Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Author Interview: Nicholas Grey - It Is The Story That Counts @ngreybooks

Nicholas Grey. Writer. Traveller. Teacher. Born in the UK, currently living in the French Alps. I’ve been very lucky in my teaching career to live and work in some amazing places in England, France and Japan, as well as travelling extensively throughout Europe and Asia. Such experiences have undoubtedly influenced my writing; the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met, their stories and anecdotes, cultural and linguistic differences – it all helps the imagination. It all helps the writing process.

Your real name and pen name? 

Nicholas Grey

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

Some of my best memories are of spending the summer goofing around on the beach as a kid. I’m so grateful to have grown up a few hundred yards from the ocean because it’s such an awesome place to explore – swimming, barbecues, sitting around late at night listening to music with friends – awesome times!

About your education?

I read English and History at Lancaster University, graduating in 1998 which seems a long time ago.

What career did you plan during your education days?

I didn’t. I knew that sooner or later I would probably move into teaching but was too busy having fun to really think about it.

What languages you can speak and write?

English and French (well, enough French to just about get by!)

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

My partner, Katy. Stephen King. 

What hurts you most in this world?

The terrible way some people treat others.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced was when I decided to move to Japan to teach after graduating from university. Between getting the job and flying out were a four-month gap and the time I had to think about what I was doing nearly freaked me out of the whole thing. Ultimately, fear of regret helped me overcome it (and a phone call from my uncle Paul, who had experience of living abroad and essential told me to man up.)

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?

Should have thought a day in the life of Mick Jagger in the 60’s would have been pretty cool.

What is your favorite genre and why?

Don’t have one – it’s the story that counts.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

I’ve always loved to write short stories and in my 20’s often dreamt of writing something longer but never really got round to doing anything about it. When I turned 30 I knew that I had to put up or shut up – I guess fear of regret spurred me on. No point talking about doing something. You’ve got to give it a shot.
The purpose of my writing is to tell stories and hopefully entertain. Can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

My first novel is The Wastelanders, the first in a planned trilogy of young adult novels, available NOW on Amazon in both kindle and paperback version.

What are your forthcoming writings?

A new supernatural crime thriller, The Lightbearer, will be published on Amazon later this year with a sequel of The Wastlenders sometime in 2016.

What genres you write in and why?

Well, The Wastelanders is Young Adult fiction and The Lightbearer is more of a crime thriller with supernatural overtones. I don’t really plan to write in any one specific genre – the story goes where it goes I guess.

What keeps you motivating towards writing?

Telling stories is what I love to do but the amount of time and energy necessary to write a novel, especially if you already have a full-time job, defies any sort of logical understanding – at least to my mind. It’s more of a compulsion. I have to write – if I don’t then I quickly get restless, as if something huge is missing from my day to day existence. Probably sounds a bit weird but I guess it’s an addiction of sorts.

If Writing a Book is taken as a project, What are the key essentials you take care of in Project Management?

Well, I guess that you have to take care of your time management. By this, I mean that you need to dial into a routine and stick to it or 100,000 words is going to take a LONG time. Whenever I sit down to write I aim to complete 1000 words – sometimes I write way more, sometimes even 10 seems 9 too many – but for me, the key is to stick to the limit no matter what. If you cut yourself too much slack you’ll never get anything finished.

How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?

I don’t really. I find it quite an organic process – when I start on a draft, or proofreading, I just get my head down and plough on through until it’s done. I’m not one for too much forward planning – my own guilt complex kicks in quickly enough if I think I’m procrastinating too much.

What are your future plans?

Keep on writing. Keep on spreading the word.

*** What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?

A few years ago I would have said paperback every day of the week, but I’ve come to really like my ebook – it’s convenient for travel and there're so many great books out there that are only available online. 

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

In terms of the actual process, say a first draft, I take care of getting the thing written. Sounds obvious but if you don’t see a draft through until the end you have nothing to show for your efforts.
After that, I put it away for a few weeks, get on with something else so that when I come to re-read and edit I can be critical – and believe me, a first draft needs critical evaluation – at least mine do anyway. Then it’s a case of editing and polishing, sending to some friends who I know will tell me if something doesn’t work. Is that four things?

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?

No idea. I’ve always been of the opinion that you need to have lived a little, had some adventures, before you can write your own, and I’m sure life experiences do slip in there somewhere but I don’t consciously write about things I’ve seen or done.

Is a high level of imagination important to have for an Author?

I’d say it’s crucial. How can you even put pen to paper if you don’t have the imagination to visualize an end product? Imagination doesn’t just mean the ability to create fantastic new worlds, it means the ability to empathise, to think about the right piece of dialogue at the right time, the correct hair colour for a particular character. Imagination is everything – and perseverance, of course.

Your dream destination on Earth?

Wow, a dream destination. Not sure, but I currently live in the French Alps and am in love with the scenery so I guess I’ll say somewhere in the Himalayas – Nepal maybe. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Katmandu and it was an amazing experience. 

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I was born in England and have been fortunate enough to live in France and Japan, travelling to a lot of places in between. Travelling is one of the best things you can do for all sorts of reasons, least of all the amazing photo albums you can get from it!

Your favorite time of the day?

I’m an early riser (mostly) so I’d say about 7 am – you’ve got the promise of the day ahead of you.

Your zodiac/ sun sign?


Your favorite color and why?

Boring answer but probably blue. Less boring reason – I love the ocean.

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?

The last book I finished was The Martian. Currently reading Stephen King’s Revival. The feeling I get when I open a new King novel takes me straight back to being a kid, huddled under my blankets with a copy of It or The Stand. 

Your favorite book and why?

Tough one. The answer probably changes on a daily basis. Yesterday it was The Darma Bums by Jack Kerouac. Today – The Stand by Stephen King.

Your favorite movie and why?

Wow – way too many to give just one answer, although I re-watched John Carpenter’s The Thing earlier in the week – what a movie!

Your favorite celebrity and why?

Don’t really have a favourite but you’ve got to go a long way to beat Richard Pryor.

Your favorite food?

I’m on a bit of a health kick at the moment – tends to happen when you get close to 40 – so I would say something like fish.

Your favorite sports?

To play, football. To watch, Tennis and Rugby.

What is the force that drives you?

Absolutely no idea. Not sure I want to know.

What comes to your mind when you think of India?

Warm, sweet chai by the roadside.

First thing you do in the morning after waking up?

Make a cup of tea – nothing’s happening until I’ve drunk a cup.

The last thing to do before sleep?

Make sure I’ve got a water by my bed.

If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to the opposite, what will be your first reaction?

So that’s what it feels like!

The last line of your autobiography would be…

…but that’s for another time.

The title of your autobiography would be…

Well, that wasn’t too bad, was it?

Out of the cave means?

You got away with that one. Now let’s do it again. 

Links & other relevant details:

Twitter handle: @ngreybooks

Goodreads author page: Nicholas Grey
Amazon link:

Any other links:
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