Welcome to the three hundred and fifty-fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with multi-genre author Bobby Nash. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Bobby. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Bobby: Thanks, Morgen. My name is Bobby Nash. I’m based out of Bethlehem, Georgia in the United States. And yes, an oh little town it is. I started out with the grand dream of being a comic book artist. To that end I started writing stories for myself to draw. Eventually, others started asking for scripts. Then one day I got the urge to write a novel. Then another. The rest, as they say, is history.
Morgen: I’m the same with NaNoWriMos; once you do one, you get hooked. What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Bobby: I write in many different genres. My novels tend to be suspense thrillers, but I have written others. I have a sci fi novel slated for release in April or May called Earthstrike Agenda. My shorter prose work and comic book work runs the gamut from sci fi, to mystery, to super hero, to western, to fantasy, and so on. Certain genres play to my strengths, but I’m open to pretty much any genre as long as I have a good story to tell.
Morgen: Me too. I can’t stick one… ‘dark and light’ is a good a description as I can give them. What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
Bobby: It’s quite a list, but here you go. My published work includes:
Novels: Evil Ways [out of print for the moment, but returning in 2012 from New Babel Books], Fantastix [out of print], and Deadly Games! [BEN Books].
Short stories, novellas, anthologies: Lance Star: Sky Ranger Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3 [Airship 27/Cornerstone Books], Startling Stories Magazine [Wild Cat Books], Sentinels Widescreen Special Edition [White Rocket Books], Full Throttle Space Tales Vol. 2: Space Sirens [Flying Pen Press], Sentinels: Alternate Visions [White Rocket Books], Domino Lady: Sex As A Weapon [Moonstone Books], Real Magicalism [Daemon Press], A Fistful of Legends [Express Westerns], The Green Hornet Casefiles [Moonstone Books], Lance Star: Sky Ranger – “Where The Sea Meets The Sky” [iPulp], Ravenwood: Stepson of Mystery [Airship 27/Cornerstone Books], Pro Se Presents: Peculiar Adventures #3 [Pro Se Press], Golden Age Good Girls [Mini Komix], Domino Lady: “Target – Domino Lady” [iPulp], and Blackthorn: Thunder of Mars [White Rocket Books].
Comic books and graphic novels: Life In The Faster Lane, Fuzzy Bunnies From Hell [FYI Comics], Bubba The Redneck Werewolf [Brass Ball Comics], Demonslayer [Avatar Press], Threshold [Avatar Press], Doc Dresden: The Immortal [Odyssey Comics], Jungle Fantasy [Avatar Press], The Garden [Planetary Stories], Fantastix [FYI Comics], Yin Yang [Arcana Comics], Lance Star: Sky Ranger [BEN Books], Urbnpop #1 [Urbnpop Comics], I Am Googol: The Great Invasion [Point G Comics], Domino Lady vs. The Mummy [Moonstone Books], and Airship 27 Presents All-Star Pulp Comics #1 [Airship 27/Red Bud Studios].
And there’s more to come.
I’ve not written under a pseudonym, but I did come up with a couple of good ones that I liked in case I ever decide to use one.
Morgen: Good grief, you could make a book out of your book titles. Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Bobby: Oh, of course. Rejections are part of the job and I get more of them than I’d like. You have to have a thick skin and not take the rejections personally, which is far easier to say than do. Rejections sting. You just have to set the rejections aside and keep moving forward.
Morgen: You do. Just the right thing for the wrong person. Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions?
Bobby: I’ve had a few nominations for the Pulp Ark Awards and the Pulp Factory Awards. I’ve not won, but it is nice to get nominated.
Morgen: Other than blogger awards (I’ve won three ) I’ve not been Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Bobby: I do not have an agent. I have been looking for one, but the agent search has been a very demoralizing process so far. I will need one eventually as I would like to work with some of the larger publishing houses and the only way to make that happen is to have an agent.
Morgen: I’d say it is really, yes but you just have to keep plugging away. Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Bobby: Many of the books I’ve worked on are ebooks. Some are not, although I hope they will be eventually. With most publishers I have no say in how the print or ebook editions are put together. Deadly Games! was an exception. I set that one up myself.
Morgen: I’m sure they all will as it’s where books are going. How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Bobby: I do a little bit of marketing work daily. The sad fact is that you’re only going to get so much of a marketing push from publishers. That’s just a fact of life. So I make sure I’m out there talking up my books. I learned early on that no one was going to promote my work more than me so I’d best learn how to promote my work if I wanted to let readers know it’s out there.
Morgen: All but one of the authors I’ve spoken to do their own marketing (and the other author does really via social networking) but the advantage is that we get to speak to our readers. Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Bobby: Not sure if I have a favorite. Each book has a special place in my heart. It’s like choosing between your children. The one that is my favorite today might not be tomorrow.
I’ve not really given a lot of thought to who would play any of the characters in my books, but I’m sure if a production company wanted to make a movie out of one of my titles I could come up with a short list.
Morgen: Did you have any say in the titles / covers of your books? How important do you think they are?
Bobby: Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. It depends on the publisher and whether or not I take the project to the publisher or whether I come on to do work for hire. Mostly not as I do a lot of work for existing books so I’m hired top write a story only.
Titles are important. I think I’ve come up with some good ones so far.
Morgen: So do I. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Bobby: At the moment I am putting the finishing touches on a graphic novel script I’m co-writing with Mike Gordon for New Legend Productions. Not much I can reveal about that one at the moment. I also just started working on a novel featuring the pulp character Domino Lady for Moonstone Books. After that I have a couple of novellas due for a few different publishers then it’s back to work on Evil Intent, the sequel to my soon to be re-released novel, Evil Ways from New babel Books. 2012 is going to be a busy year.
Morgen: Aren’t they all? Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Bobby: I write almost every day. There are some days where things happen and I just can’t get any work done. Like everything else, writing takes discipline. Since this is my job, I make sure to treat it as such so I don’t miss deadlines.
I don’t believe in Writer’s Block. As a writer friend of mine often says, and I quote, “Do plumbers get Plumber’s Block?” Sometimes the words don’t flow as well as others, certainly. When that happens I switch over to another project so I have a fresh perspective. Or I take a walk, do the laundry, or just get away from the computer for a bit. When I come back I’m relaxed and ready to go back to work.
Morgen: I interviewed crime writer Mark Billingham back in November and he said exactly the same thing (writer’s vs plumber’s block) and I agree. There are ways to get around getting stuck and as you say if you treat it as a day job your brain is likely to keep up. I should actually be saying that writer’s block is terrible (which it is if you do get stuck) and that I have a writer’s block workbook for sale but like anything if you don’t take something too seriously it doesn’t become an issue. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Bobby: A little of both. I always have a loose idea when I start. With shorter pieces that’s usually enough to carry me through the storytelling process. With novels I have the major beats I need to hit plotted out and then I follow the characters and see which path they take to get from point A to point B. What I don’t do is outline. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work for me. When I go back to start writing a story I’ve outlined I lose interest quickly because I feel like I’ve already told that story and don’t want to write it again.
Morgen: I don’t plot much although I’m just going back through my novels and am wondering whether I should put more down so I keep track of the threads but we’ll see. Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
Bobby: I don’t have a specific form I fill out or anything, but I try to get to know the characters I create the same way I would anyone I meet. I listen to them deal with situations and learn their quirks, habits, and expressions. If I truly get to know my characters then I can drop three characters into similar situations and each one will react to it differently, including coming up with a different resolution.
Morgen: We were talking about this in Helen Hunt’s workshop on Saturday; that some of us get images of what we think our characters look like (either from magazines or Google Images… other websites are available ). Do you write any non-fiction, poetry or short stories?
Bobby: I don’t write non-fiction or poetry. I do write the occasional short story for anthologies. I write for several anthologies. Pulp, action, sci fi, westerns, and more. Anthologies are a fun way to scratch certain creative itches. It’s nice to take risks by writing in unfamiliar territory. Anthologies help me do that.
Morgen: I’ve just had a story placed in a (charity) anthology and would love to have more out there. I reviewed some Sexy Shorts anthologies for my Short Story Saturdays page a couple of days ago and I’d love to have been in the other authors’ company. I guess it would help to send stories out, wouldn’t it? Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Bobby: I’d like to think that every word I type is pure gold, but the truth is that I need editing just like everyone else. I do a lot of my own editing during the writing process, but I’ve also worked with some really talented editors as well.
Morgen: Mine is great. Hi, Rachel. Do you have to do much research?
Bobby: I do a lot of research. How much or how little depends on the project. Google is my friend.
Morgen: Google has a lot of friends. What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Bobby: I generally write my stories in third person, although different chapters may focus on a singular character’s point of view. I’ve written a few first person narratives when required, but it’s not my preferred method. I’ve not attempted second person. Not even sure how I’d begin.
Morgen: I write loads of it and am so passionate about it that I gave it its own blog page. Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Bobby: Probably. I’ve got a lot of started and abandoned pieces. Some may never be finished.
Morgen: I have loads of those but I’m hoping it’s only a time thing and that I will get round to going through them all. What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Bobby: I love telling stories. I love getting positive feedback from readers and publishers. I’m not crazy about submitting or the hoops that seem to be involved with finding an agent. That’s not fun. As for surprises, I’m always surprised whenever someone recognizes me or my work.
Morgen: I had a lady at a party know my name (and loved my blog / podcast apparently)… told to / by one of my Flash Fiction Fridays podcast contributors. It still gives me a warm glowy feeling. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Bobby: If you want to write, write. If you want to write as a career, then remember that it is a job and treat it accordingly. Sometimes that means sitting at home all weekend when you’d rather be out doing anything else. Sometimes it means sleepless nights, but the payoff is worth it. Ask yourself what success is for you and shoot for that as your goal.
Morgen: I sit at home all weekend (and weekdays) not wishing I’d rather be elsewhere but certainly that I did more writing. It’s worth it though because I get to meet some great authors. If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or hide the takeaway containers)?
Bobby: Wow. Good question.
Morgen: Oh, thanks, it’s one of the most recent.
Bobby: First, Stephen J. Cannell because I never got to meet him in person, although we did converse via email a couple of times. Second, Tom Baker, who was the Doctor Who I grew up with and it would be incredibly cool to meet him. Third, Stan Lee, who was partly responsible for the comics I read as a child that inspired me to start telling my own stories. As for the meal, I’d let them pick the place.
Morgen: I’ve only heard of Tom and he was my Doctor Who too – I had a scarf (probably knitted by my mum) just like his. Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
Bobby: I say “cool” a lot. Usually, when I get a question like this I pull out a movie quote. Here’s one I use often from my favorite movie, JAWS. “Smile you sonuva–BOOM!” Dr. McCoy quotes from Star Trek are usually good too. Bones had the best lines.
Morgen: I didn’t watch much Star Trek (actually I think I did, I grew up with an older brother after all) but none of it has stuck, other than “beam me up Scottie” of course. Are you involved in anything else writing-related other than actual writing or marketing of your writing?
Bobby: I’ve dabbled with editing. I co-write a weekly column for New Pulp (www.newpulpfiction.com) with fellow writers Barry Reese and Mike Bullock called Table Talk. I am one of the co-hosts of the weekly Earth Station One podcast (www.esopodcast.com) along with Mike Faber and Mike Gordon. I also write blog entries about writing at my website (www.bobbynash.com) as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc…
Morgen: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Bobby: Not writing? That’s usually eating, sleeping, or watching TV. It’s a very simple life I lead, no? I do the normal things that people do. I go to the grocery store, hang out with friends, catch a movie here and there, go out to meals, read, do yard work, spend time with my family, things like that.
Morgen: I’d agree with the first bit. If I’m not writing (or rather involved with this blog) I’m eating (actually I do that at the same time), sleeping (ditto ) and the occasional movie, either at home or the cinema. Are there any writing-related websites and / or books that you find useful?
Bobby: I don’t spend a lot of time reading how to sites or books. Not because I don’t think they’re a great resource, but because I’m usually too busy writing to read about the process of writing. One resource that I do use often is Preditors & Editors (http://pred-ed.com).
Morgen: Ah yes, I’ve recommended that on several occasions. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Bobby: Absolutely. I am on many forums and social networking sites. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linked-In, several writers forums, marketing forums, book forums, published author forums, comic book creator forums, and on and on. I even started a Pinterest page recently although I haven’t quite got the hang of that one yet. I have a list on my website, www.bobbynash.com.
Social networks and forums are great ways to connect with fans, readers, peers, publishers, friends, and potential customers. I find them very helpful and quite fun to use.
Morgen: I’d only just heard of Pinterest really recently and still have no clue. Fortunately multi-genre author and interviewee Phyllis Zimbler Miller is going to do a guest piece for me (and everyone else of course) on the topic on Tuesday 5th June so hopefully I can get suitably excited then. What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Bobby: I think the future is bright. The publishing industry, like so many others, is currently in a state of flux. I look forward to seeing how the publishing industry evolves and I hope I get to come along for the ride.
Morgen: Where can we find out about you and your work?
Bobby: My main website is www.bobbynash.com and there are links to my work all over the site. Plus, I’m all over the internet. Just Google Bobby Nash and you’ll find me.
Morgen: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Bobby: I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to appear on your site. Thanks.
Morgen: You’re very welcome. Thank you for taking part. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Bobby: With all of the interviews you do for the website, what are some of the more surprising responses you’ve received?
Morgen: One that comes to mind is crime novelist Sheila Quigley who said that it had taken her 30 years to get published. I have 23 to go. But seriously, that’s some staying power. Thank you, Bobby, lovely to speak to you.
I then invited Bobby to include an extract of his writing and this is an excerpt from his latest novel, Deadly Games! from BEN Books (http://BEN-Books.blogspot.com has more information).
The Rusty Mug Pub was widely known as a favored hangout for the city of Atlanta’s Law Enforcement Professionals.
Simply put, The Mug, as it was affectionately called, was a cop bar.
From the outside, the Rusty Mug Pub looked like a relic from a bygone era where everything had a rustic, old home feel. The wrought iron grating running along the outer edges of the concrete tiled sidewalk was older than most of the bar’s patrons. The walls were made up of deftly placed red bricks made from red Georgia clay. The bricks had probably been manufactured not far away from the very spot many, many years earlier. Who knows, perhaps maybe even before Sherman’s famous fire sale all those many decades past. The place looked like it should have been on a historic tour line instead of serving as a local dive.
It was the kind or place Norman Rockwell would have painted in his day.
And thanks to the clientele, it was a place where everyone truly knew your name and one place no one would ever dare think of robbing.
The Mug was a beautiful place on the outside and the patrons loved it, but the inside told the true tale. On an average night thick smoke would fill the air and the smell of alcohol and cheap cologne would mingle with the smoke from at least a dozen cigars, forming a fragrance unique to the Rusty Mug.
From his secret lair in the wilds of Bethlehem, Georgia, Bobby Nash writes. A multitasker, Bobby’s certain that he does not suffer from ADD, but instead he… ooh, shiny. When he finally manages to put fingers to the keyboard, Bobby writes novels, comic books, short prose, novellas, graphic novels, and even a little pulp fiction just for good measure. And despite what his brother says, Bobby isn’t addicted to buying DVDs and can quit anytime he wants.
When not writing fiction, Bobby attends conventions and writers conferences, promotes his books, teaches writing courses and panels, and is a part-time extra in movies and television. Bobby is the co-host of the weekly Earth Station One podcast (www.esopodcast.com) and writes for New Pulp (www.newpulpfiction.com) and All Pulp (http://allpulp.blogspot.com) news sites.
For more information on Bobby Nash please visit him at www.bobbynash.com, www.facebook.com/bobbyenash, www.twitter.com/bobbynash, www.lance-star.com, and http://BEN-Books.blogspot.com among other places across the web.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on this blog but everything else (see Opportunities on this blog) is free.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have http://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
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