We had the good fortune of connecting with Bobby Nash and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bobby, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued a creative career because I love telling stories. There was also the selfish part of me that looked forward to seeing my name on a book cover. Until my brother came along when I was 9, I tended to be on my own for entertainment and playtime. Imagination was key when it came time to play outside or in my room. I developed characters and storylines, shaped narratives, and basically wrote dialogue. Not that I knew it at the time, of course. I was simply playing. Years later, I was able to take those skills I developed and refine them, added structure, and went deeper into character development as I started writing comic books, then later novels, short stories, and scripts. Creating stories, characters, and universes are a passion for me and when I learned that people could do this as a career, I love telling these stories. Writing them down is the best way to get them out of my head to make way for new stories. When I was younger, I started setting goals that would help me break into the field. It took some time, but I eventually got there. Then, there was a new goal, then another, then another. There’s always another goal to reach for. I would like to reach a wider audience with my books. I strive to do that every day. I would love to see my work adapted for the screen. Another goal is to become a New York Times Bestselling Author. All of these are still ahead of me. I still love telling stories. I still love creating new characters and getting to know them. I still get a thrill on holding a book that I wrote. As a job, my creative career has had its ups and downs, but at the end of the day, it is still the greatest job in the world. I love it and I hope to continue doing it for years to come. Bobby
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am an award-winning author (I still get a kick out of saying that). I write novels, comic books, short stories, screenplays and scripts. I am what they refer to as a hybrid author. That means that I work for publishers, but I also self-publish books through my publishing imprint: BEN Books. Being a hybrid author allows me to focus on personal projects as well as assignments for other publishers, which includes media tie-in work, which I enjoy writing. I am also an artist, doing commissions and the occasional sketches at conventions. I am also a part-time actor, working in movies and TV, sometimes with lines and dialogue, sometimes as a background performer/extra. I think what sets my writing apart from others is the characters and tone. I have had people who know me tell me that when they read one of my novels, it read a lot like I talk. I try to focus on character driven stories. Plot is important, but if I start with the characters, then the plots move forward depending on how the characters react to the situation the plot puts in their path. I have made some incredible discoveries by trusting the characters. Some have even led to pretty spectacular plot twists that make the story better. I am proud of the response to my work. Almost all of the responses have been positive. There have been one or two reviews where the book and reader did not connect. Sadly, it happens. Still, every review is precious to me, good or bad. If my story moved a person enough to sit down and write and post a review, then it touched them in some way. I have won a few awards over the years, which is always humbling and exciting. Getting to where I am today took a lot of hard work, long hours, and a few sleepless nights when deadlines loomed. Writing is just part of the job. I have had to learn marketing, promotion, production, cover design, press release writing, editing, formatting, salesmanship, diplomacy, juggling (mostly deadlines), and downright huckstering. Was it easy? No. It wasn’t easy. The challenges were many, but overcoming them was worthwhile. It takes a lot of hard work to succeed in any business. Writing is no different. It goes back to the goals we discussed earlier. If your goal is sales or that bestseller list, it takes a lot of hustle and work. Some writers aren’t looking for that. Set goals that help you reach the destination you want and they will help you get there. I learned a lot about the business of writing once I was neck deep into it. Call it on the job training. There was so much I did not understand when I started. I have learned a lot since those early days. I’ve learned marketing, how to talk professionally to editors and publishers, promotion, production, cover design, pitching, press releases, editing, formatting, salesmanship, talking to people, pushing aside shyness, diplomacy, juggling (mostly deadlines), and downright huckstering. I am my brand. My books are my brand. I work very hard to showcase not only my books in a good light, but myself as well. Today, you cannot simply sell your work. In the age of social media, we are as much our brand as the product we are creating and putting out into the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m such a boring, stay at home kind of guy this might be a dull list. I am a huge fan of the Ninja Japanese Steakhouse (Hamilton Mill and Braselton) and always try to introduce friends to their menu. Fillinni’s Pizza in Atlanta serves up some delicious pizza.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shout out to the indie writing community. I have met so many tremendous writers over the years who have become friends. This community serves to lift one another up, be sounding boards when need be, a shoulder to cry on when things don’t go well, and cheerleaders when they do. There are way too many to mention all of them so here are just a few authors I think you should check out. Each and every one of them has been there for me as a friend, a colleague, and a peer. Many thanks to Sean Taylor, Michael Gordon, Derrick Ferguson, Paul Bishop, Van Allen Plexico, Tommy Hancock, Jonathan Maberry, John Hartness, James R. Tuck, Andrea Judy, Venessa Giunta, Ron Fortier, Milton Davis, Robert Jeffrey, Darin Kennedy, Patrick Dugan, Dan Jolley, Gary Phillips, and so so many more. There’s an old saying that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” The writers mentioned above, and the many others I didn’t have space to name individually, are proof that this saying is true. These writers are indeed part of the rising tide and I’m grateful for each and every one.
Other: http://www.ben-books.com http://www.patreon.com/bobbynash http://www.abrahamsnow.com