10 Questions with Nicholas J. Evans
Nicholas J. Evans is an author from New York who now resides in Maine with his wife and four children. Evans was a guitarist and founding member of the Post-Hardcore group, NoraStone, with whom he recorded and toured from 2011 to 2017. He left shortly after the birth of his first daughter, and moved to working on short stories. In 2018 he won the Blue Rose Award in the Horror category for his short story, Body & Spirit, and following this he won the Kaiju Island short fiction contest with Minya's Sin. He is best known for his sci-fi noir series, For Humans, For Demons, and his urban fantasy novel, The Ones Who Could Do Anything.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself!
I'm Nicholas J. Evans! I am originally from New York and now live in Maine with my wife and four children ! I write fantasy, sci-fi, and LitRPG novels, along with short stories when time allows. From 2011 to 2017 I was a founding member and guitarist for the post-hardcore band, NoraStone, and would write short stories on on my phone while traveling.
2. What drew you to that particular genre and/or age group?
When I was young I read a lot of fantasy, like A LOT of fantasy. As I got a little older I added more sci-fi and began to branch out with the subgenres of both, eventually taking in more graphic novels as well. When I began writing as a hobby it felt natural to fall back on those genres, despite trying to write solely horror short stories at first.
3. What’s your best known work?
My best known work would be For Humans, For Demons trilogy which has two books out right now with the final installment already in the works. I also have an urban fantasy novel, The Ones Who Could Do Anything, and have had the pleasure of being in a few short story anthologies as well. I am currently working on my LitRPG fantasy series.
4. What inspired you to write it?
I actually wanted to be a comic book artist when I was younger, and had even put that as my future profession in a yearbook one year right next to a terrible picture of me in a Yu-Gi-Oh! t-shirt. I would draw a character and then write a backstory for them for fun. In my senior year we had an assignment to write a short story based on a nursery rhyme, and I thought I was a regular Neil Gaiman when I wrote a story about the Muffin Man who had Superman-like powers but just wanted to be a normal muffin. It received a well deserved C-, but I still thought it was fun to do and began writing short stories occasionally for fun.
5. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter, pantser or somewhere in between? How do you research?
Typically it starts with a character for me. I have an idea for a character, then I start to ask questions about them. What is their motivation? Their struggle? Where do they live, and who do they associate with? Over time I will have a handful of characters and stories for them, and the world around them. I like to get all of that down before I write the first draft. If I am basing anything off of something in real life I will research before the first draft so I do not mess anything up, but typically I have to stop and Google while writing more often then I'd like to admit.
6. What’s the strangest or most interesting thing you’ve researched for your writing?
Oh so many things. I've had to look up a lot about firearms despite not being much of a gun person, along with how people have described being injured in several different ways. I've researched how long it would take a large amount of leeches to drain a person entirely and how many it would take at a minimum, ancient religious sacrifice rituals, and things like that. I'm moving away from the more heavy and gloomy tones with my newer works, so recently I've had to look up how large a crab would have to be to hold the weight of an average adult along with what each part of a crab is called. It will make sense eventually, I promise.
7. What’s the most personal story/scene you’ve written and why?
That would easily be The Ones Who Could Do Anything. I pulled inspiration for characters from real people I know, I based a lot of the setting from where my family and I had been living in Delaware, and in general it has a lot to do with the darker parts of young adulthood.
8. Who are your literary influences? In what way?
Neil Gaiman would be my first influence. He seems to flow flawlessly between different genres and mediums, and somehow puts deeper content within the guise of a wholesome story. Alan Moore would be another one, Ursula K. Le Guin, Philp K Dick. In more recent years I've looked to modern authors such as Will Wight, Andrew Rowe and Aleron Kong.
9. What books are on your bedside table right now?
Well, right now my bedside table only has a tiny fan and a bottle of water. But, that's because I just finished The Toll by Neal Shusterman, and I am about to start Samurai 8 by Masashi Kishimoto, then Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell. I listen to a ton of audiobooks as well, and I am currently listening to Legends & Lattes written and narrated by Travis Baldree.
10. Last and most important, where can we find your books/stories?
In book places! Amazon, B&N online, along with directly through my publisher's sites! The For Humans, For Demons books through The Parliament House, and The Ones Who Could Do Anything through Black Rose Writing.
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