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|You tell 'em, Calvin!|
Q: What is your New Year’s writing resolution for 2017?
I'm not really a resolutions guy. I plan, sure, but I do that throughout the year, not just at the beginning of the year. Planning requires the occasional restructuring or course correcting as things like real life or publishing issues get in the way. Believe me, they both happen. 2016 was a year where these type of hiccups happened to me a lot.
|You tell 'em, Jean Luc!|
Q: It's a NEW YEAR! What would you like to see happen for you as an author in 2017?
Hopefully, I will get one step closer to having "New York Times
|Yep. Writing is exactly like this. :)|
Q: What motivates you more as a writer? Making sales? Getting great reviews? Getting fan mail? The constant challenge to write something better or extremely unique?
As I'm writing, it's the challenge to tell the best story that I can tell. Once it's out, there is the sales and reviews aspect that I think about while promoting the work. I don't think about the sales as much while writing though.
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I'm either already working on another project or marketing. There's rarely any downtime unless it's a planned a day off or something has come up in real life to keep me out of the writing office.
Q: I love beginnings! Today's question ... Give us the first three sentences in the very beginning of your work in progress!
As the sun started its daily climb from behind the skyscrapers, the city’s day shift started. Early morning traffic clogged by highways and byways of the bustling metropolis.
Q: What tricks do you use to punch up a scene? Toss in something unexpected? Have a character react differently than expected? Change the end result?
It could be any of those or something else. It all depends on the kind of story I'm writing. In a pulp adventure, having a gunman run in and start shooting works. We call this the, "Suddenly..." moment. That might not work as well in another type of story. No matter what you use to punch up the scene, it has to feel true to the story you're telling. Even if it's a character doing a shocking surprise heel turn, as long as it fits the character and makes sense to the story, that works.
Q: What is your favorite movie trailer?
The first three that came to mind were Iron Man, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Gaurdians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Changed the beginning. I was shopping Evil Ways around and it wasn't getting any traction. I took a hard look at it and realized that the opening chapter, while important, did not have quite the impact that chapter needed. So, I wrote a new first chapter and changed all of the chapter numbers going forward. The new opening had more impact, was more exciting, introduced out main character instead of the shadowy villain, as the original had done, and laid the groundwork for the eventual sequel. The manuscript started getting more looks after that change.
The waitress seated us in a dimly lit corner of the old bar. Seconds later, two glasses of the smoothest bourbon to ever migrate out of the south sat in front of us, compliments of the house. They were fans. Through the smoky haze, we could just make out the stage as the band took the stage. We didn't need to see them, instead, we let the music speak for
"So, Michael," I said as the music echoed around us. "What's your favorite way to kill a character?"
He chuckled and took a sip of his bourbon.
Q: If your favorite author, living or dead, was performing Santa Claus duties, what would ask them for as a gift?
Fame? Fortune? A Jedi craves not these things. Writers, on the other hand... well, these things sound great to me. As much as I would love fame and fortune, I'd settle for known and able to pay my bills most of the time. Recognition is incredible and I feel fortunate to have gained the small following that I have. It's a good start, but I still strive for more readers, better contracts, and the ability to get my books in front of the largest number of readers possible. It's an ongoing struggle, but every year I see some growth to my writing career. There's still a long way to go though.
Q: What's the best part of your day... creatively speaking?
No specific time of day, but when I know I can sit down and work for a few hours uninterrupted, that's the stuff.
I want to say wealthiest, but I would rather be the best and hope the others followed.
Q: If you could change one single thing about comic books today what would it be?
Q: When writing feels like a chore, like changing a diaper or scrubbing a floor (I didn't mean to rhyme, honest,) what's your trick for getting the magic back?
Sometimes you just have to step away for a minute. Watch some TV, take a walk, do the laundry, mow the lawn, anything that's not writing related. That generally tends to work for me so that when I get back to work I'm ready to work.
One big file. I find it easier to have everything close at hand and easy to reach. Your mileage may vary. I know some writers who work a completely different way.
Q: Think back to the first time you wrote in a genre other than you're favorite, did it rattle you at all? How did you prepare for the new experience?
I love the challenge of playing in a new genre or mixing genres in a way I haven't attempted before. Each story offers up a a challenge. When I wrote Lance Star:
Domino Lady, even though it was still a pulp story, it was a different kind of character and story so those same kind of challenges were there. Then, one day, I got the chance to write a western. It was a little nerve-wracking, but it was also fun to scratch that particular creative itch. So, maybe a little rattled, but just a little. No real preparation other than researching where needed, but that happens no matter what genre I'm writing.
Q: When branching out into a new genre, has the new one ever become your new favorite, even to the point of taking the place of your previous "go-to genre"?
Lance Star: Sky Ranger and Domino Lady stories, I was hooked on writing pulpy adventures and I write pulpy stories more often than most types.
Q: What advice would you offer for new writers looking to broaden their horizons into new genres?
Do it. If you have an idea for a story or a passion to try a genre, do it. You might fail. You might succeed. You might discover that publishers have pigeon-holed you into one type of writer and will have to pitch it under a pen name. You can learn a lot about yourself as a writer by getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.
Pennywise. Scared the hell out of me then. Still creeps me out a little today.
Q: Do you ever find yourself taking out your personal frustrations through your characters? (I do.)
Killing off those who have wronged me is one of the best perks of writing. Ha! Ha!
Q: What was the MOST SURPRISING thing any of your characters ever did? That thing you NEVER saw coming but made the book fantastic?
Q: Who do you go to when a sentence, paragraph, chapter, scene, or title just doesn't work? Who shakes the apple cart and helps you see clearer?
Q: When looking back over all your time as a writer, aspiring author, and/or curious storyteller, what incident makes you chuckle at yourself?
I sometimes chuckle at my own naivety when I got started. Navigating he choppy waters of the publishing industry has really held some surprises for me, still does.
Abraham Snow is a man of unique skills trying to learn to live in the normal world only to discover that the people living in the real world need the kind of a help only a man like him can provide.
Q: We all kill characters, whether it's a fantasy dragon or a human villain. What is the most interesting way you ever killed off a character?
Q: Have you ever ended the story, only to discover that wasn't where or how it was supposed to end?
Sure. Sometimes the story takes on a life of its own and as a writer, I follow the characters where they lead. Sometimes they take me to much better places than I originally intended.
Q: When did you seriously start writing with the goal to become a published author?
Q: Sometimes a romance becomes a mystery, sometimes a villain becomes a hero, sometime the end becomes the beginning, but have you ever had a female main character suddenly work better as a male, or vice versa?
I've never changed a character's gender midstream. I generally know who the character is before I start the story so I've already decided which character is the best for a particular story. Will it happen one day? Who knows.
Sometimes I play music. Nothing specific. It becomes background noise after a few minutes. Sometimes I write in silence.
Q: Do you still write in omniscient POV? If not, when was the last time you did? Why do you keep using it or why did you stop?
Sure. I guess. Is it sad that I don't really think about it before I start writing? I use the narration to set the scene, tell us what is going on, what people look like, how they are dressed. I do try to stick to the POV of one character at a time per chapter or per section of the chapter. I have been known to head hop a few times here and there though. Whatever works best to tell the story or whatever the publisher/editor will allow.
Strengths: you can get into the heads of multiple characters and see everything from a big picture standpoint. Weaknesses: sometimes I have to rephrase things a certain way that would work better if one of the characters was the narrator.
I don't mind as long as I'm enjoying the story.
Q: To what extent is formal education necessary for success as an author?
In terms of formal education, very little. A grasp of grammar and language is important, of course. In high school I learned paste up and design as part of the newspaper and yearbook staff. That skill has come in handy for the few books I've self-published.
|Part of my collection.|
I have a sizable collection of books (non-comics) and TV DVD/BluRay box sets. Not something I planned on collecting, but somehow I ended up with quite a number of lunch boxes.
Q: What book changed you life and how?
Snow Bound Six. It made me want to write and have adventures.
The most important thing for me is telling a good story that will hopefully entertain whoever reads it. That is my top priority for writing always. That said, sometimes bits and pieces happen in the story that reflect societal norms or the here and now as well as of days past. As a writer, I have to be conscious of these things. My readers are from the 21st century. Some things that would have been allowed in the 1930's just simply aren't today.
Q: Let’s compare classic and new. How receptive are readers to these multicultural protagonists? Or does the new still lag behind the classic heroes in general popularity?
Q: Why have new characters of various races been successful in pulp without all the noise that comics are getting when they interject new multicultural heroes into the mix?
Because far fewer people read pulp than comics. It's a sad answer, but more people see my comic work than will ever see my pulp work. Plus, if you look at the internet or step inside a comic book store you'll discover that comic fans in general like to complain. Not all of them, mind you, but enough to be noticed. Pulp fans are a much smaller group.
The writers who are writing New Pulp are 21st century writers. I'd say a majority of those writers tend to write with a more modern sensibility. There are others who write as though they were in whatever time period they are writing, but I think most New Pulp reflects those evolving
Q: The greatest lesson you have learned in your entire life is...
Never give up on your dreams.
Or should that be, hold on tight to your dreams?
Q: What is your favorite non-superhero comics genre, and what are your favorite titles (past or present) in that genre?
I love crime comics. Brubaker and Phillips' Criminal and Kill or be Killed are both great. An older series called The Maze Agency by Mike Barr, Adam Hughes, and more was another great read.
Fantastic Four with John Byrne.
Q: As an author, do you encourage your family and community to read more?
Of course. Everyone should read. The more the merrier.
Q: How long does it take you to write a book? Why do some stories flow so
Anywhere from 2 months to 10 years. Books come out of our heads at different speeds. Some take longer than others and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for it.
Q: Who is your ABSOLUTE SINGLE FAVORITE MARVEL CHARACTER if you could only pick one. No teams, no ties, no multiple answers. You can pick ONE Marvel character, classic or new, doesn't matter, that's your absolute number one favorite. Who do you pick?
Q: Who Is your favorite Super hero of all time?
Q: Fantasy question: what would you do if you were a billionaire?
Take a vacation. Preferably somewhere with a beach.
Q: Pick your TWO favorite DC characters, on in each of two categories.
Supergirl and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)
Q: Do you touch your phone more than your spouse?
Since I don't have a spouse, yes.
Not really. Now, sending it to my editor/publisher on the other hand...
Q: If You Had Unlimited Time and Money, What Would You Do?
I would expand my publishing imprint, BEN Books into a larger endeavor.
After visiting that beach I mentioned earlier.
My five names:
Your soap opera name (middle name and street you live on): Edward Rosewood
Your Star Trek name (first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of middle, first 2 of first): Nas Ed Bo
Superhero name (color of your shirt and item to right of you): The Beige Nightstand
Goth name (black and name of one of your pets): Black Nothing (no pets)
Rapper name (Lil + last thing you ate): Lil Lasagne
Q: You're asked to select ONE BOOK you've written that will be placed in a time capsule that will be opened in 100 years. Which book do you select and why?
EVIL WAYS. This was my first published novel, but it is also the novel that is the most me because when I wrote it I wasn't aware of all the rules of writing or what I should and shouldn't do in a story. I just wrote the best story I could the way I wanted to write it. It's probably the closest representation of me as an author.
Q: What's the first thing you have any memory of writing (as in a story or essay or a piece of one, not just learning to write a single word or your name or something)?
I wrote some comics and stories with Spider-man as a kid. Later, I created my own characters and wrote them. It wasn't until high school where I began to take it seriously.
I take a lot of factors into account. Distance: will I need a hotel, can I drive or do I need to fly? Cost: travel, hotel, table? What does the con offer me? Do I just buy/get a table or are their panels, etc.? Do I get a free table? If not, do I think I can recoup table fee? As a not-so-famous writer not selling art prints, the answer is often no. Is this show a good fit for me? Is my work a good fit?
Q: Morbidly curious if you've ever done a major Treat Yo' Self on a back issue or piece of original artwork, and if so, what are your BIGGEST MOST TREASURED ITEMS?
I grabbed a couple of IDW's Artist Editions. Those are expensive so when I get one of them, it's a real treat for myself.
Q: What was the best concert you ever attended?
Q: Does anyone or has anyone ever experienced apathy towards writing? I entered this zone where I'm no longer excited about my words painting pictures and stirring my soul...I don't know if it's depression or what but I can tell you it's bloody horrible. Thoughts on how to find motivation again?
Q: Quick question: Do you pronounce February with or without the middle "r"?
The 'r' usually falls silent.
Six of one, a half dozen of the other.
Q: What is your biggest fear?
Why did it have to be snakes?
Q: What is a film that you will never get tired of watching no matter how many viewings?
These top my list. Wouldn't mind writing them at least once.
Are we talking favorite series of all time? If so, I'd say Fantastic Four.
Q: Which Star Wars movie (or TV show) is your favorite?
The original Star Wars (now called A New Hope) is still my favorite.
Q: Of all the books and stories you've written, what is the BEST ENDING you ever wrote?
Nightbeat: Night Stories ebook/audio anthology. That's the one where my villain changed near the end and made for a much more satisfactory conclusion. I also like the ending I wrote for Snow Storm. It sets up a future story after finishing the main story for Snow Storm. Those who have read it seem to like it as well.
Q: What event, idea, or experience triggered your original desire to become a writer?
There were stories I wanted to tell and I decided that the only way they were going to be told was if I told them so I sat down and got started. That's when I really began to learn the art of crafting stories. It wasn't as easy as I had originally thought, but it is immensely satisfying.
Yes. This was me early in my career. I taught myself how to get the word out, how to write press releases, how to do interviews, things like that. I asked a lot of questions and talked with some very knowledgeable people about how they do things and I crafted my marketing plans from there. Marketing is a fluid thing. I am always learning new ways to do things.
Q: What is the longest amount of time that you set aside a manuscript before coming back to complete it? Days? Weeks, Months? Years?
Q: While feverishly writing, have you ever had a character's name, or eye color, or place of origin mysteriously change somewhere in the middle? Does anyone have a psychological answer to why that happens?
If so, it's only because I forgot what it should have been. Not sure on the psychological answer part.
A little of both. I don't mean that to sound like a cop out answer, but it's true. There are twists that I prepare in advance and I work to make sure they fit when and where they are needed with the appropriate clues scattered about so the twist makes since and is not just a twist for twists sake.
Other times, they pop up on their own. There is a plot point in Deadly Games! about Detective John Bartlett's ex-wife, about how they split during a dark time for him and that was the last time they spoke. In writing a scene later in the novel, one character is speaking and as I type the dialogue something just spills out of that character's mouth that adds a whole new dimension to the fate of Bartlett's ex-wife. It comes across so organically that it works and even adds an extra layer of depth to that scene and the character of John Bartlett.
The best advice was probably to write what I want to read. Trying to write for trends or what you think will sell is never a good idea. The second is probably to learn how to promote my own work because who cares more about my book that me? Both were solid pieces of advice that have served me well.
Q: What are your writing goals this week?
Q: If you have a pet, how much does that pet interrupt, or enhance your writing?
It was warm in the homey apartment she shared with Kal, a goldfish from the planet Krypton. Sam had deduced that the little orange guy could not have possibly been from this planet with all the times she had forgotten to feed him. Still, every time she came home, there he was, hale and hearty, if not a little thin.
Q: An idea for a new book has slammed into my brain and I'm letting it perk in odd moments to see where it wants to go. When this happens to you while deep in another project, do you ... make notes for another time? Push it aside? Stop and write a little of it? Schedule a chunk of time just for the new idea?
Q: What do you LOVE most about writing? What about it makes you sigh with joy and pant with anticipation?
As corny as it sounds, I love the art of creating. I get a great sense of joy in releasing a story I wrote into the wild. I also love feedback, both positive and negative, although the former is far more hoped for each time. Finding out that someone really enjoyed something that I wrote really is one of the best feelings int he world.
I do some research before starting a project, especially on subjects where I have no firsthand knowledge. As I'm writing, I continue to do research as needed. I will often ask questions while writing and research is needed to answer those questions.
Nothing strange springs immediately to mind, but I have used snippets of overheard conversation in my stories.
Q: We all have rituals ... One author friend of mine walks around his desk chair CLOCKWISE three times before he starts a new novel. Another drinks imported Chinese tea before she starts her
Maybe that's what I've been doing wrong. I don't have any rituals. I just sit down and get to work. Now, I wonder, what kind of ritual would work for me... Any ideas?
My muse hits at the most inopportune moments. I swear, my muse and I are in a love/hate relationship, but it's not a fake one.
Q: Do you write stand alone books or series?
Both. I've been a little lax on my series work, but one of my goals for 2017 is to get Snow Falls and Snow Storm. There's more to come. I also have some stand-alone novels coming too.
Q: Do you have more trouble with the middle of a manuscript that you do with the beginning or the end? What's your trick for getting through effectively?
Things begin to slow down for me in the middle. It's a real trick to learn when to start coming out of the middle ground slump into the final act. I really ran into this problem hard with my novel Deadly Games! The survivors have taken to the woods to get away from the men chasing them. It felt like we were int he woods forever and it just wasn't working so I had them reach the clearing and the final act earlier than planned so the story would not drag.
Yes. I write multiple genres so I get around. I even have an offer from a publisher to write something in a genre that is not my wheelhouse that I plan to explore later this year. Should be a fun (or terrifying) challenge.
Q: When does your writing frenzy pause? While readers go through your manuscript? Waiting for an edit? After being signed by a publisher or lit agent? When do you take a breath?
Q: Let's talk about THE END. How do you really know it's THE END? Ever had second thoughts about that END?
Sometimes the end is not the end you expect. I'm working on Evil Intent, the next Harold Palmer thriller that has the FBI Agent and his task force going after a homegrown domestic terrorist. My original plan for the finale and the villain's fate has changed since I started writing the novel and really got into the character's head. The original ending no longer works for this villain so that ending has changed.
Q: We all have those wonderfully productive writing days. On days like that, when do you stop writing? When your stomach demands food? When you're eyes droop? When your back hurts? When your pet demands attention? What pulls you away from a wonderfully productive writing day?
Q: Have you ever REALLY bought a book by its cover? Or does it take the cover AND the book blurb? OR maybe the cover, the book blurb, AND the sneak peek pages? OR does it take the cover, the book blurb, the sample pages, AND the rankings? OR does it take all that AND the REVIEWS? What makes you buy a book?
Q: How do you like your coffee? Black? Cream and sugar? Sweet or not?
None of the above. I'm not a fan of coffee. It's been almost 30 years since I last drank coffee.
My middle name is Edward. I don't use it often and haven't contemplated it's meaning. I am named after my Dad. When I started writing novels, I considered writing as either Bobby E. Nash or B. E. Nash, but eventually decided not to use the middle initial.
Q: What type of site or blog have you seen or do you feel would attract clients the most?
I use a Blogger page for my writer website as I am not HTML savvy. It gets the job done. www.bobbynash.com if you'd like to take a peek. Oh, wait. You're already here. Ha! Ha!
|I've taught a writing course or two.|
There are certainly regrets. I wish I had been more diligent instead of just writing when I felt like it. I also regret that my first publisher was not a good one and my experience with them was not great, but I did have a book in hand that helped me get other writing gigs. Not sure what I would do differently. Maybe focus more on novels and less on short stories.
I don't keep track, but when I'm in the story zone everything else seems to fall away and the story is all I see. There have been a few times I start writing in the morning and then look up to take a break and wonder when it got dark.
I am always gung ho at the beginning of a project. The words just flow right out of me. It's somewhere around the middle that I start to wonder or get that wandering eye. Once I get past that, the end is usually pretty easy for me to reach. It's once I send it off to the editor/publisher that I start to question my ability to write.
Q: Are you named for anyone?
Q: What are some films you would deem to be the Nerd Classics? Of genre films (i.e. science fiction or fantasy), what movies absolutely must be watched?
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars (any of the original trilogy)
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
That’s a good start.
Q: What are the films you would deem to be Film Classics? Any genre, just the finest, most important films that all movie buffs should have watched?
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
To Kill A Mockingbird
For Your Eyes Only
Guardians of the Galaxy
Time After Time
That’s a good start.
Q: In the midst of struggling to finish a manuscript, writers often admit to loathing the story. Is it possible to fall in love again? Or is the passion gone for good?
I don’t think I’ve ever loathed a manuscript, but after a time I really don’t want to read it ever again. Sometimes you just need a break from it.
Took a hike off the beaten path alone. Probably should have had a buddy.
Q: Some authors publish playlists of the music they listened while writing, or that otherwise inspired the novel. What is your take about music for writing?
Q: Antagonists, why do we love to hate them?
A good antagonist is just as important as a good protagonist. Just imagine Justified without Boyd Crowder. Raylan Givens is great, but when Raylan and Boyd face off, magic happens.
|We dug coal together.|
What is your childhood favorite-
1. Movie: Star Wars
2. Comic book: The Amazing Spider-man
3. Cartoon: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
4. Book: Han Solo’s Revenge
5. Television show (live action): Six Million Dollar Man
What is currently your favorite-
1. Movie: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. Comic Book: Kill or Be Killed
3. Cartoon: Star Wars: Rebels
4. Book: Anything by Michael Connelly
5. Television show (live-action): Justified
What are your favorite sports movies by sport?
Basketball: Teen Wolf
Baseball: Angels in the Outfield
Soccer: (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a soccer movie)
Golf: Tin Cup
Karate: The Karate Kid
Volleyball: Top Gun (the only movie I could think of with a volleyball scene)
Running: The Running Man
Motocross: Charlie’s Angels (one of them has a motocross chase in it)
Hockey: Mighty Ducks
Probably more than you really wanted to know, but:
Broken Bones: nope
Shot a gun: yes
Quit a job: yes
Flown on a plane: yes
Gone zip lining: no. Terrified of heights.
Watched someone dying: yes
Ridden in an ambulance: no
Been to Europe: no
Stamps in Passport: no passport
Been to Washington D.C: Close. Drove past on I-95.
Visited to Florida: yes
Visited Colorado: no
Been to Mexico: no, but I was darn close that time I was wandering around San Diego.
Visited Las Vegas: no
Sang karaoke: hell no
Been downhill skiing: no
Ability to read music: no
Rode a motorcycle: yes
Rode a horse: yes
Stayed in a hospital: yes
Donated blood: yes
Driven a stick shift: tried it once.
Ride in Police car: yes
|I maintain my belief that|
she's reading Evil Ways!
Eaten Escargot: no
Seen a UFO: I don’t think so.
Been on a cruise: no
Run out of Gas: no
Eat Sushi: no
Seen a Ghost: maybe
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll answer them in a future installment of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff...
email@example.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, BEN Books, Patreon, and more.
Thanks for listening to me ramble. Let’s do it again soon.