Author Nick C. Brady is a young author making a name for himself in the Midwest region of America. Born in Chicago and raised in Indiana, Nick Brady fell in love with classic works of literature from the likes of Steven King and R.L Stein. Nick’s most recent published work is a suspense thriller called Night Ghost. During this interview, Nick Brady talks his writing process, his inspiration and future projects.
Thank you for doing this Nick. Firstly, tell us a little about your upbringing in Chicago and Indiana…
Well, I was born in Chicago, Illinois but raised in Gary, Indiana by a hardworking educated single mother. She instilled the importance of reading in me at a young age. My father wasn’t around much during my childhood, however we have developed a relationship over time. Although I come from a huge family, I mostly grew up around my mom, aunt, and three older cousins. I was the reserved, introverted type of child who most of my peers labeled as ‘weird’.
Since I was an only child on my mom’s side, I often made up little games I could play by myself. One of the things I really loved to do was build different structures out of Legos and Tinker toys, and I believe that first sparked my creativity.
What was the exact moment when you realized you wanted to write?
I remember I was in 7th grade and had went to the school library after eating lunch to catch up on some personal reading in silence. I was reading The Shining by Stephen King. I had just gotten to the climax of the story when I said to myself, “I can see myself writing something like this”. A few months later is when I started writing my first story.
We know you started writing at 13 years old, and your first work was published at 18. What was the reception of these early projects and what did you learn as a writer after publishing them?
I received much encouragement, support, and positive remarks from my family, friends, classmates, former teachers, as well as people in the community. I participated in numerous book signings and literary events for my first published work and had the opportunity to meet fellow writers and many other interesting people. One aspect I learned after my first publishing experience was how important the marketing process is and how hard you have to work to get yourself out there.
Because there may be mass readers out there just waiting for a book like yours. But if no one knows about you or your book, then they can’t buy it.
You mentioned discovering how important marketing is. Which marketing techniques have you found to be effective in your experience?
I’ve found social media to be a very effective marketing strategy because the audience it can be exposed to is endless. For example, when I was promoting Night Ghost via social media, people would like, comment, and even share it on their own page. As a result, I have gotten many messages on my social media accounts from people I’ve never met saying they loved my book or asking where it can be purchased. Some have even asked if there will be a sequel to Night Ghost.
Tell us how you came up with the idea for Night Ghost.
The idea for Night Ghost first came to me during my senior year in high school. I believe I had recently completed my first book and was beginning the process for my second, when out of nowhere the idea of a story involving an abandoned cemetery came to mind. I contemplated many nights on how I would structure it and whether or not it could somehow fit into the story I was currently working on. I finally decided to use the concept for my next book. I knew I wanted the story to center around four pre-teens who break into an old cemetery to see whether or not an urban legend in their town has some truth to it.
What’s your writing routine like when you’re working on a project?
Initially when I started writing a story, I would do so in a journal I had, finish it, and then type it out. But now, I get straight to typing it out. I always have an idea of how I want the plot structure to go and come up with new things as I’m writing along.
I don’t always know what’s going to happen next, what the characters will do or say, or how the story will end. The only time I really use my notebook is when I need to brainstorm on how to describe a scene. Often times for me, I can picture a scene perfectly in my mind, but have difficulty putting it into words for readers to picture and understand. That’s when my notebook comes in handy.
What was the biggest challenge faced when writing Night Ghost?
I can honestly say without the slightest shadow of a doubt whatsoever that Night Ghost was the most challenging book I’ve written so far. This was because after spending two years of writing it, I realized I didn’t like the setup of the story, which was at that time titled ‘The Night Man’. So I took a little break from it to think of a different way to approach the story to keep readers interested throughout the book.
It didn’t take long for me to come up with a more interesting concept. The urban legend concerning the abandoned cemetery stayed, but the way I structured it needed to change. Which meant I had to basically write the story all over again. This additional two and a half year process consisted of keeping, deleting, and writing more scenes, adding characters and chapters, plus changing the title. All of this was done to make the story more ambiguous so readers wouldn’t quite know what’s going on until it sneaks up on them halfway through the book.
Tell us about the publishing process for Night Ghost and also how you came up with the cover of the book.
When I submitted Night Ghost to the publisher and they accepted it, the publishing process took over a year before it was complete. It seemed to be the longest year of my life because I was eager to get my work out there. But I understood that there’s so much that goes into publishing a book such as marketing, editing, and formatting.
Originally I had my own cover already designed for Night Ghost. But the publisher felt that making the cover a bit more ominous would make it more appealing. Since I already had my heart set on the cover I had, I wasn’t crazy about the idea but I went along with it to see what they would come up with. But now, I couldn’t be more proud of the finished product.
If you achieve your life goal of becoming a college professor, would you continue to publish works of fiction?
I do plan to continue on publishing works of fiction while being a college professor in the future. What better way to add your own work to the curriculum, that way you know for sure whether or not the students actually did the reading.
Who are some of the authors you look up to?
Some authors I look up to are Christopher Paul Curtis, Mildred Taylor, James Baldwin, Donald Goines, R.L. Stine, and Stephen King.
Can you tell us what’s next for Nick C. Brady?
I plan on attending graduate school in the near future. I am also currently working on my fourth book titled Sabayon Parish. Here’s a little teaser on it:
In the rural marshes of Southern Mississippi, college students Cassandra and Arielle are spending the last month of summer break with their loving but absentee father, FBI Agent Theodore Boudreaux at his large Plantation home in the town of Delta Bayou. As girls gradually warm up to him, things take a terrible turn as a nocturnal killer lurks the area, sending the small town in an uproar. And creating friction between the three, as signs point to Theodore being the prime suspect. Bounded by swamp and humidity, the sisters witness strange and frightening incidents as they strive to prove their father’s innocence with the help of a new friend, Leon. When nothing stops the terror from spiraling out of control… Cassandra, Arielle, and Leo must fight against the odds in unmasking the killer before the corruption surrounding them drags them under
Buy the book (US)