Interview: Author John Nuckel

John Nuckel is an award-winning author, best known for his political thrillers. JoLsClub’s Paul Alleva came up with some cool questions, so let’s get to this exciting interview.

1. What is something on your bucket list you have accomplished? Want to accomplish?
I would like to raft down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

2. What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I’ve written two short stories. One is a romantic fantasy and the other is a family drama. Very different from my thrillers and historical fiction novels.

3. Do you listen to music when you’re writing?
Yes. My next book takes place during the Harlem Renaissance so I’ve been listening to a lot of Jazz.

4. Are your plotting angels or demons?
Both. Any good character should have a hint of each.

5. If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be?
Teleportation. I love to travel but hate the hassle.

6. Favorite snack?
Chips, nuts. Crunchy and salty for me.

7. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I always have a mention or reference to characters from past books in every new one.

8. You’re in a tavern, and a dwarfed alien challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
If I see an alien in a tavern it is time to put down the glass and go home.

9. Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Not spiritual, just my calling.

10. Do you have a flare for over dramatization?
I hope not!

11. Do you believe in sarcasm? If so, how does this sarcasm make its way into your books?
Sarcasm?? Half of my characters are professional wise asses.

12. If you were in a grocery store and were given one basket, but you could fit as much as you want of only ONE item in that basket, what would that item be and why?
I hate to sound too practical but I’d pick something that would last in my kitchen since I could take a lot of it. Maybe rice?

13. What do you feel is the impact modern societies “Political Correctness” has had on the artistic world?
You can include books, movies, comedy, music or anything else you may want (including animals, if that’s your thing)
I find it all boring. I’m in NYC and I go to a lot of authors panels and I’ve been involved in many writing groups, and they all think alike!! There is such a group think going on right now. Political correctness is the enemy of creativity. My view is that I’m a writer, I’ll write whatever the hell I want.

14. Are you a serious person or do you laugh at yourself often?
I take laughing at myself very seriously.

15. How would your mother (or best friend) describe you?
They would say that I live in two worlds. I work in the financial industry and to some I’m seen as a very analytical person, but among my writing friends I’m known for being very creative. I’m either a renaissance man or a schizophrenic. 

16. Are you prepared for an alien invasion? What would you be willing to do to survive?
Not prepared since I don’t believe.

18. Are zombies real? Do you see them in your daily travels?
I may not believe in aliens but I do take the NY subway every day. I can attest that zombies walk among us. The best approach is to ignore them.

19. You learn you have the power to destroy half of all humans on the planet, but if you don’t the human race will be wiped off the earth in a hundred years. Do you use your power?
Do I get to pick which half will go? If so, I’d use it.

20. What is the one book you’ve read that you consider an absolute masterpiece? And Why?
This is an impossible question to answer but I’ll give it a shot. For me, it would be The Great Gatsby. It is such a simple story, written so well that it’s profound. There are times when I read Fitzgerald and I marvel that he uses the same words that I do. There is no frothy prose or embellishments. Every word is in the right place. There are times when I read Fitzgerald and I have to put the book down to ponder what I just read. He could bring me to tears describing the most basic acts. An introduction or conversation becomes poetry through his voice.

21. Vampires or Werewolves; Zombies or Ghosts; Human beings or Aliens; which are more frightening and which make for better stories?
Human beings are the most frightening, vile, engaging, wonderful, evil, beautiful things to write about.

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