Crazy/Awkward Interview – Nicolas Wilson


Today Nicolas Wilson stopped by for a crazy/awkward interview. His new book The Necromancer’s Gambit just released, check out the blurb:

Knight, the sheriff of a local magical government, or “the Gambit,” is called to recover a mutilated body, tainted with magic and dumped at a popular haunt. When the corpse is identified as a close associate of the Gambit, he suspects a larger conspiracy threatening the fragile peace amongst the city’s magic-wielding factions. As more bodies fall, Knight finds himself fighting for the lives of those he cares about.

Buy it!

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Crazy/Awkward Interview with Nicolas Wilson

Nicolas was one of the first to brave the interview…unfortunately it was before I got my shit together so the format will be a little different than the others. (He should smack me for it!) Here it is:

*gestures at the empty seat beside her* ‘Sup, Nicolas! After playing e-mail tennis, I’ve finally got you into my cave of horr…er happy fun times. Want a piece of fancy chocolate or cheese? *eyes carefully to see which is picked*

Yummy. Can’t say no to either. Though I may have to smuggle a chocolate or two into my pants, for the wife.

Q: So, I dig music and cheese. If you had to pick a song or a cheese that symbolized The Necromancer’s Gambit, what would it be? (extra points for songs about cheese or cheese that sounds like a song)

A: I’m currently in the middle of a mad-man’s dash to publish The Necromancer’s Gambit, and the month after that, Banksters, before the start of this year’s NaNoWriMo. The Necromancer’s Gambit is a film noir urban fantasy following an underground community of mages. I’ve always been fascinated with the roles of government in peoples’ lives; my other works tend to have an undercurrent of that. Beneath a crust of sexual banter, off color jokes, and a (sometimes) cleverly disguised fascination with dookie, of course.

If I had to say The Necromancer’s Gambit was a cheese… well, the obvious answer would be gouda cheese. Smells like feet to the casual observer, but has a lot of subtlety and a unique appeal to those with that taste. But since gouda tends to bring out a more pretentious crowd, it’s probably a wheel of gouda somebody dropped into the gutter- so it’s more like if you can ignore the smell, and the fact that maybe somebody peed where it fell recently, you might be delighted. Should probably wash it off, first, before you bring it in the house. But yes, I am an advocate of eating gutter cheeses.

As far as a song a… maybe something like Tom Waits, with a very clear narrative, a lot beneath the surface, and some intentionally rough edges that make you think about aesthetic choices you otherwise wouldn’t. And to keep up with the theme of the gutter, I’ll say Cold Water. And that works for Portland, too, rainy as it is. Though admittedly my musical tastes aren’t very varied. I rarely listen to new songs or artists- because I do most of my listening while working, and I can’t really do that until I’ve heard a song so often it becomes part of my subconscious.

Q: Magic is different in every fictional universe. What makes yours unique?

A: My magic is very understated. The mechanics of it are heavily rooted in human myth, philosophy, and ancient rituals. Psychologically, we look at magic as a cure-all for life’s little ills. The less power we feel we have, day to day, the more attraction there is to the idea of wielding outsize power. I wanted my magicians to be first and foremost real people. Sometimes their magic lets them blow things up, force bad people into a spit-swallow dilemma, or make eyeballs explode in a geyser of molten fluids. But it can’t be so powerful that it overwhelms them as individuals. And my villain’s are the same. No matter how dark the magic they are wielding is, it’s still a response to their perceptions of reality, and focused through their insecurities.

Q: How is a book a “film noir”?

A: “Noir” is French, for black penis. But the underground gay French filmmaking community weren’t content to be pigeon-holed as smut-peddlers. They invented a new kind of cinematic vocabulary. This style was later used to translate some of the great detective and crime fiction onto the screen, which is why the style and setting became collectively known as “film noir.” Some people drop the “film” part, so as not to be confusing. Some people like to keep it, to be pretentious. I just have an issue with calling my work “Noir” unless it’s going to be primarily about black penis- if it doesn’t act like a duck, or quack like a duck, I just don’t feel comfortable marketing it like a duck. Unless it’s a swan. Because I can’t tell them apart.

But I love the roughness inherent in film noir. There’s a reason the genre’s aesthetic lived on far beyond the antique movies it was named for. Watching characters stumbling around in the dark, cutting themselves on the sharp edges of human sexuality and moral ambiguity that we keep there, because society just isn’t ready for those things to live in the light. Those sensibilities, and the tropes of the genre (misanthropic investigators, femme fatales, the desperation of the human experience, etc.) transcend film, because they make for fascinating, and better-rounded characters. And I think, at heart, I don’t trust humanity farther than I can throw it.

Q: If you had to choose a different color for your penis to be, what would it be?

A: Green. Hulk SMASH.
Q: Speaking of dookie, I’ve heard an adage that it takes any group roughly ten minutes before they resort to conversations about bodily functions. How long does it take a group YOU are a part of?

A: The Scoop on Poop
I start every conversation with the poop talk. It’s going to happen. Why pussy-foot around it? You can open with, “How dooky do?” or “Hey, what’s crappening?” And if it’s around the winter holidays, “Seasons’ excretings.”

I’ve field-tested similar in dating circles. I start out by asking something like, “Can we start with the awkward sex first, and then go on the mediocre date?” Everybody’s more relaxed post-coital, and most people are better behaved when they’re not worried about getting laid. It’s kind of the same with poo-talk. I find everybody’s happier if they don’t have to hold everything back, and can just release all that tension, in their bowels and otherwise.

Q: Along those lines, what is the creepiest question you’ve ever wanted to ask someone?

A: Is it beastial pedophilia that I’m turned on by kittens?

Q: How do you feel about meercats?

A: They’re anorexic raccoons. They give raccoons self esteem issues and eating disorders. So I’m against them.

Q: You like stalking ___________________________?

A: I like stockings stuffed with delicious (and sometimes horrific) new variants of snack foods: watermelon Oreos, cranberry aqui Coke, and sink-of-a-Chinese-restaurant Doritos. You might even say I stalk them through the grocery aisles like an author hunting too hard for a pun. Wait.


What grade do we give Nicolas for his crazy/awkward answers? Comment with your letter grade below!

Got a question you’d like to ask Nicolas or one you want to see on the next crazy/awkward interview? Comment!

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