CONTRARY to the title of this anthology, working with such a talented cast of writers is an opportunity that usually comes once in a lifetime. From best-selling to greenhorn, independent or traditionally-published, the authors in this anthology span all ranges in addition to spanning the globe—from England to Australia and all over the United States. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of them, and they have become a part of my extended family. I’ve even caught a glimpse of a secret side of them that only another writer…editor…is privy to witness through their words.
Through this series of posts, I plan on introducing you to my new family through a mini-interview of each. You may not get a chance to see their secret side, but you’ll get a sneak-peek into their minds, their passions and inspirations, and what made them the writers they are today.
..The Mini Interview..
1. At what age did you start writing?
Really young, although I can’t quite pinpoint the age. I remember enjoying the act of writing since early elementary school. It has always been a hobby, but I finally decided to get serious about it a few years ago.
2. Which book introduced you to Speculative Fiction?
I’m certain there were others before this, but the My Teacher is an Alien series by Bruce Coville had a huge impact on me. It was written for kids, but had some terrifying horror elements and ended up tackling some huge philosophical questions. That series of books really stuck with me. It also ensured that whenever the school book fair came around, I’d be there to find my next favorite story.
3. Do you have an all-time favorite book? What about it makes it your favorite?
4. Which author and/or book inspired you to start writing?
This is a weird one—Lewis Grizzard. He was a humor columnist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution back when I was kid. Some pretty severe heart problems eventually caught up with him, taking his life at the age of 47.
I bought some books that were filled with his back issue columns, many of which were written before I was even born. I didn’t get all the pop culture references sometimes, but his words still moved me, mostly to laughter, and sometimes even to tears.
I remember telling my mom how reading his work made him feel like he was alive again. Even though Mr. Grizzard wasn’t around anymore, his work and his thoughts were still able to grab hold of me better than most people could if they were speaking in the same room.
I wasn’t sure at that point if I had the talent to to write (and I’m still pretty shaky on that one to this day), but I thought it would be pretty cool to have that type of impact, to create written words that lived on and touched people’s lives longer after your voice would no longer be heard in the living realm.
…or maybe I just had a narcissistic wish to always be remembered or something.
5. What would you say is the most important lesson all writers should learn?
It’s a process.
I know, I know, it’s a cliche piece of advice, but its one I still keep having to remind myself about.
Even the best writers in the world don’t just wake up one day cranking out bestsellers. They write (and READ) on a daily basis, honing their craft and evolving as artists.
We obviously can’t all be Stephen King or Chuck Wendig or J.K. Rowling, but we can constantly improve our ability to tell stories and speak to readers. That journey alone is worth putting pen to page (or fingers to keyboard).
6. Of the entire publishing process, which would you say is the most difficult aspect to endure?
The stream of rejections that comes vomiting out of your inbox. When that letter comes, it doesn’t matter that your favorite authors also experienced the dreaded ‘we’re sorry, but’ qualifiers to their precious creations. In that moment, it sucks like nothing else.
7. If applicable, did you have a favorite character (to write) from your story? If so, what sets them apart from the others?
My favorite character to write still hasn’t found a home yet, but she’s just getting started 🙂
8. On what projects are you currently working?
Read Nick’s story, The Wolf’s Gambit, in your very own copy of Twice Upon A Time today!
..About the Author..
NICK NAFPLIOTIS is a music teacher and writer from Charleston, South Carolina. During the day, he instructs students from the ages of 11-14 on how to play band instruments. At night, he writes about weird crime, bizarre history, pop culture, and humorous classroom experiences on his blog, Rambling Beach Cat. He is also a television, novel, and comic book reviewer for Adventures in Poor Taste.