Today I welcome Nicholas Boving to my Writer Wednesday interview!
Please tell us more about yourself, anything you like- interests, background.
About a million years ago I was a mining engineer, which gave me an excuse for roaming the world at other people’s expense and picking up a lot of background for some of the things I’ve written.
But eventually I got sick of it (my unalterable conviction being that mining in 40 degrees in the shade was a vastly overrated pastime) and took off to do a lot of other stuff including being a docker and a forester. My books and screenplays draw on these experiences to provide characters, backgrounds and scenes.
I am the author and publisher of the “Maxim Gunn” series of action/adventure books – nine books and counting. I have also written some nine other novels: dramas and thrillers, and a handful of screenplays all which follow the central character to countries and places – a couple futuristic – where the forces of nature as much as people provide the conflict.
My current interests, not surprisingly, are writing and reading and thinking about writing. Sounds a bit dull? Well, think of all the places I can go and things I can do – the imagination is limitless.
Please tell us more about the book or books you would like to feature today.
“The Warlock” was released in October 2012. It can best be described as an occult thriller. For some reason it got pegged as a horror story, but although there are horrific incidents, I don’t think of it as being in the horror genre, if there is such a thing. I think of much more as a discovery that evil really exists as a force, and that it can be manipulated like any other force by someone with the requisite knowledge. Basically it’s the story of an overworked executive who goes to a lonely Greek island to get rid of the stink of city life, and, despite the best efforts of the abbot of the local monastery to dissuade him gets involved in a black magic set up. At first he thinks it’s just post adolescent nastiness, until it all starts to go horribly wrong.
What gave you the idea to write in this genre?
Frankly I have no idea. Notes, bits of dialogue, a character a bit like Aleister Crowley, maybe the influence of John Fowles and Dennis Wheatley (I was a lot younger then). And then the snowball grew. I really did not have an outline, but I did have a lot of characters in search of an author.
What research did you do, and how? Or does it all come from your own imagination?
I do a bit of background research, mostly on the Web. It’s amazing how realistic you can make a scene without ever having been there. Otherwise everything comes from my imagination or, as I said earlier, personal experience.
Do you ever base your characters on people you know?
Not specifically, but I suppose a lot of them are composites.
Do you make a plan for your novels, or do you just start writing and see where it goes?
I do more or less know where the book is going, but my tendency is to have a great big file into which I throw a huge grab bag of scenes, description, action and dialogue. That being said, I’m now trending towards doing an outline and storyline: I find it less stressful. I’m also a great believer in writing an idea or chapter while the thoughts are fresh because with the best will in the world you’ll never remember it later. The result is I won’t necessarily start at page one line one. If I’ve got a great ending, it could well be written first. However, taking that to extremes, I’ve just come to the end of the first draft of a book in which I wrote each chapter as a discreet event and cobbled them together – never again: it was a nightmare.
Which of your own books/ characters is your favourite and why?
My favourite character is definitely Maxim Gunn, the hero of an action-adventure series I’ve been writing for years. The first in the series was in fact the first full-length novel I wrote – more years ago than I care to tell you – and typing “The End” changed me forever from a dabbler into a writer. The first draft, which I still have, is appalling and should be shredded, but with Gunn just having had his ninth adventure and another coming up, he’s more or less “real” to me.
What books or other projects do you have coming up in future?
I have a novel “The Disputed Barricade” currently with my publisher. This is a fictional biography of an environmental activist turned environmental terrorist. He can’t get the powers that be to get on with it, so he’s taken things into his own hands. The story largely takes place in Tasmania (I spent a lot of time there) where his biographer winkles the truth out of him: and there are side stories in which he deals drastically with a mine in the Rockies, a logging operation in British Columbia and an offshore dredge in Chile. Good stuff: action, environmental issues and a love story.
And, I’m starting the editing of a horror story that takes place in a defunct coal mining town in Yorkshire where the devil’s assistant shows up. “I intend to make Malthorpe the horror story of the century,” so he says.
“The Malthorpe Slaughterhouse” may just catch the imagination of readers as it is rather different, and comes under the genre of Comedie Noire. Not a lot of comedie, but a lot of noire. So you see, I switch gears regularly and refuse to get typecast or stuck in one genre.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?
I like to think that my writing has matured over the years, that my characters are deeper, more three dimensional and have come alive. The Maxim Gunn stories have evolved from tongue in cheek fun stuff, to being much darker. They started as almost YA books, but that is definitely no longer the case.
Similarly with my thrillers and dramas. The simplistic good versus bad has developed more blurred lines. The back blurb and inside cover précis never tells the full story, and never tells how the writing has dealt with the problems. The blurb for “The Warlock” simply tells the potential reader it’s a story about good versus evil; but it’s also a love story, a story of redemption and of revenge. The revues on Amazon and Goodreads give a more in depth picture – most good, one not so good. You can’t have everything, and hopefully any potential reader will see past this and want to read what some consider to be good writing and a good story.
What has been the most helpful piece of advice you’ve received as a writer?
If pressed I’d say something like being told to read everything, try everything, don’t be afraid or too proud to junk the whole project and start again and, in the words of Winston Churchill: never, never, never give up. Oh, and don’t listen to advice, just do your own thing.
My Website – http://www.tauruspub.net
Facebook – http://bit.ly/4p6usv
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Nicholas
Amazon.com – http://amzn.to/SdBqGI
Amazon.co.uk – http://amzn.to/RtEcYy
CreateSpace link: The Warlock https://www.createspace.com/4045630
Maxim Gunn on Amazon – http://amzn.to/T7vUmR