Hey Nicholas! We are so happy that you agreed to do this interview with us!
As you know, we read Kings of the Wyld in May & both thought you fucking KILLED your debut! It is one of our favorite books of 2017. Can you briefly describe what it is about?
I’m glad you think so! Let’s see…Kings of the Wyld takes place in a setting where mercenary bands are afforded the worldwide notoriety of rock stars. It features Clay Cooper, a retired mercenary, who is begged by his old friend, Gabriel, to reunite their old band and rescue Gabe’s daughter, who is trapped in a city under siege by a horde of bloodthirsty monsters.
Besides the glowing review from The Grimdragons, how much attention have you paid to the reviews for Kings of the Wyld?
I’ve read all of them, I think, or at least the ones I know of. I imagine most first-time authors pay attention to their reviews before eventually growing wise enough not to. I’ve been lucky, though. The vast majority of my reviews are kind, positive, and thoughtfully written. Only one that I know of calls my book, “One of the worst, most derivative pieces of crap I’ve ever read.”
But hey, you can’t please everybody!
For you, what is the most challenging part about writing?
Staying focused, probably. Between moving four times and watching my first book go out into the world, I’ve had a hectic year. Being successful in this business often (but not always) means being social, so it’s sometimes tough to balance that aspect of writing with actually doing the work. Also I tend to be very critical of my own work, and will often get bogged down ‘perfecting’ a paragraph that I will return to the next day and think is shit anyway.
Will you ever write a prequel? PLEASE SAY THERE WILL BE A MOOG/FREDERICK STORY!!!
I’d be very surprised if I don’t write a prequel one day, or at least a collection of stories detailing Saga’s reckless youth. Should either occur, I have no doubt Frederick will show up at some point.
How is Bloody Rose coming along?
Slowly but surely. It’s undergone a lot of changes throughout the first draft, including a whole new beginning that makes it (hopefully) as poignant as the one in Kings of the Wyld. I’m looking very forward to wrapping it up and letting my agent and editor lend their voice to it. They both were such a huge influence on the first book, so I can’t wait to see what Bloody Rose becomes under their guidance.
If you had to choose an actor or musician (living or dead) to play the roles of Saga, who would they be?
While there are many, many actors who could play these roles (as we’ll hopefully see in a movie/TV series someday–fingers crossed!) I’ll throw out some names that might work.
Gabriel: Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Leonardo DiCaprio (Gabe has to look rough but clean up nice)
Clay: Russel Crowe, Matt Damon
Moog: A younger Patrick Stewart/Christopher Lloyd
Matrick: Jack Nicholson in his prime. Or a present day Jack Black.
Ganelon: Ricky Whittle (from American Gods). Or a young Idris Elba, obviously
Larkspur: Eva Green
Kallorek: Ron Perlman
Kit: Paul Bettany
Lastleaf: David Bowie (single tear)
If you were in the band, what would be your instrument/weapon of choice?
Assuming I could use it without dismembering myself, a katana.
How do you go about naming your characters?
I like simple names, and I think they help a great deal if you’re trying to write a book with broad appeal. I love the basic alliteration in Clay Cooper. Gabriel was named for Peter Gabriel (though not based on him at all). Moog is a brand of keyboard, which is representative of what instrument he would play in an actual rock band. Ganelon was plucked from ‘The Song of Roland’. Matrick was pillaged from an old book of mine. Two others, Larkspur and Lastleaf, are names of characters I’ve played in MMOs.
Who are some of your favorite bands?
Rush, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Rush, The Who, Queen, Rush, Pink Floyd, and also Rush. Rush is awesome.
What is your favorite whiskey?
Anything that starts with ‘Glen’! I like all sorts of single malts. Normally the peatier, the better. I’m also a big fan of bourbons and Canadian Whiskeys.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
What the hell is Star Trek? (Just kidding, but seriously: unless Kirk ditches the phaser and picks up a lightsaber, Star Wars wins this hands down.)
OK, you walk into the bookstore & immediately head to the fantasy section. As one does. Who are some authors you are THRILLED to be shelved alongside?
What even is the rest of the bookstore for, amirite? Exercise, I guess. There are so many authors I admire, but when I see my book nestled on a display table next to Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss or Joe Abercrombie, I definitely get a little giddy! Each of them excels at something I’d hoped to capture in my own book, be it pacing, prose, or witty banter, so being in any way associated with them is quite the thrill.
And finally, the most important question that I am sure is on everyone’s mind – will the Ottawa Senators ever win the Stanley Cup?
THEY CAME SOOOO CLOSE! There’s a good chance, I think. Skilled players aside, certain cities, I feel, are predisposed to do better than others. Places like Ottawa (and also, as we saw, Nashville) have something to prove. Whereas a lot of markets feel they ‘deserve’ the cup, some of the smaller ones are really hungry for it. Go Sens!
Thanks so much for the questions!
Thanks again for chatting with us, Nick! Best of luck with the stunning Kings of the Wyld! You deserve it. We very much look forward to reading ALL THE THINGS you have coming up!
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