Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nikki Nelson-Hicks and Her Boys in the Back Room

Part 3 of my series of “Cool People I Met at Imaginarium.”

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

I just finished the second story for Jake Istenhegyi: The Accidental Detective published in the Pro Se Productions Single Shot Signature digital series.

In a nutshell, the story is set in 1930’s New Orleans. Janos “Jake” Istenhegyi is a young Hungarian immigrant who is dragged into the gritty world of the private eye by his best friend, Barrington “Bear” Gunn, a WWI Vet obsessed with living the life of Sam Spade in, well, spades.

After Jake’s first adventure in A Chick, a Dick and a Witch Walk into a Barn (involving zombie chickens, trust me…it works), we leave him splattered in blood and chicken shit, watching as the hellish barn burns to the ground. In the second story, Golems, Goons and Cold Stone Bitches, Jake makes  his way back home just wanting a shower and to get hopelessly drunk but is pulled into a power struggle between sisters fighting over a inheritance that ends up being more than a curse and leaving Jake with a gift he doesn’t want.

Intrigued? It will be available for digital download in November 2014.

What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?

Isolation and redemption. I’m a huge sucker for redemption.

What would be your dream project?

I am very proud to say that one of my dreams has been realized in that I have written a Sherlock Holmes novella to add to the expanding canon of the Holmesian universe. So, that is one thing checked off my Bucket List.

I would love to write a Doctor Who episode.

OR…ooooh, get involved with a group of super talented, sharp and horribly sick writers and create a universe where we play with each others' characters like they did with Thieves World back in the ‘80s. That would be awesome.

Or maybe just a book that sold well enough where I could buy everyone ice cream. That would be cool, too.

If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be and what would you do?

Ugh, the Creator’s Paradox. You are always better by the end of each story so that every story you have ever written is never as good as the one you are doing.

Yep. I have a character, Travis Dare, who is the main protag of a series of yet unpublished stories. He is such a fucking Mary Sue. Seriously. Heroes should never be boring. Ugh. I am going back, squeezing his nose shut and blowing into his mouth until his balls finally drop. The readers of that series are in for a surprise.

What inspires you to write?

I believe, in my heart of hearts, that all writers are trying to save…or kill…someone over and over again.
In my stories, I am a God of Action. I can right wrongs, save drowning people and heal the wounded and broken. I have power, tapping on this keyboard, I don’t have in real life. And, it has to be enough….for now.

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

Harlan Ellison, Hunter S. Thompson, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Yeah. I prefer to hang out with boys.

Where would your rank writing on the “Is it an art or is it a science continuum?” Why?

It’s kinda both….maybe? I don’t think I’m drunk enough to answer this question but I’ll try.

Look, years ago I would’ve been all “Fuck, yeah! It’s an art. It’s MAGIC. You either got it or you don’t.” Now, I’ve mellowed with age and while I still believe there is a certain amount of that Unknowable Something that imbues a story with a Voice, I think there must be something else to it. The will to sit for hours and carve out a world with words, it’s insane! I have seen so many authors come to my Fiction Group with more drive than natural talent and I have watched those bastards work, work, work so hard and DO IT. It’s brilliant, really.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?

*Rolls up sleeves* Yes, thank you.

Okay, like I said before, Jake Istenhegyi: The Accidental Detective’s second story, Golems, Goons and Cold Stone Bitches will be out in November 2014. It’s a good story. So far all my beta readers have dug it. Now I’ve got my Boys in the Back Room (That’s what I call my muses. I envision four men in fedoras and rolled up sleeves, sitting at a square table, drinking whiskey and chainsmoking, cranking out idea on old school typewriters) working on story #3. Haven’t a clue as to what it will be yet. Isn’t that fun?

Also coming out in 2014:

Sherlock Holmes and the Shrieking Pits (humpbacked midgets, shillelaghs and Viking silver…what more could you want?) from Pro Se Productions.

I have a story in an anthology, Nashville Gothic, titled "Stone Baby," that made the publisher want to “bleach his eyeballs out.” I take that as a compliment. It is coming out in late October just in time for Halloween.

And I am currently working on a story that I am submitting to Capes and Clockworks Volume 2. The working title is "The Galvanized Girl." I hope it makes it in. It’s a cool story with time travel, trepanning and a six foot tall redhead.