Tuesday, February 6, 2018

SOMETIMES I GET ASKED STUFF... EPISODE 45!


And we're back for the 45th installment of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff… 
You can check out all of the past installments of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff... here.
Let's dive right in, shall we?

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, but things start to turn around. On the writing side of things, last 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 2018.

Q: What are your 2018 writing plans/goals?


At least 8 novels/novellas and a graphic novel are on the schedule to write, plus stuff already at the publishers waiting their release. 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, 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.

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, Dark Matter, 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. Romulan ale, perhaps?

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. If you've read anything of mine, please take a moment and head over to Amazon to leave a review. It can be something as simple as clicking 5 stars and typing "I loved this book."

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 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?

I worked in fast food. I also did a part time job at a comic book shop senior year and the first year of college.

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. Sadly, she passed away years before I was ever published. I like to think she would have been proud.

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: 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?

Y
ou 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: 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 what 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.

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.

Here’s another one of those social media Questions list.

Q: Do you like blue cheese?

No.

Q: Have you ever smoked?

Yes. Tried it a couple of times. Didn’t like it.

Q: Do you own a gun?

No.

Q: What is your favorite flavor?

Grape.

Q: Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?

Nah. Not really.

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, a;though I am ready to start weening myself off it.

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 high school was in my rear view.

Q: Favorite hobby?

Reading.

Q: Do you have ADD?

Nope.

Q: What’s the one thing you hate?


Cancer tops the list.

Q: Middle name?

Edward

Q: Current worry?

Will I ever get caught up and back on schedule?

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.

Q: Do you own slippers?

No.

Q: What color shirt are you wearing right now?

Black.

Q: Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?

Sure. Why not. Not like I can afford them though.

Q: Can you whistle?

A little bit.

Q: Favorite Color?

Green

Q: Would you be a pirate?

Probably not a good one.

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: cough drops and cell phone.

Q: Last thing that made you laugh?

Saw something funny on TV.

Q: Best toy as a child?

I loved my bicycle. I also loved my action figures. I used to create Toy Stories episode of the Needless Things Podcast recorded at Toylanta HERE.
adventures for the buddy team of Destro and Boba Fett. Every week, they saved the world. You can hear me talk more about this on the

Q: Worst injury?

Got stabbed in the arm as a teenager (an accident). It cut me deep though, hit bone. That was the first time I had to have stitches. I still have a scar, although it has shrunk in the intervening years. Not my worst scar, by far, however.

Q: Where would you love to live?

Somewhere near the ocean. Anybody got a spare beach house they would love to loan out to a poor writer? I'm quiet and I clean up after myself. I just don't have any money.

Q: How many TV’s do you have in your house?

I own 1 TV. I live with others so there are a total of 6 in the house. Only 1 of them is mine.

Q: Who's your loudest friend?

Ron Sperling (but loud in a good way).

Q: How many dogs do you have?

None.

Q: Does someone trust you?

I hope so.

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 and 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: 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. Speaking of which, I should probably get back to 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 AmazonBarnes and NobleGoodreadsSmashwordsBooks-A-Million, BEN
BooksPatreon, and more. If you've read something I wrote and have an opinion on it, please take a moment and leave a review. They can be as simple as "I liked it" or "A good read" but they help a lot.

Thanks for listening to me ramble. Let’s do it again soon.

Happy reading!

Bobby


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