Monday, August 31, 2015

JEZEBEL JOHNSTON: DEVIL'S HANDMAID sets sail!

Now in print!

Find it HERE!

Long anticipated and welcomed warmly, there are several firsts with this book. For one thing, this is my very first novel for AIRSHIP 27, my first pirate story, and the publisher's first pirate novel to boot! A whole lot of time and effort went into producing this one on both sides of the desk, which I will detail in a follow-up blog post sometime in the next day or so. In the meantime, you can read the company's press release, and I hope that whets your appetite for a copy of this book of mine that took 9 months to birth. It's currently only in paperback, but a Kindle version will be upcoming, or you can purchase an inexpensive PDF copy right on the company web site. 

A big thank you goes out to Air Chief Ron Fortier, for his enthusiasm and support when I proposed the book, his encouragement while I was struggling to get it written, and his eagerness in getting it out. Also kudos to second-in-command Rob Davis, who not only put it together, but did all 9 incredible interior artwork pieces and walked me patiently through the editing process in a format I'd never handled before. A special thanks to the uber-talented Mr. Terry Pavlet for a wonderful cover that I've been getting tons of praise for. You fellas all made me look good!
~NANCY



Here's the official press release:

JEZEBEL JOHNSTON

Devil’s Handmaid

Airship 27 Productions takes to the high seas with the release of its first ever pirate novel; JEZEBEL JOHNSTON – Devil’s Handmaid by writer Nancy Hansen.

Born on the pirate island of Tortuga, fourteen year old Jezebel Johnston is a beautiful mulatto sired by an English privateer named Long Tom Johnston and Mofina, the Madame of a well known bordello.  For most of her young life, Jezebel was mesmerized by her father’s stories of life on the high seas.  Eventually he sailed off on a new adventure and never returned.

Frustrated by her own boring existence, Jezebel conceives of a daring plan to escape the island.  She disguises herself as a boy and signs aboard the pirate ship, Devil’s Handmaid, captained by the notorious Dandy Dan Abrams.  Her disguise works and within hours she sailing away from all she knows as she boldly challenges the dangers and threats that lie before her.

Writer Nancy Hansen tells a story of clashing empires all seeking to expand their dominions into the New World.  Amidst this expansion of wealth and influence, the pirates of the Caribbean were borne, a savage fraternity of outlaw sailors, murderers and scalawags who ruled the seas.  Now comes the saga of a young girl willing to share their tempestuous adventures, cutlass for cutlass, until one day she will become the greatest pirate queen of them all. 

“I’ve been a big fan of Nancy’s writings for several years,” says Airship 27 Productions’ Managing Editor, Ron Fortier. “When she contacted us about this new book, I was thrilled. We’d never done a straight up pirate novel and getting one from such a talented writer was our good luck.”  Meticulously researched, JEZEBEL JOHNSTON – Devil’s Handmaid is the first in a series and kicks off with a gorgeous cover by Terry Pavlet and interior illustrations by Airship 27 Art Director Rob Davis.  Fortier ends with, “Adventure fiction doesn’t get any better than this.”

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – Pulp Fiction for a New Generation!

Available now at Amazon.com –

(http://www.amazon.com/Jezebel-Johnston-Devils-Handmaid-1/dp/0692524037/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441032277&sr=1-1&keywords=Jezebel+Johnston)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

WRITER 2 WRITER: An interview with author Jan Edwards

The deeper I get into these interviews, the more interesting folks I meet with things we have in common. Often there is a background correspondence going on as we discuss areas of interest that came up in the midst of the questions and answers. There's a certain camaraderie amongst writers that develops further as we recognize the parallels and similarities not only in our love of writing, but in our everyday lives as well. 

Author, editor, and publisher Jan Edwards is one of those special people who is not only interested in telling stories, but eagerly fascinated by all manner of creative and imaginative pursuits. We both agree that whatever else enriches your everyday world eventually finds a niche somewhere in your writing. It's been my experience that to bring characters and settings to life, you need to invest some of yourself and what you know in creating them. I think you'll find many little sparks of that same sort of spirited nascent energy as you read through the following interview, so that you'll definitely want to check out both Jan's own work and that of others who are published by her company, The Alchemy Press. 

Also, if you are an aspiring writer, make sure you re-read and commit to memory her spot-on insight dealing with how to offer your work to the right publisher at the right time in the proper manner. That is experience speaking from both sides of the desk, and the only other way to learn it is the long and hard road paved by numerous rejections.

Read on,
~NANCY




WRITER TO WRITER
An interview with author
JAN EDWARDS


  • Jan, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?


Ah—this is the question that always has me running out of words. What can I say? I was born in Sussex (UK). My father was from the Scottish borders and my mother from Wales, so that makes me something of a mongrel, but all Celt. Not much else to say on me other than that I live close to the Peaks National Park with my husband Peter Coleborn, and we run The Alchemy Press. I am also involved/published by Penkhull Press, a writers’ collective in the Midlands region. 

As for my writing, well I am passionate about folklore and local myths and legends and it is that passion which influences my writing at just about every level. To date I’ve had around forty short stories in print, most of which are in the dark fantasy/horror arena. I never set out to write horror, it just happened. I suspect this is because most tales from the past are innately dark. When you read from something like the Mabinogion, for example, or even Greek classics, they are not exactly brimming with happy endings. Reading so many of those old tales has influenced my writing—or perhaps shaded would be a better term. Folklore is also a fabulous reservoir of themes and plotting devices that I plunder on a regular basis.



  • I saw something about being 'short-listed for an award'—can you put that in terms a poor Yank hacker gal can understand? Any other awards or kudos you'd like a chance to revisit? (Oh come on, we all need to gloat a bit now and then—that's half the fun!)


I was short-listed for a BFA for Best Short Story in 2011 with ‘Otterburn’ (Otterburn was reprinted in my supernatural collection Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties in 2015). More recently, The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic 2 has been short-listed for the BFA Best Anthology, the results of that will be out in October 2015. 


What does short listed mean? Basically a book/story/press is nominated and voted into the final five in a particular field. They are then presented to a panel of judges for a final verdict. It is a long and nail-biting process!  Hope that makes sense...


The Alchemy Press won Best Small Press in 2014, and was short listed in two others. Alchemy Press has been shortlisted in four categories for 2015: Best Small Press for Alchemy Press; Best Collection for Nick Nightmare Investigates by Adrian Cole; Best Anthology for Urban Mythic 2 co edited by myself and Jenny Barber; Best Non-fiction for Touchstones by John Howard. There is also a Best Short Story nom for ‘Change of Heart’ by Gaie Sebold from the Wicked Women antho published by Fox Spirit, also edited by Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber.  

My mainstream novel Sussex Tales also won a Winchester Slim Volume prize in its original incarnation. Prizes are fun to have and yes, they confer infinite bragging potential!



  • I see that you've crossed the aisle into editing. Any interesting tales from straddling both sides of a manuscript?


There are many tales in editing but very few that I would like to repeat! Editing has given me a very different perspective about how to behave when wearing the writers’ hat. Not just for the nuts and bolts of writing itself (though I am getting a little better at punctuation) but for the process of getting into print. 

I find myself reading and rereading guidelines a dozen times before I send anything. Why? Because the way a manuscript is submitted really matters. Okay, I am launching into rant mode here so skip to the next question if you are at all nervous about submitting work. Here goes. 

Believe me when I say that just laying out your manuscript in the way the editors have requested will always put you up there in the top 10% of running, and just writing to the market will gain you another gold star.

If an editor states no zombies, it means they genuinely do not want to receive yet another story about surviving the zombie plague...  Which brings me to the pitch—having edited anthologies I have gained a far greater concept of what one needs to keep in mind; the greatest of being keep it short and be polite. It costs nothing to be nice and maintaining a level of professionalism matters. 



  • Most writers are also avid readers. What sort of books do you enjoy? Do you have any favorite authors?

Writers who claim not to read books are a mystery to me, though I come across them all the time. It makes no sense. I read all manner of books. I do love the classics and re-read Pride & Prejudice at least once every couple of years. Reading a lot of crime at the moment because that is what I am currently working on. 


I am less and less drawn to trad fantasy, not because I don’t like it but because I don’t have the time to commit to the current trend for multi-volume story arcs. I hear a lot of writers maintaining that they need the space to build their world yet most of my favourite books from the sixties and seventies were stand-alones of no more then 200 pages—often less! Series as opposed to serial is fine, but they are getting harder to find. Hence reading more dark fantasy/horror and crime fiction.

Favourite authors? That is an ever-changing list. The authors I rated in my teens are not who I read in my thirties. My tastes have moved on again and will undoubtedly keep on changing until I fall off the perch. Always had a soft spot for Daphne Du Maurier. I admired the way she wrote in so many fields with equal grace. Though writers were seldom as pigeonholed in her day as firmly as they are now. I adored Michael Moorcock’s books back in the late 60s early seventies—a classic case of fantasy world building with great economy of words! Anne McCaffrey was always a delight. Again a case where each book could stand alone, and most, especially in the early days, were quite short. I loved the work of Robert Holdstock. Mythago Wood should be compulsory reading for any fantasy writer! Jo Walton is a fabulous writer, as is Joanne Harris. But there are a hundred and more who are equally enthralling.


I always feel it unfair to pick a few names over the many because if you ask me tomorrow when I am in a different mood I might pick another half dozen authors who struck a different chord with me entirely. 


  • Creative people tend to have more than a single area of expertise, though there is generally one avenue of self-expression that trumps all else. For instance, I share with you an abiding interest in mythology and folk-tales, and it definitely colors my writing. I also love to cook, so I've noticed you have a penchant for sharing recipes. Any other areas of avocation that make your life interesting? Do bits and bobs from them ever wiggle themselves into a story?


I am something of a dabbler! I float from one absorbing subject to another and back again. Yes I love folklore and mythology. I like to collect local myths and country customs (many of which are attached to folklore). And yes I like to cook, though as I am somewhat slapdash I’d never win any prizes. As there are a lot of professional chefs and cooks on both sides of my family I guess it’s just passed on knowledge. (Though my mother was a lousy cook—so not sure who I learned it from!) 


I like pottery and sculpting though not dabbled in that for a while; and pottery has raised its head in several of my short stories. I have mad binges in applique and embroidery in winter months because I can sit and do that in front of the fire. All of my sewing is done by hand—I have a machine but not keen—too clinical for me when it comes to creating fabric art. There are pictures of applique blocks I have been making for a family heritage quilt on my blogsite. 



Yes I love gardening though my garden is of the wild and rampant variety—I have a habit of buying plants and wondering where to put them when I get home. No planning, just a huge hotch-potch of shape and colour. The gardening also extends to plant lore and herbalism and from there to healing. I am a Reiki Master and have diplomas in meditational healing, flower essences, herbalism and other associated bits and pieces. (I suspect that also comes from searching out ways to alleviate the effects of a long term illness.)


I have read tarot since my teens. I am into many things. I was a keen biker for example, and only sold my last bike about four years back. I suspect If you asked most writers you would find they have an interest in all kinds of artistic fields and non artistic ones as well. The things we do colour our writing in all kinds of ways.


  • Jan, anything new on the writing horizon that you can share with us? Got some teasers for forthcoming projects? This is your spot to trot out what's next and give it a shove into the spotlight.


I always have new projects on the go! Just putting the finishing touches to another short fiction collection. This one will be titled Fables and Fabrications and will be out sometime between autumn of 2015 and early spring 2016.  I have several novels in gestation. An urban fantasy series (as yet untitled) which is with an agent; a crime novel titled Winter Downs, set in WW2, which I hope will be out with Penkhull Press in early 2016, and a possible steam-punk Holmes novel, though that one has been ‘in edit’ for a long while so not worrying about that too much at present.


  • Where can we find your books and short stories Jan?


My collection of supernatural fiction Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties is out with The Alchemy Press  https://alchemypress.wordpress.com/  available in paper and digi formats. And as I’ve already mentioned a second volume Fables and Fabrications will be out with Penkhull very soon. Penkhull also has my main stream novel Sussex Tales in their list. http://www.penkhullpress.co.uk/  

A full biblio can be tracked down on my blog at https://janedwardsblog.wordpress.com/



Thanks so much for sharing your work with us!

Thank you for asking!


You can find Jan Edwards' author page on Amazon US HERE. Her Amazon UK page is HERE.




Friday, August 21, 2015

WRITER 2 WRITER: An interview with author Barbara Doran

One of the most satisfying things for me about doing these interviews is the people I get to know. It's a pleasant surprise whenever I find I share interests with one of them. The questions I ask often bring me answers that have me saying, "Me too!" as I read through them. So it is with Barbara Doran. Her interview had a couple smiles in it for me, because everyone knows by now that my first love in reading or writing is fantasy. I am an enthusiastic researcher, with bookmarked files of Google searches, maps, Youtube videos—you name it and I've probably looked that up at one point. I cheered when I found out she's also a Terry Pratchett fan, and though I had to look it up to be sure, I recognized the 'clacks' code from GOING POSTAL. After all...

"A man is not dead while his name is still spoken."

I like to think that none of us writers will ever truly die, as long as there is someone out there reading our books. That's one of the reasons I do these interviews; to present to you another author whose books and short stories you should check out. So today it is Barbara Doran, who unabashedly writes what she loves, and puts her entire heart and soul into every page. You can feel the enthusiasm bubbling up in her interview as she shares with us here her love for writing. Don't just take my word for it though, read on and discover just what it is that makes her world go round. 

~NANCY





WRITER 2 WRITER
An interview with author
BARBARA DORAN




  • Hello Barbara! Would you tell us something about yourself and your writing?


Hi, Nancy! Glad to be here.

I've been addicted to words for most of my life. From the moment I learned how to read I started haunting libraries and bookstores and haven't left since. 

I started out in fanfiction, mostly for anime, with a few video game fics out there as well. I'm not going to blow my secret identity, of course, but sufficiently diligent investigators might find some of my work on the web.


  • Now from what I've seen, you have interests in several speculative/genre fiction areas. What is it about the high-adventure 'pulp' style writing that you find appealing?


'Pulp' style writing has an openness to it that I really enjoy. I've seen a few cross-genre books in mainstream work but there's a lot more opportunity to explore combinations of ideas in the pulps. You never know what to expect sometimes, and I love being able to try new ways of doing older things.


  • I suspect that like most authors, you're probably a voracious reader. What sort of books do you enjoy? Any favorite authors? Anything you just can't stand?


I mostly read SF, Fantasy and Mystery, with occasional horror thrown in. For the most part, my favorite place to be is Fantasy, though; especially when an author's world becomes as much a character as the people in their books.

Favorite authors include Terry Pratchett (GNU Pratchett), Andre Norton, Christie, Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters, M.R. James…. I'm all over the board with who I like and the list could take up several paragraphs.

Things I can't stand… I suppose I'd rather stay away from dystopia settings. I'm also not really a fan of zombies, even though I do have a concept for a zombie-like story sitting at the back of my rather large stove of plots.

  • Voyeurs that we are, we want a window into your world. What would a typical Barbara Doran writing session look like?


That really depends on where I am in the process…

When I'm starting out, I'm generally throwing the characters into what I hope to be the initial situation. I'll be doing research on the internet for things like names and location. You might catch me with Google Maps up, trying to decide where things are happening. Or you might find me looking up YouTube videos to find actors who fit with a character's appearance so I can visualize what's going on.

Once I get going I can sit at the computer for hours typing. Thanks to NaNoWriMo, I've learned to write a lot in one day. Of course, this depends on where we are in the school year because during summer I have to take a break every so often to drag Tiger or Dragon or both off to their activities or to break up a fight between them when they get annoyed with each other. Right now school just started, so I'm looking forward to days of quiet.

When I've gotten a story written, you'll see me editing. This involves reading, re-reading and re-reading the story. Sometimes aloud. (Fortunately, I have a Text to Speech program, so I don't have to talk, myself.) I walk around and chat with my characters, try to fit things together and correct for plot points.



  • Outside of writing, do you have any other creative interests or hobbies?


I do some weaving, knitting and spinning. I also know how to make chain-maille and bead, though my eyesight and hands no longer permit me to handle the tools. In my other persona I run an art show for a local convention and I'm web-master for our local Weavers Guild.


  • What is new on the horizon for you? This is your spot to tout recent releases and tease about projects upcoming.


My book, "Claws of the Golden Dragon" came out with Airship 27 earlier this month and I'm currently contemplating a prequel to be written this NaNoWriMo.


I'm also working on a mainstream fantasy tentatively titled "The Storm Wolf and the Falcon" but that hasn't been picked up yet. Cross your fingers for me on that.




  • Any other amazing facts the world needs to know about Barbara Doran?


The name of my domain, Sum Ergo Scriptum, was a fortuitous accident. I'd intended the meaning of the phrase to simply be "I am, therefore I write", but my research assistant realized belatedly that 'scriptum' actually means an unfinished work. Which, I realized, was exactly correct. I'm not done and won't be for a very long time, I hope.


  • Where can we find your work, or follow along with your releases?


My book is available on Amazon HERE.
You can find me HEREor on Facebook HERE.


Thank you so much Barbara for sharing your writing with us!



Thursday, August 20, 2015

WRITER 2 WRITER: An interview with Bev Allen

Read any writer's list of favorite authors and you're bound to find one you love too. Seeing Terry Pratchett show up in Bev Allen's list (alongside Patrick O'Brian, who I am just getting into) made me smile. I've been to Discworld a few times, and it makes me laugh and keeps me entertained. You can't ask for more than that.

There are other similarities too. I've had some very disparate jobs and multiple career aspirations. Writing is what won out. I too have interests in paleo-anthropology, mythology/religion, and ecology. I'll also sheepishly admit that some chatty characters have been dictating when & how they want their stories written. Only another writer can understand what it's like to be so distracted by an imaginary conversation, you can't keep track of what you were supposed to be doing until you get it all jotted down. Or what it's like to have the 'voices' suddenly clam up and you're lost for what to write next. Bev Allen & I belong to a very special group of people who somehow don't get locked up for talking to our make-believe friends, who get us into all sorts of trouble. We're considered non-threatening as long as we have access to a keyboard, or at least a squeaky old pen and a hunk of paper. So read on folks, and you'll get even more interesting insights on what kind of fiction Bev Allen has to offer, as well as a peek inside her life.

And make sure you check out that short piece about the Maud in the garden that is linked here. Read it and you'll easily see how that got Bev not only the top ten prize, but the chance to write about a certain 'Doctor' that many of us are enthralled with. 

~NANCY




WRITER 2 WRITER
An interview with author
BEV ALLEN




  • Bev would you please tell our audience a little about yourself and your writing?


I’m an ex-person. That is to say, apart from being a wife and mother, I am an ex everything else; ex-student, ex-civil servant, ex-china restorer, ex-antique dealer, ex-teaching assistant and ex-researcher. There are probably a couple of ex’s I’ve forgotten, about the only thing I am not is an ex-writer.

I write in two genres, full length sci-fi adventure books for the older YA reader and shorter dark fantasy stories.


  • How long have you been writing, and how did you get interested in it?


I’ve probably been writing since I was in my early teens and it was then and still is a necessity. I have a head stuffed full of people and places and they all have stories to tell me and if I don’t write them down, they clog up my head and make me do silly things, like the day I went out for bread and milk and came home with smoked oysters and a sausage. It is definitely a case of better out than in.

I’m interested in history and ecology. Soldiers and the army have been a large part of my life and some of that is reflected in my books, but I am also fascinated by anthropology, especially paleo-anthropology and early belief systems. 


  • Most writers are avid readers as well. Do you have any favorite authors?


I love to read, so I hope you won’t mind a list. I adore Terry Pratchett, but I also love Ben Aaronovitch, Patrick O’Brian, George MacDonald Fraser and Georgette Heyer. A recent discovery is Jodi Taylor, her Chronicles of St Mary’s are a delight.


  • Is there any sort of writing you can't tolerate? Any pet peeves you'd like to share?


Aga sagas. I find books about well-off middle class women whining on about how unhappy they are and how unfulfilled their lives are a complete turn off. I want to slap them, tell them to get a hobby or volunteer for something, not read about Tarquin/Undine’s problems with their extra Mandarin classes.


  • Some days, the words just don't come easily—if at all. That can readily turn into weeks or months of no writing getting done. Do you have any strategies or advice for getting something on the page when the muse seems to have taken an extended holiday?


“No”, she said sadly. I wish I did. I get worried and lost when the people in my head go silent on me. If I’m not careful it can mean a drop into depression. If anyone knows a solution please can I be first on your list for the cure?


  • Do you have other hobbies or interests that fill those rare hours when you aren't writing?


Fortunately for my sanity, I am an obsessive quilter. My word processor is in my sewing room so I can just swivel from sewing machine to key board as the mood takes me.

You can find what I make HERE.




  • Is there a new book or other writing project coming out that we should be aware of? Any future plans you can share?


Two things out there in the last few months, a long one and a short one, so a scific and a dark fantasy.

The YA book is called “The Tattooed Tribes” and is a tale of eco-warriors and criminals all set on a forest world. It deals with the clash of two cultures and the efforts of a few people to maintain a balance. It sounds a bit serious, but I promise you it is a lot of fun and packed with loads of daring do.



The other is a dark fantasy novella called “A Solemn Curfew”. In the castle kitchens Quine struggles to bring his elegant vegetable cooking to the attention of his master. Frustrated at every turn of a carrot and every dice of a leek by the malice of the head chef, he can do nothing to find the audience he craves. Then a stranger arrives selling spices and exotic ingredients and something which will allow Quine to serve up a dish worth having. 
This is a smorgasbord of dark fantasy, humour and the culinary arts.



  • I understand that you have a Dr. Who story that we might all enjoy reading about. So what's that all about?


SFX magazine (you can get it over there) runs an annual short story competition. The top ten prize winners get their story published in an anthology. In 2007 (I think, memory is a trap set for the unwary owner to fall over) it was judged by an editor from Gollancz and I was one of the winners (you could have knocked me down with a rolled up feather duster. I only entered because my son nagged me). You can find the story on my web site blog "Maud: A Garden Tale". A couple of weeks after it came out I get a phone call from Big Finish who at the time published Dr Who stories under license from the BBC.

On the strength of Maud they commissioned me to write a story for one of their hard back anthologies. You can find it HERE on Goodreads.

It was hard work, lots of restrictions and a firm word count. I watched loads of old stuff on DVD. I had forgotten what fun Tom Baker was. It was a great experience.


  • Where do we go to find your writing?

“The Tattooed Tribes” and my first book “Jabin” are both available HERE.

And “A Solemn Curfew” can be found HERE.

I am quite willing to give away E-book copies of the novella. If people email me through my web site putting "Curfew" in the subject box I will send them the story. 

You can find me HERE.



Bev, thanks so much for sharing your writing world with the rest of us.

You can find Bev Allen's author page on Amazon US HERE, and on Amazon UK HERE. The main page of her author website is HERE, but make sure you check out her short fiction page HERE, and there is a lot of great reading to be had!






Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WRITER 2 WRITER: An interview with Nicholas Ahlhelm

The name of this blog is WRITING FROM HOME, because one of the toughest things you can ever attempt to pull off is writing while in the same space you live in and share with family. While that sounds kind of whiny, the truth of the matter is, most of us author types are not in the position where we can afford to go out and find some hidden little garret just to write in, so many of us work with family life's big and little interruptions going on all around us. A small number of folks seem to thrive amidst chaos, but for many of us, writing requires a lot of concentration in periods of peace and solitude. For those who have small children at home (or in my case visiting grandchildren and noisy adults who live with me), that's a tall order. Then stir in a day job or other responsibilities and writing often becomes an exercise in futility. Yet somehow, some way, we always seem to get the work done. Writers, after all, must write or we go into an acrimonious funk and become impossible to live with; prone to getting into all sorts of mischief.

Enter Nicholas Ahlhelm; writer, editor, publisher, fan, and family man—much of it juggled all at the same time. This is an ambitious fellow with clear cut goals and straightforward ideas, willing to roll up his sleeves and get down and dirty to make it all happen. He's got his eye on the future, with projects planned and support systems in place for them, yet his outlook is realistic and practical. Nick knows what he likes, and since that's what he writes, he's pretty darn sure you'll like it too. I think he's absolutely correct in that, but don't just take my word for it. Read the interview, and then check out his books and his upcoming projects, and maybe send him a simoleon or three so that things will continue rolling along. Keep a writer writing, and he won't have time to get himself in trouble elsewhere. 

Just saying...
~NANCY




WRITER 2 WRITER
An interview with author
Nicholas Ahlhelm


  • Welcome Nick! Please tell us a little about yourself and your writing.


I am a writer of heroic and super powered fiction. I live in Eastern Iowa with my wife and two loud children. They like to interrupt me a lot when I’m putting pen to paper (or more accurately, finger to computer keyboard) on my novels and short stories. I’ve been published by my own Metahuman Press, Airship 27, Pro Se Press and have an upcoming short story in an anthology from Flinch Books. I write a mix of straight up super-stories such as Lightweight and Quadrant as well as tales featuring classic pulp and comic heroes like Airboy, the Green Lama and Thunder Jim Wade. 


  • Now I know you've functioned also as editor and publisher as well as author. Can you give us some background on that as well? How does being on both sides of the desk affect the writing you do today?


I am the publisher of Metahuman Press. It exists as a vehicle for publishing my own novels as well as various anthologies I think the world wants or needs, whether they know it or not. In addition to my own novels like Lightweight: Senior Year, A Dangerous Place to Live and Epsilon, we also have anthologies such as the Modern Gods series (where mythological beings find themselves in the present day), Horror Heroes (where classic monster tropes are re-imagined as superheroes) and even Presidential Pulp (featuring secret adventures of United States Presidents.)


  • I'm sure you're a regular reader, because most writers start out that way. What sort of stuff do you enjoy reading? Anything you just can't tolerate?


I’ve read pretty much every genre at this point in my life. Most of my writing these days is various pieces of super powered fiction both from mainstream publishers or my friends at the Pen and Cape Society. I probably read more nonfiction these days however, as it always seems like I have a new piece of research to do, especially as I craft a bunch of historical works, such as my “The Second Life of DB Cooper” short stories. (The first can be found in The Good Fight 2: Villains from the aforementioned Pen and Cape Society.)

I am currently working my way through the first Veronica Mars novel, the Daniel Bryan autobiography Yes! and the Domino Lady anthology from Airship 27. I like to keep a couple of things going at any given time, both in reading and writing. 


  • A lot of us author types have other creative outlets and pursuits. If you weren't writing (or editing, or whatever) today, what else might you be doing?


I suspect I would be promoting independent professional wrestling events. Without the need to keep Metahuman Press out of the red, I could definitely see my investments going to the squared circle. I am a huge follower of professional wrestling as it is a great venue for the hero/villain dynamic that is so important to my own writing. At one point I considered getting trained, but I’m in my late 30s now and have had neck surgery, so booking and promoting would probably be the smart move for me. I am still a regular viewer and discuss pro wrestling at my blog The Wrestling Weekday.  


  • Finding time for writing when you have family and other responsibilities can be daunting. Yet you seem to get quite a bit done. How do you manage to juggle so many responsibilities and still finish projects and hit deadlines to get things into print?


It depends on the day, the week or the month. Right now I’m doing a bit more because I’ve been stuck at home recovering from neck surgery. When I’m also working full time during the days, I tend to eke out thirty minutes or an hour where I can find it. On a good day, I can get about a thousand to two thousand words written in that time. Editing is much trickier, which is why Metahuman Press anthologies have been in a holding pattern for a bit. That log block is loosening now and I hope to announce some upcoming books in the near future. 


  • So what's new on the agenda with you Nick? I understand you have a Kickstarter promotion going, and I'm sure people will want to hear about that as well as anything else you have out there.


The big news right now is the LIGHTWEIGHT: BEYOND Kickstarter currently running from now until September 4th. Lightweight is my ongoing superhero series and I would like to fund the next three volumes so that I can continue to receive amazing covers from the wonderfully talented Brent Sprecher. The success of the Kickstarter will determine how many Lightweight books I will focus on a year. 


Backers can pre-order the November release Lightweight: Beyond in paperback or ebook form. They can also get copies of the two previous volumes as well. I went in as affordable as I could make it with a $5 ebook copy, a $10 collection of all three current ebooks, a $15 print copy of Lightweight: Beyond and a really great $25 deal to get all three books in print. Higher levels include t-shirts, reader names used in future stories, public appearances and even the ability to create a future villain for an appearance in a Lightweight tale. 


Stretch goals will unlock up to three more books in the series: two more volumes that will complete the second year of Lightweight as well as an anthology of short stories by other authors set in Lightweight’s home town of Federation, filling in gaps in his first year as a hero. With enough backers we can unlock all three, but that depends on folks checking it out and putting a bit of money behind it.


  • Anything else you'd like to share with us?

To keep up with me, folks can check out my own blog, SuperPoweredFiction.com where I talk about influences, characters I love, share some great art and photographs and of course keep everyone informed about my writing and other projects. 

My next couple releases will be a new edition in the Quadrant series of short stories, a new DB Cooper tale for the Legends of New Pulp anthology from Airship 27 that I’m wrapping up right now, and of course, Lightweight: Beyond!



Nick, thanks so much for spending some time with my audience. We wish you well with your current project.



And speaking of that project readers, if you can help Nick out with his  LIGHTWEIGHT: BEYOND Kickstarter funding, please do so. He's got some really fun thank you gifts for those who can contribute.

Nick's author page on Amazon can be found HERE.