>Scott Nicholson – An Interview
Today I have the honour of interview US author Scott Nicholson, resident of the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and author 12 novels and numerous short stories. Scott can be found at his comprehensive website The Haunted Computer
Q. Hi Scott, how are things in your neck of the woods?
A. Awesome. I can finally see the garden after months of white and soon it will be mine.
Q. Could you possibly give us a quick recap on your writing career?
A. Rejection. Rejection. Rejection. A little acceptance. Rejection. Fifteen years later, overnight success.
Q. A lot of your stories are set in The South, why do you think that this setting is such a rich vein for horror stories?
A. We have a persecution complex here. We never got over the Northern invasion. And even though we know we are a superior portion of the country, the history books call us losers. Plus we have all those myths and legends.
Q. How do you go about writing, do you fully plot out the story, or go with the flow? Do you have any rituals you stick to?
A. I just run with it. I never know what’s going to happen. I’ve learned to trust the tao more than I trust myself.
Q. Burial To Follow has been described as “capturing the feelings present, the grief of the survivors, the beginnings of a division of the spoils among the heirs, and the sympathy and morbid curiosity of friends and acquaintances” by Dead in The South (one of the best horror blogs out there). Do you find it easier to write native so to speak, and why do you think some authors can’t pull it off?
A. I don’t know, I’ve been writing and speaking this way all my life, so it seems natural. Sometimes a proofreader will try to edit out a mountain bit of slang or hillbilly voice and I have to explain how real people talk.
Q. One of my favourite of your stories is They Hunger, did you consciously decide to create an all new breed of vampire? And how did you settle on the type portrayed in the book?
A. Well, the editor wanted a vampire book, and I didn’t want to do a sex vampire book like everybody else, so I made mine a primal creature, and because they live in caves, they won’t be wearing sunglasses and whining about their complexion.
Q. Some of your novels have been published under different titles, is there any reason for this? And which are your preferred titles?
A. I will be re-releasing all my books under my preferred titles, with revisions. I am a better writer now and I will be free to impose my own personal vision on them, for better or worse. Personally, I think it will be better.
Q. For those who haven’t sampled your work, shame on you if you haven’t. Which one of your novels would you pick as a starting point?
A. The Red Church is obvious. It’s not only my first one published but seems to stay perennially popular. It will probably be read more times this year than when it was first published.
Q. You have won a number of awards through the years, is there any one which means the most to you?
I like the Hubbard Award because it was judged through blind submission by professional writers. I’m not much into awards. They take energy away from writing.
Q. What do you do to relax?
Garden, play guitar, swim. Really, writing and my writing business are relaxing to me.
Q. You were one of the first horror authors to fully embrace the age of e-books, how has this panned out for you?
Excellent. I have finally fulfilled my dream of being a full-time writer. It just didn’t materialize the way I imagined, as dreams have a way of doing.
Q. You recently did a blog tour. How did that turn out?
Great. I did 90 blogs in 90 days and at one point hit #30 on the Kindle bestseller list. That was pretty cool.
Q. Do you think that there is a danger of good authors being drowned out by the glut of the truly terrible, or do you think the cream will always rise to the top?
A. Nah, I think in the short term there will be a fight for attention, but that will settle out over time. Really, a lot of people will quit writing when they see it’s not that much easier as an indie. Some people only have one or two books in them. You really do need to turn books out frequently and of high quality if you want to survive.
Q. You have some radical, but very sensible views on e-book piracy; do you think some authors over react to this problem?
A. Only New York authors. The rest of us don’t really care. And the reason they are getting ripped off is because their books cost too much, as determined by the publishers. I see lots of my old paperbacks pirated, but have never seen my ebooks pirated. I leave the files unprotected and keep them cheap.
Q. Are there any of the current crop of writers you admire?
Ooh, I have too many friends to single people out, but Vicki Tyley is a really edgy mystery writer with real talent.
Q. Can you tell us of any upcoming projects?
A. I just released the paranormal noir Transparent Lovers and the collection Gateway Drug, which has bonus tales from British horror legend Tim Lebbon and Australian horror writer Shane Jiraiya Cummings. My next big launch is the thriller Liquid fear on April 1. But I better go work on it now. Thanks,Jim!
Thanks Scott it’s been a pleasure and an honour.
Scott’s books can be found here