Bobby Nash is an award-winning author who writes a little bit of everything including novels, comic books, short prose, graphic novels, screenplays, media tie-ins. Between writing deadlines, Bobby is an occasional actor and extra in movies and television. The re-release of his first new novel has been published. Bobby met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about the publishing landscape today and genre fiction.
How do you see the publishing landscape today in its need for formula when there is so much more out there?
There are so many published genres, including mash-ups of genres readily available now from all corners of the world. If there’s a niche, then there is probably a book or book series out there to fill it. As great as it is that so many stories are available in paper, electronic, and audio, it also makes it harder for the readers to find exactly what they’re looking for in a sea of books. It is more imperative than ever, I think, for authors to know how to market their work lest they get lost on that sea of books. The change in how entertainment, not just books, but also movies, music, TV, news, etc. reaches the end user has changed and we, as the ones making that content, that entertainment, have to learn new ways to let readers know our work is out there and ready for them.
There was a time when a publisher could say, “westerns don’t sell” so that meant that if you were an author of westerns, your options were severely limited. That is not so much the case these days. Today, western authors can bypass those who say that those types of novels won’t sell and sell them directly to the audience that is looking for them. While that audience might be too small for a large publisher, it’s not too small for an independent author. It’s a brave new, sometimes scary, world.
Tell us about Evil Ways.
Evil Ways was actually my first published novel, released back in 2005. I was a published writer in comic books and newspaper/magazines, but Evil Ways was my big leap into novel-length prose. I love a good thriller so I decided to try my hand at one. The idea for Evil Ways started not as a novel, but as a movie. A filmmaker friend of mine wanted to move from filming shorts to a movie. I pitched an idea about someone stalking and killing a group of friends in town for a reunion and the authorities trying to catch him. My friend passed on the idea, but I tweaked it and added and deleted elements until it became Evil Ways.
Evil Ways follows FBI Agent Harold Palmer. After a close call on the job, he takes a much deserved break to reconnect with his younger brother, something that has been long overdue. Franklin Palmer is a newspaperman, who lives in a small North Georgia town called Sommersville where he bought the local newspaper and is trying to keep his head above water. The murder of a young woman is the big story when Harold comes to town and he, Franklin, and the local sheriff, Tom Myers, find themselves on the trail of a killer out for revenge on a group of locals who have returned home for their 10th high school reunion. What strange secret do they have that makes them the target of the killer stalking them?
To celebrate the 10th anniversary last year, a new cover was designed for the anniversary edition, which was released. A sequel, called Evil Intent, is scheduled to premiere later this year. Evil Intent will see Harold Palmer back in action with the FBI just a few short months after the end of Evil Ways.
Do you think too much crime fiction sanitises crime?
Possibly. I think we’ve all gotten used to reading (or watching in TV and movies) fights, gunshots, and things like that. As crime writers, we have to bring something new to the crimes so that the reader doesn’t feel that they’ve seen all this before. I don’t want to desensitize my audience from the brutality of crime, and I’ve killed a lot of characters in my books, but I also try not to sensationalize it either. Wherever I can, I like to leave some of the details of the brutality of the crimes in my novels to the reader’s imagination. I’ve found that makes it much more graphic than anything I could have written. I don’t want my readers, or myself, to start to think of certain crimes as “safe” or “boring”.
What else is on the cards for you this year?
2016 looks to be a busy one. In April, Moonstone Books is releasing the Sherlock Holmes/Domino Lady trade paperback collection that includes the 2 issues comic series by Nancy Holder and me. It also includes Nancy’s prose story from the Domino Lady “Sex As A Weapon” anthology where Holmes and Domino Lady and a new prose adventure featuring the duo by me. In May, also from Moonstone, is the first issue of the new Domino Lady: Threesome team-up comic book series. Domino Lady joins forces with 2 heroes in each issue to thwart the bad guys. Issues 1 and 2 are co-written by Nancy Holder and me. I take over as solo writer with issue #3. 2016 is the 10th anniversary of Lance Star: Sky Ranger and we’ll see 2 reprint collections and a new full-length novel written by me out this year. The Evil Intent novel, which we talked about earlier, will be out this year. The Ruby Files vol. 2 is a collection of pulpy p.i. stories coming soon. Strong Will is a graphic novel co-written and created by Michael Gordon and myself with art by Wendell Cavalcanti and Rob Jones that will be out later this year as well. There are several other things as well, but I don’t exact release dates yet. That’s just a few of the books coming out. I still have a lot of writing to finish up as well. The best place to keep up with all of my upcoming projects is at www.bobbynash.com.
Thank you Bobby for an informative interview.