This holiday season, I’ve decided to promote some of my writer friends and ask some of the questions that folks ask me. Today’s guest/victim is:
First, a little something about Bobby.
An award-winning author, Bobby Nash writes novels, comic books, and short stories, graphic novels, and screenplays for a number of publishers and clients including Dark Horse Comics, Sequential Pulp Comics, IDW Publishing, Moonstone Books, Airship 27 Productions, Pro Se Productions, Raven’s Head Press, Stark Raving Press, Farragut Films, Dark Oak Press, Radio Archives, and more.
Bobby is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers.
For more information on Bobby Nash please visit him at www.bobbynash.com and across social media. If you see him wandering around a convention, please say hi and make sure he’s not lost.
At what age did you start writing or know that you wanted to write?
I’m not sure of the exact age, but I remember in 6th grade I decided that my dream of being a scientist probably wasn’t going to happen so I switched gears and declared that I wanted to draw comic books for a living. Eventually, my inadequacies as a comic book artist led me to writing comics. From there it was a short leap to prose.
Where do your ideas come from?
Anywhere and everywhere. I know that’s a simple answer, but it’s true. Sometimes I get ideas from a news story or something I overhear. Other times, story ideas just hit me fully firmed. Whatever magical place exists where story ideas are born, I’m thankful every day that I am able to tap into it.
Do you base your characters on people you know or know of? Family or celebrities?
Sometimes I do, although usually it’s a secondary character. The main characters are generally fully original, although bits and pieces from others may end up in there. For example: in my novel, Evil Ways, the two main protagonists are brothers, Harold and Franklin Palmer. Since I have a brother and know how we bounce off one another when we talk, I gave one of the characters my personality and the other his. The characters are not us, but there is that small spark from each of us that they are built off of and I think that makes them feel like brothers in the book. Celebrities are generally for type. I may need a George Clooney type or a Kristen Bell type, that sort of thing.
Do you plot out your stories or just make it up as you go?
I’m somewhere in the middle. I generally do loose plots so I know the major beats I have to hit in the story. I like to think of them as signposts. Then, I write from one signpost to the next. This way, I am still free to follow my characters if one of them decides to take a left turn when I planned for them to go right. I have had some great “Ah Ha!” moments by allowing myself the freedom to veer off course if the characters tell me that’s what they need.
The one things I cannot do is outline. I’ve tried outlining, but it just doesn’t work for me. By the time I write the outline and get ready to start writing, I find myself not as excited because I feel like I’ve already written this story and am ready to move on to the next one.
Do you listen to music while you write and if so, what do you listen too?
I like to listen to music when I write. I don’t have a specific playlist or anything. I have several CDs burned onto my laptop I can listen to or will turn on the radio. Once I get into the groove, I generally tune it out so it’s just background noise.
Which of your characters would you most like to meet in person? Which character of another author would you want to meet?
I’d love to meet Lance Star: Sky Ranger. I’m fascinated with aircraft and I would imaging the character would have some really fun stories to tell.
As for characters I didn’t create, I’d love to spend some time with the Fantastic Four. Domino lady would be fun to hang out with as well, although I probably wouldn’t be able to keep up with her.
Which of your stories/books/works do you consider the best?
This is one of those answers that changes depending on when I’m asked. There’s something about each of my stories that is special to me, but Evil Ways stands out because it was my first published novel and a long hard journey to get it out there. After that, I’d say Alexandra Holzer’s Ghost Gal: The Wild Hunt novel. Ask me again tomorrow and you’ll probably get a different answer.
How much do you write each day/week?
Not nearly enough. When I was writing full time, I had 2 large blocks of time set aside for writing. A little over a year ago I returned to corporate life so now that I have a fulltime day job, the writing has been pushed to the weekends with the occasional bits during the week. I wish there was more free time, but I get it in where I can.
Can you tell about your experiences working with publishers? Any juicy or painful experiences?
I’ve had more good experiences than bad, but there have been some less than pleasant experiences as well. All were good learning experiences. Not naming any names, but my first published novel, Evil Ways, ended up with a bad publisher. They had lousy, almost non-existent editing, poor cover design, price point too high, no marketing, and no desire to listen to anything I had to say. It was a painful experience, but at the end of the day I did have a published book in my hand. I used that book to introduce myself to other publishers and was able to get more writing gigs that way. As bad as that original experience was, having that book helped open doors. I was able to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
Do you have a routine when you write?
Not so much these days since I went back to a full-time day job. I write whenever I can squeeze it in. When I was writing full-time, I had more of a routine. I miss the routine.
What is your latest project/release?
The most recent releases I am part of include a graphic novel adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ At The Earth’s Core novel by myself and illustrator Jamie Chase that was published by Sequential pulp Comics and Dark Horse Comics. You can still find the standard hardcover and limited edition signed and numbered hardcover at bookstores, on-line retailers, and comic shops.
Also, just this week, Moonstone Books released the first in their line of hardcovers exclusively available through Moonstone’s website. The first book to retrieve this treatment is my Domino Lady “Money Shot” novel. The new hardcover comes with a new cover by Mike Fyles. The paperback is still available as well and features a cover by Douglas Klauba. Trust me when I say, both of these gents know how to draw Domino Lady.
Do you have any signings or appearances coming up?
As the year starts to wind down I only have one convention appearance left (as of right now). On November 14th and 15th, I will be at Fanaticon in Ozark, Alabama. Should be a fun time. www.alabamafanaticon.org
I may add a 1 day show in December. Still up in the air on that. Nothing set in stone yet for 2016, but as soon as I set convention and appearance dates, I’ll post them at www.bobbynash.com
Who were your inspirations?
Oh, so many have inspired me one way or another over the years. There are many creators whose work I admired and drew inspiration from the work that they had done and continue to do. I also drew inspiration for how to behave as an author by watching others at conventions, signings, and other events. I picked up many lessons on what to do and what not to do by watching others. I’m inspired by anyone who takes a chance and creates something. Whether it is to my tastes or not, seeing others finish a project inspires me to keep going and finish my projects. The writing community, especially, is filled with authors who are both helpful and supportive. It inspires me to do the same.
This is another of those lists that will change from day to day. Currently, I’m really enjoying the work of Michael Connelly, Alex Kava, Paul Bishop, David Mack, Van Allen Plexico, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. There are other authors whose work I love, but that would be a long list.
What book do you read over and over the most?
I don’t have any one particular novel that I read over and over again, mainly because of the time issue, but I do revisit comic book runs I’ve enjoyed again and again.
Is there a book or book series that you recommend to people?
Sure. If you love crime thrillers, seek out the work of Michael Connelly and alex Kava. They are really good. Also, Paul Bishop’s new Lie Catchers is great. I’m reading it now. It’s the first book in a series. Van Allen Plexico’s Legion novels are excellent science fiction reads.
Do you have a dream project that you want to write in the future?
I would love to write a Stargate SG-1 or Stargate: Atlantis novel one day. That just seems like a fun universe to play in. In comics, I’d love to write the Fantastic Four.
Do you have a special way of generating story ideas?
Not really. My brain somehow makes the jumble of thoughts and images come together. However it works, they do come together for me so I guess that makes it special.
How much of you is in your characters?
There is a little bit of me in each of my characters, some more than others. It can be little things like a personality trait or a particular job or experience that character may have had in the past. Stuff like that.
If you could live the life of one of your characters, who would it be?
Yikes! I put my characters through hell so I’m not sure how much fun it would be to switch places with any of them for any given length of time. That said, I bet it would be fun to be Lance Star for a day.
What genre do you prefer to write? To read?
I love crime fiction, primarily with thriller sensibilities. I tend to add a bit of thriller to all of the stories I write. I love playing in multiple genres, but I always seem to come back to solving a crime or mystery.
Do you prefer writing short stories or novels? And why?
Short stories are fun, but I prefer writing novels. I love delving deep into a character’s life and telling that story. With the novels, I get to do that more than with short stories where you have to get to things quickly.
What are you working on now?
At present I am nearing the end of my Evil Intent novel and starting on a novel featuring the old pulp hero, The Avenger. I’m also plotting the next Ghost Gal novel. Those are foremost on my ever-growing to do list.
Is Writer’s Block ever a problem for you? If so, how do you deal with it?
No. My problem is not that I’m unable to think of things to write. My problem is making time to get all the writing done I need to do to meet my deadlines. I appreciate my day job, but it does put a strain on my deadlines.
What 3 things do you feel every aspiring writer should know?
If you want to write as a career, treat it like a job. It’s fine if you want to do it as a hobby, but know what you want to do and plan accordingly.
Set goals for yourself. Why are you writing? What’s your goal? Want to be a New York Times Bestseller? No problem. You plan your career trajectory accordingly, but don’t be afraid to experiment a bit.
Have fun with writing. It can be a lot of work, but it can also be very rewarding. It’s a great feeling when you finish a story. It’s a bigger thrill when you hold your first published book in your hands.
What is your funniest/ awkward moment at a convention/signing event?
I’ve been asked to sign some weird things, including a corset while the lady who wanted it signed was wearing it and I once signed a blanket that had super hero characters on it at a con. For the most part though, it’s been pretty tame.
How do you use social media in regards to your writing?
Social media is great for connecting with fans and potential fans. It is not great for selling books, but I like to keep my friends/followers updated on my writing progress as well as what books I’m reading, movies I’m watching, and definitely sharing photos from conventions and appearances, Social media is great for that. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram. I may have others, but those are the ones I try to post to regularly.
Do you read reviews of your books? If so, have you ever engaged a reviewer over comments they’ve made?
I do read them and have been lucky in that most have been positive. I generally don’t argue or do more than thank the reviewer for taking the time to leave a review on places like Amazon, B&N, etc. I do share to social media when a review (good and bad) is left for one of my books and thank the reviewer there as well. I have had readers come to my website and engage me and I do respond there, but always in a positive manner. I don’t like to argue.
To learn more about Bobby, click the links below: