Thursday, July 21, 2011

INTERVIEW WITH NICHOLAS DENMON, AUTHOR OF THE MAFIA CRIME NOVEL "FOR NOTHING"

INTERVIEW WITH NICHOLAS DENOM, AUTHOR OF THE MAFIA CRIME NOVEL "FOR NOTHING"


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INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

(1) After reading your biography, it says you started telling stories as soon as you could talk. Tell us a little about that, can you remember some of the first stories you told or wrote?

I remember when I was young I used to tell all these outrageous lies. They were of course undone as fast as I told them because they lacked the substance to be believable. But when I was older these lies became stories chalked up to my “vivid imagination”. In other interviews I have told about how I was paid a quarter to write my first story in 2nd grade and I can tell how far I have come because now I charge 99 cents on the Kindle. Ha!

But my story telling, as far as writing novels, was not really defined and I stuck mostly to stories of the oral variety. I used to tell my younger brothers all sorts of outlandish things while they were young enough to believe them. For instance, I told my youngest brother, who I am nine years older than, that little green men lived in our attic and were responsible for lifting the garage door. I told him the garage opener was attached to them through electricity and once you pushed the button, it shocked them and they pulled the door open to avoid another shock. I did this with all sorts of electrical equipment as we grew up. The T.V., the ATM, all these things worked because of the green men who lived inside.

My other younger brother, I used to tell that an octopus lived under the bathtub and that was where the water went. I warned him that if you got too close to the drain this octopus was like to suck you down with the water. He took his baths on the far end of the tub for about a year.

(2) I hope the next question isn't too personal but it seems you have a rather colorful past. I read that your mother was schizophrenic. Do you think that in any way shaped your abilities as a writer?

No, that is not too personal. I am a firm believer that in order to tell stories about other people you need to fully understand the story about yourself, first. Schizophrenia is rarely understood and I don’t mind discussing it and bringing awareness to the instability. I think my mother in general shaped my abilities as a writer.

Not just the fact that she was mentally ill, but because she is such a great mother. The mental illness affects people differently, but with my Mom it gave her visions and made her paranoid. It was an odd circumstance as a five year old, but you come to terms with it when you grow up knowing nothing else.

Of course the visions and the stories she has told me about her experiences before she was medicated have helped me harness the matter of perspective. The funny thing about a story is it changes depending on who does the telling, because we all interpret things differently. My mother interpreted the world differently than the rest of us on a daily basis, so from that viewpoint I think she helped me discover what a wonderful tool perspective can be when developing a character.

Outside of her illness, she is a wonderful woman who lives with her heart on her sleeve and has always wanted the best for her children. She tells great stories and has writing ability herself, so those are some qualities I think she passed down to me. Other than tha,t she is a loving individual who always pushed me to realize my dream of being a writer and not a day goes by that I am not thankful for everything she has done for me and my brothers.

(3) You have a large family! What do your brothers and sisters do for a living do any of them write like you?

I do! I have five brothers and sisters so there are six of us total. I am the only writer unfortunately, though they all have their own unique talents. One of my brothers owns a law firm and is a practicing attorney; another is going to work as a Customs Agent and owns a Search Engine Optimization company called Florida SEO Design. My sisters are accomplished as well. One owns a bikini company called Bunny Couture. The other recently took a job overseas in marketing.

The only other artistically driven member of my family is my youngest brother Alex, the one I told stories of the green men too. He does film, and vlogging, and makes music videos for bands out in L.A. He recently had some photographs published in a magazine and he even put together my book trailer for For Nothing.

(4) You have done a lot in the way of work, your novel "For Nothing" seems to be based somewhat on the political side of things. I take it that your career working for politicians helped with this somewhat. Can you tell us more about what you did?

Sure. I have worked in politics on the local, state, and national level. I have had the fortunate experience of working with City Councilmen, Congressmen, and even a President. So it’s safe to say political structure, strife, and power struggles have always been an interest of mine. In For Nothing the political power struggle is internal to the Ciancetta crime family. This is a fictional crime family based in Buffalo, New York and at the time of the story the family is coming off a fairly long period of peace.

But peace never lasts. A civil war is brewing within the ranks of the family and as is usually the case it is fueled by a greed for power and wealth. Our characters, Alex Vaughn who is an undercover cop and Rafael Rontego a mafia hitman, find themselves right in the middle of this civil war.

(5) It says you love music, and a lot of writers are stimulated by music. What music stimulates you when writing or do you listen to music when you write?

I fire up my iTunes every time I write. But I am such a nerd I try to fit the music to the mood I need in the story. I am working on the sequel to For Nothing called Buffalo Soldiers and in this story there is a young female character named Kira. When I write as Kira I listen to a boatload of Adele and Lady Gaga and I don’t even care for Lady Gaga!

When I wrote as Rafael Rontego I basically lined up all the great mafia sound tracks from Sopranos, Goodfellas, The Godfather and especially The Dropkick Murphy’s from The Departed.

(6) Religion seems to have played a large part in your life and it seems that you may have been undecided for a while. Do you feel as though studying different religions has helped you?

Absolutely. Again I go back to a matter of perspective. As an author of fiction you need to create characters and that means you need to be able to put yourself and your readers into the mind of these characters. If you want your novel to be rich and multilayered, then these characters need to have unique world views. What a boring world it would be if we all thought the exact same things! By studying different religions and at least being aware of why people think and believe certain things you get a respect for those differing viewpoints and are more able to realistically assign those viewpoints to your characters. If you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes you can at least speak with a modicum of authority about what it was like. If you don’t take that walk then you are still operating from a linear perspective.

(7) Tell us a little about your career in college while studying English.

I loved every bit of it. I took so many courses at the University of Florida and I was definitely sober for at least half of them. Ha! I studied everything from Shakespeare to Chaucer to Women’s Studies to Chicano Lit and Cesar Chavez. I took a meandering walk through a maze of literature courses. Part of me wishes I had taken more in the way of creative writing courses, but I didn’t really start working towards a novel until my last year at school. And another part of me is happy for the experiences and for the diversity of my self-imposed curriculum.

(8) What is a typical day like in the life of Nicholas Denmon now?

Well I work as a software implementation specialist for a hotel accounting firm in Tampa, FL. It’s a nice enough job but I do spend my days waiting to leave the office so I can spend an hour working out, settling in for an hour or two of writing, and reading a bit before bed. I know it’s not exciting, but I do sprinkle in moments of fun with my family and friends. I even find a bit of time to travel. All in all, I live fairly simply these days!

(9) Do you have plans for other books? And if so, do you plan to stick with one genre or do you have ideas for other genres in which you'd like to endeavor?

I do. I have the sequel, Buffalo Soldiers, at about 15,000 words and hope to have it finished by September. The Upstate New York Mafia Tales should be a three or five book series. I am on book two now.

As for genres, I am not going to write in just one. I don’t think I have the discipline to limit myself like that. I am about 40,000 words into a medieval fantasy trilogy at the moment and have even made the claim that I have at least one good love story in me.

(10) Do you have advice for other aspiring authors, or lessons you have learned along the way you'd like to share?

Just do it. Stop talking about it, stop making excuses. Go out and write the story you have to tell. As you do that, reach out to social networks. Writers are everywhere on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc. And surprisingly, almost all of them are willing to help, cooperate, and brainstorm with you to make the lot of us better at our craft.

Also if you want to contact me, feel free to. You can find me onFacebookatwww.facebook.com/authornicholasdenmononTwitterat@NicholasDenmononGoodreadsathttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4845754.Nicholas_DenmononBloggeratwww.dratednovelist.blogspot.comand finally on mywebsiteatwww.best-fiction-novels.com!


(Thank you again for this interview Nicholas, and I look forward to hearing more from you in the near future!

All my best,

Kitty/GREAT MINDS THINK ALOUD)


Read more:http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=interviews&thread=338#ixzz1SnPPmH5x

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