1. It’s Halloween, pick 3 of your favorite writers to paint the town red with and tell us why you chose them.
Nick Says: Stephen King because the Dark Tower series is what it would be like if every day was Halloween and it was all Trick and not so much treat. Ray Bradbury because he just owned that awesome homespun weirdness meets future fantastic vibe of “all’s not right”. Martian Chronicles specifically (Side note: I appeared in a production of this as Spender the murderous astronaut who goes native. Mr. Bradbury showed up and after the show we talked and he kept calling me “Spender”. One of the best nights of my life.) And Charles Schultz. Because the older I get the more I long to be in that neighborhood on Halloween afternoon. Carving a pumpkin. Cutting the eyeholes in a sheet. Crawling through the trenches in no man’s land and hoisting a root beer with the world’s greatest flying ace. Midnite in the pumpkin patch talking about the meaning of life.
2. You’re ready to head out with your pillowcase to collect loads of confections on All Hallows’ Eve, what’s your costume and why did you choose it?
Nick Says: Pirate. Because I am, says I.
3. Old Mrs. Robinson opens her door and you’re holding open your pillowcase patiently waiting. “Oh deary,” she says in her frail, little old-lady voice. “I forgot it was Halloween. Don’t know why you kids go begging anyways. Let me go find something to give you.” She shuffles off and finally returns three and a half minutes later with 5 pennies, 2 peppermint candies that look like they went through the dryer, and her deceased husbands dentures. “Take what you like,” she offers, squinting at you.
What do you choose and why.
Nick Says: I tell her to get a big bowl and I empty all my candy into it. I’ll be back later with more.
4. I really love reading Dean Koontz but some of his stuff scares the bejesus out of me. What’s the spookiest book you’ve ever read?
Nick Says: The Spookiest? Probably the Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Inside you find The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, The Man in the shadows. Scary stuff.
5. You’re a writer by day and supernatural creature by night. (Shed that human skin you sack of bones) What are you and why?
Nick Says: An Edward Gorey Ghost. Haunting the nights looking for the lost road that leads to yesterday and WhatMightHaveBeen. Wandering the night for all those long lost good times. Not threatening in any other way that an over-consuming melancholy for all the good that once was.
6. Every author has a bookshelf filled with his or her favorite reads. Run on over to yours and tell us the scariest book you have.
Nick Says: I guess, in a way William Forstchen’s One Second After is pretty scary. In a “Wow! I hope this doesn’t happen but it’s probably gonna sort of way!”
7. We don’t all write horror but there comes a time when you’ve got to surprise your readers and make sure their hearts are still beating. How do you prepare yourself to get in the spooky writing mood?
Nick Says: I like looking at Edward Gorey pictures and listening to 80’s goth music.
8. Stephen King’s front porch light is on but there are no Halloween decorations.
a) trick-or-treat and cross your fingers that he’s handing out the good stuff
b) run screaming
c) call your mom to bring your favorite King paperback and beg for an autograph
Nick Says: I’ll go with “a” and tell him that I don’t like anything he’s handing out. Instead I’ll take a one minute story off the top of his head for a “treat”, or, I get out my Big Book of very Bad Tricks. Your call, Stevey, but I’d pick the story.
9. Congratulations, you just won the literary lottery and sold a million books at full price! The royalty check clears on October 28th. What are you buying for the neighborhood kids?
a) an assortment of mini candybars
b) an assortment of cheap, hard candies
c) full size Hershey bars
Nick Says: Full size Hershey’s with almonds. Memory. Basic Training. I hadn’t had a candy bar in six weeks. One day a guy smuggled in a few from the PX. It was heaven.
10. Your writer friend calls you with some frightening news. They’re giving up on writing, can’t take the pressure any longer. What do you tell them?
Nick Says: Probably for the best. It doesn’t sound like they were doing it for the love. Because in the end, that’s the only reason you do it. The more successful you become the more people hate you. If you can’t take the pressure now you don’t want to know what it’s like when you actually make it. Just write for fun. You’ll be happier that way.
Connect with Nick Cole
("I drink your Milkshake. I drink it down!")
Nick Cole is a former soldier and working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can be found writing books for Harper Collins.