Hello, loyal readers!
Today on the blog, Nick James, author of The Pearl Wars and Crimson Rising stops by for a little tête-à-tête about his bookshelf and books that have inspired him to write. If you've read his bio on Goodreads, you'd soon realize that Nick was practically writing when some of us are just learning the basics of penmanship. Is that insane, or what? I love reading about authors' beginnings and Nick's is something I'm envious of. Imagine knowing what you want to do at such a young age?
From Nick: "So, my bookshelf is really a little bit squeezed together. Rather than one shelf, I’ve got books kind of spread around my apartment. In fact, what you can see in the picture (on the right) is in fact a double-layer of books. There’s a whole other row behind them that isn’t visible in the picture. My apartment’s small (the bay view makes up for it!), so I’ve also got some books stored in boxes as well. With that said, this picture’s kind of a red herring!"
Ahhh yes, don't worry Nick. I'm familiar with the stacking concept. I think I've discovered books that I didn't think I have the last time I attempted to re-organized. My bookshelves are two stacks deep as well!
What was the last book you purchased?
"Well, I recently pre-ordered Andrew Smith’s Passenger, the follow-up to his brilliant The Marbury Lens. Does that count?"
Indeed, it does! I've seen his books but have yet to check them out. The covers look bad-ass, if I may say so, myself. I have to check these out.
Is there a book in your shelves that inspired you to write Skyship Academy?
"When I was living in England, I bought the entire Alex Rider series (up to that point). I really wanted to have them all with their original dialect and spelling. The focus on action inspired a great deal of the Skyship books, but I’ve also got books on the shelf like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which inspired the more coming-of-age portions of the books."
I love the thought that your inspirations for Skyship Academy came from books that at first glance, are worlds apart theme-wise. Alex Rider seems like a series packed with suspense and action but then you've taken the human or emotional elements from the other two books you've mentioned.
Name a book that you wish you wrote.
"Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I think it’s just such a staggering work. So detailed, evocative and ballsy in its subject matter."
I've never read any of the books but it sounds like something my kids would enjoy. While I'm not one to force ideology on my kids (other than basic human decency), I'll just have to make sure they're old enough to form opinions on the books. I know the author's beliefs on religions in general so perhaps I'll wait for another couple of more years.
What is your ultimate, most favourite top 5 books?
"This changes all the time, and I’m not sure I can put them in 1-5 order! So, in no particular order..
- Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling
- His Dark Materials Trilogy - Philip Pullman
- Feed - M.T. Anderson
- Runaways Vol. 1 (graphic novel) - Brian K. Vaughn
- Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie"
I'm shamed to admit that I've never read any of the Harry Potter books. I've been told I'm missing about .05% of my life by not reading them. Shame, indeed.
Name a random item or book on your shelf.
"You’ll see a shelf full of Lego minifigures as part of this picture. I’ve always loved Legos and was obsessed with them as a kid. I’ve got a small collection as an adult, too. I’m pretty much a big kid, anyway."
Thanks so much for being here today, Nick. You've indulged quite a few who are definitely interested enough about just what kind of books you've got in your shelves. I ended up adding some books you've mentioned that are, quite frankly, a novelty to me.
Readers, please check out Nick's books when you have the chance. I'm reading The Pearl Wars at the moment and loving it so far. The world building is tremendous and the characters kick ass! Links below.