Meet the Author: Nick Clausen
Welcome to another edition of Meet the Author.
This time I’m having a little digital chat with Nick Clausen, horror, dystopian, and YA author.
Nick wasn’t on my reading radar until the illustrious Iseult Murphy said that I simply had to try out one of his newest books The Girl Who Wasn’t There (check out my review here, I loved it!).
I was shocked and amazed when Nick agreed to let me interview him, so before I get too starstruck let’s get this show on the road!
I write chilling horror and apocalyptic tales so that I don’t need to work a real job. I grew up reading Stephen King and still haven’t fully recovered. My books have been published in four different languages, and I’m currently working on ending the world in my zombie series Dead Meat.
I was born in a small country far, far away where people eat a lot of rye bread and are generally suspicious of success. I learned English thanks to Netflix and audiobooks. Originally, I wrote in my native tongue, but I switched to English in 2018 to reach more readers.
I married my public-school sweetheart and we recently had a son who looks so much like me I fear he’ll never get a date, the poor guy. My stories are fast-paced and thrilling and hopefully never boring. You should check them out, if you haven’t already.
I put out at least four or five books a year. You can join my readers club to be kept in the loop when I have a new release.
Hi Nick, thanks so much for stopping by. To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees a random question to get the blood flowing. Here’s yours!
It’s the apocalypse, and you only get to choose two items to take along into the devastation. What would you bring?
Nick: My wife and my son. (Sorry for the boring answer, but my wife would kill me if I had picked anything else.)
Jonny: Oh, that’s not boring at all! There’s strength in numbers for sure, so you probably made a wise choice, especially now that your wife won’t kill you. Very smart!
Nick and the Writing Process
Why do you write?
Nick: Because I love writing, and I really can’t help it—it’s as simple as that!
Jonny: Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. I also simply feel a need to write. The second I’m done writing a book or short story I get antsy and jump into the next project.
What is your favorite part of writing?
Nick: All the freedom I enjoy. I get to decide everything about my work day, what stories I want to write, how I want to write them, how I’m going to release them and so on. It’s a wonderful job for sure!
Jonny: Oh man, I am so jealous of you! I have a full-time job outside of writing, so I am constantly battling time and two very separate lives. Your day sounds like an absolute dream. All that time to focus on your stories must really help the creative process as well as the end result too.
What genre is your favorite to write in? Why?
Nick: Apocalyptic fiction is great to write because it’s such a thrilling thing to imagine how the world will end and then describe it one tiny step at a time.
Jonny: I love apocalyptic stories! I’m about to publish one, and I agree with you. The sky’s the limit. I haven’t really chosen a favorite specific genre, but dark fiction in general is my go to.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Nick: 10. I think The Girl Who Wasn’t There might be my favorite so far. It was written in a very hard time of my life, and it means a lot to me. Also, I think it’s a good story.
Jonny: Dang, that’s amazing! Congratulations, Nick. 🙂 I’m biased since that’s the only one I’ve read of yours, but I loved it and it’s a great story. It’s ironic that sometimes our pain/obstacles in life can fuel such inspiration and creativity. Some of my most memorable writing in former works has been when I’ve been extremely stressed out or emotional.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Nick: I pick the first one that comes to mind. Sometimes, if I’m writing a Canadian character or whatever, I’ll Google “most common Canadian boys name” and use one from the top 10. This is to say, I really don’t place any importance in character names.
Jonny: I think that’s a good route to go. I don’t put too terribly much behind my character names either, but there’s something about the sound of the name that has to resonate with me usually.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Nick: I do, from time to time. In the beginning I would read every single one, now it happens less often. I usually read the first 10-20 reviews of a new book to get a feeling of how it’s received. That’s also what I use reviews for in general: listen to the readers, what did they like, what didn’t they like? I can use that info for my next books.
Jonny: Yeah, totally! It’s always good to at least know what the general consensus is with your works, but there’s definitely a fine line. I also look at my reviews for constructive criticism. Luckily, most of them have been pretty good!
Describe yourself in three words.
Nick: Spiritual, hard-working, lazy.
Jonny: Nice! I can relate to hard-working and lazy for sure. Some days I’m going mad working on my writing. Others I just feel exhausted and have to take some much earned video game or reading time to recharge my batteries.
Fun Facts About Nick
Pancakes or waffles?
Nick: Neither. I honestly hate both. Sorry, I’ll show myself out.
Jonny: Haha, no don’t leave! To be honest, I do prefer waffles, but the number of times I actually eat them is very slim. Maybe once a year? Though I will say I love some chicken and waffles.
Are pineapples on pizza blasphemy or no?
Nick: It’s a weird combo for sure. I’m not personally a fan of sweet things in (or on) my meals, but my wife loves it. Fun fact, 44% of Danish people like pineapples on pizza. Now you know.
Jonny: Whoa, I had no idea! Thanks for the fun tidbit. I don’t personally care but pineapples on pizza, but I recently saw strawberries on pizza and would at least try that once, mainly because I love strawberries.
If you had to choose one type of food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Nick: Roast pork with potatoes and gravy. I could eat that every other day if my wife would let me.
Jonny: Ooo, yum! I’m a big meat and potatoes kinda guy myself, so I understand the allure there. Pot roast is high up on my favorites, especially around fall and winter time. I’ve already made two batches this year. I would have to vote for Chinese food. I’ve been experimenting lately and have found some really great recipes.
What kind of music touches your soul?
Nick: Rock, mostly. I like everything from Queen, Foo Fighters, Green Day to Metallica and heavier stuff.
Jonny: Nice name drops! I’m an eclectic soul myself, but since the pandemic I mainly listen to ambient music to calm myself.
Marvel or DC?
Nick: I feel like this is kind of controversial, but I’m going to weigh in anyway. Marvel obviously has a lot more (well-known) characters, and they’re great. But I do like the DC ones (especially Superman and Batman) very much. I think when it comes to the newer movies, Marvel is leading but DC is trying to find its own voice, which I like.
Jonny: Thanks for weighing in. I grew up a Marvel kid reading X-Men comics, but in the past few years I’ve come to appreciate certain DC films. Definitely not all of them, but some have been pulled off fairly well.
Who are your favorite writers?
Nick: Stephen King, hands down. His stories are great. Some of them a bit long, but it’s okay, I can always skip a few pages if I get too bored. Thomas Harris is also a phenomenal writer. Pity he hasn’t done more.
Jonny: Oh! *runs off to look at bookshelves* I have 7 King books, but I think I’ve read about 10 or so of them. I grew up reading his works but have veered away from it in the past few years. There’s just so many talented indie authors out there that I have to try too. My indie favorites have been Teri Polen, Emerald Dodge, and Travis Liebert. Not a dig at any other indie friends of mine, it’s simply what comes to mind.
What are you reading now?
Nick: Mostly books about book marketing, which is boring unless you’re into that stuff.
Jonny: Actually, I’ve been getting a bit more curious about new ways of marketing, so if you’re willing, tell me that title and I’d love to give it a look. There’s always something we can learn. Right now I’m reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January. It’s pretty decent so far, but I’m less than 10% in so I can’t really weigh in.
Star Wars or Star Trek? OR Doctor Who?
Nick: Here’s a crazy fact: I. Haven’t. Watched. Any. Of. Those. You probably won’t believe me. I enjoy science fiction, but not the Star Wars / Star Trek kind. Sorry!
Jonny: Wha, wha, what?! Haha, no it’s totally okay. It’s not for everyone. I was raised by Trekkies and Whovians, so my fate was sealed long ago. I like the idea of Star Trek and all the cool alien races and cultures they get to experience. What a life that would be!
Nick and His Works
Tell us about your new book.
Nick: It’s a horror/supernatural suspense about a boy whose sister gets taken by a monster. There’s also the ghost of a dead girl.
Jonny: Oh, and that monster is ca-reeeep-y! I can’t even imagine being in that situation. So terrifying. It really was a great book.
How did you come up with the title for this book?
Nick: I nicked it from the poem by Hughes Mearns, Antigonish, which has the line “I met a man who wasn’t there!” I thought it was so chilling. I also like how the title can refer to either the girl stolen by the monster or the dead girl.
Jonny: Oh, I’ve heard that poem before! I always thought it was creepy as well. Here’s the first couple lines for anyone interested.
“Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away”
What inspired you to write this book in particular? Is it part of a series?
Nick: I found a receipt at my local library one day, and it was dated several years back. On my home, I walked past the graveyard. And I imagined seeing the name from the receipt on one of the stones. Also, I was reading “The Wendigo” by Algernon Blackwood at that time, so those three pieces just kind of came together. I should mention the monster in the story is a Wendigo.
Jonny: Wow, that’s amazing that most of those elements came together for you in real life. I can see why you were so inspired!
Do you have a favorite character in your new book? Why are they your favorite?
Nick: Andy, the main character. I also like how brave Rebecca is, but I relate more to Andy. I like him because the story (in my eyes at least) is all about overcoming fear, which is something I’ve worked a lot with in my own life.
Jonny: Congratulations on striving to overcome your fear! That’s an accomplishment in itself.
I think I liked Rebecca’s POV just a smidgen more because her chapters moved extremely fast for me as a reader and I love when that happens. That being said, Andy and Rebecca each had their own journey to go through, and their POVs were distinctly different and engaging.
How much of your book is based on your own experiences or those of someone you know?
Nick: Okay, since this question came up, I feel like I need to give the full answer: I had a lot of fear as a child. Especially at night when I had to go to sleep. It was really bad at times. I never told anyone, I just kind of outgrew it. Then it broke up suddenly again a few years back, and it hit me hard, broke me down completely. It took me months to come back to any kind of normal life. I learned a lot about how my mind works and what fear really is. Eventually, step by step, I learned how to deal with it. How to not be a constant victim, beaten down and miserable. I began to rise to the challenge. I fought back. I grew courage. And I finally reached the point where I could even turn the tide. I did this by no longer being afraid of fear. I just simply stopped reacting to it. It was particularly one morning, where I woke up in complete panic, and I had simply had enough. I sat down to meditate, and I just stayed with it. That broke it. The fear just went away. It never came back again, not very strong at least. I went from having daily panic attacks to living for years now with complete peace in my mind. It really is possible. Anyway, long story short, I took that personal struggle of mine, of how I was beaten down by fear at first, and only because I was forced to take up the challenge, I learned how to fight back and eventually win. That’s also what Andy is going through in the book, at least to some point.
Jonny: Wow, such an amazing journey. I know I don’t know you very well, but I have to say I’m proud of you, man. I can really see how that relates to Andy in your book.
What kind of research went into writing your book?
Nick: I read up on the myth of the Wendigo. If you don’t know about it, you should check it out. It’s proper scary.
Jonny: Okay, I’ll take a gander. I love supernatural creatures, especially scary ones.
All right Nick, it looks like our time here is up. Before you go, do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events, and special offers?
Nick: Yep, it’s nickclausenbooks.com. I have a readers club you can sign up to for free. That’s the best way of being kept up to date.
Jonny: Sweet deal! Thanks again for joining me today. I enjoyed getting to know you a bit better, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your work!
That’s a Wrap!
All righty book worms, that wraps up my interview with Nick Clausen. I had a wonderful time chatting it up with him, and I hope you enjoyed the experience too!
If you’d like to learn more about Nick and his work, he can be reached at the social media links provided below.
Thank you for stopping by, and have a great day!
Social Media Links
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