Title of Book: NEST
A short description of the book:
NEST is the story of Kate Bishop, who very mistakenly thinks of herself as an ordinary woman until the day she arrives back in Chicago from a business trip and suddenly finds herself in urgent need of answers to a lot of very out of the ordinary questions, such as why her brother had a man chained in his basement and why the police think she would know. Why are people she knows being murdered? Could she really be the target of some of the most dangerous killers ever born? Who is the mysterious Jack Raines, and is he trying to find her to help her stay alive, or to slaughter her?
Our world, a place where murder and violence come closer to home every day and terrorists now stalk all of us, is the backdrop for NEST. All of these seemingly unrelated things are linked to the answers Kate must find if she is to stay alive. Her search for those connections takes her down into the hidden world of the darknet and into the basement kill rooms of predators. NEST is a thriller unlike anything you’ve ever read. You will hope that it's just fiction, but much of it is all too real.
I’m eager for you to have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. I think that you will find it not only exciting and terrifying, but touching and very human in unexpected ways.
What inspired you to write? And what was the inspiration for this book?
I was born an author. I was an author before I even knew what an author was. My earliest memories are of making up stories in my mind as I went to sleep, imagining characters in danger and trying to figure out how they might be able to survive. I carried stories around in my head, sometimes for months, as I built them ever bigger and more complex. I daydreamed all the time, worrying about my characters and the danger they were in. Since I have dyslexia and had a lot of trouble reading, I didn’t read much. I was entirely self-motivated, self-inspired, without any exterior inspiration or influence. To this day I rarely read books because I don’t have time and I don’t want anyone else’s work to influence mine.
After a long series that spanned 18 books, I was aching to write a new kind of story, a book about a heroine in our world, facing a lot of the kind of day to day things we have to face. Kate can see evil. But then again, so can we all if only we are willing to. It is that willingness that distinguishes Kate. NEST is about that vision that we all have, but fear to use.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I basically spend seven days a week, including most holidays, writing. But that doesn’t necessarily mean sitting at a keyboard. Writing is mostly a mental process and requires a lot of thinking and planning. I do that all the time I’m awake.
How long does it take to write a book?
Including all the mental preparation and planning, then the actual typing of the story, it takes roughly a year. Sometimes a bit longer.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
There is rarely such a thing as “not writing,” but when I’m in the thinking stage I can do other things, like spend time with my wife, walking or playing with our dog, letting my cat take a nap on my lap. The only time I’m not even in the thinking phase of writing is when I’m driving my race car. I love racing. It requires total focus, and because of that it gives my brain time to reboot.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I read a survey once that said 85% of the population believes they have at least one good book in them. So, with all that competition, my advice is that it had better be damn good.
Do you have an interesting writing quirk? If so what is it?
Writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I believe that we get the greatest reward from challenging ourselves. When you accomplish something that is tremendously difficult it gives you great personal satisfaction. The part I love about writing is the writing. I sometimes can’t help smiling to myself, thinking “Wait until people read this. It’s really going to blow their minds.” The part I hate the most is deadlines. As far as quirks, no quirks, just a lot of long hours and hard work.
What is the last book you read?
I’m afraid that I simply rarely have time to read other books. The only time I’m not writing, or mentally going over parts of a story, is when I take a rare day off to drive my race car. It’s been a while, but I believe the last book I read was by Dean Koontz. I really like his style.
Who is your favorite author?
I particularly like Ayn Rand’s non-fiction work.
What is your favorite book?
Romantic Manifesto by Ayn Rand. It explains, philosophically, why art is so important to mankind.
After all of your hard work, what does it feel like to be a published author?
It’s who I am. I can’t turn it off. I’m constantly thinking up stories I want to tell, books I want to write. Being published is almost incidental because I’m writing out of an inner drive. I’m writing these stories for myself. It’s always been my greatest ambition to write novels. I’m very, very fortunate in life to be able to earn a living at it so that I can work at my greatest love.
But it has changed my life in unexpected ways. My books have made me countless friends I would never have met otherwise. It’s incredibly rewarding to have the support of so many truly wonderful people.