As part of my continuing coverage of the Summer Book Club authors, this week I welcome Scott Nicholson to my blog. Scott Nicholson is just one more “overnight success” in the string of Indie writers selling A LOT of books.
He has written 12 thrillers, 60 short stories, four comics series, and six screenplays. Nicholson has worked as a musician, newspaper reporter (winning three North Carolina Press Association awards), dishwasher, carpenter, painter, paranormal investigator, baseball card dealer, and radio announcer.
For his writing efforts, Nicholson won the grand prize in the international Writers of the Future contest in 1999. That same year, he was first runner-up for the Darrell Award. He studied Creative Writing at Appalachian State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. Despite all of this, he had 105 rejections before his first story sale and over 400 before he sold a novel. Since going Indie and self-publishing his own book, he has met enormous success.
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/27740
Today, Scott is stopping by to tell us about a particularly haunting novel, Disintegration. Welcome Scott! Tell us about your novel.
Disintegration was written four or five years ago during a dark time in my life. The title just sums up what was going on, and what I had to write to survive. I knew it was going to be dark and bleak, and that good people would do bad things and terrible people would do worse things. The evil twins are just a symbol of where I was at the time. And I knew the ending was not going to be happy, and I put off writing the last five pages for nearly a year because I knew what had to happen and I didn’t want to type it and make it real.
I don’t think I ever showed it to my agent. I thought it was too dark to ever share with people, and I was a little ashamed of what it revealed about me. I think stories help us solve what is going on inside our heads and hearts, but it also leaves us vulnerable because written communication is so personal and intimate. If it wasn’t for self-publishing, and without the encouragement of mystery writer Vicki Tyley, I never would have released it. My wife said, “Somebody might need that message.”
With low expectations, I put it out during my 90-day Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour last fall, and it hit #30 on the Kindle list. That was weird, to have the biggest success of my writing career on a book I never wanted to publish, on my own, after six books with a traditional press. That taught me something about “writing to market” or“writing to please people.” First, you have to take chances and put it all there. If you get the back end, and the connection with readers, that’s the bonus and completes the purpose of the story.
Luckily, I’ve put the pieces back together over the years since I first wrote the novel, and it helped launch me onto other books and success. I owe a bit to Jim Thompson and James M. Cain and some of the other noir writers, and William Goldman, Shirley Jackson, Kurt Vonnegut, RichardBrautigan, Patricia Highsmith, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Ira Levin, James LeeBurke…that list could just keep going.
I am a full-time writer now, but I’m only as good as whatever chance I take today, whatever basic principles of the craft I discover anew, and whatever I get back from a reader. Really, I’m only as good as the last sentence. And the next. There’s no other way to write a novel except by building it out of nothing. It’s easy to stay humble when you are tackling something that is essentially impossible. Once in awhile, you get lucky and the words fall in place and share something about what it’s like to be on the crazy ride we call Life.
Enjoy the ride.
Scott Nicholson is author of more than 20 books, including Liquid Fear, The Red Church, and Speed Datingwith the Dead. His website is www.hauntedcomputer.com and he wastes too much time being clever on Facebook and glib on Twitter.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Scott!