends a lot of her free time designing a trap to catch and hold apparitions.

Q: What's one thing you're into that if someone says they don't like it, the conversation is pretty much over?

Nothing that springs to mind, but I have many people that do not like to talk about comic books or the shows I like so I don't discuss them. Although, it is amazing how fewer of those shows and books there are these days.

Q: Do you think that New Pulp will ever have respectability with mainstream media critics? Or with the fans and followers of Classic Pulp who consider New Pulp to be little more than fan fiction?

New Pulp as a whole... probably not. Genre fiction has rarely gotten respect from mainstream media no matter whether it's pulp or not. That's just how it has always been. There are exceptions, certainly, but for the most part, genre fiction is ignored by the mainstream media. I think this will have to happen on a case by case basis. As far as fans go, that one is a toss up. Fans are fickle. They like what they like and trying to get some of them (not all, mind you) to try something new that is outside of their comfort zone is next to impossible. They have to come to it on their own, usually from hearing someone they know (not the author or publisher) tell them it's a good read.

Q: Dialogue can be tricky, as the author has to give each character a unique voice that is also distinct from his or her own. How do you do it?

Once I get to know my characters and get their voices down pat, I can hear them saying their lines.

Q: Developing the antagonist when a love interest goes bad: are broken-hearted villains suspenseful?
They can be.

Q: What's your favourite Pink Floyd song?

Welcome to the Machine.

Here’s one of those social media Question lists. Tell us about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be! The year was:
1989

1. Did you know your spouse?

Nope. Not married.

2. Did you car pool to school?

Briefly.

3. What kind of car did you have?
A 1971 Ford Mustang. It was a giant piece of crap. Drove it through a swimming pool once.

4. Did you ever TP anyone's home when you were in high school?

Nope.

5. Where were you on Friday night?
At work, usually. I worked at a fast food joint throughout high school so I was there from 5:30 until close every Friday. I think I got 2 Fridays off in all that time.

6. What kind of job did you have in high school?
Worked in fast food. I also did a part time job at a comic book shop.

7. What kind of job do you have now?

Professional writer.

8. Were you a party animal?

‘fraid not.

9. Were you a cheerleader?

Nope. Don’t have the legs for it. HA! HA!

10. Were you considered a jock?

Nah. I was a nerd.

11. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
Nope.

12. Were you a nerd in high school?
Yep. That’s me. I liked to read, liked comics, liked sci fi, and wrote and drew. You know, things that the cool people like these days.

13. Can you sing the fight song?
Nope. Can’t even carry a tune.

14. Who was/were your favorite high school teachers?
In high school, Mrs. Clark caught me drawing comics in class and instead of getting me in trouble, she offered me an option to use my creativity on the school newspaper, which taught me a lot that helped me in my eventually writing career.

15. What was your school's full name?

Winder Barrow High School

16. What was your school mascot?

Bulldogg. Not sure why it had the extra G.

17. If you could go back and do it again, would you?

There are some parts I wish I could do differently, but no, I wouldn’t do it again.

18.Are you planning on going to your next reunion?

Doubtful. I did not enjoy the last couple I went to so…

21. Are you still in contact with people from school?
A few.

22. What are/were your school's colors?

Red and black.

Q: What's your movie theater candy of choice? 

I can't remember the last time I ate candy at the theater. I usually take in cough drops because I tend to cough a bit thanks to my sinuses.

Q: Do you like to use a preface in your books?

I like to do what I call a teaser, a short piece before chapter 1, usually with a title page between the teaser and chapter 1. I think of it how movies sometimes have something happen before the title or a TV show or 007 movie with a teaser before the opening credits/theme. At the end of the day, it depends on wat works best for the writer and the publisher. Some publishers don't allow prefaces so you can't use them.

Q: What monster terrorized you as a child? Also, where did this monster live and why was it after you?

Pennywise from Steven King’s IT scared the shit out of me as a kid. Tim Curry's performance was so scary it gave me nightmares.

Q: What is the most thrilling, exciting, empowering, and/or encouraging experience you've ever had as a writer?


The first time another professional author told me that, not only was he familiar with my work, but that he enjoyed it. Being treated as a peer by other authors has been a great experience.

Q: What do you HATE about the publishing industry?

Hate might be too strong a word, but the publishing industry is very slow to adapt to the changing markets and changing ways that readers read. We need to put out stories in the way that reader want to read them.

Q: What do you LOVE about writing and being an author?

I love being able to tell stories. I also love the opportunities that being an author has afforded me. I have also met some great people because I am an author.

Q: Have you ever experienced THE PERFECT STORM? A time when you have the idea, the excitement, the energy, AND the time to write a book?

Yes to the idea, excitement, and energy. Time is usually the one thing I have trouble carving out, but there have been days where I start writing int he morning and the next thing I know it's late at night or I start at night and next thing I know the sun is coming out.

Q: What's the first thing you ever wrote that you were proud of? Proud enough to show other people? Not a school project or college assignment, I'd like to know about the FIRST SELF-INSPIRED WRITING YOU EVER DID that made you feel like a real writer.

I wrote some comic book stories that I was all too thrilled to share.

Q: What revolves around your writing life? Kids? Elderly parents? The day job? Community organizations? Volunteer work? Church? Entrepreneurial efforts? What makes you the writer you are?

The day job gets in the way often, but it’s going away after next week. Of late, my parents have had some health problems that has really sucked up a lot of time, getting them to hospitals, doctor visits, etc. That has caused me to miss both writing time, the day job, and sleep a lot, but it needs to be done.

Q: What are you eating? We all munch at our desk, but the choices are sometime very interesting. What do you nosh on to keep your energy up?

Nothing specific. Sometimes nothing, sometimes chips, sometimes Fruit Loops or nuts, maybe popcorn.

Q: What's next? Do you already have a plan for your next project, even though you're not finished with this one?

Always. I keep a spreadsheet and white board with a list of open projects. As I do write on assignment for publishers, those projects start with deadlines so that helps make the plan.

Q: Look around ... how's your writing work space? Are you neat as a pin? A little messy? Or a full blown slob because the mess doesn't mess with your writing?

Messy. I prefer it clean, but messy seems to happen despite my best efforts to keep it clean.

Q: Can the Pulp characters of old work in a modern setting?

Yes. Absolutely. They were not created to be period pieces. They were set in the modern era of the time they were written.

Q: Is there a greater pleasure than ice cream on a hot summer day? What's your favorite flavor?


I'm a simple man with simple tastes. Vanilla is my favorite. I like Strawberry as well as Snow Cream and Lemon.

Q: What is it about writing that makes you come alive?

Tough question. I don't think there's any one thing about writing that makes me come alive, specifically. I know that sounds like a cop out answer, but it's true. Writing is such a solitary job, me alone with my computer, so it is always a thrill to hear someone tell me they enjoyed one of my books or to get recognized out in public. It doesn't happen often, but it does make me feel good when it happens.Knowing that what I do has spread out to the world and that there are people enjoying it really makes me come alive. It's a great feeling.

Q: Have you ever smoked?


I tried it a couple of times. I didn’t like it so I didn't pick up the habit. Plus, I saw so many people around me trying to quit so I figured I'd take the hint.

Q: What do you think of hot dogs?

Hot dogs are good. Corndogs are better.

Q: Favorite Christmas movie?

Die Hard.

Q: What do you prefer to drink?

Mt. Dew

Q: Do you do push-ups?

Not often.

Q: What’s your favorite piece of Jewelry?

I don’t wear jewelry. Last piece of jewelry I owned was my high school class ring. I wore it during high school because, well, that’s what you do, but stopped after.

Q: What’s the one thing you hate?

Cancer tops the list.

Q: Current hate right now?


Still hating Cancer.

Q: Favorite place to be?

The beach.

Q: How do you ring in the new year?

I’m usually sitting at home watching a movie when the clock strikes midnight.

Q: Where would you like to go?

The beach. It's my favorite place to be.

Q: What color shirt are you wearing right now?

Black.

Q: What songs do you sing in the shower?

I try not to sing I the shower, or anywhere for that matter. It’s not a pretty sound.

Q: What’s in your pocket right now?

Pants: Keys, wallet, a few bucks, business cards, a small notebook, a Sharpie, and a pen. Shirt: cell phone.

Q: What was your worst injury?

I got stabbed in the arm as a teenager (an accident). It cut me deep though to the bone. First time I had to have stitches. It hurt like hell.

Q: Where would you love to live?


Somewhere near the ocean. I like the beach. 
It's my favorite place to be.

Q: What book are you reading at the moment?

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly.

Q: What’s your favorite candy?

At the moment… white chocolate M&Ms.

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?

I honestly don’t have one.

Q: What song do you want played at your funeral?

Amazing Grace (with that cool instrumental version).

Q: Some writing teachers suggest that tone is about attitude and that tone should be consistent throughout a book. But doesn’t consistency counter the unexpected and suspense?


You can be consistent and still leave open the possibility of the unexpected. If your tone recurs, for instance, that feeling is still there and those unexpected moments, when they happen, stand out more.

Q: Have you ever written the SECOND book first? Then wrote the prequel after? Author friends had me do this once. It was an interesting process!

No. I've not done that before. I will say that the opening chapter of Evil Ways was the last thing I wrote for that novel and it serves three main purposes-- it introduces FBI Agent Harold Palmer, sets Palmer on the path to the main story in the novel, and lays the groundwork for the second novel. I had the idea for book two in my head so I added a bit to lead into it.

Q: Did you seek writing mentors, teachers, and supporters when you started writing? Did you find what you needed?

I did and found them, not in those who I thought would be great mentors like established professional writers, but in those who I hadn't thought of that way. I learned a lot from people like Harriette Austin, Charles and Beverly Conner, Mrs. Clark when I was just getting my feet wet. I also learned from those writing pros I approached for information, some of which was how not to behave, which is just as valuable a lesson to learn at times.

Q: At those times when your muse has showered you with ideas, characters, plots, and thrilling writing concepts ... how do you control the excitement enough to get it all down before part of it drift into the ozone?

It's tough. New ideas always seem to hit at the most inopportune times. When new ideas come to me, I jot them down in an email to myself. That way I have them. Short bullet points.

Q: Your favorite author of all time - living or dead (come back just to do this) - is writing something about you! What are they saying about you?

"Bobby... uh... I'm sorry. Bobby who? What was his name again?" or (and this is most likely the case) "Who the fuck is Bobby Nash?"

In all honesty, he or she would probably say that I'm one of the hardest working authors you've probably never heard of or something to that effect. I could live with that.

Q: The thing that changes everything! You're writing away then something happens to shift your entire story ... Was it a dream? Learning about another similar story plot in film or book? A game changing vision from your muse? Or something else even more amazing? What changed the story for you?

Sometimes it happens. I've mentioned the story before about one line of dialogue making me realize that the character I thought of as the villain in a story was not the actual villain and the story became much more interesting as a result. It's one of those times where knowing and trusting the characters took me where I needed to go, even if it wasn't necessarily where I wanted to go.

Q: How do you encourage a writer friend in writing crisis?

It depends on the crisis, of course, but in general terms you just remind them that they are surrounded by friends, remind them that they like what they do (writing), and most importantly, listen to what they say and offering encouragement.

Q: Which is your favorite to write? The hero? The villain? Or the playful secondary character in the wings (who, by the way, is likely to become the MC if not controlled, LOL)?


It depends on the day. Some days I feel like the hero, other days my villainous side comes to the fore. I do have a fascination for secondary characters, however, both in writing them and reading them. As a writer, one of the best things to come out of my novel, Evil Ways was Sheriff Tom Myers, a secondary character whose part kept growing. Now, he reminds me every so often that he wants his own series, which I plan to make happen as soon as I can free up my schedule.

As a fan, my favorite Star Wars character is Wedge Antilles. I loved the Wedge-led Rogue Squadron novels. On Star Trek, my favorites were Dr. McCoy and Chief O'Brien. Apparently, I was not alone in this as both went from being secondary characters to main credit stars themselves.

Q: Your favorite literary protagonist and why! You can't pick your own!

Harry Bosch. I like his world view of "everyone matters or no one does." He's willing to go that extra Mile to see justice done.

Q: The End ... or is it? Do you know how your book will end and end it there? Or do you wonder if it should end there? Or maybe you wonder if it needs a second (third or fourth) book in a series? Are you ever sure of the END?

I generally know how a story will end, if only in broad terms. Sometimes we get a little off course and there are times where an ending changes due to the story, which is all well and good when it happens, but for the most part I know where I'm heading. Even if there is going to be a book 2, 3, etc... I make sure each novel is a complete story. I dislike novels ending on "to be continued..."

Q: The JUICY MIDDLE! Who loves writing the middle of the book? Who hates it? How do you get through it so that it really supports a great beginning and a great end?

The middle is always the hardest part for me. I tend to get bogged down in the middle of a novel and that hurts my forward momentum. Once I get past that and into my fourth act, I'm in much better shape.

Q: What do you love about getting book reviews?


I love the fact that someone not only took the time to buy (I hope) my book, read it, and then write down their thoughts on it is amazing. I appreciate every review I get, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Q: What do you hate about getting book reviews?


I hate that I don't get more reviews. Of course, I also hate that I don't sell more books so that's all subjective. I've received some reviews where the reader reviewed my book for what it wasn't, not what it was. "I don't like or normally read political thrillers, but I read Bobby Nash's Domino Lady "Money Shot" novel and was disappointed that it was a political thriller so I give it 1 Star." is an example, although one I made up here. That particular novel is marketed as a political thriller, the back cover copy clearly tells you it's a pulpy political thriller. I just shrug, sigh, and move on, thankful that they took the time to write.

Q: Do you buy a book by its cover? Do you judge the content based on the quality and informative nature of the cover image? Does a not-so-good book cover influence your choice to buy or look further?

The cover is your very first chance to grab a reader's attention so your book is absolutely judged by its cover. Your novel's cover should scream "LOOK AT ME!!!!!" so the reader has no choice but to check it out. Creating covers is hard work. Just ask anyone who has a great cover and they'll tell you. It's either a lot of time and effort on their part or a decent pay out to a professional to create it for you. There are many cookie cutter cover templates out there and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them, but using them runs the risk of my cover looking like everyone else's cover so I don't. Now, a lot of my work is for publishers so I have no say on covers, but when I have a say, I try to design a cover that will grab readers and make them want to know more about it. I can't say how successful I have been, but I hope my covers work. Also important to remember is that your cover and title have to be readable at thumbnail size as most indy books are purchased via Amazon or other on-line retailers. You cover has to work at full size and small at the same time. Not as easy a feat as you might think.

Q: What is the MOST personal thing you've ever written into a book?


I've worked out some personal issues in stories by having characters therein go through something similar. I won't go into details here, but drawing from those real life scenarios helps make the characters in my stories feel more real to me and as a result, hopefully more real to the readers.

Q: What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon growing up?

Spider-man and His Amazing Friends.

Q: What was your favorite after-school cartoon growing up?

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

Q: What frustrates you most about writing? The plotting or creative path? Story development? The research? The beginning, the middle, or the end? Interruptions? Not enough time or too little time? What frustrates you most?

Time and interruptions has been the enemy for me the past couple years. Parents falling ill or injured in addition to things like my day job and other things associated with real life have conspired to get in my way. Sometimes you have to move stuff to the back burner when the world gets in the way. Thankfully, my publishers have been understanding, if not pleased with the delays. That means a great deal to me. Despite this, I work in writing time when I can, but it has been difficult. Each part of the writing process has it's frustrations. Plots sometimes don't gel the way I want them to or a character just isn't working, research is not going well, etc. There are hundreds of things like these that can frustrate me as a writer. Take away the sick parents and constant running them back and forth to appoints and such and time management is still difficult. I have to make it happen. Same with interruptions. I have to put up do not disturb signs, ignore phone calls, things like that to get the work done.

Q: When you are down in the dumps, what music do you listen to? Is it to cheer you up, or remind you that you are not alone in your pain?

I prefer to listen to upbeat music when I find myself down in the dumps. I don't like wallowing in whatever has me down and upbeat music is helpful.

Q: Does anyone here use hashtags with their banners or descriptions on Facebook to get more coverage? If so, how do you decide what those hashtags should be? By extension, I'm also using Pinterest, Twitter, and G+, and the same question about hashtags applies there as well.

I would hastag the name of your book (hopefully, reviewers and fans will also use it when discussing it), the genre (thriller, noir, sci fi, etc), the medium (comics, novel, etc). You can hastag your author name as well if you want. The trick is to not overdo the hashtags. Too many can scare people off or they'll skip over reading it because it's mostly hastags.

Q: What is your favorite place in the whole world to write?

I like to write on the balcony of my beach house, overlooking the waves. Or, at least I think I would enjoy that if I owned a beach house overlooking the ocean. Right now I have to settle for sitting on my screened-in back porch, sitting in a large porch swing while the laptop sits on a plastic table. That's fun for me too. The biggest downside to living in Georgia is that the summer heat and humidity combo makes it hard to actually sit out there and write. Anybody got a guest beach house they wouldn't mind loaning me?

Q: Do you feel the shift coming? The seasonal shift from summer to fall? It's so close! Do the change of seasons influence your writing? Kids go back to school. In much of the world the weather changes. If you're old like me, autumn aches in the bones. Does any of this change how you write?

I don't know if it changes how I write, but placing a story in a certain season is certainly important. Even now, when I think back on my novel, Evil Ways, I am transported to a rainy, fall day with just a hint of winter on the horizon.

Q: Are you computer savvy? Do you understand and use all the newest crazy computer apps designed to help writers?

I'm kinda computer savvy, but I haven't dived into all of the apps out there for writing. I'm still a pretty simple guy. I still do my writing in Word. I do use the email function on my phone to jot down ideas, plot points, and sometimes dialogue and scenes and email them to myself so I don't forget them. That comes in handy.

Q: What is the oddest, strangest, location and situation where you actually, physically, wrote? Hospital waiting room? Train, plane, bus? Beach? Parking lot? Share the strangeness that is a writer's life!

I've written in hospitals, relatives houses, a nursing home, restaurants, libraries, on an airplane, at the airport terminal, at conventions, in hotels, in hotel lobbies, in my car (not while driving though), at the day job when I had one (shhh... it's a secret), in a camper, in a garage, on a porch, on a balcony, and in a bookstore. Not sure which was the strangest, but in the airport and restaurant, I tend to have the most people staring at me trying to figure out what I'm doing.

Q: What's your trick for keeping consistencies when writing two or more manuscripts at the same time? Do you work on book A on Monday and Wednesday, and book B on Tuesday and Thursday? Do you write each book in a different room? Or do you keep specific notes to stay organized? How do you write more than one book at a time?

I jot down notes at the bottom of my manuscript in process to have at my fingertips. This includes the cast of characters, a short plot description, bullet point notes, and sometimes dialogue for use later because when I think plot points, dialogue usually spills out with them. I'm also fortunate that I can keep most of it straight in my head. Don't ask me how. Outside of writing, I'm lucky to recall what I had for dinner last night.

Q: When keeping notes and information for your writing, are you organized? Do you keep things together in notebooks? Or are you scattered on scraps of paper and jotted plot points or bits of dialog scribbled on the backs of napkins and envelopes?

Is there an All of the above answer? I don't have scraps of paper like I used to in the days pre-cellphone. Now, I just open an email, jot down the idea, plot point, dialogue, whatever into an email and send it to myself. Then, when I'm writing, I can pull that information from my inbox and paste it into my document as needed. I'm semi-organized at best. My desk is a catch all for clutter. Very messy. I used to write in notebooks when I was starting out, but now I go straight to the computer to write. Writing it by hand then transcribing that into the computer feels like writing it twice to me.

Q: What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself?

I'm fat and can't seem to change that.
Q: Rolling Stones or Beatles? 

Tough call, but The Beatles get the edge.

Q: What is the farthest you've traveled?

California

Q: When do you market and promote your book? While you write it? When it's first released? Heavy for the first few months then no more? All the time?

I do some pre-promotion, usually minor stuff on social media like talking about the project, sharing screenshots, samples paragraphs, things like that. Once a book is ready for stores to order it, I promote that fact so readers can make sure to let their local retailer know this is a book they want or they can go to Amazon or other on-line retailer and pre-order. Once the book is released, I promote again, send out my newsletter, things like that. After that, I remind everyone it's available every so often.

Q: Do you recall what you were like when you first started writing? How different of a writer are you today than you were back then?

There was a different fire in me back in those days. Back then, all I wanted was to be published. I did not understand the publishing business so I didn't know what was right or wrong or how things worked so I wrote with a kind of wild abandon that only comes from that ignorance. I sometimes miss those days as I focus on other writing-related duties today that younger me had no idea would be part of the job. It's a continuous learning process and as frustrating as it can be at times, I do love being a writer so I continue onward.

Q: We're all always writing, whether inside our heads, or during the final edit. Describe what you're working on as an emotion. Happy? Excited? Romantic? Scary? Joyous? Thrilling? Adventurous? Quiet?

A thrilling adventure.

Q: Should you use the tag “Said” only or are other tags okay to use?
I use said most of the time. That way, when I need to use something else, it stands out and gives that dialogue extra weight.

Q: If you could team-up any of your characters with a classic Pulp character, who would it be?


I've already had Domino Lady team up with Lance Star and his Sky Rangers back in Lance Star: Sky Ranger vol. 2. (also in The Adventures of Lance Star - Sky Ranger by Bobby Nash collection). That was fun.

I think putting The Avenger and Secret Agent X together would be fun as they were both dubbed "The Man of a Thousand Faces".

I do have X appear in The Avenger novel I'm currently writing in his A.J. Martin persona. Granted, neither of these characters are mine though. X, as A.J. Martin, has also interacted with Domino Lady's Ellen Patrick.

Q: What is that one toy that you ALWAYS wanted when you were a kid but NEVER got it?


I wanted the USS Flagg aircraft Carrier from G.I. Joe.

Q: If you could move somewhere else, would you?


Yes. Been thinking about it for some time now. Preferably near the ocean. The beach is my favorite place, after all.

Q: Are you a bad influence?

Probably. Depends on who you ask, I guess.

Q: Night out or night in?

Night in is my usual night. I'm boring.

Q: What items could you not go without?

I think I'm addicted to my smart phone.

Q: What does the last text message in your inbox say?

Suck it up, buttercup.

Q: If we were to look in your Facebook inbox, what would we find?

Messages from creative people and requests to support people's Kickstarter projects.

Q: What sidetracks you most? Phone? Neccesary errands? Spouse? Kids? Silence? Noise? What stops your writing pace?

Distractions and interruptions. My family is the worst at this. They don't seem to understand, despite my telling them, that when I'm writing I'm working.

Q: New Ideas! New Ideas! What do you do with the new ideas? Consider this scenario ... You're in the middle of writing a great manuscript when a deluge of new ideas slam into your mind. Do you save them for later? Figure out a way to twist them into your current WIP? Write them into a new piece WHILE still working on your current piece?

Could go either way. Sometimes they go into a file for later. Occasionally, the idea works best for the current WIP. In those cases, I find a way to work it in.

Q: For those of you who go on vacation ... Do you write while on a vacation? Take copious notes? Take a total vacation from writing? Or simply lay on the beach and let the ideas float around in your mind, seagulls squawking and the surf crashing in the background?

What's a vacation?

In all seriousness, I could use a vacation. Anyone have a beach house I can borrow for a month or two?

Q: Do you belong to writers organizations? What do you love about them? What do you wish they'd do that they don't?

I belong to two-- International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers. I love the comradery of the groups. There are also good networking opportunities there as well as marketing and writing gig opportunities.

Q: What's the MOST FUN scene you ever wrote?

There is a scene in my novel, EVIL WAYS that I love where our two protagonists meet for the first time in this story. It was fun.

There's another meet up scene in DEADLY GAMES! that gives me the same feeling.

Q: Do you write in more than one genre?

Yes. Especially when doing work for anthologies.

Q: Are you a "deadline" kind of writer? Do you set dates to start or finish writing, editing, or pitching?

Oh, yes. Mostly, deadlines are set by the publisher, but I have been known to set a few of my own.

Q: Give us a ten-word description of your current work in progress.


Black Water hits New York and all hell breaks loose.

Q: Do you read or write while waiting at the doctor's office?


Sure. I can do either/or, depending on how long I'm going to be there. If I drive my parents to an appointment, I usually take my laptop. In fact, I am typing this answer in the cafeeria at the hospital while my Mom has an appointment.

Q: When was the last time you were REALLY SCARED? I mean hold-your-breath, hope-not-to-wet-your-pants scared? How did you use that experience in your writing?

Nothing springs immediately to mind in recent time because I lead a very boring life, apparently. I had some close calls when I was younger that would fit the bill. I almost got hit by a car. Had a tree almost fall on me, things like that You never really forget those feelings. I've shared them with my characters from time to time.

Q: How much time do you dedicate to marketing your books?

I spend a good bit of time on this. I set aside short periods of time every day to do some kind of promotion or social media outreach. By that, I mean, not every post is about buying my book, but about my writing process, conventions, etc. I also do conventions, conferences, and the like as part of my marketing and promotion plan.

Q: How do you refresh yourself when you're too tired to write?


Naps are nice. They aren't always feasible, but they are nice. I push myself away and do something else when the yawns start coming fast and furious. Get away, move around, get the blood pumping. That helps.

Q: Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind? And does the music change for the kind of scenes you write?


Sure. I don't have playlists or anything. Usually the radio or just turn the music I have on my laptop to shuffle and go. It becomes background noise, but sometimes a certain song will make me think of a certain character.

Q: Do you lunch while you write? And ... can you suggest the best way to clean crumbs from the keyboard?

I've been known to eat while writing, either at home or at a restaurant. As I type this, I am in the cafeteria of a hospital while my Mom has an appointment next door. For a change of scenery, I sometimes head out for a late lunch and write while in a restaurant. That change of scene helps. As for the breadcrumbs, you're on your own there.

Q: Any tips for how you go about organizing your writing?

I don't do a lot of organizing. I jot down notes and keep a lot of it in my head. I prefer to spend the time I could have spent organizing all of this on writing. Of course, all writers have different methods that work for them. You'll find one that works best for you as well.

Q: The Batmobile Effect seems to hit every pro writer who works on licensed characters at some point or another, I don't know anyone who is immune. You get a pro assignment working on a character you loved as a kid, and the first time you are working on that character, some small thing that is part of their mythos suddenly SMACKS YOU IN THE FACE AND YOU REALIZE YOU ARE WRITING BATMAN (or Spider-man, or Godzilla, or whomever it is that you loved as a kid). I have heard similar statements from editors and artists, as well. Have you ever had a Batmobile Effect moment, and if so, what was it over?

For me, it was writing, "Let's roll, Kato" the first time. Also, even though it was for a fan production, writing Dr. McCoy say, "Dammit, Jim..." was a great moment. Both were electric.

Q: When you just have a story in an anthology soon to break, do you spread the word like it was a whole novel?

I don't know anything about the anthology you're promoting so here are a few basic promoting tips that will help you. When does the book come out? Has the publisher announced it (always let them announce it first). If they have, start mentioning it now. If not, ask them when you can start promoting. If the publisher hasn't shared it yet, ask when you can show off the cover in your promotion. Cover reveal posts are marketing.

Google search news sites that cover the type of book it is. If it's sci fi, search for sci fi news websites, book news websites, podcasts that cover the genre your book falls into, local newspapers, local magazines, etc. Local periodicals love doing short pieces on locals making good. Send each of them a copy of the press release the publisher wrote along with your story synopsis, bio, and let them know you are open to being interviewed (if they do interviews). If the publisher hasn't written a press release, use their information about the book on their website or back cover copy.

Look for writing groups on social media where they do interviews and share the same information with them.

You can also do a Q&A with yourself. Write up a couple of basic questions and answer them. Share that on your website, social media, etc. In each of those, have a link. There are numerous websites that have plug & play interviews. Basically, the site has a questionnaire and you fill in the blanks with info about your book. It allows you to post about an interview about the book instead of doing a simple "Buy my book" post. Check out some of the interview links on www.bobbynash.com under the interviews tab. You can see which sites are looking for content.

Follow your local bookstores and message them privately that the book is on the way and that you are a local author. Maybe they'll carry a copy or two. If you're lucky, they'll invite you to do a signing.

Follow your local libraries and message them privately that the book is on the way and that you are a local author. Maybe they'll also carry a copy or two. If you're lucky, they'll invite you to do a signing or a talk.

You want the publisher to see you promoting their books. That can lead to future writing gigs.

These are some good starting tips. Google is your friend here. You can always find book bloggers, interviewers, podcasts, etc. looking for content. You talking about your book and your writing is content. You just have to let them know it's there. Also, all of the things mentioned here cost nothing but time.

Q: When you are reading fiction, do you find the use of semi-colons to be distracting? Or do you not notice them at all?

If they are used correctly and there's not a lot of them, then I don't really notice them.

Q: What was the comic that made YOU a lifelong comics person?


My Mom bought me a 3 pack of comics in the 70's. It had Amazing Spider-man issues 192, 193, & 194 (1st Black Cat). I was hooked.

Q: Which kind of scenes do you enjoy writing most? The happy ones? The sexy ones? The arguing ones? The battle ones? The terrifying ones? The sad ones?

It depends on the day, on the characters, on the way I'm feeling when I'm writing. I don't really have a better answer than that. I just write.

Q: You're at a roadblock in the story, it's not actually writer's block, but it's a snag. What's the MOST creative technique or trick you use to get things moving again?


This happens more often than I'd like to admit. Usually, I step away from the story and work on another story instead. Or, I'll go for a walk, do laundry, mow the lawn, watch TV, anything to let my subconscious brain work through the story. That usually helps.

Q: What time is it? Are you the kind of author who obsesses over a time line for your work in progress?

I don't obsess over time, but I do have to be cognizant of it, especially to keep track of what's happening when I switch between scenes. One can't be in the day while the other is at night at the same time in the same city, for instance.

Q: Good comic book writing can (mostly) compensate for bad art, while good comic book art can (mostly) compensate for mediocre writing but not bad writing. Agree or disagree?

Comics is primarily a visual medium. It is the art that usually grabs you and makes you want to pick up a book and read it. Hopefully, it is the story that then grabs you and together, the story and art keeps you entertained. Good art can make a less than stellar story enjoyable because of the art. I, personally, don't think it works as well the other way. Poor art can keep a reader from trying the book. Of course, what is good or bad art is subjective. There are artists who are considered some of comics greatest and I don't care for their art so it turns me off from the books. There's a lot of personal preference there.

Q: To what extent are we, and will we become fictional characters?


My life feels fictional sometimes. When I'm writing or promoting my work, I play a role. It's mostly like me, but writer Bobby lets a lot of BS slide that real life Bobby wouldn't stand for so there's that. If I were truly a fictional writer, I'd be rich and still have time to solve crimes and write a couple of bestsellers a year. In real life, not so much.

Characters with my name have appeared in a few stories written by some of my peers. I’m in at least three stories in the Earth Station One Tales From The Station anthology by Van Allen Plexico, Michael Gordon, and Joe Crowe (I only get killed off in one of them), in a Secret Agent X novel, The Sea Wraiths by Sean Ellis, and most recently in Ron Fortier’s Captain Hazard novel, Custer’s Ghost. I also appeared as a zombie on a comic book cover once. There may be other examples.

Q: What comic books are you currently picking up?

Black Widow, Future Quest, Betty & Veronica, Thor, Wonder Woman, Winter World, Walking Dead, and Dark Horse Presents. Otherwise, I'm mostly buying trades these days, plus trades of older comic stories.

Q: It's always been said that the book is better than the film. Know of any instances where the opposite was true?

I love The Lord of the Ring movies. I cannot get through the books. Of course, that may say more about me than the books. If memory serves, Die Hard the movie was much more entertaining than the novel it was based on. I also liked the Captain America: Civil War movie a lot more than I did the Civil War comic.

Q: What are your favorite Superman stories.


Superman #2 by John Byrne, a Legends crossover issue where we see Clark being chased by the Omega Beams. Just a beautifully drawn sequence.

"The Late Mr. Kent" and "World's Finest" from Superman The Animated Series are great fun to watch.

Those are the first two that come to mind.

Q: So is the best horror movie of all time. Ridley Scott's ALIEN or John Carpenters THE THING? IMDB gives a slight edge to ALIEN.

Damn, that's a tough call. I love both Alien and The Thing, but I'll give the edge to The Thing. Of the two movies, it is the one I rewatch more often. Personally, my favorite horror movie remains JAWS.

Q: Who is your favourite Beatle?

There was a time I would have said Paul without hesitation, but in recent years I"ve really been enjoying the work of George Harrison so right now, it's George.

Q: What is your current comic book obsession?


Obsession might not be the right word, but lately I've been rereading comic runs in trade like Brubaker 's Captain America, Woodman & Perez's New Teen Titans, Byrne's Fantastic Four, and Simonson's Thor. I’ve been on a bit of a Daredevil kick in recent weeks.

Q: You fav president from TV or film?


Harrison Ford was a good fictional Perez.

Q: What is your weakest skill when it comes to writing?


Coming up with good names is tough. I run through many iterations before I settle on a final name. I learned this lesson after Evil Ways features FBI agent Harold Palmer. So many people asked if it was the same character as Harry Palmer as played by Michael Caine in The Ipcress File and the novels of Len Deighton. FYI: He’s not.

Q: What did you really dream of that you never got? And conversely, what did you get (or do) that exceeded your dreams?

I had grand dreams of being a comic book artist. Sadly, my skill never quite reached the level to make that dream come true, but what did happen is that I taught myself how to write so I would have something to draw. From there I was fortunate enough to find publishers willing to buy my stories. The next dream is to be able to truthfully add "New York Times Best Selling Author" in front of my name.

Q: Do you love a movie everybody loves to hate?

Superman 3

Q: Favorite "good" movie you hate?


Blazing Saddles.

Q: Favorite bad movie you love?

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.

Q: Have you ever been threatened over a piece of fiction you wrote? Have you ever received a physical threat or even a death threat over their fiction?


Nope. I've not received any threats yet.

Q: Question. Is a editor requesting a change censorship?

No. It’s called editing.

By the way, it should be ‘Is an editor…’ Just saying.

Q: At what point do you do the edit where you eliminate the cumbersome, distracting, or useless elements that bogg down your manuscript? First edit? Or final edit?

Usually that happens in the edit phase, but there are times I recognize it on the first pass and chop it there.

Q: When do you start thinking about marketing your book? While conceptualizing it? While writing it? While Editing it? When the book is finished and published?

Most marketing happens after it's all written, but I do sometimes get ideas for marketing while I'm writing and I'll make notes for later. One thing I do while writing is post to social media about my writing day or the process. Sometimes that includes a sample from that day's writing, which is kind of pre-promotion when I talk about the book.

Q: When do you know the title of your book? At the very beginning of the idea? Somewhere in the middle? Not until you've finished writing the book?

All of the above. It varies for me. With "Evil Ways", I was well into it before I came up with "Evil Ways", which was a temporary placeholder title at the time. I figured I would change it later, but it stuck.

"Deadly Games!" was simply called "Games!" for the longest time. I was in talks with a publisher who suggested that "Games!" wasn't a strong title and I should lose the "!" I added the "Deadly" but wanted to keep the "!" which ended up being a deal killer, oddly enough. My original plan was to have "Deadly Games!" be book 2. No, book 2, when I write it next year, will be "Deadly Deals!" and will carry on the game playing motif and the word "Deadly."

Others have changed as well in the process.

Q: How do you shake off distractions and get back to the keyboard?


It's not easy, let me tell you. My days are filled with distractions and interruptions. That's part of my daily life so I plan for them and write around the distractions. It sounds easier than it is because my distractions end to be exhausting of late. I am not very productive when I'm tired.

Q: What was the most difficult writing project you ever challenged yourself with? A new plotting idea? A different genre? A different POV?

I don't know which was the most difficult, but I have challenged myself with each of the things in the question. Trying a new genre can be scary, but also exciting. POV or voice change has its own challenges.

Q: What makes you happiest about being a writer? What tickles you, what makes you smile? It's a fairly solitary activity so what keeps your joy high and bouyant?

I like the art of creating. I like meeting and talking with my characters. I love the sensation of seeing my work in print, holding it in my hand, and sharig it with others. I also love that feeling of accomplishment when I finish a project. The greatest feeling though, is meeting someone who has read my book and being able to talk to him or her about it. That is the most wonderful sensation.

Q: What skills do you constantly work on to improve your writing? Inventive story concepts? Plotting? Character development? Editing?

All of them. I want to be the best writer I can be so I can tell the best stories I can. I'm nowhere near perfect so I keep learning new things, trying new things, and trying not to let fear keep me from it. Trying new things is hard and can be a little scary. Trying new things can also be very rewarding.

Q: Ever been stuck between projects? Not quite ready to start the next project but not ready to promote the newly finished book either? It's the ozone! What do you do with it?

It's been some time since I had this problem, which is a good thing, I think. I used to take a short break after finishing a project before diving into the next. The reality if life and work has made taking that break less feasible in recent years.

Q: Even if you're an avid plotter, have you ever discovered that your book simply doesn't end where you thought it would end?

Absolutely. One of my favorite plots twists in one of my stories happened this way.

Q: Have you ever written yourself to sleep? Forgotten meals? Missed an appointment? All because of a plot twist you simply HAD to write?


I have fallen asleep att he keyboard before. I have missed a meal or two as well. There have been instances, especially back when I worked a full time day job, where I'd get up early on Saturday to write for a few hours and the next thing I know it's night time. Sometimes you just lose yourself in the work. It's fun until you realize you've not eaten, drank, or gone to the bathroom all day. Then, you're suddenly starving.

Q: How many COMPLETE books have you written? Published AND unpublished?

I don't know an exact number, but between novels, short stories, comic books, screenplays, and graphic novels, it's easily over 100. The novels are probably the smallest in number outside of screenplays, but I am working to increase the number of published novels in 2017.

Q: Where's your writer SWEET SPOT? The exciting beginning? The juicy middle? Or right at the very end?

The beginning. The first 1/3 of almost any story just pours out of me when I start something new. The middle is where I get bogged down.

Q: When you were diving into the paying end of the writing pool did you seek established characters or throw Nash originals?

A little of both. Most of the bites from publishers were work for hire ones though.

Q: Who's your Favorite Star Trek Series Captain and Why?

Sisko. As cool as the other Treks are, DS9 showed us what happened when the Federation goes to war. Unlike the other captains, Sisko wasn't just an explorer (discovered the wormhole and was first Starfleet officer to visit many planets in the Gamma quadrant for the first time), but a builder. He built communities, pulled people together, shared meals (many that he cooked himself from scratch), and helped heal Bajor. He was a loving father to Jake and trusted mentor to Bashir and Nog, especially. Sisko intimidated Klingons and was not one to back down from a fight, even against an angry Q who could have taken out his station with a snap of his fingers. Sisko was also a brilliant tactician and is one of the leading officers during the war with the Dominion, of which he was also the first to make contact with. Under Sisko's watch, the Cardassian war machine was stopped, the Dominion was defeated, peace was re-established and strengthened with the Klingon Empire, the Earth was saved from a coup, a Fereghi not only joined Starfleet, but excelled. Oh, and the series ended with Sisko becoming a god. Not bad for 7 years work.

Q: Which author - one you discovered BEFORE they passed away - do you most wish was still alive and still writing?

Stephen J. Cannell

Q: What's your voice? Are you writing fully in the third person? First person? Do you switch back and forth? Which feels most comfortable and which has the most power for your stories?

Most of my stories are third person. For longer stories, I bounce between POVs. I have dabbled with first person and it's okay. Just not my go to voice.

Q: Do you use Pinterest? How do you use it? For inspiration? For fun? For marketing?

I use Pinterest for marketing and to post interesting stuff. You can find me at https://www.pinterest.com/bobbynash

Q: What writing project are you currently working on? Are you enjoying this project?

I am currently bouncing between two novels. One features the classic pulp character, The Avenger and is titled "Black Water." The other is a Lance Star: Sky Ranger adventure novel called "Cold Snap". I am enjoying both, but am getting near the end and have been working on both a while now so I'm really ready to reach the end.

Q: Where do you do most of your writing? In your head? At your desk? Away from your desk? In bed? In the shower?

I come up with great stuff in bed, the shower, driving. It's hard to make the words flow the same way when I'm at the laptop though. It's weird.

Q: Are you a story timeline fanatic? What's your trick for keeping track of your story timeline?

Fanatic might be too strong a word, but I try to keep the timeline straight. My first drafts often include tags at the top of each chapter with a date and location. That helps.

Q: Do you like it when an author puts out a musical playlist to accompany a book?


I don't really pay that much attention to it.

Q: If you were to suddenly come into enough money to be more than comfortable for the rest of your life, would you keep writing?

Yes. I would. I would probably do fewer work for hire gigs and focus on my own characters through.

Q: Ahhhh the Holidays! Are you as productive in November and December as much as you are the rest of the year?

Sure. Sometimes more, depending on deadlines. Writing is my job and it's a year round business. Deadlines happen in November and December.

Q: What really stokes your fire, gets your creative juices going, and brings your best inspiration? The news? Historic events? Films? Other books? Everyday events?

Some days it's all of the above. Other days it is none of the above. I don't really have a good answer for this. Ideas begin to percolate from all area of life. Most days I you take a little from the news, a little from real life, a little from film, etc.

Q: Do people still read books?

I certainly hope so.

Q: Your manuscript is finished and it's at the editor's keyboard now ... what are you doing while you wait?

Working on the next project. I always have something else scheduled. I don't want to interrupt my flow.

Q: What's your Number One most-likely-completely-unattainable licensed dream project?

Fantastic Four is the tip one. Others include Captain America, Stargate, Supergirl, and Star Trek (although I have written a Trek fan film) are also on the list.

Q: Are you going the direction you expected with your writing?

Right now, I'd say no. I'm not there yet, but working on it.

Q: How are you? How's the writing going?

I'm good. Just busy, busy, busy. Almost finished with this novel.

Q: As a writer, what are you most thankful for?


I'm thankful that there has been interest in my stories, both from publishers and readers. It means a lot when someone takes the time to read my work.

And I think that is a good place to stop for 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. If you’d like to check out my work, you can find my books at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, Smashwords, and more. To all those who have picked up books and/or left reviews, a big THANK YOU! You are all wonderful and I appreciate each and every review posted. Thanks for reading the book and for taking the time to write.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.

Let’s do it again soon.

Bobby

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