Today, we’re excited to get a chance to talk to Bobby Nash. He’s an award-winning author, who writes novels, comic books, short stories, novellas, and graphic novels. He also writes the occasional screen play.
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[00:00:00] Halfling: Thanks for tuning in to the Halfling and the Spaceman: Journeys In Active Fandom. We're having great conversations with people that have turned their love of fandom into something creative. We're fans talking to fans, and today we are excited to have a chance to talk with Bobby Nash. He's an award-winning author who also writes novels, comics, short stories, novella's, graphic novels, and he also writes the occasional screenplay Welcome Body.
[00:00:27] Bobby Nash: Oh, thank you so much for having me.
[00:00:29] Halfling: Well, thanks for taking time outta your, I'm sure. Very busy schedule to do this.
[00:00:35] Bobby Nash: I, I love doing stuff like this. I love talking about the things that I geek out over and yeah. So it's fun.
[00:00:44] Halfling: cool. Well, let's get started. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
[00:00:49] Bobby Nash: Okay. Well I am, uh, as you mentioned, I am an author. I write, novels, comic books. I've dabbled in screenplays. I've done some audio scripts. That's. Pretty interesting. Did a few full cast audio things, which has been fun. I started out as a kid, I was a comic book fan. That was kind of my foray into the creative side of things.
[00:01:11] Bobby Nash: I had this grand dream that I would become a comic book artist.
[00:01:14] Halfling: Hmm.
[00:01:15] Bobby Nash: That was the goal. I missed it by a lot because it turns out I'm not quite good enough of an artist to be a comic book artist. But I started writing stories to have things to draw, and that was where my love of storytelling kind of started, and then I was able to eventually pivot it into something close to a career.
[00:01:41] Bobby Nash: So yeah, it's, and so I, um, my first published stuff, you know, professional published stuff was comics. I love it. I still love writing comics today. I do it as often as I can. But then, you know, from there it was just like, gee, I wonder if I can write a novel. And so I tried and I wrote one and it was awful, but I wrote one and I finished it.
[00:02:03] Bobby Nash: And that's the big, that's the big part that makes you want to come back and do it again. I finished it and when I was done, there was that great sense of accomplishment. And yes, even though I realized it sucked it, I knew I could do it. So that allowed me the freedom to say, okay, let's do it again. And then the second novel I wrote, I sold to a publisher, so yeah.
[00:02:34] Bobby Nash: So that's kinda where I started and I've been writing pretty steady since then. So,
[00:02:39] Halfling: Okay. Well, just delving into your background just a little bit, were there any courses or classes that you took along the way that sort of helped you hone your craft?
[00:02:52] Bobby Nash: Well it, when I was in high school, way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, that was when I was still had that, I had that comic book artist dream and so I would sit in classes, and this got me in trouble multiple times of I would be, have the school book open on one side of my desk and there would be like typing paper on the other side, and I would be writing and drawing comics throughout the day.
[00:03:17] Bobby Nash: That was how I was spending my day, and there were two teachers in high school that caught me doing that, and instead of punishing me, said, Hey. Have you thought about like honing this creativity or doing something with it? Um, one of those was, my English teacher who also was in charge of the school newspaper, and which I had never given half a second thought to.
[00:03:49] Bobby Nash: And she was like, come, come, come do some stuff with us. And so writing for the paper taught me things like, well, one deadlines, you know, we're doing it on your own. You do it when the urge hits you. When the muse hits you, when you know, so I started learning deadlines in high school, which has become a very important thing in my life, you know, today.
[00:04:12] Bobby Nash: But I also started learning skills. And now this was in the pre-computer days, you know, the computers were not as prevalent in schools as they are now. Man, that makes me sound really old. Um,
[00:04:27] Bobby Nash: but
[00:04:27] Spaceman: You're in good company.
[00:04:29] Bobby Nash: I learned how to put the newspaper together when, now back then we were doing paste up with rubber cement and all those, you know, but those skills are still skills that I use today.
[00:04:44] Bobby Nash: I just use a computer to do that job instead of rubber cement and scissors.
[00:04:50] Halfling: Mm.
[00:04:51] Bobby Nash: So I learned a lot in high school doing that stuff. And then when I was writing my second novel, the first one I attempted was a science fiction novel. The second one I was doing, I decided to do like a mystery thriller.
[00:05:08] Bobby Nash: Cause I love those. I, you know, I love reading those. And I took a non-credit course at the University of Georgia. It was one of those once a week nighttime courses. Yeah, it spoke to me, the title of this class was Murder and Mayhem for Fun and Profit. So like, how could I not take this course?
[00:05:31] Bobby Nash: And, uh, the teacher's name was Harriet Austin. She actually had, she had her own writer's conference as well. And we would write and bring our stuff to class and then we would read it in front of the class and her. So not only will we get her feedback, but we would get feedback from the rest of the class, which, you know, for me, who was quite shy at the time, yeah, I grew out of that. Um, but at the time I was very, quite shy that was terrifying to me, was reading to people, you know. So that class had kind of a two for effect. I learned things about my writing that I didn't know. And learned how important it is to when you're doing dialogue, say it out loud. Because it may look good on the page, but if you can't wrap your tongue around it, it might not work. And then being able to talk in front of 20, 30 people, whatever it was, which is also, those are all things that I didn't realize at the time that would become more important as I went along. Cuz now I do conventions where, sometimes I'm on a stage and there's two or 300 people in front of us and I can do that now because I was able to get past that shyness of not being able to read in front of a group.
[00:06:54] Bobby Nash: So I learned a lot. I learned a lot doing that. And then a lot of it was just beyond that. It's mostly self-taught. I've learned more from screwing up than probably anything else, you know. But I learned enough with those skills, in those things, and since then I've gone to writers, I've worked writers' conventions or writers' conferences and, I always pick up things, you know, I've gotten to meet from doing conventions and podcasts and et cetera, et cetera.
[00:07:23] Bobby Nash: I've gotten to know other authors and you can learn a lot by seeing how other people do things, or when you make those connections where it's like, when I run across a problem, you know, writing problem, I know I've got a handful of writers I can call up and go, okay, talk me off this ledge.
[00:07:42] Bobby Nash: Or, what am I doing wrong? Or, you know, so it becomes that community building that really helps you learn a lot from. Seeing how others do it, both good and bad, and, you know, Ooh, I don't wanna do that. I don't like, I don't like how they do, this person does that, or, I love how this person does this.
[00:07:59] Bobby Nash: And so I learn a lot from watching and studying other writers and not other, not only writers, artists, actors, directors, et cetera. You know, seeing how, especially when it comes to interacting with people, when I do things like conventions, you know learning how to talk to people.
[00:08:16] Bobby Nash: And a lot of that came from watching creators. I admired watching them and going, oh, that's how they act around people, you know? Oh, that's, you know, I like what they're doing. And so that helped a lot. But yeah. But mostly, it's just I screwed something up and go, Ooh, I learned a lesson, and I, you know, that's, yeah.
[00:08:37] Bobby Nash: So that's, yeah.
[00:08:39] Halfling: Well, that's kind of life in general is, you know, you screw up and then you say, okay, I'm gonna do better.
[00:08:45] Spaceman: You screw up. You'd like to think that was the case, but I've seen too many examples of it
[00:08:49] Spaceman: not being,
[00:08:50] Bobby Nash: Yeah, we don't always learn from the mistake or sometimes, yeah, sometimes I'm a slow learner. I make the same mistake six or seven times before my brain goes, you know, so yeah. It's, uh,
[00:09:04] Bobby Nash: but yeah.
[00:09:05] Bobby Nash: but you learn a lot. I mean, you really do learn a lot from those and it's little things. It's not like the big things.
[00:09:13] Bobby Nash: It's like, when I first started, talking to one of the guys who is doing the production side of things, cuz even though you're not manually type setting, that stuff still has to be done to publish a book. And if you say at the end of a paragraph, Have an extra space after the period that throws off the formatting.
[00:09:33] Bobby Nash: And it could cause, like big spaces between the words. And so just in talking like to the production, I says, oh yeah, this is the pain that I had to fix this. And I was like, oh, I didn't know that. Okay. So now at that point I became cognizant of that. So I started looking out for it.
[00:09:51] Bobby Nash: So I stopped doing it and therefore made their lives easier.
[00:09:56] Halfling: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:56] Bobby Nash: But it also made my stuff more attractive to them as a publisher because we have to do less work to his stuff. So there's a lot of those type of things you learn as you're doing it and the technology is constantly evolving, so you learn new things and try new things and learning design. I work with some great cover artists, and so when we're discussing what we want on the cover, you know, learning design elements, so I've picked up a skill or two there that now it's easier to tell 'em what I'm thinking because I know what a cover needs, you know?
[00:10:33] Bobby Nash: yeah. Things like, when I started, I remember they always told us about covers that a book cover, you should be able to read the title across the room. Like if you put the book on a bookshelf and you walk into a bookstore and you could see a title over there, you needed to be able to read it.
[00:10:51] Bobby Nash: And that's what grabbed your attention even though that's not as much today, it's still important because you're selling your books on Amazon, they're an inch tall,
[00:11:03] Bobby Nash: so you've gotta be able to read it at an inch tall. So that takes into account things like, font sizes and types of block, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:11:11] Bobby Nash: So, yeah. Sorry, I'll ramble on about this all day.
[00:11:14] Spaceman: No good stuff.
[00:11:15] Halfling: It
[00:11:15] Halfling: is
[00:11:16] Spaceman: good stuff.
[00:11:16] Spaceman: good stuff.
[00:11:17] Spaceman: We've been, off-and-on involved in publishing ourselves since, oh 1988.
[00:11:22] Spaceman: Yeah.
[00:11:22] Spaceman: So,
[00:11:23] Bobby Nash: I started it, my first thing was in 89.
[00:11:27] Spaceman: well then maybe offline we could reminisce a little bit,
[00:11:30] Spaceman: but the whole, I can't really say point of our podcast, but the whole focus of our podcast is talking to people who started out as being fans of things and then developed to being creators in their own right. So, can you tell us about your first experience with fandom and what does being a fan of something mean to you?.
[00:11:52] Bobby Nash: Yeah. Oh man. Yeah, I probably, the first thing that I was just super fanny about, that's a bad way to say that. That I was a super fan of, was probably Spider-Man. And that started with, the reruns of the 66 cartoon when I was a kid. They would run those after school and then later the eighties, spider-Man and then Spiderman, it's amazing Friends and all.
[00:12:17] Bobby Nash: But Spider-Man was my first introduction to superheroes and cartoons and also to comics because knowing Spider-Man from the cartoon, I remember when I was very young, my mother and I were in a checkout aisle at a local supermarket, and they had three packs. They would pack three comics in a plastic bag and hang them.
[00:12:43] Bobby Nash: And there were two Spidermans, you couldn't see the middle one, but there were two Spidermans and I, I remember just. Begging her to let me get these cuz I only knew Spider-Man from the cartoon. And so I think just to shut me up, she let me get them and it was three issues of Spider-Man in the bag, but it was three consecutive issues
[00:13:04] Spaceman: That never happens.
[00:13:06] Bobby Nash: Yeah, I know, right? And so, cuz it was issues 1 92, 1 93 and 1 94. I still have them to this day. They're treasured pieces of my collection and they're well worn. I read the crap out of these things. Not only did it introduce me to the fact that Spider-Man was in comics, but that these were not three standalone stories.
[00:13:30] Bobby Nash: Things kept going. I was like, that was my introduction to like, holy crap serialized storytelling. I didn't know what it was called then, but it was like, oh, this is cool. Now, it took about 10 years before I was able to read issue 1 95. So it took about 10 years to resolve that cliffhanger. But, uh, but I was hooked. I mean, I was in love with the comics as a medium, as a format, so that was probably where my fandom took hold. But during the seventies, I was big like Star Trek and, 6 million Man and Batman, the 66 Batman series, because of these things were the things that played in the afternoons after I got home from school or during the summer when you're home and they're on during the day and so you would watch, whatever.
[00:14:19] Bobby Nash: Like if you watch an episode of Star Trek and , then mom says, okay, outside, and I would go outside and I would play Star Trek. That was kind of the impetus of coming up with my own stories, because I wouldn't just go act out the episode I watched. I was like, okay. I come up with something new to play based on that, and I think that's where kind of the imagination kicked in that, yeah.
[00:14:41] Bobby Nash: It's still running today.
[00:14:45] Halfling: I did the same thing with Nancy Drew when I was like in elementary school.
[00:14:49] Bobby Nash: Oh, I remember
[00:14:51] Halfling: got, I got so hooked on the Nancy Drew stories and then, my friend who was a neighbor and her brother, we started doing our own Nancy Drew Roleplaying, you know, stories. And he had to be like the bad guy.
[00:15:05] Halfling: And all the characters had boyfriends and stuff like, and then we did the same thing with Charlie's Angels
[00:15:11] Bobby Nash: Yeah.
[00:15:12] Halfling: out.
[00:15:13] Bobby Nash: Yeah. I remember my love of mysteries probably started with Encyclopedia Brown, but I also remember in the seventies we had the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew Mysteries on
[00:15:26] Bobby Nash: tv. And those were always cool because hey, these are kids solving mysteries and, alright, Scooby-Doo, these are kids solving mysteries.
[00:15:36] Bobby Nash: And it's like, as a kid myself at the time, you know, that was appealing, that it wasn't just these old people solving mysteries because, when you're six or seven, anybody over the age of 20 is old, you know? Yeah. I've learned that Still age is at sliding scale . But, yeah, so those were kind of early things that, you know and then my love of mystery probably grew there.
[00:15:57] Bobby Nash: And then as I got older, going into the eighties, Rockford Files or Magnum and those type of detective stories are still very much an influence on me because I write that kind of stuff today. And what I liked about those is sometimes the plot was less important than the characters. And I learned a lot about characters from those, like, yeah, if Nancy Drew had a mystery that didn't really land with you, you still came back because you loved Nancy Drew.
[00:16:28] Bobby Nash: And so it was the character. I realized at that point it was the characters that kept bringing me back, not necessarily the plot of the week.
[00:16:37] Bobby Nash: And yeah, that was kinda the first aha moment where characters were the most important thing in the story,
[00:16:45] Spaceman: Yeah, talking about, Scooby-Doo for a second. I actually got hooked up with the Halfling because she reminded me of Velma.
[00:16:51] Spaceman: So
[00:16:51] Spaceman: I had a, I had a big fan crush on Velma from, since
[00:16:54] Spaceman: I was a little tyke.
[00:16:55] Bobby Nash: Nice, nice.
[00:16:58] Spaceman: I don't know. Smart short girl wearing glasses. You know when she
[00:17:02] Spaceman: had a
[00:17:02] Spaceman: pleated skirt.
[00:17:04] Bobby Nash: there. There you go. And hey, you know what? Out of all the Scooby-Doo characters, who gets cosplayed, the most?.
[00:17:10] Halfling: Yes, this
[00:17:13] Bobby Nash: So,
[00:17:13] Halfling: is, true. This is true.
[00:17:15] Bobby Nash: and those were, yeah. Cause I grew up, you know, I grew up digging Scooby-Doo and the mysteries were, yeah, they were silly at times, but the clues were there. And that's what I always learned was how to spot clues and how to look for clues, which later, as a writer, how to write clues because man, writing clues is hard because you don't wanna make 'em so obvious that the reader goes, oh, I get it, but in your head, because, you know, it's a clue.
[00:17:45] Bobby Nash: It's like there's a giant neon sign pointing at the page going, yeah, this is a clue. And yeah but learning those things, how they figured out, what little tidbit it was, I fell in love with that and I learned to love to play fair cuz man, I hate those mysteries where the one detail that points the detective to the villain is one we as the audience didn't see.
[00:18:08] Spaceman: Oh man, that annoys the, you know, what outta me
[00:18:12] Halfling: And, and me too. I I, I absolutely hate that cuz I'm reading toward the end of the story when there's this big reveal that it's soandso and they came outta
[00:18:23] Bobby Nash: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:24] Spaceman: Well, indubitably Watson, it was obviously the, chef, because I discovered this pen that was laid into the butler's pantry
[00:18:31] Spaceman: and,
[00:18:32] Halfling: right.
[00:18:33] Spaceman: right,
[00:18:33] Bobby Nash: We searched your house and found this. I'm like, well, why didn't we see you search the house? You know? Yeah. It was just, and that always bugged me, so I, as a writer, I tend to, I don't want to do that to my audience
[00:18:47] Spaceman: And we (thank you)
[00:18:48] Bobby Nash: hate it. I'm assuming they're gonna hate it, so I make it a point to play fair If there's a clue that leads to it.
[00:18:55] Bobby Nash: I want the audience to get there first if they can. Or if they don't figure it out and the reveal happens, then they can go, aha, that's what that meant.
[00:19:06] Bobby Nash: And want to go back and maybe reread it or I've had people come up to me and go, okay, I have questions. What did, okay, what did this clue mean? Was this a clue? Did this, and so that's really cool cuz some people get other things out of it than I intended, you know, cuz that has happened. Or the characters kind of lead things in a direction. You know, people laugh at me when I tell 'em, it's like, you know, my characters are smarter than I am.
[00:19:34] Bobby Nash: I have had plots where this is what's gonna happen. We're gonna go A, B, C, D, E, and we get to about c. And the characters go, yeah, we're gonna go this way. And then, it always makes for a better story, but the writer in me didn't see it coming, which is, I know it sounds odd, but yeah, the characters really, um, you know, I had one where it was a short story, so it was a simple story cuz it's a short story.
[00:20:02] Bobby Nash: Hero knows what the bad guy did, knows who the bad guy is, blah, blah, blah. We get to the end hero and villain confront each other. And as I'm typing it, the villain says something in the dialogue that just flows out of my fingers, that makes me go. And the hero go, oh crap, he didn't do it.
[00:20:23] Halfling: Oh,
[00:20:23] Bobby Nash: not the bad guy.
[00:20:25] Bobby Nash: oh.
[00:20:25] Bobby Nash: war at the end of the story. Who's the bad guy? And then this other character goes, yeah, it's me. And so it's this nice twist and I was like, Ooh, I like that. It's a good twist. Let me go back now and add the clues so this doesn't come out of nowhere. In my reread, I was surprised to find the clues were already there.
[00:20:44] Halfling: Oh wow.
[00:20:46] Bobby Nash: My subconscious obviously knew more than my conscious mind did, so the clues were coming out through the character while the back of my brain was working it out, whereas the front of my brain didn't know. And that has happened to me multiple times where characters will just say, yeah, I'm not doing that, or Let's do this, or, you know, or Yeah, I need to die here.
[00:21:11] Bobby Nash: You know, like, no, no, I got three more books with you. No, no, this is where I need to die. But it always has the side effect of making the story better. It doesn't make my life any easier, but it does make the story a little better.
[00:21:25] Spaceman: It's a little bit like watching anime because you never know if the main character's gonna survive or not
[00:21:30] Bobby Nash: Right. Yeah. Cuz yeah, cuz sometimes it's, you know, when you get into the story, cuz when I come up with the plot and I, I don't do deep plots.
[00:21:39] Spaceman: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:40] Bobby Nash: I have very loose plots. I know these 10 things have to happen in this story. And basically I'll go, okay, we gotta get to plot point one, start walking, and I follow the character to see how they get me there. And that has yielded some amazing stories, where things happen in the process of writing the story that I hadn't thought of before I started. Which has, like I said, has led to some very cool surprises
[00:22:09] Halfling: Well,
[00:22:09] Bobby Nash: makes me sound like a lunatic to people that aren't writers.
[00:22:13] Halfling: Well, I can tell you, I totally get it because we played role playing games, tabletop role playing games, you know, Dungeon & Dragon, GURPS, whatever. And, I ran a game one time that has come to be known as the Psycho Game, which basically I had only the barest, I mean, thread bear idea for a plot, and then everybody else within character just sort of drove it.
[00:22:44] Halfling: And, I basically had to hold on for dear life. And so when somebody came up with a, well, I think it's this, I was like, hmm. Okay. And then my brain starts working a little bit and then another character would, go off in this direction with the plot and I'm, yeah.
[00:23:02] Halfling: And we get to the end of the game and they have come up with this story and this plot that would've far outdone anything that I could have actually come up with myself, so,
[00:23:13] Bobby Nash: Yeah, that's a great bit too with like learning character. Like I do this thing sometimes at writer's conferences or conventions where, when you're talking about getting to know your characters, and this very much works in roleplaying as well. If you have a very simple plot, that could just be the character needs to get through that door to what's on the, or it needs to get on the other side of that door or that wall.
[00:23:40] Bobby Nash: There's a door, there's a window, whatever. How does your character get there? What do they do? Some characters might go kick the door in, go in guns blazing. Another character might pick the lock. Another might say, I'm gonna go through the window. Cuz the door is obviously booby trapped. Those character defines that plot. And that's where story comes in. Story is, I had a friend of mine, Derek Ferguson's used to say this all the time, and he was absolutely right. Story is when character and plot meet, cuz you can have a plot and you can have characters and they do all their things. But the story is when those two things are, you know, you put one into the other and like with role playing, when you say there's a door over here, what do you do?
[00:24:30] Bobby Nash: The person you ask dictates what happens next. Because every character reacts differently based on who they are. And so if you write that plot with three different characters, you could come up with three vastly different stories just by what the character will do. And so that's a wonderful, character building exercise and yeah, role-playing does it extremely well because, Every character, every player not only creates their characters, but they, a little bit of them is in there and not all of us think the same.
[00:25:06] Bobby Nash: You know, we all react to problems differently. We all react to good news differently. You know, and so those things inform those characters. And so when you trust your characters, like if you guys have ever, if you've ever read anything or watched a movie or TV show and go, they're not acting right.
[00:25:28] Bobby Nash: That character's not acting like I think, like they normally do. That's because they have forced that character to do something the character wouldn't do. And you notice that it jumps out at you because you've gotten to know those characters.
[00:25:43] Halfling: Yeah. There have been actors and actresses that have especially in movies that have gone back to the director and say, no, I'm not doing that because this character would not act like that. Or say these things or what I have you, so yeah.
[00:25:57] Bobby Nash: Yeah, and, and no matter, and if you try to force 'em, like I can write anything I want to in these stories, but if I write something that doesn't feel right to me, then obviously it's not gonna feel right to the reader. So, if I want the characters to act outta character, there's got to be a really compelling reason.
[00:26:17] Bobby Nash: And, and it can happen. I mean, you know, certainly in talking about, fandom and stuff, we've certainly seen examples of heroic characters once or twice for a reason, doing un heroic things. And we buy it in that one thing because they've set that up,
[00:26:36] Bobby Nash: you know, the three that always pop into my head from that one, there's. The Deep Space nine episode, in the Pale Moonlight where he has, where Cisco has done, and I'm gonna spoil some like 30, 40 year old shows here. Sorry.
[00:26:51] Bobby Nash: Um,
[00:26:53] Spaceman: yeah,
[00:26:53] Spaceman: we've binged it over the pandemic, so we're good.
[00:26:55] Bobby Nash: Yeah.
[00:26:56] Bobby Nash: So where Cisco has lied and cheated and done basically stuff that, could have been considered war crimes to get the Romulans into the war on their side.
[00:27:09] Bobby Nash: And he does all these things because they're necessary and it's important, but he does a lot of morally questionable things. That was one that always jumps out at me. There's one, there's a Stargate, SG one episode where, I forget the title, but it's one where Rene Auberjonois is the villain. And we find out it's, they meet them and they think, they're like, they're under attack from this enemy and they're there to help 'em. And they find out that these guys are basically space Nazis and they're the ones that are trying
[00:27:41] Bobby Nash: to wipe out
[00:27:42] Halfling: remember that
[00:27:43] Halfling: episode.
[00:27:43] Halfling: Yes, I, I,
[00:27:44] Halfling: remember that episode.
[00:27:46] Bobby Nash: and at the, end of the episode, they're like, they're running out, back through the star gate and he says, don't follow us.
[00:27:51] Bobby Nash: Cuz they've already shown that if the iris is closed and you come through, you're gonna die. And so O'Neill steps through and he knows this guy is coming and he's gonna come through the gate and he steps on the other side and go and just says, close it and he knows this guy's gonna die.
[00:28:07] Halfling: Right.
[00:28:08] Bobby Nash: And it's so, it's a morally questionable thing. We're not used to seeing him do, to commit a coldblooded act. But it's earned because of everything they've went through in the episode. And the third one is there's a magnum PI that's like that where, It's a great two-parter where we find out that when they were captured in Vietnam, one of Magnum's buddies was brainwashed and turned into a sleeper agent.
[00:28:33] Bobby Nash: And now all these years later, they have activated him to commit murder. And at the end of it, the villain is gonna get away because he is a diplomat. So he's got immunity. So they've labeled him undesirable and told him he has to leave the country and can't come back, but he's gonna get away with it.
[00:28:52] Bobby Nash: And Magnum and his other friends, we can't allow that happen. And they actually stop this guy on their way to the airport and they're talking, and they know each, I mean, they've met obviously. And then cuz this is a guy that tortured them years ago. And he is like, I know you, you can't, I'm unarmed.
[00:29:09] Bobby Nash: You won't kill me unless I'm trying to kill you. And he starts to walk away. And the last minute Magnum shoots him and kills him as he's walking away. Which is a very out of character thing for the character. But again, it was earned in the story, so it didn't feel out of character.
[00:29:26] Bobby Nash: Now, if he'd have been doing that every episode, then you'd kinda go, but, so, so, yeah, so, so a lot of times, if you're gonna do something outta character, have a reason for it, make it compelling, and your audience, if they love these characters, will follow those characters through that. So,
[00:29:42] Bobby Nash: yeah, sorry, that was a long-winded way to answer that.
[00:29:45] Bobby Nash: So
[00:29:45] Bobby Nash: sorry.
[00:29:46] Halfling: okay.
[00:29:46] Spaceman: That led me to another question though. One of the things that I've noticed is that some authors write stories and some authors write characters. Do you believe that's a fair characterization?
[00:29:56] Bobby Nash: I think so. Yeah, I think so. I mean, well, like I said, it's, there's different ways of telling a story. There is a story driven plot where the story is the most important thing. The characters are important, I. But telling the story is the most important thing. There are other stories where the characters are more important.
[00:30:20] Bobby Nash: So while the plot is still important, I don't ever wanna say the plot's not important, but the plot is less important than how the characters respond to the plot. So, yeah. So it's different ways. I mean, I'm trying to think of some good examples, but, but you know, um, a story where like the plot is someone is planning to assassinate the president of the United States and we've gotta stop 'em.
[00:30:47] Bobby Nash: You know, that can be, if all it is is a bunch of characters trying to stop this, that's more of a plot driven story. But if we focus on one or two characters, even though a bunch of characters are doing it, like, in the line of Fire is a good example of that one. It's a big story. But we focus on this one guy so it's personal to him.
[00:31:12] Bobby Nash: So now, even though it could be a plot driven story, it's now a character driven story because everything that happens in the plot, we're seeing how this guy responds to it, how this guy reacts to it. And so that makes it more character driven as opposed to it's just, you know, it could be five or six different characters trying to stop something.
[00:31:33] Bobby Nash: So, yeah, so, so tying it to how a main character reacts to something kind of makes it a little more character driven. And I think TV does that really, really well. Like, you know, pick your favorite show, like we were talking about Stargate earlier. You love those characters.
[00:31:52] Bobby Nash: Not every episode's a winner, but you come back next week because you love those characters and you love seeing what they do.
[00:31:58] Spaceman: We are massive. Stargate SG-1 fans
[00:32:02] Bobby Nash: Love it. Love it, love it. I, one of my, one of my goals, I've pitched the publisher that has the license. I've pitched like three things to, to them over the years and none of 'em have ever landed. But it's one of my goals is
[00:32:13] Bobby Nash: I'd love to write at least
[00:32:15] Halfling: one
[00:32:15] Halfling: day.
[00:32:15] Bobby Nash: story.
[00:32:16] Spaceman: All right. Well, you
[00:32:17] Spaceman: will
[00:32:18] Spaceman: have to
[00:32:18] Spaceman: let it out. We will. We will.
[00:32:20] Halfling: Because
[00:32:20] Halfling: definitely we'll be
[00:32:21] Halfling: the
[00:32:21] Halfling: first
[00:32:21] Spaceman: in line. Yes,
[00:32:22] Bobby Nash: Yeah. Cuz cuz I do some like, tie-in work. It's, I love it. It's so much fun. It's like getting to play with your buddies toys, you know,
[00:32:32] Bobby Nash: Cuz they're not yours. But yeah, you just kinda get to take 'em out, play with 'em for a little while and then try not to break 'em.
[00:32:37] Spaceman: Right. Speaking of playing with other people's toys, how in the world did you get the rights to write the Green hornet?
[00:32:45] Bobby Nash: Oh, well I didn't get the rights the publisher did.
[00:32:49] Halfling: Oh, okay.
[00:32:49] Bobby Nash: a lot of these characters that are, you know, like that usually how tie in Fiction works is the company that owns the characters will license them to a publisher for whatever dollars. And it's what it is. But, and it gets, all of those are different depending on the popularity of the characters or, you know, that kind of thing.
[00:33:12] Bobby Nash: So like the Star Trek license probably costs more than the Green Hornet license, that kinda thing.
[00:33:17] Spaceman: I would imagine, yeah.
[00:33:18] Bobby Nash: but yeah, they will license it out. And so the publisher in this case with greenhorn, it was Moonstone books. Uh, the publisher will buy the license and you're basically renting or leasing the license and says, you know, and I think it's a year, maybe it's two years at a time, whatever it is, and you then can re-up it and you.
[00:33:39] Bobby Nash: They do that. And then the way I got involved was I was already doing some work for Moonstone. I was writing some Domino lady stuff and I think I'd written some one or two other things. Cuz they do a lot of old pulp characters as well. And so they were doing Green Hornet and they were like, would you like to write a Green Hornet story?
[00:33:58] Bobby Nash: Now the Green Hornet license, this is where sometimes licenses get tricky. There are multiple licenses for multiple characters. The Green Hornet started in radio
[00:34:10] Halfling: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
[00:34:11] Bobby Nash: and they went to TV and was in comics and was in books. Those are different licenses. So Moonstone had the license to the radio show and the TV show.
[00:34:21] Halfling: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:22] Bobby Nash: So we were allowed to use anything that appeared in those. If it only appeared in the comics of the novels, we weren't allowed to use it. Those were a different license. That's why the books rarely used the people like Casey and the detectives. And so it was that kind of thing. So we have that license, you usually get a bible that says, here's what you can do, here's what you can't do, here's what we don't want to see.
[00:34:48] Bobby Nash: Cuz sometimes the licenser can go, we don't want stories that do this, no stories with a green horn, it gets shot. That kind of thing or whatever. They may have other stuff in production we don't know about, or we've seen that story, we just don't wanna do that story anymore. That kind of thing. And so they send you this Bible, you read the Bible, you write a pitch.
[00:35:11] Bobby Nash: Because doing a license tie in, you not only have to pitch to the publisher and the editor and publisher sign off on it, you still have the people that own the license have to approve it and. They can come in and go, yeah, we don't like this, we don't like this guy, or we don't like this guy's story. No.
[00:35:31] Bobby Nash: And so even if the publisher liked it, you may not get to because the licenser didn't, or vice versa. So there's extra steps. And so there's less of that, what I talked about earlier, where changing stuff later in the story, there's less of that entire in fiction because you have to stick to the approved plot.
[00:35:51] Bobby Nash: You sent them, the approved pitch you sent them. So yeah, so you get to do that. And there's, you know, there's, like I said, you get a Bible, here's what you can do, what you can't do. And you know, and then if it's something that's preexisting, I ran out and I watch it or breathe it. At the time there was no way to legally watch the Green Hornet TV series. I did find some places that had like, Where you could buy like a DVD of them, you know, where someone had recorded them off tv. So I got those and I watched those and cuz you wanna get the character sounding right and how, you know, how they act and how you mannerisms all that stuff, because there's a lot of those things that, you know, just like they do in the TV show, let's roll.
[00:36:33] Bobby Nash: Cato needs to be in there somewhere because that's in every episode. And so that kind of stuff. And so you research it that way and you then you go, you do it and then the, you send it to the publisher and it get, goes through edits and then they send it up the chain to the license holder and they give it a polish and they can either go, Ugh, we really don't like that.
[00:36:53] Bobby Nash: Or that doesn't work with established lore. Cause sometimes it could be that you write something, then they go, no, no, no, no, we've established he's an only child. You can't give him a sister.
[00:37:03] Bobby Nash: That kind of thing. So,
[00:37:04] Spaceman: unlike Spock, you can't give him a sister.
[00:37:07] Bobby Nash: Exactly. Yes. Yeah. And tie-in fiction too. It's like, I always use Star Trek as an example.
[00:37:13] Bobby Nash: When people ask about, writing tie-in fiction, the original series especially, and, and the next generation mostly starts with them on the bridge. Life is good. A boatload of bad things happen. We solved the problem. At the end of the episode, we're all on the bridge, happy and flying off to our next adventure.
[00:37:33] Bobby Nash: That's media tie writing. I can't break those toys. I can't kill Spock unless Spock's alive at the end of the episode. I can't blow up the black beauty in the Green Hornet unless I've repaired the black beauty at the end of it. You know, um, a buddy of mine, Sean Taylor, said this once in a panel and it always stuck with me.
[00:37:55] Bobby Nash: He says, the rule is this. Don't blow up Cleveland. We may need that later. And that's always stuck with me when it comes to doing tie-in fiction. I am just telling a story and I can't break anything. If I break it, I bought it. You know? And so, yeah. But knowing that going in, cuz it, it doesn't, I've heard some people say, doesn't that limit your creativity?
[00:38:21] Bobby Nash: Cuz you can't just do what you want. And I don't think it does because I think because you have those constraints of I can't do this and I can't do that. You have to be more creative to tell a compelling story within that smaller, you know, box of whatever you can do. And I've been doing it a while, so I've kinda learned that what I do is the first five ideas I get, I just ignore 'em because they're probably the five easiest ideas that popped into my head.
[00:38:52] Bobby Nash: Which means I'm probably not the only person that thought of that idea.
[00:38:55] Halfling: Sure.
[00:38:56] Bobby Nash: So I usually tend to throw those out and then come at it from a point of what are the characters doing. That's where I always start with what are the characters doing. Like almost every first line of every book I've written, or every story I've written starts with the character's name and then what they're doing or what they're feeling.
[00:39:16] Bobby Nash: Like. Bobby Nash was having a great day,
[00:39:18] Halfling: Right,
[00:39:19] Bobby Nash: line two, then all hell broke loose, you know? But yeah, so I always like to get into their heads, see where they're at, and then drop the character and go, okay, I wanna do this. Great. If I drop Zorro into this story, what happens? And then, you know, and some of them, when there are, that they're tied to certain either time periods or like the Green Hornet is in the sixties.
[00:39:44] Bobby Nash: Cause we were writing the TV show, so it had to be set in the sixties, so there were no cell phones, so you have to make sure you're sticking to that world, you know, doing Zorro. It had to be in that time period where, Spanish, California and that era.
[00:40:00] Bobby Nash: And so you work it in to make sure that the plots fit the era. But then what kind of story do I get when I drop that character into that plot? And that's where the fun comes in, is trying to figure out what to do with those because again, I can't vastly change the characters, so I have to get to know the characters and so that they can act, you know, in how they act.
[00:40:23] Halfling: Well,
[00:40:23] Halfling: I wanna kind of get back to your journey, because I think our listeners are very interested in how people got from their starting point to where they are now. With that in mind, what would you say was your starting point for your career? And what was the first thing you did after you decided, okay, I'm gonna be a writer.
[00:40:44] Bobby Nash: Well, the first thing I ever had that was printed, you know, we did some stuff in high school with the, uh, not, not the newspaper, but like a literary journal,
[00:40:52] Spaceman: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:53] Bobby Nash: and we did a couple of those. And I wrote some stuff for those. So that was technically, I guess, my first published work. I did some small like stuff with some friends.
[00:41:03] Bobby Nash: We were making comics and you go out and we'd sell 'em at conventions, they weren't getting a wide distribution, but we were selling them local and things like that and I did comic strips for a kids' magazine that was a monthly insert in the local newspaper, and I did those for 12 years.
[00:41:22] Bobby Nash: So once a month for 12 years, I did comic strips, so those were fun. Those were cool. But my first quote unquote, professional, like where someone paid me, I remember I was working a job that I absolutely just was ready to get a, you know, it was, it was not, it was not fun. I, I was just, ugh, I was miserable.
[00:41:41] Bobby Nash: And I go home one night, I remember it was a Friday night and I had just had the most miserable week at work, and I went home on Friday night and I was living alone at this time I was in my early twenties. Anyway, so I go home one Friday night and I get on the internet and this was back in the dial up days. So after waiting to get through, I looked up, I was like, I gotta make something happen. I've gotta get some work. I've gotta write something. So I go to every comic book, and this was before I'd ever thought about doing a novel, by the way. So just, I'm a comic writer.
[00:42:17] Halfling: mm.
[00:42:18] Bobby Nash: I gotta find a company who will hire me. So I went to every comic book publisher, no matter how big, no matter how small, they had a website and if they had an email address, I emailed them, said, here's who I am, here's what I've done. Yes, I was very naive. I was very foolish to think that would, you know, but I did this and I think I probably sent off 60 emails. Like I said, some of these were very small publishers, but
[00:42:45] Bobby Nash: I sent off about 60 emails. I received one reply and it was Apri reply from this company that says, Thank you, you know, for showing us what you've done and all this. And unfortunately we are actually a very small publisher and we're actually shuttering.
[00:43:01] Bobby Nash: But thank you. And I was like, okay, so, well that was a bust. And I went on about my life. About a year later I get an email from that same guy and says, Hey, our book is coming back with this other publisher. Are you still interested in trying out , our writer's not following us.
[00:43:20] Bobby Nash: Are you interested in, well, actually it was Scriptor cuz the artist was also the owner of the character and so he plotted it. And so I would write the script based on his plot and art. And I was like, sure. And so I did a couple of issues, like there was a two issue story I did on spec as kind of a try out and they liked it and they hired me. And so, Suddenly I have a professionally printed book in my hand,
[00:43:48] Halfling: Woohoo.
[00:43:49] Bobby Nash: which helps you at the next level. Because if you go up to a publisher or an editor and you're talking to 'em and you say, hi, I'm a writer, and they're like, the first question is, what have you written? Almost always the first question they're gonna ask.
[00:44:05] Bobby Nash: And if you start going, well, I'm kind of working on my first book now, and I Mm, it's coming along and, and we all kind of fumble over that. You can literally see the glaze go over their eyes. You know, and because really it is a catch 22, nobody wants to be the first person to hire you, but nobody wants to hire you if you don't have experience.
[00:44:24] Bobby Nash: But if you go up and you talk to a publisher and editor and they say, what have you written? And you put a book in their hands, You've earned a minute because the first thing they're gonna do is flip it over. They're gonna look at the back, they're gonna flip through some pages, especially if it's a comic, they're gonna flip through, check out the art you've bought yourself a minute.
[00:44:42] Halfling: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:43] Bobby Nash: And so I had that. So that allowed me to find a little bit more comic work. At this point I was working on what would be my first published novel. And so same thing. And when you're published in comics and you write a novel, you're still a newbie writer. Because I talked to several people, it's like, oh, I've been published for years doing this.
[00:45:06] Bobby Nash: And they're like, yeah, that didn't count, because it's not the same thing. So writing comics and writing novels, publishers were like, yeah, those are apples and oranges that cuz you can do one doesn't mean you can do the other. But I sold my. First novel to a truly horrible publisher. They're not in business anymore.
[00:45:25] Bobby Nash: But I signed a contract for seven years. They had my book, they put the book out with the most horrendous cover ever known to man.
[00:45:36] Halfling: Oh,
[00:45:37] Bobby Nash: And oh, it was a miserable experience from start to finish. But, you know, I had a book in my hand, and so I, same thing. I used that book to talk to other publishers. So having the book, even though the experience was horrible on the personal and business side of things, I was able to get work at other publishers doing stuff because I had this book. And so, yes. Getting the experience, having something tangible helps. And so it was kind of a stepping stone and so, I was doing work that way.
[00:46:13] Bobby Nash: Now it's a little easier today because you can actually self-publish your own book and show that to publishers because you've got something in your hand. Wasn't really an option when I started,
[00:46:25] Bobby Nash: like it is today. The attitude toward doing it yourself. Publishing is more accepting than it was, you know, back when I was starting.
[00:46:35] Bobby Nash: Um, back then it just meant, oh, you're not good enough to get hired by a real publisher. So, you know, you're just doing it yourself. Whereas now people are like, no, you're an entrepreneur, you're a small business owner. It's more accepting and really that's what writing almost is, or any creating, you're pretty much a small business owner, what you guys do.
[00:46:52] Bobby Nash: You're technically a small business,
[00:46:54] Bobby Nash: you know,
[00:46:55] Bobby Nash: and.
[00:46:56] Halfling: I don't know, if we would even, go that far.
[00:46:58] Spaceman: No, no, no. Halfling and despite the fact that, you know, we are doing this because we love the community, we have to approach it like a business. You have to be structured, you have to have deadlines, and you have to get out there and you have to meet people and you have to network.
[00:47:12] Spaceman: So,
[00:47:14] Bobby Nash: Mm-hmm. And that means doing it when you don't feel like it,
[00:47:16] Spaceman: absolutely. Yeah.
[00:47:18] Bobby Nash: you know? Yeah. that was a game-changing realization for me. Cause before I was published, I wrote when I felt like it, and that doesn't work these days. Now I'm here at this desk at least six or seven days a week, mostly seven days a week. You know, it may not be all day, all seven of 'em, but I'm at this desk doing something. But also to your point, I mean, yeah, you're doing it like a business, but you're also. Doing all the other things. Like you don't just record a podcast and you're done. You've gotta do the editing, you've gotta do the production, you've gotta do the cover arts, you've gotta do the promotion, the marketing.
[00:48:00] Bobby Nash: You're going to conventions, you're talking to potential guests, you know, sometimes, you could be talking to potential sponsors or there's all kinds of stuff that goes with that. I wish I had known when I was in college, cuz I would've taken more business classes.
[00:48:16] Spaceman: That's one of the things that we've talked to about with a lot of specifically writers, but pretty much everybody. They talk about the hustle and a lot of people getting into anything creative, but especially writing, they don't necessarily comprehend the amount of hustle. Because publishers just don't do what for you what they used to, and so you have to do it for yourself.
[00:48:39] Spaceman: Actually.
[00:48:39] Spaceman: You have to do it for them,
[00:48:41] Bobby Nash: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I have talked with publishers now, when I'm talking to 'em about doing something, one of the questions they will ask me is, what is your marketing plan? Because, they don't send you on book tours anymore. They don't, you know, they promote you when the book's available for the bookstores to order it.
[00:49:00] Bobby Nash: They promote it the day it comes out. Then they're onto the next book. It's really up to us as creators to do all that because really, who cares more about our product than us anyway?
[00:49:11] Spaceman: absolutely.
[00:49:13] Bobby Nash: So we're out, beating the bushes. Like I said, evil ways came out in 2005.
[00:49:18] Bobby Nash: Here we are in 2023. I still promote evil ways, all these years later, because it's still on sale. I take it with me to conventions. All these things that I'm doing just to kind of get the word out there. But, but yeah, there's a lot that goes into the, you know, oddly enough though, like the writing is probably the least thing I do time-wise, probably.
[00:49:39] Bobby Nash: Like, recording is probably the least thing you do
[00:49:42] Bobby Nash: time-wise.
[00:49:42] Spaceman: Absolutely
[00:49:43] Bobby Nash: It's all this other stuff that's important that you have to do. But when I'm doing admin work, I'm not writing,
[00:49:52] Bobby Nash: But it's all part of the business of getting these things done because I'm a one man band, for the most part.
[00:49:58] Bobby Nash: I mean, I have cover artists and I have editors and stuff to that take some of the burden of things that help. But I mean from the business side, I'm a one man band. I'm writing the press kits, I'm writing the press releases, I'm updating the website, I'm posting on social media.
[00:50:14] Bobby Nash: I'm setting up my convention appearances. I'm ordering book. I'm doing all that stuff because it's part of the business. And that's where treating it like a job really came in handy because I had to learn how to structure that because you can get so wrapped up in all this other stuff that has to be done and you realize, I've worked 10 hours today and I haven't written a thing.
[00:50:39] Bobby Nash: And Yeah. And so, you know,
[00:50:41] Spaceman: I wanna circle back to the comic book. Was that your big break? Or do you consider another one of your works to be your big break? The thing that really got you established.
[00:50:52] Bobby Nash: the comic. The comic was a break. I don't know if it was a big break because it didn't lead to a lot of work.. I think probably the book that came out that was probably the biggest break was Evil Ways. My first novel,
[00:51:04] Bobby Nash: my first published novel, because up until from like 89 to 2004 when I sold Evil Ways, or 2000 when I started writing the comic, I was working, but it was sporadic.
[00:51:17] Bobby Nash: It was here and there. It wasn't a lot, it was just, you know, there was a little here, a little there. When I sold Evil Ways in 2004, it came out in 2005 and I have not slowed down since 2005. So my career probably got a bigger boost from Evil Ways than it did from the Demon Slayer comic.
[00:51:40] Bobby Nash: plus, I didn't own the comic, so there wasn't a lot I could do outside of, I wrote this and I promoted that I wrote this, but, I couldn't control when it came out. I didn't have any control over any of that and it came out kind of sporadically. But whereas the novel I own, well, the publisher at the time had a, bit too.
[00:52:00] Bobby Nash: But it's my characters, it's my work. I own it. I can talk it up or share it. And when my contract was up, I did not renew it. I took it elsewhere. Actually that's kind of where my self-publishing journey started was with Evil Ways. Because once I got my rights back, now it was, again, that was seven years.
[00:52:19] Bobby Nash: So I had been doing stuff for other publishers. When I got the rights back to Evil Ways, I shopped it around to other publishers and I didn't find anybody that was interested. That was where we were on the same page. There were a couple that were interested, but they wanted to do some stuff I didn't care for in terms of design or whatever?
[00:52:37] Bobby Nash: And so at that point, the self-publishing, the create space, you know, which is now Amazon now owns that. And I decided to just, to keep it out there, release it myself. And really there was no plan on self-publishing beyond that. I was quite content to write it, give it to somebody else, let them worry about covers, let them worry about edits.
[00:53:02] Bobby Nash: I wanted Evil Ways out. So I did that. And so eventually I said, I do wanna write the sequel. So I did that. And so then I wrote something else that uses some of the same characters. I said, well, those don't need to be at different publishers, so I'll do that. then, Something similar happened with the snow books.
[00:53:17] Bobby Nash: I had written it for a publisher and then they went under and I got the rights back and it was like, I could retool it or, you know what, I'm just gonna do it myself. So that's kind of where my own publishing company started, and it was not something I'd planned. I just kinda fell into it. But yeah, no evil.
[00:53:37] Bobby Nash: I probably got a lot more traction outta evil ways than just about anything in those early days. Now there have been stuff after where you do something for a larger publisher that gets more eyes on you or stuff, but, but yeah, like I said, if crappy is that publishing experience was, had I not done it, I don't know if the other stuff would've happened because there's a clear line of evil ways led to this, which led to this, which you.
[00:54:03] Halfling: Right. Right. Well, what would you say has been the biggest challenge for you over the course of your career and what have you done or what did you do to overcome that challenge?
[00:54:16] Bobby Nash: Well, probably the biggest hurdle I face every day is me. Man, getting me to sit down and get started working is the hardest thing to do every day. Especially if I get on the internet, I'm screwed.
[00:54:27] Bobby Nash: Um so
[00:54:29] Spaceman: don't go to TV tropes.
[00:54:31] Bobby Nash: yeah, God, don't go to YouTube.
[00:54:33] Spaceman: Yeah.
[00:54:35] Bobby Nash: So once I get started I'm fine, but in terms of the career I didn't have a clear plan.
[00:54:44] Bobby Nash: I didn't, when I started, I didn't have a plan. I just was like,
[00:54:48] Bobby Nash: cause I didn't know, again, most of this stuff was self-taught, so, My thought was, a publisher hires you, they'll just keep hiring you. And that's not necessarily the case. Or just because you got a book, other opportunities will just naturally flow to you.
[00:55:07] Bobby Nash: That's not always the case. You still have to get out and do the networking, get to know people. Now, that was then, I've been in this a while now, so I've worked with enough publishers now that sometimes things will come to me and go, Hey, we're doing this. Would you be interested in being part of it? Like that's how the Zorro thing happened or the Green Hornet thing where it's like, Hey, we're doing Green Hornet short stories.
[00:55:32] Bobby Nash: Would you be interested? We'll pay you X amount of dollars for a short story. And I'm like, great. That pays the phone bill. You know? So there's, again, that's small business, mindset sometimes kick in, but yeah, so stuff like that is like you, the challenge is, You have to keep getting yourself out there.
[00:55:50] Bobby Nash: Like, like Roger said, uh, the hustle.
[00:55:52] Halfling: Mm.
[00:55:53] Bobby Nash: You have to get people to know you. I even after all these years, I still feel like I'm hand selling almost every book, because every day I'm posting stuff to social media. I'm going on podcasts, I'm doing conventions, and when I see bumps and things, oh, I talked about that on social media yesterday.
[00:56:15] Bobby Nash: Obviously somebody saw it and goes, oh, that looks interesting, and they bought a book, that kind of thing. So I still feel like I'm doing that. People aren't just like in drug, unlike Stephen King, millions of people are not waiting patiently for my book to hit and then pouncing on it.
[00:56:29] Bobby Nash: I have to like point them to it. Yes.
[00:56:32] Spaceman: Well, at least now you can say, you know, the Halfling and the Spaceman, and
[00:56:36] Bobby Nash: There you go. See,
[00:56:37] Spaceman: that and five bucks will get you some coffee at Starbucks.
[00:56:41] Bobby Nash: Right. But I'm sure there are people listening to your podcast who have never heard of me.
[00:56:45] Spaceman: Absolutely.
[00:56:46] Bobby Nash: if nothing else, if they go and at least go to my website and look, it may not be to their liking, but at least Oh, but you never know. They may go, oh, that sounds interesting. Let me, you know?
[00:56:58] Halfling: Yeah.
[00:56:59] Bobby Nash: yes, it's, it's one of those things, you do whatever you can to get in front of people and doing events and things like, and I love that stuff too.
[00:57:07] Bobby Nash: So that helps. I love, as you guys notice, I like to talk.
[00:57:11] Spaceman: You know, and we like to talk to people, so that works
[00:57:13] Bobby Nash: yeah. Well, yeah. Well, it is good to have podcast guests that talk. I used to co-host a podcast and we had a few guests on over the years that you'd ask him a question. They go, yeah,
[00:57:27] Halfling: Very monosyllabic.
[00:57:28] Halfling: yeah,
[00:57:29] Bobby Nash: kind of need to
[00:57:30] Bobby Nash: give me some more. And so, yeah. So.
[00:57:33] Bobby Nash: But yeah, so, but those were the kind of hurdles early on, I didn't realize like, you know, there's always that talk about breaking into the business that before anybody's ever sold anything that's, it's almost like a magical thing of breaking into the business. And I say, so what happens after you break into the business with your first sale?
[00:57:54] Bobby Nash: And it's almost kinda disheartening to tell them that then you have to break in again,
[00:57:58] Halfling: Mm-hmm.
[00:57:59] Bobby Nash: because having one book does not necessarily mean that the next one's gonna be easier to sell. You still have to get, I mean, the publishing industry is weird, it seems, and I don't know if it's they do this on purpose, but it seems like they, they seem like they're actively trying not to hire people.
[00:58:19] Bobby Nash: I mean, cuz you really, they make you jump through a lot of hurdles and there's a lot of, you know, um, now granted they all, every publisher has their guidelines or what they're looking for. Not every publisher publishes the same type of thing. So, you know, doing your research comes in handy. So those are the type of things that over the years have been hurdles of getting through the wall to talk to someone at the publisher.
[00:58:46] Bobby Nash: And, you know, it gets a little easier when you have a nice, resume or I've done these things, winning awards helps, or I've done this or other things I've done, you know, has helped and, you know, kind of get you through the door to at least talk to a person.
[00:59:06] Spaceman: I have a question for the Halfling did you make people jump through hoops like that when you were editing Crimson Streets? No really?
[00:59:15] Halfling: No.
[00:59:15] Spaceman: How sadistic were you?
[00:59:18] Halfling: I would not use the word sadistic, but you know, I mean, crimson Streets was horse of a different color because, the big thing for Crimson Streets was that we were providing a venue for writers who were just getting started and looking
[00:59:37] Halfling: for a place to get their work put out.
[00:59:40] Halfling: So I was pretty liberal in the stories that we accepted. There were definitely some that I had to turn down and I tried to give, constructive criticism about, but
[00:59:50] Halfling: no, I'm, I would not
[00:59:52] Bobby Nash: Mm-hmm.
[00:59:53] Halfling: the words
[00:59:54] Spaceman: I, I,
[00:59:54] Spaceman: I would prefer to imagine you with your magic staff just banging the table because people are not writing right.
[01:00:01] Bobby Nash: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
[01:00:02] Spaceman: writing? Right?
[01:00:02] Halfling: now.
[01:00:03] Bobby Nash: Well, well, well see. I think that that's a good thing too because see, as she said, their goal, they were looking for new
[01:00:09] Bobby Nash: writers.
[01:00:10] Halfling: Mm-hmm.
[01:00:11] Bobby Nash: When you get up to certain sized publishers, I don't wanna say levels cuz that's a different thing, but size, you get up to a larger publisher, there are a lot of people that are submitting that are not polished
[01:00:26] Bobby Nash: yet. Like some people think my first book should be sold to Simon and Schuster. And while that can happen, you know, learn, you know, like me, I learned a lot working for smaller publishers and kinda step laddered up a little bit. And I still work for small publishers too, so I'm not knocking small publishers.
[01:00:45] Bobby Nash: I love small publishers. You're allowed to, you're allowed to be a little more creative I think, because smaller publishers are more willing to experiment with things or try something new or try something different. But when you get up to a certain sized publisher, they want people that are polished, have a bit of a backlog or have a following or have this.
[01:01:12] Bobby Nash: And so as a newer writer, it is hard to get past that entry point,
[01:01:19] Spaceman: absolutely.
[01:01:21] Bobby Nash: and yeah, and these days, like you have to know when is a good time to approach 'em. These days, never submit anything. In December, publishers that I've talked to, publishers hate December because people do NaNoWriMo and submit their first draft thinking it's done because they wrote it in November.
[01:01:44] Bobby Nash: Say, no, no, that's your first draft. Now go polish it.
[01:01:47] Bobby Nash: And not everybody does that. So they get inundated with first drafts. In December that the editors and they have to turn it back, you know, turn it down because it's not ready.
[01:01:58] Bobby Nash: Um, yeah. So that kind of thing. So there's those ins and outs and you know, cuz I think, you know, I've never done nano cause I do this every day, all year long.
[01:02:08] Bobby Nash: I've never done that NaNoWriMo thing. But, it is pretty cool to write a story quick and I've done that. But I once wrote a hundred thousand word novel in three months.
[01:02:18] Halfling: Wow.
[01:02:19] Bobby Nash: do that again.
[01:02:19] Halfling: Whoa.
[01:02:21] Bobby Nash: I did it for a publisher on a tight deadline early in my career, and I will never do it again that quick.
[01:02:27] Bobby Nash: But it was, ugh. But yeah, I mean, that was like, I ate, slept, read, and I worked a full-time job
[01:02:33] Bobby Nash: and
[01:02:34] Halfling: My goodness.
[01:02:35] Bobby Nash: so yeah, that one about killed me. That was rough. And, uh, yeah. But those are the things that, you know, like I said, they're, it's not like they're actively going. We don't want to hire people. The publishers want you to be as polished as
[01:02:49] Bobby Nash: possible
[01:02:50] Spaceman: Right.
[01:02:50] Spaceman: Be Be ready. Yeah.
[01:02:53] Spaceman: But you know, we've talked a little bit about where you started. We talked how you got your big break, you got your first break, and then your big break and how you developed that. Can you tell us about anything you've got going on that's coming up? Anything you're excited?
[01:03:07] Bobby Nash: Oh, sure. Yeah. Well, there's always, like I said, this is my job now, so there's always stuff in the pipeline. I do balance between working for publishers and doing my own stuff. I have several things that are at publishers that'll come out eventually. I just don't know when.
[01:03:24] Bobby Nash: Again, sometimes small press moves a little slow. The pandemic did not help. So there's a lot of stuff that's in production of, at some stage that I just don't know about comics and novels and whatever. But I just had recently come out, , Valhalla Books books launched the first two books in a horror western series I'm doing for them.
[01:03:47] Bobby Nash: These are novellas, so they're shorter. Like the, I find small presses great, like those, the paperbacks we read in the seventies that were a couple hundred pages, you know, 150 whatever. So we're doing that. And so it's a horror western. So they released the first two books together and then we'll do a book a year going forward, as long as it sells.
[01:04:08] Bobby Nash: Um, so that just came out. I have a story, and this is what I'm very excited about. I have a story in the Kolchak: The Night stalker, 50th anniversary, hard cover,
[01:04:17] Spaceman: Ooh.
[01:04:18] Spaceman: ooh,
[01:04:18] Bobby Nash: you know, Kolchak's. Yeah,
[01:04:20] Bobby Nash: I, I like col check. So I've gotten to write Kolchak twice. Uh, the first one I co-wrote a story with Paul Berg and there's two different versions of Kolchak.
[01:04:30] Bobby Nash: This was the modern day where it's like Kolchak in 2023 or it was 2022 when I wrote it. So Kolchak has a cell phone and he can't use it, doesn't know to use it, but he has it that kind of thing. So it's modern day. The anniversary one is set during the timelines of the books and the TV show.
[01:04:49] Bobby Nash: So for that, yeah, so I got to write a story that was set before he goes to work for the paper. He was a war correspondent in Vietnam, so I wrote a story that takes place while he's doing that in Vietnam, which was a lot of
[01:05:06] Bobby Nash: fun. And yeah, so I got a lot of research of Vietnamese folklore.
[01:05:12] Bobby Nash: Monsters and whatnot.
[01:05:13] Bobby Nash: That's, you know, in, in their folklore. And yeah, that was fun. I had a blast doing that. That was cool. And so those are out now. There's always snow books coming up. I am working on book seven of that series now. There'll be, the third Sheriff Meyers book, called Standing on the Shadows will be out sometime later this year.
[01:05:34] Bobby Nash: And those are all kind of things. Those are books I do myself that are kind of that crime, thriller, actiony kind of thing. And they're all part of this same world with evil ways and deadly games. And snow, they all live in the same world. So sometimes secondary characters crossover. And like Sheriff Myers, for instance, started in Evil Ways.
[01:05:54] Bobby Nash: He was a secondary character in Evil Ways. He was a character, wouldn't lemme me go. He kept knocking on the back of my head going, when do I get my story? And so finally a story clicked that he was perfect for. And so now we're doing a series with him. And so things like that are always coming.
[01:06:08] Bobby Nash: I know at some point this year there's more domino lady coming both, prose and comics from Moonstone. I don't know in in-store date yet, but I wrote a six book comic series for a educational publisher called Abdo. They do a lot of stuff for libraries as well and it's six standalone comics.
[01:06:32] Bobby Nash: It's crime fiction set during actual historic events.
[01:06:38] Bobby Nash: And so yeah, so they gave me six historic events that I do a fictional crime story during that event. And then we do real facts about the event at the end of the book. And so one of 'em was like the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The blackout in New York in 1977 during the Son of Sam, uh, stuff.
[01:07:03] Bobby Nash: One happens on the Titanic. One happens during Hurricane Katrina. One happens during the bombing of Pearl Harbor and one happens during the explosion of Mount St. Helen's.
[01:07:13] Halfling: wow.
[01:07:13] Bobby Nash: Yeah. There's a lot very research heavy to,
[01:07:18] Bobby Nash: you know, because you want the real facts, cuz the crime story is fake and the characters are made up, but the other stuff had to be real.
[01:07:25] Bobby Nash: And, you know, to come up with six different crimes, like, I didn't want each one to just be a theft. You know, I came up with six different crimes and so those have been written, they're with the artists now, so I don't know when those will come out. Those were fun.
[01:07:40] Bobby Nash: And yeah, so there's always new stuff.
[01:07:41] Bobby Nash: I'd like to do more tie-in stuff. That's always fun. Yeah.
[01:07:44] Spaceman: well, that leads us to our basic wrap up question is where can people find out about you and where can they get your work?
[01:07:53] Bobby Nash: Ah, okay well, bobbynash.com is my website. There's links to everything there. I have an Amazon author page you can get to. So almost everything's on Amazon. We do hard covers, paperbacks, e-books, audiobooks, there are, the stuff I published through Ben Books myself, are on, KDPSelect. So if you're, or Kindle Unlimited, sorry, Kindle Unlimited.
[01:08:16] Bobby Nash: So if you subscribe to that, you can read any of the stuff that I do myself through Ben Books for free.
[01:08:20] Spaceman: Mm-hmm.
[01:08:21] Bobby Nash: I also have an online store that you can get to through bobbynash.com. It's a square site store. Where you can buy autographed books directly from me. If there's a book I haven't uploaded there yet, you can always just contact me and go, do you have this?
[01:08:37] Bobby Nash: And if you have PayPal, I can do that as well. So I do stuff like that. And if you buy stuff from me, I tend to draw on your envelopes, which it's about the only drawing I do these days. Yes. The people at the post office love it. It's become a thing. So it's, uh, yeah, something I did just for fun once turned into a Yeah.
[01:08:55] Bobby Nash: But I love it. I, I love doing the art. So that's, that's a lot of fun. And you can see those are all on the website too. Cause I'll take a photo and put 'em up and those are fun. So I've had people buy stuff from me online just to get the art. They don't charge for that. That's just a freebie I've taught, you
[01:09:10] Bobby Nash: know,
[01:09:11] Bobby Nash: and yeah.
[01:09:12] Bobby Nash: And so I'm there. I'm on all the social medias I have, @BobbyNash on Twitter. @BobbyNashWrites on Instagram, author Bobby Nash on Facebook. I have a Patreon page. It's patreon.com/BobbyNash. I do a lot of serialized work there. Novels that are in progress, like right now, the seventh Snow book, they get a chapter a week.
[01:09:33] Bobby Nash: Deadly Deals, they get a chapter a week. Plus, , if you're in the $5 and up tier, get the ebook of the month-ish club because I've run outta back stock. So now it's not every month, cuz sometimes I just don't have stuff. But at five bucks, if you don't mind scrolling through a few years worth, there's an ebook of almost everything I've done on
[01:09:54] Bobby Nash: there.
[01:09:56] Bobby Nash: So yeah, you could get the whole catalog for five bucks. If you're quick, you can get all that in a month.
[01:10:01] Bobby Nash: So I have that. So I try to post stuff there. I do a writing blog almost every day and stuff like that. But yeah, so that's me. I have a Pinterest page.
[01:10:09] Bobby Nash: I think it's Pinterest. At Bobby Nash. And I have all, I, yeah, I'm out there.
[01:10:14] Bobby Nash: Yeah, I've had to, ease off with some of like, I haven't done TikTok or some of those. I have an idea for a TikTok one. Um, cuz I, cuz I
[01:10:23] Bobby Nash: created this, well I created this town in county Summersville, which like Snow and Sheriff Myers is the sheriff of that town And Evil Ways took place in that town.
[01:10:34] Bobby Nash: And I thought about doing one of those, remember the old unsolved mysteries where Robert Stack would be standing in a location and go, this is the corner where, and I've thought about going cuz I based a lot of this fictional town on the town I live in. I've thought about doing that and going to just places that I use or I set scenes in the novel in a fictionalized version of that and just doing little five minute, unsolved mysteries of my books and go, yes, on this corner, this is where this happened and blah. You know, I, so I, that, that's one I'd like to do. But that takes time planning and, you know,
[01:11:11] Spaceman: And you're gonna need a fedora and a trench coat.
[01:11:14] Bobby Nash: probably Yes, yes. And, uh, but yeah, and, and I gotta work on the voice too cause it's gonna be a little bit of a deeper voice cuz you know, cuz ha my high-pitched southern accent doesn't quite convey the unsolved mystery part, like Robert Stack's Deep Voice. But stuff like that's always fun.
[01:11:31] Bobby Nash: And, but I do a lot of stuff on social media. I post, I don't just post ads. I post, you know, for my books. I do what I'm watching on tv, what I'm reading, things like that. I love to share and I share other people's stuff. And so I try to make it more, it's not just a buy my book site cuz people get annoyed with those,
[01:11:52] Spaceman: All. All right, we'll have to quit begging people for Patreon support then.
[01:11:56] Halfling: Yeah.
[01:11:58] Spaceman: Well, Bobby, thank you so much for coming on today and talking with us. We've had a great, great time. And thank you for telling us about your journey, and I'm hoping that other people can find inspiration in the things that you have done.
[01:12:12] Bobby Nash: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Yeah. I guess if I had to boil it down, this would've been a much shorter podcast, but I've just done this if I wanted to. If you boil it down, it's like just, don't give up. Have fun with it and then, if you wanna be a writer, you can be a writer. It doesn't have to be your career if you don't want it to be, you know, I know a lot of people that don't want to go through the. This is their job. They're happy with what they do. They wanna write for fun. And that is absolutely a viable thing. So decide what you want your career, your trajectory with writing to be, and then do it and have fun with it.
[01:12:48] Bobby Nash: And I think, yeah, it can be a lot of good.
[01:12:52] Bobby Nash: See that, that could boil
[01:12:53] Bobby Nash: that down to a five minute podcast. Look at it.
[01:12:56] Halfling: well we wanna thank all our listeners for tuning in today and we hope that you've all been enjoying and have become perhaps inspired by Bobby Nash.
[01:13:07] Halfling: And we want to give Bobby a huge thank you again for joining us today. It's been a lot of fun..
[01:13:14] Bobby Nash: Oh, I've had a blast. Thank you. so much.
[01:13:17] Spaceman: And this is the spaceman of the Halfling and the Spaceman over and out.
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