I’m having one of those mornings where I’m filled with indecision — where I’m questioning whether or not I have the talent to do my fantasy novel justice. I wonder if I’m capable of creating a world that’s believable and one that others will fall in love with — one that others can immerse themselves in.
When I look at the worlds that authors like Jennifer Hudock, James Melzer, Allie Burke, Nick Denmon and Will Entrekin created in their stories, I can’t help but think, Can I write a story like these, one that is filled with detail and that captures the world inside my head? Do I have the talent a story like the one I’m writing needs? And I just don’t know. And that scares me.
For me, it’s easier to write a short story. I truly am proud of the two I’ve published. But novels are not the same. I’ve completed two over the years: The Obsession and Without Wings. To say my earlier attempts were less than stellar would be an understatement. I think The Obsession has the chance to be great, but it needs a lot of work, so I don’t know if I’ll ever rework it. Maybe one day.
So I guess the only thing I can do for now is to keep writing and hoping that the end result is what I want it to be. If you’d like to read the beginning of my fantasy novel, you can find it here. It’s in the very early stages, so very little has been done to it. Its edges are rough and definitely need some work, so please keep that in mind when reading it.
I’m very excited about today’s interview with Allie Burke, one of my good friends…and my partner in crying. We’re sisters from different misters. She’s a fellow BNFF and someone I truly admire. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have her here today. So please sit back and enjoy her interview. It’s fantastic!
Q: Hi, Allie, thank you for stopping by my site. Before we dive into the questions I have lined up for you, please take a moment and tell us a little bit about you and your background. Please include five unique things about you.
A: About me. Wow. Okay. Um… I’m from Southern California. I was born here, raised around the widely feared streets of Los Angeles. (Well, Sun Valley. But, no one knows where the heck that is. And if you do, I’m sorry.) Deep down (somewhere), I do love my home. Very much. I just, I wished it rained more often. I really do hate the heat. The sun, in general.
When I was fifteen I met the man that I now call my husband. We went to a show with some friends—some punk band I really don’t remember. I said goodbye, “nice to meet you”, and I went home. It wasn’t until two years later, when I was seventeen, that I saw him again. We started dating. After graduating high school, because I wanted to be closer to him, I moved, out of my dad’s house, and more than an hour’s drive to a place us cool people like to call the I.E., or for those of you less adept with the coolness, the Inland Empire.
Seven years later, I married him. Our first wedding anniversary is coming up in three months.
My reading career started with a book called Intensity, by Dean Koontz. I read The Husband next, and was hooked on words. It was not until about a year before I got married that I finally realized I wanted to give writing a shot.
Five things. Hm. Well…
I hate cake. I know, it’s hard to believe. Who hates cake? Right? I do. It’s disgusting. Sorry.
My parents are divorced. They have been divorced since much before I can remember, which I’m told was when I was three years old. I have a very good relationship with both my parents, in alternatively different ways. If you asked, though, and my mom wasn’t here, *looks over shoulder*, I would tell you I’m a daddy’s girl. It’s true. He spoils me to death.
I’m a ditz. I know. I’m sorry. I forget things. I lose EVERYTHING. I like to attribute this factor in my life to something I call #WriterBrain. It doesn’t shut off. Ever. It refuses. I suffer from Insomnia because of it. Swirling up there are words and images and feelings and voices and love, and I just don’t have the capacity to remember where my car keys are or to figure out why my mother is so mad I didn’t call her back yesterday.
Writing is my passion. Music is my love. They exist as one. They cannot be compared or torn apart. Music and writing is… me.
I love Nicole Ireland. <3
Q: I have to admit, I’m in love with the covers of the stories in your Enchanters series. Can you tell everyone a little bit about the books in the series?
A: Oh, thank you! I should probably admit that I kind of love them, too.
Gosh. Um. The Enchanters.
The Enchanters are a tight-knit group of elementals that, if born with “the energy” and are deemed “fit to handle it”, so to speak, are passed one elemental gift. They carry auras—the color depending on the element that shapes them—except of course if you are Jane. Or Abby. Then your aura is purple, and you get to do some really awesome stuff that no other Enchanter can do.
My Enchanters, or the ones that the story follows, live in the fictional town of Jasmyn Lake, a California mountain town that has its… oddities. Scary trees and funny water. Leaves that don’t change colors when they’re supposed to. No humans reside there—at least, they don’t anymore. Not after Jane was done with them.
The story is based around true love—destiny—but of course you have your—conflicts—in a supernatural world. The series is a trilogy. Currently I’m writing the third and final installment, Amber Passion. I’ve tossed around the idea of a Prequel. I would love to do it. But… it would be so hard. (Laughs)
Q: What comes next? Are you working on something new?
A: Actually… yes. My latest “venture” or so I like to call it, has actually just been titled within the last couple days. Existence by Allie Burke. The story is told from the perspective of an underground musician who is very intellectual and… strange. In the bar where he plays with his band, a woman catches his eye. Aline Walker. She’s very beautiful, VERY smart—she makes him think, even more than he already does. There are things about her—things that can’t be explained by anything natural. When he is sure that she is the most intelligent, most beautiful—when he has convinced himself she is absolutely unique, in a world of beings he perceives to be robotic and all the same, someone else arrives. Someone… that might be just like her.
I don’t have a release date for Existence yet. I’m working with a cover designer right now. Though I would love to have it out before the year’s up, we’ll just have to see what my world brings me before then.
Q: What is your writing process like?
A: Ummmm! Shoot. If you would have asked me this two weeks ago, this question would have been very easy for me to answer.
Now… not so much.
Throughout the Enchanters books and Existence, I’ve been one of those… what do you call them? Pantsers?
I just wrote. I let the stories take me where they wished. A “translator”, so to speak, for those imaginaries with a story to tell.
However! Recently I was inspired to write an Adventure Thriller. Last week, I started outlining.
I know. What on earth is an outline? If you told me that I would say these words in an interview sometime in the near future, I would have laughed at you. I mean, I don’t DO outline.
Errrrr. I mean. I didn’t do outline. You know, before.
Oh, well. It happens. The story calls for it. For some SERIOUS research. Hours of staring into space with a pen in my hand while I battle with my brain what “should” occur. Something… totally new for me.
So, I guess… my writing process varies by the story I’m writing. Not unheard of, I don’t think. Or maybe it is. I really don’t know.
Q: What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?
A: My most rewarding experience has been the friends I’ve met. The fellow Writers. Readers. Musicians. The support has been… unbelievable. The love I get to experience on a daily basis—from those who don’t think I’m absolutely nuts for how hard I work as in Indie writer—it’s astronomical. Beyond any experience or feeling, that I could ever have imagined.
Q: What has been the hardest thing to deal with?
A: Bad reviews. “Less than desirable reviews”, as I like to call them. While I understand the subjective nature of book reviews, it still sucks. No one likes to see—after months, years, of hard work, after insomnia and tears and bleeding your heart onto those pages—someone say they didn’t like your work. That they hated it.
There has been one review with words that—as an author, I felt personally attacked. A friend of mine went through the same thing, and his book was amazing. I loved it.
It is an unfortunate drawback. The Life of a Writer. Mostly, people love you for what you do. But sometimes, your words, your passion, can strike a wrong chord. Some—may hate you for what you do. Or—hate what you do, in general. Don’t sulk. Take it with a shrug. Or a shot of tequila. Whatever.
And then go write. Seriously. It will remind you why you put up with this crap. Because you love what you do. What you… are.
It’s worth it. Trust me.
Q: Who are your inspirations? What authors’ careers would you like to emulate?
A: Inspirations. Oh, man. I have so many inspirations.
Nicholas Denmon. I love his work. He really caught me off guard with his debut, For Nothing. I wasn’t expecting… all of that which he had to offer me in his story. I still daydream of his characters, of this world as he presented it. I read the book nearly two months ago, and then again a month after that. I’ve also read some of his other work. Short stories and excerpts from some other stuff he’s working on—the guy is brilliant. I really look up to him—his book, his work—he’s inspired me to be a better writer.
Chelsea Cain. Oh, Chelsea. Ever read the last page of a book, slammed it closed and began swearing under your breath in some effort to break free from the fear that you’re going insane? Yeah, she does that. She’s sick, and twisted, and I love her. I think she’s amazing.
Suzanne Collins. WOW. Here’s a Writer who took an idea, searched deep inside her mind and pulled out some characters that are more real than some people I know personally, and she wrote a trilogy that, quite literally, took the genre by storm. If you’d asked me to pick a favorite YA novel, I would probably answer with Mockingjay. I’ve been inspired by Suzanne Collins to… never write what the genre calls for or, “whatever everyone else is doing”. I write what I love, without thoughts of “what” I’m writing, largely because of The Hunger Games.
I really don’t know which authors career I’d like to emulate. It’s hard to say. I think I’d just like to be myself.
Q: If you could pick one author to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
A: I think I’d have to say Sarah Addison Allen.
The best advice I ever received from an author was this: Trust the process. This advice I read from an interview with Sarah Addison Allen. Trusting the process, my writing and my judgment—it has assisted me in discovering my style, my intellect, my… self.
Her writing is out of this world. Her books were a huge inspiration for my Enchanters series, and I admire her, not only as an author but as a person. Her unbelievable strength throughout her own battle with cancer touches my heart on levels deeper than I was aware existed. She’s a beautiful person that I look up to immensely.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?
A: Nikki!! How the heck do I know? (Laughs)
Um. Oh, I really have no freaking clue. Writing? Definitely. Always. Forever. I hope to have a few more followers on Twitter. That would be cool. By then I hope that I would have met all my amazing my friends. Like, in person. I would love to hug you guys and sit down with you all and have the honor of participating in some ridiculously epic writing session, or something.
I’d like to see The Enchanters be adapted into a movie. Big step, I know. But, shoot. Ten years. Ten years is a long time. I could do it by then, I think. By then, I could do a lot of things. I think I just might.
Q: What made you decide to go the indie route?
A: Mmm. It just kind of happened, really. I wasn’t going to publish at all. I wasn’t going to share… at all. Not really. I just wanted to read it, originally.
… And then I wanted to write… more. A lot more.
I did some research, in my head weighed out my options, and I shrugged at myself. Oh, why not.
So I indie published.
Q: What do you feel are the benefits of self-publishing over traditional publishing?
A: Well, I don’t really know. Haha.
I haven’t traditionally published anything. So, it’s hard to say. I really have no idea what goes on.
But, for me, these days, the “self” part… it works. I like DOING. I had a lot of fun with my covers. I don’t mind editing, and I, well… I like to think I control my own destiny. I… like… self-publishing. I’ve met some really amazing people. I’ve read some PHENOMENAL books. Experienced support like… like nothing that exists anywhere.
I’ve fallen in love with… Indie. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
Q: Even though you’re an indie author, would you go the traditional route if given the opportunity?
A: No. Probably not. I mean, I got nothing against traditional publishing. Seeing your book in a book store as you shop the stacks—that’s gotta be an amazing feeling.
… I won’t deny it. I would probably pass out.
But then, like I said. I love Indie.
And, there are other factors. I mean, you write the book, and then… really, it goes into the hands of who? And… the final result? The… cover?
There are books out there –in the bookstore—that I’ve passed over a hundred times. Books with covers so awful, I… refuse to read them. I know. Judging books by their covers. Sorry. I do it. I have a special love for book covers. And, if it’s awful, more often than not, I won’t read the book.
I’ve “heard” that authors who are traditionally published have no say in the cover. That it is designed and chosen and you get a picture when it’s done. When it’s already… decided. Without you. You, the Writer. The creator of that which lies behind that cover.
I don’t even know if this is true. But, if it is… I just, I don’t know. I don’t think I can handle that. This is… it’s my book. It’s the love of my life. It’s part of me. I think I would cry if it got ripped apart. If it wasn’t so much… me… anymore.
Traditional publishing, maybe just not for me. Indie… is.
Q: What advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
A: Write. Write your freaking heart out. I’m serious. I have so many pieces I haven’t published. Stories… napkins and envelopes and receipts scarred with words, reminders of emotions or experiences or… whatever. Write anything you want. On your blog. Promoting, marketing, all that… that’s great and needs to be done. But, writing is what you love. If you don’t have that, what do you have?
The Fun Stuff:
Q: If you were to create a soundtrack for one of your novels/stories, what songs would be on it?
A: I have actually thought about “theme songs” for my novels.
“Beyond the Gray Sky” by 311 for Violet Midnight, in reference to the rain and how it affects Elias throughout the story.
Jack Johnson’s “Breakdown” for Emerald Destiny, because of a specific lyric in the song which relates to the life of Evan Reed.
“Enchanted” by Taylor Swift for Amber Passion. The meaning will only become obvious when the book is released and you… read it. =)
Q: Who would you cast as the lead character in your story?
A: I haven’t much thought about who I would cast as the leads in Emerald Destiny. For Violet Midnight, however, I’m pretty set on Ashley Greene for Jane Wildes, Vin Diesel for Elias Linden, and Wentworth Miller for Christian Reed.
Q: Where can people find out more information about you?
A: On my blog =)
Q: What books are you currently reading?
A: Currently I’m reading Amaretto Flame by Sammie Spencer and loving it. Next up for my book club is The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I read The Shadow of the Wind, and I loved it. It’s one of my favorites.
Q: Where can readers purchase your books?
Thanks, Allie, for stopping by and answering these questions. It was truly a pleasure, and I look forward to having you come back in the future! Love you, chica!
It’s review time again. I know it’s been a little while since I posted one, but I only have so much time to read these days. I wish had more, but since I still haven’t figured out how to clone myself, I have to settle with what little time I have. Oh well! Maybe one day I’ll figure it out.
On with the review.
I’ve read more than a few Mafia crime novels over the past ten years. Some of have been real duds that have fallen short of capturing the right tone for that sort of book. However, that’s not the case with Nicholas Denmon‘s For Nothing. It’s one of the best I’ve read in that genre, hands down! This story is gritty and definitely captures the tone of the Mafia world, as seen in shows like The Sopranos.
From the very first page of this novel, I was hooked! The opening scene made my jaw drop because of how descriptive it was. If future authors are looking for a shining example of how to hook a reader from the very beginning, For Nothing is a novel to look at. I’m beyond impressed with the skill this author possesses.
I must admit that while I wanted to hate the character of Rafael Rontego for being who he was, I couldn’t bring myself to. I was completely intrigued by him, and found Mr. Denmon’s depiction of him authentic and vivid. I was easily able to visualize him in my mind. In fact, I was able to visualize the entire story without much effort because of the detail included within the pages. It’s obvious Mr. Denmon did his research.
So I give For Nothing a solid five stars. I honestly cannot wait to read the next installment.
If you have not taken the time to stop by Nicholas Denmon‘s blog, I suggest you do. He’s hilarious and always has something interesting and entertaining to share.
The last time I uploaded a story it took a good day and a half for it to show up, I think. Not this time, though, which is good. It means that Sacrifice is available to all of you that much sooner.
I do have to give special thanks, again, to Jennifer Melzer, Heather Faville and Nicholas Denmon for their insight over the past few weeks. It’s helped me a great deal.
In Other News:
I was the special guest on Podcaturday yesterday morning.
For those not familiar with Podcaturday, it’s the weekly roundtable discussion between James and Jennifer Melzer and Acadia from Superficial Gallery.
While I still laughed a lot, and it’s hard not to with these three, I did talk more than the previous time I was on there. I figure by this time next year, I should be able to outtalk them all. Okay, maybe not. But close. Those three are professionals when it comes to “shootin’ the shit”, especially Acadia. He NEVER shuts up.
What makes yesterday’s Podcaturday extra special is the fact that I WASN’T nervous AT ALL. For those who don’t know me well, situations like Podcaturday or public speaking usually make me very nervous to the point of breaking out in hives. I’ve been working on it, though, and have been pushing myself to step outside my comfort zone and try new things. I don’t want to look back on my life and regret one moment of it, so I’m trying to experience as many new things as possible. I’m trying to challenge myself. Who knows what I’ll try next.
So what did we talk about yesterday? A lot: Game of Thrones, The Killing, cryptozoology, Stupid Ned Stark, Jenny’s accident, James’ book sales, my book launch, and Wet Hot American Summer, which I watched last night because Acadia was bitching again that we never do what he asks. And to be honest, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be. In fact, there were several moments where I laughed out loud. Plus, Bradley Cooper was in it, and who doesn’t love him?
That’s about it in terms of updates. I will be posting some interviews and special guest blog posts over the next few days. I meant to last week, but I never got the chance. I had to cover for my mom at work, which meant physically going to work instead of my normal routine of rolling out of bed and plopping down in a chair. I had to juggle four different jobs while trying to get Sacrifice ready for all of you. Plus, when you add in the mommy factor, it made it one CRAZY week. I honestly need a vacation now.
I hope the rest of your Sunday is fantastic. I’m off now to take my Mini Me to her first fishing tournament. Here’s hoping she catches the biggest bass.
*whispers* For those Jersey Shore fans, I totally just said that like “It’s t-shirt time!” LOL! I couldn’t help myself.
Anyway, it’s been hella crazy lately. As some of you know, my mom has been dealing with back issues, which means I’ve been fairly busy helping her out when she needs. That includes physically going into work and covering for her since, as she says, I’m her Mini Me. In fact, next week I’ll be at work while she’s at home getting some much-needed rest. It’ll be a long week because I’ll also be juggling my three other job besides that one. But as one of my astute friends likes to point out, I’m crazy, so that’s normal for me.
For those who don’t know, I recently began working as an IC for Ranker.com. I have to say it…I LOVE THIS JOB!!! It involves writing and research. The writing part is really fun, and I’m allowed to show my true personality, which is a plus. Sometimes I get the impression that some people think I’m really stuffy, but I’m not, so it’s nice to let my hair down and be Nikki, the slightly nerdy country girl with a quirky personality. (If you’d like to read my first list for Ranker, it’s here.)
Now onto the story writing-side of things.
You’ve probably noticed that I still haven’t published Sacrifice yet. There’s a couple of reasons for that.
Aside from the fact that I’m stretched pretty thin lately and have a lot going on in my personal life, I’ve been busy adding some additional scenes to Sacrifice which are taking me a little bit of time because I want them to be perfect. If I don’t, my internal editor, aka The Bitch, will rear her ugly head, and well, we all know how THAT goes. (See here.)
Those additional scenes I’ve been working on would not have come about without the guidance of my editor, author Nicholas Denmon and book reviewer Heather Faville from Doubleshot Reviews. Their help is appreciated more than they know.
I’m actually trying to focus some of today on Sacrifice, so hopefully I can wrap up the rest of it. *crosses fingers*
Sales Talk Time!
So the other day I noticed an increase in sales. Not an “OH MY GOD, I’M RICH, I CAN RETIRE” increase, but a large enough one that it shoved me into the #84 position on Amazon for occult books. When I saw that on my screen I nearly peed my pants with excitement. I was included on a list with Stephen King, JA Konrath, Katie Salidas and Amanda Hocking. Pretty sweet, right? Seriously, I was so struck with giddyness, I couldn’t hold still. The little kid in me was all kinds of excited. What a great feeling. I hope it’s just the first of many times that happens.
One last thing before I go. I was interviewed by author Suzy Turner for her website, so please take a moment and check it out. In the interview I reveal who I would cast as Annabelle and Jason. SQUEE!
Have a great and safe Memorial Day, everyone!
Today, I’d like to introduce you all to Nicholas Denmon, an up and coming author who will be releasing For Nothing, his debut novel, in mid-May. (So stay tuned!)
I can honestly say that I enjoyed the answers Nick provided to my questions, and I’m confident you’ll love them, as well, so what are you waiting for? Keep on reading.
N: What a loaded question. I am not always a hundred percent sure I have figured that out. But we can start with the facts. I was born in Buffalo, NY in 1982, which was a time before slap-bracelets, glow-worms, and stuffing little puppies in purses. A simpler time, really.
I am a middle-ish child from a broken home with six children that came from parents, stepparents, and science experiments gone horribly awry. I’ll let you decide from which group I come from. A lot of times people will say the middle child acts out, or is less loved, but that would be a lie with me. I’ve received an abundance of love in my life, and I found a way to be heard above the din of all my siblings by telling elaborate and intricate stories, which sometimes were true, but more often, were not. Imagine trying to get five to seven people who are smarter than you to believe something? It took practice.
My mom was sick while I was growing up. We say sick, but really it was a mental instability that we found out was schizophrenia. Because she was sick, my brothers and I were taken from her at a very young age and we had to learn a new place and adapt to a new life. Our mother is a tough person in a lot of ways, the least of which is that she can get out of bed each day with more uncertainties hanging over her than the average person. She is an inspiration for some of my stories, character bits, and the sense of longing that my characters often find themselves battling.
Other than that, I grew up in a fairly normal suburban neighborhood with two parents (my Dad and Step-Mom) who were lawyers, making it even harder to get away with story telling. I started writing short stories for quarters in grade school for the few friends I had who wanted them. I went to high school, developed insecurities, and pretended that writing was for nerds. Well, it is for nerds, only now I realize I am a monstrous nerd. In fact, some writing buddies and myself are in a group called #BNFF on twitter, so if you see that hash tag floating around my tweets or the tweets of @ChristinMowery, it just means Best Nerd Friends Forever. We are a very prestigious group and we only let the nerdiest of nerds join us. So ask, if you’re interested. (I’m a self-professed word nerd. Does that make me eligible?)
Then college happened, and I got an English degree (go Gators) and in my senior year decided to write a novel, which I believe I can plug in the next question.
Q: I’ve read the novel samples on your site, and I love them. I can’t wait to read more. For those who aren’t familiar with you, can you tell them a little bit about the novels you’re currently working on? When will they be available for purchase?
N: First off, thank you for reading my novel samples. I love when someone actually reads what I spew, and that is why I track my blog page hits so obsessively. By the way, that’s at www.dratednovelist.blogspot.com, if you care. Shameless plug? Damn right it is. (That’s okay, Nick, we love shameless plugs. So plug away!)
As for my novels, my first attempt is called For Nothing. It is a mafia crime thriller that follows an undercover cop in a quest for revenge. He traverses the underworld during a time of civil war, searching for the hitman who killed his buddy. The story also follows the perspective of the hitman, Rafael Rontego, as he carries out missions for his Don, and comes to terms with his lot in life, and hopes it doesn’t lead to his plot in the ground. I am hoping to have For Nothing on the Kindle in mid May, so be on the look out!
I am also working on a fantasy trilogy that has the working title, The In-Between, which is a medieval fantasy that deals with a teenage boy from our world, who crosses a portal, setting the stage for a tale of heroes, knights, the intrigue of court, magic, monsters, and those who control the elements. It is a Young Adult novel with a dark side, maybe tilting more towards an Adult novel. I don’t really pull any punches in the way of violence. Also I don’t sugar coat the very adult world thirteen-year-old Daniel O’Finnegen finds he must adapt to very quickly, if he hopes to survive. The release date for the trilogy is TBD.
Q: If you were to create a soundtrack for one of the novels mentioned on your site, what songs would be on it?
N: Oh wow, that’s a great question. I think For Nothing was written to a healthy dose of The Dropkick Murpheys, so “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” would have to be on there. Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” would make the cut and with out a doubt, “Woke Up in The Morning”, from the Sopranos was played a ton.
Q: Now, for that same novel, who would you cast to play in the movie version?
N: Can we cross breed actors? (Yep, we can.) If so, I would go with Ethan Hawke’s (Training Day) and Johnny Depp’s (Donnie Brasco era) love child for Alex Vaughn, the undercover cop.
As for the mafia hitman, Rafael Rontego, I would pick the child of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, but before they became caricatures of themselves. Something pre-2000’s , for sure.
Q: The ideas from my stories come from a wide variety of places. Where do yours come from? Do you feel like your ideas come from within? Or from somewhere else?
N: My stories come from a healthy mix of both. Some things I glean from people who stop by the window of my life. Sometimes they tarry just a moment, and others are life-long friends. Everyone has a story. Everyone comes from somewhere. Sometimes the best novel, or chapter, or character, or character trait, is right in front of you. To be a good storyteller, you have to be a good human observer first. I like to see what makes people tick, and then make similar motivations for my characters.
The rest, I make up! It’s all about struggle, so let’s find a way for these characters to struggle. Do you like dragons? Take that struggle and throw in a dragon. Do you like vampires and girls who want to date them? Throw your character into that mix. Who knows what will come out the other side of that blender.
Q: Most writers, myself included, are inspired by other authors. What authors have inspired you? Is there any particular author’s career that you would like to emulate?
N: Two authors that inspire me are Dennis Lehane and George R.R. Martin. Dennis Lehane, because his novels such as The Given Day, Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, and Shutter Island have been enormously successful and he lives in my new hometown, St. Petersburg, FL. He has an uncanny ability to get into the head of the characters he writes about, and I love it.
George R.R. Martin, because he taught me a new way to look at fantasy. Instead of focusing on the epic quest, like Tolkien and Lewis and traditional fantasy writers, he focuses on the politics that push events and the motives of the individuals that decide to step into that arena.
Q: Finally, if you could pick one author to collaborate with if given the opportunity, who would you pick and why?
N: I would definitely like to collaborate with George R.R. Martin. I would love to learn his process for the intricate levels he builds into his stories. Plus, if I worked with him, I might be able to pick his brain about how his series, A Song Of Fire and Ice will end.
M: Nick, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and for allowing my readers to get to know you. But before we go, please let them know where they can contact you and find out more about you and your writing.
N: Nicole, Thank you so much for taking the time to have me on your blog. It was a great set of questions and hopefully I can get you to return the favor one day. (Of course, just say when!) As for finding out more about me, you can visit my blog at www.dratednovelist.blogspot.com. I can also be reached at my twitter @nicholasdenmon or at my email, nicholasdenmon08 at gmail dot com.