Author Interview: Nick Stephens
Hi Nick. First I want to thank you for doing this interview.
I’ve looked through your Instagram and your Amazon author page. You don’t have much of an author bio out in the world. What do you want your readers to know about you?
First, I want to thank you for this interview. Regarding my bio, I’m a bit new to sharing myself and personal things to the public. I’m still trying to navigate it all and find a good balance.
Hmm. What should my readers know? I started writing pretty young, but this novel, Wrecked, is my first attempt at a full novel. I started writing poetry which is still a huge passion of mine. It sounds cheesy, I know, but I love words. I love to read how authors place them just so and I like to do the same for my readers. Other things about me. I am a father of 2 and am married. I have been a middle school teacher for almost 9 years. I come from a huge, boisterous family, and am an Army veteran.
I really enjoy when people want to genuinely connect to discuss literature on places like Goodreads and Instagram.
What are you reading at the moment?
I always have a few books that I bounce around. I am currently focused on The Chain by Adiran McKinty and The Locked Door by Freida McFadden
Who are some of your favorite authors and what kind of influence have they had on your writing or writing process? I love Stephen King Novels. It doesn’t really get much better than that. His works and the adaptations of his work into films has had a tremendous impact on me. I also really enjoy Greg Iles, Neil Gaiman, Lisa Gardner (to name a few).
A few poets that have influenced me are: Robert Frost and Yusef Komunyakaa,
Why did you choose to write a thriller over another genre?
Well, I love thriller and horror novels, and I am a huge horror movie fan. I always wanted to try to right something intense that would offer, along with the thriller tropes, a few surprises along the way. I hope I did that with Wrecked.
Was writing something you always wanted to do?
Writing was definitely an important outlet for me growing up. I…had a pretty rough childhood and wasn’t confident expressing myself. Writing offered me an avenue to do so.
How supportive are your family and friends of your writing?
They have been incredibly supportive. My network of family and friends have done everything from sharing my posts, to purchasing my work, to sharing copies of the novel in random free libraries. I consider myself lucky to have the support system that I have now.
Your first book, Wrecked, just came out in April. Just from reading the publisher’s description on Amazon I have a lot of questions and can’t wait to read it. How did you come up with the idea for the book?
Funny enough, the concept started from a cartoon image which I show my students for them to write a fictional piece from. It is a picture of a guy on a raggedy boat seeing an island and an emaciated man on the island seeing the boat. They both scream in excitement not realizing that neither offers rescue. I wrote an example excerpt (middle school friendly, of course). From there, I decided that I wanted to create the novel.
I thought about what it would be like to be trapped on an island, not knowing how you got there? What would happen if a seemingly crazy person crash landed on the same island? What can drive a person to extreme behavior?
How long did it take you to write it?
I started in September 2021 and I finished April 29th. So, approximately 8 months
Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
Hah! That’s hard to say. I can tell you that I had a lot of fun intertwining one of the side characters into the story.
Are you working on anything else at the moment?
I have an idea for a follow up that I am fleshing out. Then, I will go in a different direction with a more dramatic novel about a man awakening from a coma.
Why did you choose to go with Between the Lines Publishing over other indie publishers? Speaking of publishing, how long did it take from the time you started working with Between the Lines Publishing to the book being released?
Well, Between the Lines pub was of my own creation. It’s really just a front name that I gave as a play on words for the readers of thriller novels.
I’ve noticed some indie authors choose to just release their books as e-books. Your book is available as both an e-book and paperback. Is there a reason you chose to do both?
I really just wanted the book to be available to all readers. Many, like myself, still prefer holding a book. The smell of the pages, etc. But the portability and ease of e-books is undeniable so with that it made sense to me not to limit it.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to publish their first book? What is the one thing you wish someone had told you?
I honestly try not to spend much time wishing. Like I tell my students, wishing is what people do when they want things to come to them magically and without effort. If you really want something, the answer is out there, study and build knowledge first and then take action toward your goal.
As far as advice, I guess it depends on the approach they want to take. Self publishing has benefits of ease but all of the leg work, marketing, promotion, falls on you and it makes it difficult to gain a following or to even get your books into readers’ hands. On the other hand, trying to get published by a major or even an indie can be daunting and full of rejections, but if you land with one, you have an easier time getting distribution.
My advice would be that regardless of your approach, make sure you believe in your writing and you constantly work on it; build relationships, and promote your books.
Thank you so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. This is all very exciting for me and I can’t wait to connect with other authors/readers in the near future.
You can purchase Wrecked from Amazon.