Hey Space Cadets, how’s everyone doing today? I’m doing amazing, taking a bit of time to spend with my family. I’m also working on a couple of short stories, while I wait for my edits to come back. If you haven’t read my previous post, my fourth book is finished and sent to the editor. Hope they aren’t too busy with their red pen! For those who haven’t already read my series, feel free to read The Sleeping Legion Series so you will be ready for the fourth book! Then I will be working on my next super-secret project. I can’t wait to tell you about it. Now on to today’s blog – our SciFy Shenanigans Interview with Nick Cole.
Let’s get right to the point of my latest blog posting, interviewing Nick Cole! Yes, I’ve gotten bit by the interview bug! I’ve started the Warrior Weekend Series, the Family Friday Series, and now the ‘SciFy Shenanigans’ series that only serves to talk with other authors of science fiction! Here goes nothing!
I like talking to authors about their latest books and their process. They’ll be able to pitch the other stuff too, of course, but when authors have deep back catalogues, it’s hard not to get into the weeds with them. Those weeds have grown too high, so I took a weed whacker to the mess. Here are the final results! Now grab your popcorn and enjoy the ride!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of All Ages,…
First, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m Nick Cole. After serving in the military I went to Hollywood and knocked around as an actor for a little too long. Then Amazon came along and I started writing books. My first book, The Old Man and the Wasteland was a big hit and I got picked up by Harper Collins. Big Pub is terrible. Now I’m back pubbing on Amazon as an Indie and having a lot of fun. I have a series out that we Call StarWarsNotStarWars. It’s basically Stormtrooper’s in Afghanistan. It’s doing really well. It’s called Legionnaire.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I still act. I perform non-singing roles in Operas with my wife. She’s an actual opera singer and we have a lot of fun working at LA Opera.
I’ll go out on a limb and assume that if you write books, you also enjoy reading them. What other genres do you enjoy reading, and how have they affected your writing?
I like reading fantasy, scifi, horror and post-apocalyptic fiction. All the fun stuff. And sometimes the back of cereal boxes.
Who are your biggest writing influences?
Cormac McCarthy, Kurt Vonnegut, Hemingway, Joseph Heller, Stephen King and Garrison Keilor.
Who are your favorite authors and books?
Stephen King and David Mitchell. Plus the rest of the Above.
What is your preferred writing style? Do you have a favorite point of view; first person, third person, etc?
My most preferred is an internalized Third Person I used for The Wasteland Saga books (The Old Man and the Wasteland, The Savage Boy, and The Road is a River.)
How did that lead you deep into the weeds of the writing life?
I look at writing as fun. I pray and then I get on the rollercoaster. I know where it begins and I know where it ends. Its fun to see what happens in between.
When did you get serious about your writing?
I would say 2000.
What is your current novel? Tell us a little bit about the premise?
It’s a series of books called Galaxy’s Edge. It’s basically Star Wars, or rather Space Opera set in a Star Wars-style universe. But with our stories instead of the Star Wars cannon navel-gazing. My co-author, Jason Anspach and I think of it as playing with action figures in the dirt.
Legionnaire is obviously a series, where can we expect it to go?
Amazon. We love Amazon.
Where did you find the inspiration for Legionnaire?
Well we wanted to tell stories about Stormtroopers. But we couldn’t call them Stormtroopers. Or Disney would sue us. My dad was a French Foreign Legionnaire… so that was something I always dug.
Your characters from Legionnaire are sent into a gladiatorial death match. Who wins?
They’re all pretty high speed low drag. I’d say… Lt Ford (OCS Mustang) or a manic knowns as EXO.
What do you listen to while you write? Or do you prefer silence?
Jazz. Big jazz fan.
What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve looked up in the name of research – or what do you think the government has maybe flagged you for?
As an actor I don’t get embarrassed easily… but the coolest thing I looked up was how to hunt, skin and use a bear to survive for a post-apocalyptic novel I wrote. The Savage Boy was very mountain man after a nuclear war.
What was your favorite part of writing Legionnaire?
Jason Anaspach wrote the lion’s share of the book. I wrote about two legionnaires in a bar talking about bad days long gone. I really loved that part. It reminds me that sometimes, in the worst of moments, you’re making memories you will cherish. Memories hat will go with you from here to eternity.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing your main characters from Legionnaire?
It would all have to be young guys. I’m not all that knowledgeable of who’s big these days. But I and Jason would definitely want parts. We’re both actors. The kid from Arrow. The kid who plays Moriarty on Sherlock is about as good as it gets.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Because of my wife’s schedule I write everywhere. Hotel lobbies, backstage, in the green room. But the best place I like to write is in my tiny garden out back with some jazz on. Very cool. Life is good.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Nope. Just try to write in sections with some room to think about what I’m gonna write tomorrow.
When you develop your characters, do you already have an idea of who they are before you write or do you let them develop as you go?
I usually let them develop as they go. Maybe some vague ideas. I’ll often use actors I dig as templates. Especially their voices. I’m big on editing my books out loud and I like to perform the different parts. And I’m good at imitations.
How did writing Legionnaire differ from your writing your previous novels?
This was more of a Write-to-Market effort. Specifically targeting the Space Marine/Space Opera market. Generally I write literary Post-Apocalyptic fiction. So this is much more pulp. Fast. Fun. And furious..
If Legionnaire had a theme song what would it be?
Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC.
Legionnaire is full of many amazingly talented characters and I imagine it was really fun to create some of them, but which one was your favorite and why?
A legendary Legionnaire General known as Tyrus Rechs. The T-Rex of the Legion. Basically he’s Roland from The Dark Tower as a Space Marine.
What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out?
Master every aspect of the craft and forget Big Pub. It’s a waste of your time. The real money is on Amazon. But to get it you’ll have to work hard.
Finally, where can readers and future stalkers find you?
I hope you enjoy this little conversation, and if you want to find out more about Nick Cole then follow the rabbit trail to their warren on the internet! If they don’t like it, beat ‘em with a carrot and keep on truckin’!
Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!
–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen shots taken by JR Handley and used under the Fair Use Doctrine.
–> Some of these interview questions were inspired by my good friend TeacherofYA, and are used with her permission. If you have kids who love to read, she’s the girl who’ll make the literary introductions! You should check her out, after a lifetime of reading, your kids will thank you.