Interview with Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Photo: Private

Tell us shortly about yourself.
I’m a USA Today bestselling author of mostly science fiction and thrillers. I’ve been writing full time for about four years now and have released fourteen novels and multiple short stories. I’m also an athlete and have completed two Ironman triathlons. If I’m not writing, I’m probably with my family or exercising. I also love to travel and look forward to another Europe trip in 2018.

Can you tell us more about your latest series ”Trackers”?
Trackers is a story I came up with while working for Homeland Security and Emergency Management in the disaster mitigation field. I became aware of countless threats (manmade and natural) to our country and became convinced, as many are, that one of the greatest threats is an EMP attack from North Korea. Such an attack could take down our grid and devastate our way of life. The story follows a police chief and his allies in the small town of Estes Park Colorado, and the Secretary of Defense in Washington D.C., as she tries to save as many lives as possible by setting up survival centers and bringing in generators, food, supplies, and troops. Unlike most of my other books, Trackers is not science fiction. This is a story that could actually happen, which, in my opinion, makes it even more terrifying.

You write post-apocalyptic fiction, why do you mostly write in this genre? What is it that excites you about it?
I grew up reading and loving this genre because it scared that hell out of me. Why? Because I think most of us live in bubbles and safe places where we don’t have to think about the end of the world. When I reached my twenties I realized this is just an illusion, and the threat of nuclear war, a virus, a CME, and countless other threats exist all around us. Our way of life could be wiped away in a heartbeat. Therefore I decided to write in the genre for two reasons. One for entertainment, and two as a warning that if we’re not careful our species could be wiped out.

Do you have any role models when it comes to writing? If yes, who?
I have too many to name so I’ll just go with the first one that always comes to mind. Joe Haldeman, the author of The Forever War. To say that book changed my life is an understatement. I’ve read it multiple times and dragged my dog-eared copy all over the country and world. I firmly believe there are only a handful of books out there that can change the life of a reader, and The Forever War is definitely one of them.

Where do you write your stories? Do you have any specific writing rituals?
I write a lot at coffee shops because I have to be around other people when writing for some reason. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because in my time working for the government I was always around co-workers. Part of it also has to do with the distractions at home. I force myself to leave the house because when I do, I get stuff done. Like right now, I’m sitting at a coffee shop answering this question, hah.
My rituals are pretty simple. I edit in the morning and write in the afternoon or at night. I realized early into this career that I write better at those hours. If I’m stuck on a scene I go for a run, bike ride, or a swim. Anything to get my heart rate up. They say running is a writer’s sport, and I can see why. There’s something about exercising that helps me clear my mind and adrenaline really gets the creative juices flowing.

Thank you Nicholas!


Interview with Nicholas Sansbury Smith


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