Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Nicole Givens Kurtz' Curse and Cure

At first glance you might not take Nicole Kurtz as a hardcore, sci-fi pulp writer. But don't let her innocent sweetness fool you. She's the real deal. Don't believe me? Then let her tell you in her own words. 

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

My latest work is included in the anthology, Athena’s Daughters, Volume II. The story is called, “Reanimated,” and it tells the story of detective Tanisha Moore. She lives in the dusty town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Burnt out, bored, and brimming with apathy, Tanisha covers the basics of her job, while dying a little bit each day. Everything changes when murdered victim, Sherri Cross, is reanimated. More than one of the women will become alive.

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

One of the themes I revisit often in my work, particularly in my science fiction pulp stories are those of dehumanization and how technology is more curse than cure. In other works, I delve into themes of the other and how we define humanity evolves or has evolved. I tend to favor cyberpunk stories and those where women are kickass and smart—definitely smart because brilliance is what is truly attractive.

What would be your dream project?

My dream project would be to write a series of novels like Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. One epic all-encompassing universe that not only has great depth, but also far-reaching and lasting effect on others. I have a list of authors I would love to write with or be included in an anthology with, but I will not embarrass them by having a fan-girl meltdown on your blog.

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

If I could go back to a former project and make it better, it would be my Candidate series of books. My writing has matured so much in the last 17 years since Browne Candidate was written that I know it would be a much more rich series now. With e-books and the rights of that series being returned to me, I have the option to revisit that world and revised, expand, and re-release to the reading public. That’s the beauty of modern technology; however, I am so excited about my new pulp worlds, I’m not sure I ever will. I may keep that series as a marker for where I was as an author. Besides, the series is still quite good.

What inspires you to write?

I’m inspired by life, really. I’m in education, and the events I have witnessed in the last 13 years ended up becoming the bases for “Smoke People,” my L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Honorable Mention story. My short story, “Sweet Tooth,” which will be included in Dark Oak Press’s The Big Bad, Volume II anthology is a direct results of my childhood growing up in a housing projects in Tennessee. So, my stories are fueled by my past, by my present, and by how I want the future to be.

Of course, it totally helps to have an active imagination. Writing is a necessary process. I'm an insomniac and what else would I be doing at 3 in the morning?

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

I love pulp and mysteries, so a lot of my style is influenced by Robert B. Parker, Philip K. Dick, Octavia Butler, Sue Grafton, Kim Harrison, and classic writers, such as Shakespeare, Faulkner, and Zora Neale Hurston. 

My science fiction pulp series, Cybil Lewis, is set in the near-future and involves a private inspector, who incorporate so many of those other writers’ techniques and styles. Cybil is one hell of a character, and most people who read her, never forget her. That’s because she comes from such a diverse stock of authors’ influences.

I teach literature, so my writing style tends to blend all of these very diverse storytellers into my own method and style of writing.

Where would you rank writing on the "Is it an art or it is a science continuum?" Why? 

Writing is an art most of the time. It’s creativity despite the fact that some authors mesh styles together like a literary Frankenstein’s monster. It’s still an act of creating something new, something different, or something familiar. 

There is a method to writing, but what I have found in the last 17 years of doing this is that the method varies as much as the authors. I’m sure my opinion here flies in the face of more successful authors. 

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?

Yes, please! I am involved in two different anthologies in the upcoming year. To stay in the know, stay connected to me the following ways:

Twitter: @nicolegkurtz
Facebook: http://facebook.com/nlkurtz
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nlkurtz/
Other Worlds Pulp: http://www.nicolegivenskurtz

The anthologies are: 

  • The Big Bad, Volume II from Dark Oak Press. My horror short story, “Sweet Tooth,” will be included.
  • Athena’s Daughters, Volume II from Silence in the Library. My horror short story, “Reanimated,” will be included.