What's happening in your writing life and mine; Book Updates and recommendations; The wonderful world of reading, writing, and everything in the middle.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I Wonder if You've Met Nick Daniels. (You will love his question for you.)
A little about Nick:
Nick was born in the late 1970s, in a bustling city in South America. He wrote his first short story in third grade about a explorer lost in the Amazon jungle, then discovered Jules Verne during sixth grade and was hooked into fiction for life.
He spent the next few years reading literature classics (mostly Dostoievsky) and contemporary Latin American writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, and Mario Vargas Llosa, plus every book in the library that piqued his interest.
At age fifteen, he decided to write a novel about a woman who loses the ability to love. It remains (thankfully) unpublished.
After graduating from journalism school, Nick moved to the United States to continue his education and write about science and faith issues. He worked as a science writer for several years until he gradually found his way back into fiction.
Nick now lives on an island in the pacific, in what can be described as a writer's paradise.
SDC: Tell us about what you are writing now, Nick.
Nick: I’m working on an end-times thriller about a Muslim militant who goes to Jerusalem to help his Jewish childhood friend find his missing brother. It’s an explosive and controversial novel and I’m having a lot of fun writing it.
SKC: Sounds like interesting reading. How did you gain your interest in writing? Did it have anything to do with where you were raised?
Nick: I don’t remember anyone in my family being a great reader, that’s just a virus I caught myself and made me spent many days and nights devouring stories in my bed. Having so many stories in my head, I knew I could tell some of my own, and that’s how I began writing.
SDC: Great way to put it, Nick. So, after a long day of writing or doing revisions in a story what is the very first thing you do?
Nick: I usually write late at night when the kids are sleeping and the world is quiet, so when sleep is stronger than the will to write, I just turn the light off.
SDC: I't s not always easy to concentrate when there is a bunch of noise, is it. I saw by your bio that you have a romance hiding somewhere in your files. Why do you NOT want that to be published?
Nick: It’s bad, really. That was an exercise in writing when I was in High school, and believe me, you don’t want to read it. If I knew then what I know now, it would be very different. But I enjoyed writing that one, I must say.
SDC: I'll wager we all have one of those hidden somewhere in our files! Do you write for one publisher, Nick, or do you use more?
Nick: Right now, I don’t have any commitments with just one publisher. In fact, I’m on a period between agents—ended up my contract with one, and looking for a new one.
SDC: It never hurts to keep those options open; I agree. You say you took Journalism. I did as well. Were you once planning to write as a reporter or newscaster? Was it Jules Verne that completely turned you around? How does science with faith work together in your writing?
Nick: Journalism was my profession of choice, simply because it would allow me to earn my living doing what I love, writing. For a while I thought I was going to be a TV producer and actually did some work as a screenwriter, but then decided to become a science journalist. I hated biology during High School, but in college I found myself very involved in Christian apologetics. That’s when I found a new meaning for science and how it could be used to defend the faith.
I worked as a science writer full time for more than five years but always had fiction in the back of my mind. Slowly, I began reading novels again, and working on my own. And here I am.
SDC: A great combination I think. So tell us, what excites you most about your writing experience?
Nick: Plotting. I have lots of ideas, but I enjoy sitting there and imagining how to make things worst for my characters, then start writing and finding out that many more possibilities open before me—unexpected things happen on the page and the characters begin doing their own thing. It’s a process of discovery that cannot be described, a crazy interaction between your brain, your fingers and the computer.
SDC: Sounds like you are definitely a plotter over a pantser then. I see by your bio also that you are well-read. Who else do you like reading and why? And what other books are your reading right now?
Nick: I’m always reading five or six books at a time: a book on writing, a book on Christian living or apologetics, a novel or two (of course), a research book for my work in progress, and a business/marketing book. Why these categories? A book on writing because you can never stop learning about your craft.\; novels because they are addictive; apologetics because I’m the co-host of an apologetics podcast and every week interview authors about their books (check out the podcast at www.breakingunbelief.org). And marketing, because all writers must know how to market or they will starve.
So here’s the breakdown of what I’m reading right now: Novel: Whispers by Dean Koontz;Apologetics: Unveiling Islam by Ergun Caner; Christian living: Christ the Healer by Bosworth; Research: Jerusalem and the Holy Land (Travel Guide)
I just finished The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass (Writing) and All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin (Marketing).
SDC: What a combination. But you sound a bit like me, Nick. I am usually reading all different things at the same time (or in the same period of time). There is just so much good stuff out there, and especially when it comes to research. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Nick: Take writing seriously, as you would any job. That means, get over your excuses for procrastinating and not writing and just sit down and do it. It’s the only way. You become a writer, by writing.
SDC: Great advice. Thanks. I understand you have a book you want to donate to one of our readers. Tell us about that book, and when you are finished, what reflection question would you like to ask for our readers to comment on in hopes to win your book?
Nick: Of course. My first novel is The Gentlemen’s Conspiracy, which takes place in 1836 London, and tells the story of amateur geologist Daniel Young, who starts inquiring about his best friend’s murder and discovers a plot to overthrow the king of England. Plunged into a crisis of faith and separated from the woman he loves, Daniel must stop the killer before becoming the next victim. He soon realizes that the conspiracy not only threatens to destroy the king, but the foundation of Christianity itself.
Okay, here’s the reflection…. Psalm 11:3 says, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” … How do you think modern thinking is attacking the foundations of Christianity and what can we do about it?
SDC: Wonderful question for the readers to reflect on. I am looking forward to reading the comments that come in and hope you will get an opportunity to respond now and then. Thank you so much for joining us here at A Pen for Your Thoughts, Nick. Please be sure to write down where we can find you online and where your books are available.
Nick: Thanks, Shirley. Please visit my Web site at http://www.nickdanielsbooks.com/ and get a copy of my book at Amazon.com, BN.com or your local bookstore. Be blessed!
Check above for the reflection question and do write in. We look forward to hearing from you. I hope you win the book! And we want to congratulate Phil C of Oregon! You have just won a copy of Nick's books! Be watching for it.