Nicholas Tanek is an American ghostwriter from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors in English. Nicholas has been a ghostwriter for over 15 years. His passion for music, which is a major theme in his debut novel, is exemplified through the numerous artist interviews he has conducted over the years, including the likes of Happy Mondays, The Wolfgang Press, Momus, Common, Cee-Lo Green, Scratch (of The Roots), Sticky Fingaz, and many others.
Nicholas believes that all things should be done in and for love.
Nicholas currently resides in New Jersey with his dog Mokey, who is also prominently featured in The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself.
What inspires you to write?
I have a need, a love, to be creative. Lynn, the main character of my first novel, brought out my creativity after years of dormancy. With her, I could be, do, have, and want anything, and it was all okay. In her memory, I wrote this book, knowing it would contain subject matter that some would find uncomfortable. I needed to write it for her, though. This was my expression of love.
For me, inspiration is found in reality. I find that my best work comes from events and places I have experienced or from people who have passed through my life. It is genuine. I liken it to reporting, in a sense, which I think comes from my background in journalism and in interviewing other artists.
Tell us about your writing process.
My end goal is to just get all the words out of me and into rough print. If it is not on paper, then in terms of eventually publishing, it simply does not exist. My editor describes the process as: “He likes to cum all over the paper and then I fix it later.”
Writing is a constant stream. I don’t think about whether or not part A goes with part B, if I have a lot of grammatical mistakes or misspellings. I think about those things once everything is dumped out there to be organized. And then, with the help of my wonderful editor, we begin the long and detailed process of editing, proofing, fixing, and so on until we are mutually satisfied with the end result and we have something we feel is acceptable to our readers.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do write a form of fiction, but it is fictionalized reality. Because my best stories come from real experiences, I am always speaking to the people who appear in my books, or referencing real material about them, our experiences, and events.
Fictionalizing real life stories is the respectful thing to do when dealing with delicate subject matter. During Hurricane Sandy, I spent a great deal of time reflecting on my years with Lynn. I knew I had to write this book, and I spent many, many nights with Lynn in my memories. She said no one would ever write something for her. I knew that I would write Lynn’s story, even if it killed me. And, in making that vow, I included the process of writing this novel into the story itself. Lynn was very much present through the entire process.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write! Just write! Get all those ideas, experiences, words out onto pages and deal with everything else later. As I said earlier, if it is not on the page, it does not exist. Create and be creative. Do not think about what anyone else might think. It is as simple (and possibly as complicated!) as that. You can always proofread it, hide it, and never show it again, but just get it onto the page.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did use a small publishing company; however, I own my material 100%. As we were going through the editing and proofing process, I explored all of my options and I settled on this one because it still gave me total control over my work, and I needed that. Autonomy is vital for me. As a side note, when presenting my work to the publishing company, I was at one point told that my book is ‘dangerously teetering on pornographic.’ We changed nothing. It was published, and has been well received. Again, what I wrote is rooted in reality, and for some that can be uncomfortable. My publishing company was okay with that.
I also have a wonderful team of volunteer people who have helped me every step of the way – from editing all the way through the promotion.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing is both exciting and scary. It is going through a major evolution at the moment, much like film and music media. It is in a very vulnerable state, but the opportunity to create has never been more available to more people than it is now.
With all of that excitement and evolution, there is opportunity to exploit. I have concerns about how the market will eventually settle. But, the things that will stand out will do so because of quality and heart rather than marketing. We cannot stop the process of creativity, nor the process of publishing. We can only hope to put our positive influence into it. Let us hope that the art of heart survives.
What genres do you write?
Memoirs, romance, fetish, addiction, mental health, gritty, urbane
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print