Join us as we peek behind the scenes of our new anthology, ON TIME. Learn more about Bryan Nickelberry in his featured interview.
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
Lol, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. But seriously, I think it was a Nicholas Cage movie called, “Next,” which did one of the best jobs demonstrating this very principle. That being given a perfect snapshot of a future event from the first person perspective causes more problems and confusion than it solves.
Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?
My protagonist is essentially myself: A perfectly ordinary person trying to make it from one day to the next, while also trying to make sense of the world he lives in.
What is the most interesting thing about the world you’ve created?
Forcing the reader to ask whether this is a fictional world I’ve created, or the world that they themselves live in.
What genre or mix of genres does your story fit into?
I’d say this is a paranormal, slice-of-life story.
How have your personal experiences influenced this story?
“No comment.” He said, looking away with a wry smile.
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
Movies and comic books often paint the strange and the supernatural as things mostly within the characters’ control, with larger than life effects; and world-changing consequences. I’d like to ask readers a single question: What if the strange and the supernatural were all around you all the time; just on a lower level, and more quiet than you’d been led to believe?
What was your favorite part of the story to write and why?
This particular story didn’t have a favorite part to write, so much as it all just tumbled out at once until it was finished.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When did you write your first story, how old were you, and what was it about?
I honestly can’t remember. I’ve been writing stories for most of my life. I remember writing some original and derivative pieces back in high school and junior high; using class assignments as an excuse to write stories…but I’ve been coming up with stories and putting the occasional one to paper…for nearly all my life, starting with writing letters to family in California before I’d turned five.
What is your writing survival checklist? (Aka, what helps your write the best: music, snacks, coffee, complete silence, a stress ball, a cat, or an outline, etc.)
Focus and time can be the most elusive of my necessary tools, though a quiet room helps so I can hear the characters’ voices. When things get too noisy though, I’m happy to start calling on random people around me for suggestions: be they character names, colors, animal species, directions for the plot, and more.
What has influenced you most as a writer?
Taking in well-crafted stories in all genres and media (verbal stories spoken aloud, movies, music, video games, television shows, books, and more); then breaking them down to find out what works and what doesn’t work, figuring out why they work or don’t work; and drawing conclusions about what these things mean to me.
What font do you prefer to write in?
Twelve point, Times New Roman: because Capital “I’s” don’t look like lowercase “l’s.”
Do you have any writing blogs/vlogs/podcasts, etc. that you would recommend?
None in particular, although the website www.horrortree.com has several different writing blogs which are worth a look.
What is your favorite and least favorite word, and why?
I don’t think anyone needs to use any variation of the “N” word; instead, we should let it go extinct from lack of use. Why? Because first of all, we can’t reclaim something we never owned to begin with. (Caucasians with no respect for Spanish slurred the word “negros” into the “N” word; no black person ever used the word before slave owners and sellers invented it). Secondly, if we were really taking the power out of the word, we wouldn’t care who used it; and third, by keeping a word rooted in violence and embraced by hatred around, not only do we show ourselves not to have a good grasp of our history and the connotations of the word; we also keep it strong in the arsenal of those who would use it against us.
As a life-long resident of the greater Puget Sound area, Bryan Nickelberry grew up in the wet, beneath the clouds. He spent most of his life dividing his time between local parks and national parks, libraries and bookstores, family and friends, the urban and suburban jungles. No matter where he went Bryan looked for stories, and still does so to this day. Now he’s begun to tell some of his own.