Today, I want to welcome Nick Valentino the author of Thomas Riley to Steamed! I met Nick at the World Steam Expo, he was holding down a booth selling his books, as busy as he was he had time to chat with me. He is seriously one of the nicest people ever! If you are ever at one of the bazillion cons he does, make sure you stop by and say hi! He was nice enough to indulge me a few questions and he is also going to be giving away a copy of his book, Thomas Riley! So without more random ramblings from me…here is the interview with Nick!
Lolita Elizabeth: So I know you have your fabulous book, ‘Thomas Riley’ out and right now you are working on the sequel right? Tell us all about both books and where we can buy ‘Thomas Riley’!
Nick Valentino:Thomas Riley is book one in a trilogy. It’s about two weapon designers that do some bad alchemy and the only way to undo that alchemy is to kidnap the only man that has the knowledge. That same man happens to be their arch nemesis and the genius behind an enemy nation’s weaponry. Thomas Riley 2 is currently called “The Olympus” and revolves around a revenge bent ship, larger than a modern day aircraft carrier that can control the weather. Muhahaha! The book is available just about everywhere, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Joseph Beth, Davis Kidd etc… Online it’s at Amazon.com (which it’s currently on sale): http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Riley-Steampunk-Novels-Valentino/dp/1590807006/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273528435&sr=8-1 my
LE: You also just had a steampunk anthology you are a part of release…what can you tell us about that? And where can we buy it?
NV: Last week the steampunk anthology “Dreams of Steam” was released by Kerlak Publishing. It has a ton of great writers in it and I’m very excited to have a story included. My story is called “Engine 316” which is sort of a re-telling of the Rube Burrow’s gang with a steampunk flair. Basically, Rube and his gang members rob a train with something on board that should never exist in they’re time. From there, the boys run into a problem that turns life upside down. You can get it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon or if you want to come see me at an event I’ll have copies as well. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780982374559
LE: I know you’re very busy with well, everything. So what’s a day in the life of Nick Valentino like?
NV: It depends on the day really. Every day is a chaotic adventure and really I have no set schedule. Nine out of ten times I write late at night so that’s just about the only thing that has some order to it.
LE: How do you write? Do you need silence? Do you write to music? Tell us a little about your process.
NV: I need to be alone and I write to music. I usually literally blast whatever I think fits the scene and I just start typing away. So basically, every part of the book has a soundtrack. I wrote a lot of Thomas Riley while listening to a band called Made Out of Babies. Yeah, I realize that sounds a bit odd but they seemed to fit nicely to me with all the action. The second Thomas Riley book is much darker and has been written to faster bands. I wrote a lot of the action scenes to a band called Wolves in the Throne Room. I’m really enjoying act two of the trilogy because I love the creepy and dark stuff the most.
LE: How do you find a balance with writing and promoting your books?
NV: Honestly it’s really difficult. I’m on the road almost all the time so I find myself writing in hotel rooms. I’m to the point where I have to be pretty mean to myself and make sure I sit down and write. Basically the schedule is a constant barrage of promotion and marketing so it’s very easy to get caught up in that.
LE: While we’re at it, what conferences, book fests, etc will you be attending around the country?
NV: Wow… There’s a ton. Here’s what’s on the books for quite some time:
– 8/5/ -8/8 – Gencon (Indianapolis, IN) side note from lolita Elizabeth-I’m going to this con too…so excited! *grin*
– 8/14 – Hastings (Memphis, TN)
– 8/15 – Books A Million (Southaven, MS)
– 8/27-8/29 – Fan Expo 2010 (Toronto, ONT)
– 9/2-9/5 – DragonCon (Atlanta, GA)
– 9/11 – Bookmarks Book Fest (Winston-Salem, NC)
– 9/21-9/22 – NAIBA (Atlantic City, NJ)
– 9/24-9/26 – Baltimore Book Fest (Baltimore, MD)
– 10/2 – Books By the Banks (Cincinnati, OH)
– 10/8-10-10 – Southern Festival of Books (Nashville, TN)
– 10/16-10/17 – The Texas Book Festival (Austin, TX)
– 10/22-10/23 – Georgia Lit Fest (Statesboro, GA)
– 11/7 – New Orleans Book Fair (New Orleans, LA)
– 11/13 – The Kentucky Book Fair (Frankfort, KY)
– 11/19-11/20 – SteamCon (Seattle, WA)
– 1/7/11- 1/8/11 – Shadowcon (Memphis, TN)
LE: What’s been your favorite Con and why?
NV: They seriously all have a special place in my heart. I’ve never been to a bad one exactly. They’ve all been really great in some way. Besides the obvious choices of San Diego Comic Con and Dragon Con, I have to say that I had a blast at CONvergence in Minneapolis. I was on some amazing panels and sold the most books for one event for the whole year. I don’t want to discount any of the others though because every one of them has been great.
LE: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you at a signing or Con?
NV: This was pretty awesome. I met a girl at MidSouthCon in Memphis TN that bought the book the first day and stayed up all night to finish it. That’s pretty awesome considering it was one of my first cons.
LE: Besides writing, what are some of your hobbies?
NV: Haha now I travel for the book so there isn’t much time for hobbies. I love to do stencil art although I haven’t had much time for it lately. I do reviews for a yet to be produced proletariat beer review site. I’ve also been toying with modding steampunk guns which is a lot of fun. I’m also a big ice hockey fan.
LE: What are some of your favorite steampunk books to read? Any recommendations?
NV: There are a lot of steampunk books out there and while I’ve enjoyed a lot of the more popular ones, I’m really interested in the new and underground books with great stories. A lot of the really fresh authors are coming up with stories that push the boundaries of steampunk, which I’m really enjoying. Chenda and The Airship Brofman by Emilie P. Bush is a really great example. There’s also quite the spicy author of a short called “Love In A Time Of Steam” that I just finished that was really great as well. Butt kissing = accomplished. *blush* Nick, you are so sweet, even if you were just trying to get on my good side. *giggle*
LE: We want to hear more! Please let the readers know about your website, where they can get your books, your facebook and Twitter… what anything else you may want to say.
NV: It’s funny, I feel like I have a million sites so here we go with a few:
Thomas Riley http://www.sirthomasriley.com
Thank you so much for the time on Steamed! I hope to see you all out on the road soon!
Thank you Nick!!
Now, I bet you all want to know how you can win your copy of Nick’s book! It’s easy comment here to be entered! If you want more chances to win post this on twitter, facebook, myspace, etc, 1 entry for each place you post this! A winner will be drawn next Thursday! So go forth and comment and post! ~Lolita Elizabeth