Monday, September 23, 2013

Interview with Nick Kelly Author of Catwalk: Messiah

What inspired you to become an author?

I love the concept of telling a story, and I love sharing something that was born and raised in my brain with others. I’ve performed as a musician and speaker all over the country, and I’ve had the chance to hear people really enjoy some of what I’ve created. I admit to loving that feeling.

Do you have a specific writing style?

If you ask my editor(s), I have the “do-it-all-wrong-the-first-time” style. That works for me, though it adds a lot of cycles for continuity and grammar fixes during the editing process. I write everything with the idea that it will eventually be a comic book or a movie. I got my start in comics back in 2001.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes. I love to travel, but sci-fi is definitely home for me. I’m fascinated with the changes technology has influenced in our personal and social lifestyles. My blushing bride, Stacia D. Kelly, and I will release our first jointly written novel in October. It’s titled “Ichi”, and it’s the first in a series featuring Urban Samurai sisters as the protagonists. It’s very supernatural, and not very techy.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

I actually wrote book two in the Catwalk series before I wrote book one, so I had the nomenclature pretty much already settled. The title for “Catwalk: Messiah” came as soon as I had the villain concept pop into my brain.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

The titles come to me as I’m working out plot and planning. I am big on storyboards for plotting out the events and pacing in a book. At some point in that process, the title will work itself out. I think choosing a title first runs the risk of limiting where you can go with the characters (though they’ll often lead you places you didn’t expect while you’re writing.)

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

One of the interesting things in reading reviews has been the commentary about how the story fits a certain theme or style, or that it delivers a certain message. That wasn’t the intent. I sought out to write an action movie in an e-book, with a world that should scare people, and characters they can root for/hate where appropriate. If the writing resonates with readers in a certain way, they should take that and run with it.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that there’s a lot of me in Catwalk (the leading man). We definitely share our love of motorcycles and sarcasm, though not necessarily in that order. Most of the bit players are named after or based on someone I know or have met in real life. For instance, there’s an arms dealer named after one of the vocalists from the band, Therion, who I met in 2011. One of my good friends is the basis for someone who gets whacked in Chapter One. If you’ve treated my family or me like trash at some point, chances are good that a character facsimile of you will meet a violent, graphic death in one of my books.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

My writing was definitely influenced by Phillip K. Dick, Stephen King, David Eddings, Anne Rice, and a huge number of songwriters, like Trent Reznor (“Nine Inch Nails”), Klayton (“Celldweller”), and Freddie Mercury (“Queen”). I love to read personal development and business books, also. I would recommend “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek to anyone in business, and “The Music Lesson” by Victor Wooten to those who appreciate music in their lives.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

That’s easy. J.A. Konrath, author of the Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels crime novels, is an amazing mentor. His blog is titled “The Newbies Guide to Publishing” and it is an absolute bible to anyone looking into self-publishing, promoting, and marketing their writing.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished Brian Pinkerton’s “Rough Cut” and I really enjoyed it. I’m reading a wide variety of books right now from local authors, including “Hope Amid Hardship” by Linda Johnston, about 19th century life in the Kansas territory, and “Did I Say That Out Loud?” by Kelly McDermott Harmon. That book should be its own sitcom already.

What books are in your to read pile?

I’m eager for the next book in the “Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences” series by Tee Morris and Phillipa Ballentine. Also, Claudia Lefeve is launching a new series called “Darkly Beings.” I’m excited to check that out. I really liked her “Travelers” series.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Heidi Sutherlin of My Creative Pursuits is fantastic. Cat’s helmet is such a key icon to his character, and she really nailed it in just a few drafts. She’s done all of Stacia’s works, both fiction and nonfiction, and I am so thankful for the work she’s done for us both.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I would say that “Work in progress” is technically a misnomer. Every work is “in progress”, some are just published already…LOL. Everything you read will impact your voice and your opinion, and it will, in turn, influence your writing (to varying degrees). A writer can easily get stuck in the endless edit process. Eventually, you have to pull the trigger and get your work out there.

Also, take criticism, but only constructive criticism. Reviews are not gospel. It’s the Internet. You can’t please everyone on the Internet. No one can.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

I can’t write without a playlist, as I mentioned earlier. With this book, I had a lot of highs and lows. The fight scenes were written to bands like Celldweller, Blue Stahli, Pyramaze, and Garbage. Other scenes that were more intimate got a soundtrack of VNV Nation, Midnight Syndicate, and Cirque du Soleil soundtracks I’ve gathered over the years.

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Catwalk: Messiah
Leon “Catwalk” Caliber Series
Book One
Nick Kelly

Genre: Sci-Fi

ISBN: 978-0-9852837-5-9

Number of pages: 249
Word Count: 70,266

Cover Artist: Heidi Sutherlin

Book Description: 

Nitro City, 2033.

Leon "Catwalk" Caliber left his cop job in DC behind, heading to the City of Angels to earn a living off the grid. He took a few odd jobs that called for his particular skill set – extortion, espionage, and the occasional hit – and managed to carve out a niche for himself among the Downtown dwellers.

All the changed when a new breed of MetaHuman cyborg appeared on the streets with explosive violence. Cat’s quiet existence is sent into turmoil when he finds himself right in the crosshairs. He must evade the assassin squads sent by a vengeful pimp, uncover the origin of these mysterious new mechs, and keep the cops off of his tail. Simple enough, except that the cybernetic technology that powers his body threatens to sever his humanity at any moment. Can the killer with a conscience find a cure, solve the case, get the girl, and live to see another day?

About the Author:

Nick grew up on sci-fi, horror flicks, Dungeons and Dragons, good music, and recycled comic books. He has been published internationally as a comic book author and musician. He’s spent over half his life on stage from New York to Las Vegas. He is outspoken, supportive, and willing to take a good kick to the ribs for the right cause. When not touring the world, Nick lives at home with his blushing bride (and co-author), Dr. Stacia Kelly, their son, and a rotating roster of cats and dogs.

twitter @Nick_Kelly

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Nick Kelly said...

Thanks for the interview. I had a blast with it. Hope we can do this again soon! -nK