– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Harlem Rhapsody’ blogtour, organised by Frolic Blog Tours.
About the Author :
John Nuckel grew up in the welfare apartments of a middle-class town. “I’ll meet you there,” he’d always say to his friends. Couldn’t have them seeing the two-bedroom apartment in which he lived with four siblings and his mom.
They didn’t have much food, the furniture was charity, the TV a small black-and-white. He went to bed hungry many nights. What they did have was a mother with a creative spirit. They had music—her record collection was bigger than all of theirs combined. And they had books. A new book every two weeks. John devoured them.
The ingredients to develop “John the author” were tossed in the pot at an early age. The old-school music—Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw. Reading “grown-up” books before he was ten—Dickens, Swift, Hemingway, Chandler, and too many more to list. He’d finish a novel then go hop the fence to the schoolyard to see what his buddies were up to, back behind the handball courts.
The Rector series was John’s first trilogy and included The Vig, Grit and Blind Trust. John is currently working on his latest series, The Volunteers, which started with Drive and continues with his latest novel, Harlem Rhapsody.
John currently lives in New York City.
In the days of prohibition and the Harlem Renaissance, Owney Madden, gangster and Cotton Club owner, has a plan to defeat the tyranny of Tammany Hall.
He’ll whack mob kingpin Arnold Rothstein.
Harlem Rhapsody follows this turbulent era (1927-1937), from Duke Ellington’s debut at the Cotton Club, to the unsolved murder of Rothstein, and the machinations of a secret organization, the Volunteers.
Based on true events and real people (The Belle of Broadway; Titanic Thompson; Lucky Luciano) Harlem Rhapsody is the second book in The Volunteer series about Teddy Roosevelt’s band of men who, with financial assistance from J.P. Morgan and John Rockefeller, fight to take down corruption and Tammany Hall.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve worked in the financial industry for my entire career. I came to writing late in life and it has taken me over. I’ve always been an avid reader and I was the go-to-guy to write a business proposal or opening statement. I could turn a phrase. I finally sat down and wrote a book. It took five years and it receievd some acclaim so there was no turning back.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I was always encouraged by my mother to read as much as possible. We didn’t have much so books were an inexpensive escape. I read everything. As a young kid I was reading Dickens and Swift. They were passed down by my mother. As I got older I would read every thriller I could get my hands on. I would go through two or three a month.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
F. Scott Fitzgerald. I would ask him how he used the same words as I but made them sound so magical. How can he write a paragrah about a simple ordinary thing and make me weep reading it?
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would choose Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove. It would be a glass whiskey, not a cup of tea.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I usually think about what I want to write for a week or so, start writing feverishly, then change just about everything I thought about.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
No worries. I’ve been concentrating on historical fiction lately. Not that there isn’t anything to fear about the past.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I write a formal outline than change most of it as I go along. I’m a big, “hey, that would be cool” type of writer.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Keep writing. Don’t pay to be published.
What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m going to continue with the historical fiction series I’m working on now, The Volunteers. I’m well into the next one. Nazi spies in NYC before WW2!
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Harlem Rhapsody is the second book in the Volunteers series. It takes place during the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance. The most vibrant, creative and violent time in the history of New York. There are gangsters, showgirls and great music. What’s not to like?
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, John Nuckel.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!