About Nicholas Bridwell:
My name is Nicholas Bridwell. My friends call me Nick. You can, too, if you buy my book!
I’ve published short fiction in literary journals, such as my short story “Lazarus Man”, which is about a superhero who is addicted to painkillers and lives in a dentist’s laundry room. I’ve also published pop culture essays in digital publications, such as PopMatters.com, and in printed anthologies, such as the highly regarded compendium Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion. I have interviewed bona fide rock stars–Sean Lennon, Pete Yorn, and Fran Healy to name a few–as well as professionals like Nada Andric, who designed the interiors for the Burj Khalifa–the tallest building on Earth! And, with no intention of burying the lead, I published my first novel, The Ties That Bind, in August of 2014.
What inspires you to write?
I have always loved telling stories. I think this comes from the fact that as a young boy, my maternal grandfather, Guy, loved to sit me down and tell me fantastical tales. It was seriously like I was the kid in Princess Bride. As soon as I could read, he had my bookcases full of the classics. While other kids were knocking out their first copy of Goosebumps, I had already polished off The Count of Monte Cristo and Ivanhoe. But, I was still a kid. My earliest storytelling adventures included writing and directing a play about Batman for my elementary school, and publishing poetry in local journals.
When I got to college, I realized that the only thing I enjoyed doing was reading and writing. I love telling stories. I want to be like my idols–from Hemingway to Joss Whedon. I love the process of observing and reporting the human condition through fiction.
Tell us about your writing process.
My wife will love this section! I’m a bit of a hermit. When I write, I need to have a clean and inviting workspace. I also tend to block off sections of 4-6 hours. I feel like that’s pretty much the sweet spot for getting my best word done on a novel or longer piece. I save the impromptu sessions of free-time for poetry. For me, it is very important to have somewhere I can work on a consistent basis. It’s almost like when i sit down at my desk, I’ve entered a new realm.
My writing process really varies based on the project. For novels, I outline the basic and I do little character sketches and then I do “discovery” writing, where I basically let the characters breathe and see where they take me. If you are a writer, you’re totally familiar with this process. There are two schools of though: Outlining Vs. Discover and I feel that the best books probably benefit from a hybrid of the two. For The Ties That Bind, I wrote each family’s backstory individually and then I covered the office carpet with index cards and pieced the chapters together in the most exciting way possible.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
That’s an interesting question! I think I do both. I really like to see where the characters will take the story. At first, it’s all talking. You’re telling the character how they will be in their first chapters and who they are. Later, once they start interacting with the world you’ve created, the best characters will surprise you and you’ll find a voice in your head saying “Actually, wouldn’t I do this instead?” It’s a fascinating process.
What advice would you give other writers?
I’ll give you the same advice my favorite rockstar Fran Healy (from the band Travis) gave me when I told him that I was a writer: “Keep at it.”
Writing is a labor of love, but it is still a labor. You have to dedicate a lot of your personal time and a lot of your family’s time. Sacrifices will be made in the name of a good story. Make them count.
That being said, trust yourself. For every novel published, a writer may have that didn’t make the cut. I always give the story a while to breathe and if it isn’t flowing, if the characters aren’t living, I move on to the next big project. This can be painful at times, but you have to trust that creative genius within to tell you when the right project is worth working on.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish my debut novel, The Ties That Bind, because I am human and I am impatient. Lol! You can laugh with me or at me.
Honestly, after two-and-a-half years of editing, I was ready to release this story into the world. Therefore, I took it on myself to publish the book under a small imprint of my own design (The Fiction Supply Co). It turns out, I’m super glad that I did. Whether my next novel is sent up to the traditional publishers or self-published again is unknown, but I learned A LOT about publishing.
I almost think that every person should self-publish their first novel now. You maintain total control. I designed the cover, the interior, I was responsible for filing copyright and securing ISBNS. It’s a really detailed, tedious process for a creative person.
The one thing I’ll tell you is that you’ll spend %25 writing and %75 researching and marketing. The benefit of the gang in New York is that they’ll handle all of that for you so you can work no your next piece.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s hard to say. Self-publishing means folks can write their own books, but it’s harder for the everyday person to discern the good from the bad (and the ugly!). I feel like the future is in curation of self-pubished books, which, like this site, will emulate the old publishing model by providing suggestions of great books to readers and culling out the not-so-great. The truth is that every creative industry needs taste-makers. Whether that task falls to big publishing or the everyday reader is going to be something that each author and each reader has to figure out.
What genres do you write?: Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism, Family Saga, Mystery
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.