Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Interview with Alan Nayes

1) Links to website and list of books with purchase links.


Barnes and Noble



*GARGOYLES and THE UNNATURAL will be released on kindle soon!

2) How long have you been writing? What got you in to writing?

I started writing in college—which was…I’ll just say a “while back”-- but it was music. Very quickly I learned I couldn’t sing well—actually not at all--so I took a hiatus from writing until I moved to California where I took some classes in creative writing to relax. Little did I realize then that writing is anything but relaxing—for me anyway. Now reading, that’s relaxing.

3) What was your first published book? Looking back, is there anything you’d change about it?

GARGOYLES. Shannon, I don’t think I would change anything major though I might tweak the ending. However the way the book ends now leaves open the possibility of a sequel—which I plan to write. The title will be PLAGUE

4) What or Who has influenced your writing?

Successful authors—no name in particular—influence me, or more accurately inspire  me. I read a good book and find myself saying I want to write a story this good.

5) Where do you get your ideas?

Variety of sources—newspaper articles, scientific journals, people. For instance my biomed thriller, GARGOYLES was inspired by the research being conducted on the manipulation of the genetic code. The inspiration for BARBARY POINT came from an actual setting—a family cottage we own on the shores of Lake Winnebago. I always thought this would be a great place for a love story

6) What hinders your writing? (distractions? noise?)

I am my largest hindrance to my writing. No, really. If I’m in the right state of mind to write, I can write with the neighbor’s dogs barking, kids playing outside, just about anything—except perhaps an earthquake. But if I’m not in the mood, the house can be as quiet as a tomb and the words still don’t come. A tomb, huh. I could be onto something—a writer in a tomb and….

7) What genre are you most comfortable with? What would you like to explore?

I’m comfortable in a variety of genres—thrillers, horror, and romance though my romance is not the typical genre romance. I would like to write a really scary, scary story. That’d be fun.

8) Are you a by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, or do you have to use an outline to put your collective thoughts into some  semblance of common sense?

A little of both, Shannon. Before I start a novel, I know in general terms what direction the story is going to go, major plot points, and when they are supposed to happen. Having said this, however, the story never completely follows the broad outline—which is good I think—and there are always changes that spring up, either in character development or plot, that seem to take on a life of their own. That is the fun part of creating a story—fun only when it turns out to make the story better, of course. If the change becomes a deadend—well, that is what trash cans are for.

9) Which of your books is your favorite? Why?

I’d have to say GARGOYLES. It was the first novel I sold to a publisher and the protagonist, Amoreena Daniels, is my favorite character.

10) Do you incorporate some of yourself into your characters? Personality traits? Likes? Dislikes?

Speaking for myself, I think every writer incorporates some of themselves in their work. For me it would be hard not to. Afterall, the story and characters are extensions of the my imagination. It may not be much, but if I happen to relish a certain drink or meal or activity, it could very well show up in my story. As for characters,  I try not to—I’m kind of—but truthfully I think it would be impossible to not incorporate some of myself in the chararcters I create. Even the evil villains? No!

11) What do you think is the perfect hero/heroine? Why? 

I think the perfect character must be likeable and make the reader want to root for them and care what happens to that character. If a hero or heroine is not likeable who gives a **** what happens to that character and consequently the reader may not finish the book. Though I must add, I’ve read novels where I sure didn’t care what happened and I finished them anyway. And if not likeable, a character should at least be interesting. It never hurts to have a lot of sex appeal, too.
12) Do you have any suggestions/comments for prospective authors?

Three words—persistence, persistence, persistence. And three more—Don’t give up! As long as you truly believe in your story you will eventutally find someone else who believes in that story. And keep writing—that is the only way you will become a better writer.


1) What is the sexiest or most erotic thing someone has said to you?

That’s a tough one—I think I’ll have to make something up!

2) If you could be an animal, what would it be? Why?

I’d chose an extinct one—how ‘bout Tyrannosaurus Rex. I’d be king of the planet. Then anybody who didn’t buy my book I’d threaten to eat. Species would be lined up for miles to purchase my stories. Or…maybe a skunk. Then everybody would leave me alone. lol

3) If you had super powers, what would they be? Why?

Be invinsible—and master the art of time travel. I could visit the past and future without being—the perfect “fly on the wall.” Yeah, that would be pretty cool.

4) If you could be an immortal, what would you want to be? Why?

Hercules—then I would take Helen of Troy all for myself. Did they live at the same time? Hm…

5) If you could change three things in the world, what would they be? Why?

I’ll be more serious on this answer. We have some real problems out there. End war, hunger, and racism. Impossible? We’ll see…

6) What would be a perfect date for you?

A date where we both enjoyed each other’s company equally and to the max.

7) Is there anywhere you’d like to visit? Why?

Shannon, I still need to get to Hawaii. Because---IT’S HAWAII!

8) Do you have any obsessions? What are they?

No, no real obsessions. Possibly exercise—everyday I have to do something whether it’s running, jumping rope, ab work or weights. ( not much weights anymore—joints getting old)

9) Do you have a crush on any actor/actress? Who?

Not really, Shannon, though I admire plenty of them and their work. Women—Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Penelope Cruz, Sandra Bullock, to name a few

Men—who cares—just kidding—Denzel Washington, Robert Downy Jr, Leonardo Decaprio, too many others to name (John Wayne—loved Atari as a child—yeah, I know, really dating myself)

For both men and women, it depends a lot on the movie—and the script!

Be sure to check out the excerpt from Alan's book, Barbary Point!

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