Halloween Extravaganza: INTERVIEW: Jamie Nash

Y’all, let’s welcome Jamie Nash, author of Nomad and The 44 Rules of Amateur Sleuthing, to our Halloween Extravaganza. This is his first time joining us.


Meghan: Hi, Jamie. Welcome to Meghan’s House of Books. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jamie Nash: I’m the writer of the sci-fi novel, NOMAD. My day-job is screenwriting. I mostly write R-rated horror and family films… not at the same time.

Meghan: What are five things most people don’t know about you?

Jamie Nash:

  • I used to be a street-performing juggler.
  • I was the official juggler of Oriole Park at Camden Yards for a season.
  • I used to be in an improv group…and did Murder Mystery Trains.
  • As a teenager, I was one of the original members of the LARP organization Darkon.
  • I worked as a computer programmer for the Avalon Hill Game Company and Talonsoft and worked primarily on WW2 computer games.

Meghan: What is the first book you remember reading?

Jamie Nash: Hmmm. That’s an awesome question. Do comic-books count? I had a hardback collection of old Batman comics.

Meghan: What are you reading now?

Jamie Nash: Howard Stern Comes Again. Fiction-wise – Stephen King’s The Outsider.

Meghan: What’s a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn’t expect you to have liked?

Jamie Nash: The Myth series by Robert Asprin.

Meghan: What made you decide you want to write? When did you begin writing?

Jamie Nash: I wrote the first chapter of a Godzilla novel when I was in 5th grade. I don’t really know why… but I always want to be the creator not the consumer. I’m vastly curious about behind the scenes stuff – I don’t want to watch theater, I want to act. I don’t want to play basketball, I want to coach. I don’t want to watch magic, but want to know how the trick is done. Same with writing. I just always gravitated to ‘how is that done’?

Meghan: Do you have a special place you like to write?

Jamie Nash: On my couch in front of the TV watching Netflix.

Meghan: Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Jamie Nash: I watch TV. Which is weird… cause now I can’t ‘just watch TV’. I need to 2-screen and do something productive.

Meghan: Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Jamie Nash: The career of it. The ups and downs. And constantly thinking you’re never going to sell another one.

Meghan: What’s the most satisfying thing you’ve written so far?

Jamie Nash: The 44 Rules of Amateur Sleuthing – my first novel. Just to prove I could do it.

Meghan: What books have most inspired you? Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Jamie Nash: Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean R Koontz, Richard Laymon, Elmore Leonard.

Meghan: What do you think makes a good story?

Jamie Nash: Becoming emotionally invested in a character so you live or die with their decisions they make and the horrors they endure.

Meghan: What does it take for you to love a character? How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Jamie Nash: I really like characters that are people I wish I could be… yet still flawed. Ones that I admire their codes or empathy… yet they still have work to do to be complete.

Meghan: Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Jamie Nash: I co-wrote a kid’s book called Bunk about a kid-magician who is wicked smart and debunks supernatural Hoaxes. The kid has some talent but lives in a bubble – and probably doesn’t realize what a huge dork they really are at times.

Meghan: Are you turned off by a bad cover? To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Jamie Nash: Not really. I tend to be more of a blurb person. Hook me with a concept and I’m in… more than the cover.

Meghan: What have you learned creating your books?

Jamie Nash: That marketing a book is hard work. Getting the word out so people even know you wrote something is harder than it appears and takes constant grunt work. Big thanks to reviewers, blogs and bookstagrammers… without them it would be tough!

Meghan: What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Jamie Nash: I don’t have an answer for this… scene’s aren’t hard for me. Sometimes story-threads are hard or structural choices but once I have the general ideas scenes are usually easy. Scenes with lots of characters can be a slog to get right. I generally hate them.

Meghan: What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Jamie Nash: I think I have a style that might appeal to the impatient reader. A lot fo sci-fi books are dense with lots of words. I tend to be a minimalist in terms of style and storytelling. People have told me they’ve read my books in one or two sittings – which is exactly what I was going for.

Meghan: How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Jamie Nash: It’s important. I typically search for something with a double-meaning. A sense of irony.

Meghan: What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Jamie Nash: A novel. Writing a short story is like going for a morning jog. Completing a novel is like running a marathon. Pulling it off is a tremendous feat. Being able to say your finished is both a relief and a time for proud reflection.

Meghan: Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Jamie Nash: As a reader, I’m rare in that I like fast reads. I often try to deliver books with ‘maximum story’ but also ones you can just pickup, dive into, and get hooked… and before you know it… you’re done.

When I write novels, they’re typically coming from a place of shared DNA with things I love. Mostly they come from some inner-child… hearkening back to when I was twelve years old and falling in love with stories and reading. But with a slightly more world-weary/life-lived POV…

Meghan: Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Jamie Nash: Honestly, I can’t think of many. In my latest book – NOMAD – it started as Third Person Omniscient… and switched to first-person. So there were lots of moments with the villain and furthering that world that got traded for character beats and aligning the reader closer to the main character’s mindset and situation. The book became part of a character piece than the ‘chess match’ it originally might have been.

Meghan: What is in your “trunk”?

Jamie Nash: Not as much. I tend to dive into the things I want to do. I’d like to write a play one day. Maybe a horror play. I don’t think there are enough of those and I find theater really can elevate the tension.

Meghan: What can we expect from you in the future?

Jamie Nash: My next book is another Middle Grade story. It’s about Godzilla-esque monsters. I’m also directing a film this fall, a short for the anthology A Comedy of Horrors. Hopefully, it’ll be released by next Halloween.

Meghan: Where can we find you?

Jamie Nash: Website ** Twitter

And I do a screenwriting podcast that analyzes hit movies for writing tips and tricks – it’s called Writers/Blockbusters… search Thundergrunt on your favorite podcast platform to subscribe.

Meghan: Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you’d like to say that we didn’t get to cover in this interview?

Jamie Nash: I love to interact and hear what people are responding to. So I hope you’ll pick up the book and join the conversation.

Jamie Nash is a screenwriter and novelist who likes to mix it up. He’s the writer of the horror sci-fi novel Nomad and the middle-grade mystery The 44 Rules of Amateur Sleuthing.  He’s written horror films like ExistsV/H/S/2The Night WatchmenAltered, and Lovely Molly. And family films like Santa Hunters and Tiny Christmas. Jamie teaches screenwriting to college students, co-hosts the podcast Writers/Blockbusters and can juggle chainsaws (not a joke). He lives with his wife, son, and a talking dog.

The 44 Rules of Amateur Sleuthing

Twelve-year-old Mandrake Mandrake is the world’s greatest detective.

Nobody cares.

The cops take credit for all the mysteries he solves, his grandmother is more interested in his “suspect” Algebra grades, and he lives in the shadow of his parents – the most feared super villains in the history of super villainry!

But respect is on the upswing when an all-star team of gumshoes enlists Mandrake to help crack an impossible case – how did Mandrake’s dastardly father escape from an inescapable super-prison? And what evil scheme is he hatching now?

Mandrake has never met his infamous dad. In fact, he’s spent his entire life trying to distance himself from his father’s dark legacy.

But when the other master detectives are captured inside the super-prison and all of its criminal occupants are unleashed on the city, Mandrake must save the day by doing the very thing he fears most – trying to understand the twisted brain of the evil mastermind father who ruined his life.

Nomad

What if you woke up in a space ship with no idea how you got there? And someone on board was trying to kill you?

Nomad is a dark Sci-Fi from the screenwriter of V/H/S/2: Ride in the Park, Exists, and Lovely Molly. The fast-paced horror story unfolds in real-time as a complex teen tries to unravel the mind-bending mysteries of who she is and how she ended up in deep-space battling to survive something evil that stalks her within the ship’s dark corridors.

It’s Alien meets The Thing with a strong teenage female protagonist.

From the back of the book:
She wakes up drowning, escapes from a watery canister into a deathtrap of fiery corridors and exploding machinery.

Somehow, she’s in space.

She can’t remember her name or why she’s here.

Her mind is a mixed up Rubik’s cube of fuzzy memories. But she knows that spaceships don’t exist, and if they did, ordinary girls like her don’t belong on them.

Has she been abducted?
Did cryfreeze scramble her brain?
Is it aliens?
Or even real?

And there’s something else. She’s not alone. Someone or something lurks in the shadows. And it wants her dead…

Bunk!

It’s Scooby-Doo meets Encyclopedia Brown with all the laughs of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. See if you have what it takes to solve each spooky mystery. The clues are hidden within the pages and pictures (features over 100 illustrations).

A Bigfoot photo bomb? Mermaids at the Water Park? An attic filled with ghosts?

It’s not exactly the ‘girl vacay’ Berni had planned out for her last summer before joining the grown-up world of middle school.

But all her dreams of summer fun came to a screeching halt when Uncle Danny whisks her away on a cross-country tour with her eccentric and annoying cousin – Baxter the Magnificent.

Now, poor Berni is squeezed into a sparkly and very itchy magician’s assistant costume just so she can be stuffed in a box and sawed in-half once a night (and twice on Sundays!) as part of Baxter’s cheese-ball magic show.

Fortunately, she’s not just Baxter’s ‘Lovely Assistant.’ She’s also his debunking partner. Baxter solves Mysteries of the Unexplained. Using his knowledge of magic and illusion, along with her smarts and common sense, they’re called into cases to expose the cheaters and tricksters who want to fake us out with monsters, spooks, and space aliens!

But when Baxter’s parents are framed for an impossible robbery using real magic powers, it’s up to Baxter and Berni to travel to the famous magic palace and save Baxter’s mom and dad from being sent to jail!

In the tradition of classic kid-detective stories, BUNK allows you to crack the spooky cases alongside Berni and Baxter. Every page and picture provides the clues you’ll need. So look sharp, pay attention, and get ready to BUNK!

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