From his secret lair in the wilds of Bethlehem, Georgia, 2013 Pulp Ark Award Winner for Best Author, Bobby Nash, writes a little bit of everything including novels, comic books, short prose, novellas, graphic novels, screenplays, media tie-ins, and even a little pulp fiction just for good measure.
Between deadlines, if such a thing truly exists, Bobby is a part-time extra in movies and television. He is also the co-host of the Earth Station One podcast.
LC: I was wondering where you get your story ideas?
BN: I wonder that too. HA! HA! In all honesty, I’m not really sure where they come from. I usually fall back on the “anywhere and everywhere” answer because sometimes I’ll see or hear something that sparks an idea and other times an idea will simply come to me unbidden, perhaps from something my subconscious has been playing around with. Wherever they come from, I’m glad they do.
LC: What is the usual process for your fiction writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
BN: I generally work up a plot in my mind, sometimes I write it down, sometimes I don’t. I generally know where my story starts and ends, especially in terms of longer pieces like a novel. With short stories, sometimes I wing it and just start writing. It all depends on how well I know the characters. I know the important beats (I call them signposts) I need to hit and I start at one signpost and head toward the other. In that respect, I do plot, but I also leave it open enough to allow for the characters and story to move into unexpected directions, which has sometimes led me into interesting story points I hadn’t originally considered. The pantser part of me likes that freedom to improvise and swing directions if need be. What I don’t do– can’t do– is outline. Outlining a story takes the thrill out of it for me when it comes time to do the actual writing.
LC: Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?
BN: It varies. There is something exciting about having an idea grab you so fully that you just sit down and start writing. It’s a fantastic feeling and I love it when it happens. Unfortunately, as I do this writing thing for a living, I don’t always have the luxury of working on new ideas as they hit me because I have deadlines on other projects and those have to be completed on time. Sometimes inspiration can be damned inconvenient when I’m on deadline for another story.
Research is important. I write pulp stories set in the past fairly often and there is always some research involved. I have to remember when things were invented and the like. Sometimes Lance star’s life would be easier if he had a cell phone. Ha! Ha!
LC: What is your daily writing like?
BN: I try to write daily and for the most part I’m successful. Some days the words flow better than others, but I aim for 2,000 words a day. More is always better, and it sometimes happens, but 2,000 is a good day for me. Plus, there’s the daily writing-related work like updating websites, promotion, marketing, correspondence, interviews, social media, and the like. Doesn’t go toward word count, but is still an important part of the job.
LC: Are you a full time writer? If so when did you make the decision and what factors led to the decision. If you are not a full time writer…Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?
BN: I am, although I can’t say I fully make a living doing it yet. I was laid off from my job of almost 15 years back in 2009 and I tried making a go at writing full time. I love it. Writing is a feast or famine type job so sometimes you have these long droughts where, even though you’re still working away, income trickles to a slow crawl. I recently took a temp job to help pay the bills, but it also cuts deep into the writing time. I recently returned to writing full time and am out there looking for paying gigs so I can keep the bills paid. Somewhere in all that I’m working on deadline projects as well as my novels.
LC: Can you tell us about your experience working with your current publisher? (Any other publishers?) (And/Or your self-publishing experiences?)
BN: I work with multiple publishers at any given time as well as the novels I release myself. I enjoy working with publishers. Doing the production, layout, and deisgn work is not my favorite part of the job. When I publish my own novels, I handle all of that, but working with publishers, they have people who handle that part so I can focus on writing. I’ve been fortunate to work with some great publishers, editors, and artists. I love the collaboration. There have been a few less than great experiences, but the good far outweighs the bad.
LC: What is your current release and (without spoilers) tell us about the new book or series.
BN: The latest release is called Frontier. Published by my imprint, BEN Books, Frontier is a collection of sci-fi themed stories I’ve written over the years that either have been out of print for awhile, are part of an obscure book, or were unpublished. It was a fun collection to put together.
The next release to come is The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible, an anthology from Moonstone Books featuring the pulp character, The Avenger and Justice, Inc. I have a story in this anthology. It is my first time writing this character. In my story, “Lone Justice” Richard Henry Benson, The Avenger, rides to the rescue when a material witness calls from the safe house where he’s been stashed. Terrified, he’s convinced the man he’s set to testify against has found him.
LC: Can you tell us about some of your other writing and any appearances or signings that you have planned?
BN: I love attending conventions, writer conferences, and signings. I don’t get to do them as much as I’d like, but I have a great time getting out there and meeting readers, writers, and anyone interested in my work. I have a list of my upcoming appearances at http://www.bobbynash.com under the Appearances tab.
LC: As an author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?
BN: You have to decide what direction you want to go with your writing and make a plan. Some writers want to work strictly for publishers while others want to self publish. Some writers want to write for fun and others look to make it a career. Decide which path is the right one for you. If you decide to pursue writing as a job, then the best advice I can give is to treat it like a job. That means hitting deadlines, sometimes it means sleepless nights, or it could mean weekends at home instead of out having a good time with family and friends. Study your options and make sure you’re ready. Writing is a fun and rewarding job, but it can also be long hours and frustration as well.
LC: Who is your favorite author, and can you recommend a book by that author?
BN: Not sure if I have a definitive favorite author or not. This is one of those where my answer could change from day to day. Today, an author whose work I’m really enjoying is Michael Connelly. His Harry Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer novels are great reads. Ask me again tomorrow and I might have a different answer.