Monday, September 27, 2010

Author Interview and Blog Tour with Scott Nicholson (plus Kindle Giveaway)

Today we welcome supernatural thriller author Scott Nicolson to My Reading Room.  I'm participating in Scott's Blog Tour and he's giving away a Kindle and some other goodies to one commenter during the blog tour, so read the interview, and then check out the end of the post for information about how to enter the giveaway.  I will have a review later in the day of The Skull Ring.

NOTE TO ALL:  Though the interview talks about the horror genre, please know that the one book of Scott's I have read so far, The Skull Ring, is very low on the blood and gore spectrum.  Think of it more in the supernatural thriller genre and he's right when he says in the comments below, there is a lot  more gore in James Patterson books than in The Skull Ring.  I plan on reading more of his books and expect the same.  So don't let my use of the word horror frighten you away - Scott is an author worth trying if you like thrillers with a supernatural element.

How did you celebrate when you found out The Red Church would be published?
I jumped out of my chair. After all those hundreds of rejections, it was great to get the phone call. I figured it would happen sooner or later, because I was going to stick with it, but it might have been much, much later. Validation!

How would you describe your books to others?
Usually “supernatural thrillers,” but it depends on where I am and the crowd I am in. Sometimes just “thrillers.”

Where did the idea for The Skull Ring come from?
It was an attempt to write a more conventional suspense novel, with no supernatural elements. But it’s still set in the Appalachian Mountains like my other books.

Who do you think has influenced you the most to write in the horror genre?
Probably Stephen King, just because he happened to be a great writer and the most commercially successful writer on the planet. And I loved those old mountain ghost stories my grandmother used to tell.

What made you decide to write horror novels?
It was partly because there were so many horror short story markets, so I had some sales, and figured I would be able to find an audience from there. And I guess the supernatural just interests me because of all the spiritual mysteries.

I think I read my first horror novel when I was about 13 (Christopher Pike and soon moved to Stephen King), my son is already reading Goosebumps books at 8, when did you first read a horror novel?
I jumped in without knowing it, reading The Exorcist and The Sentinel at a very early age, two religious-themed horror novels. So I guess the die was cast since I also like religious or spiritual overtones.

Did you plan your books out or do you just write and see where they take you?
I usually have a general idea but I never outline. I like to see where I will end up.

Do you get time to read? What are your favorite types of books to read?
I love to read but I do so much reading on the Internet, keeping up with books, bloggers, and publishing changes, as well as all I have to read as a newspaper reporter, that I have to do most of my “reading” on audiobooks. But I usually work on several books at once.
What is your favorite room in your house?
We love the kitchen but I spend most of my time in the main room, where we have desks and computers. There’s a big picture window and an undeveloped mountain, and my neighbors are horses and cows. It has white walls and pine floors and glows when the sun shines.
What is your favorite spot to read in?
Bed or the bathtub.
What is your favorite snack food?
Popcorn or chips and homemade salsa.
What is your favorite season?
Do you have a schedule for writing each day or do you just do it when you can?
I work best when I have a couple of hours every morning but life doesn’t work that way right now, so I just do it whenever I can.
Where do you do the majority of your writing?
At my desk at home, but I will work on my laptop if I am too mobile.
Did you find writing The Skull Ring to be difficult or did the book just take off with no problems?
It was fairly straightforward and I didn’t have to revise it too much. I would like to bring Julia Stone back and maybe make a “cult buster” character out of her, since it takes her the entire novel to gain her strength and will.
Any book signings/conferences/public/blog appearances in the near future?
This blog tour is about all I can think about right now. It’s more fun that going to big conferences where so much is going on, it’s hard to keep up with it all. I will try to do one big event a year and I teach at occasional writing workshops. I also run a comic-book show so that’s another place I meet readers.
Do you have a new book in the works?
Right now I am collaborating on a novel called “Cursed” with J.R. Rain. It will be out in November. 
Anything else you would like to say?
This tour has been a wonderful chance to meet readers and bloggers, and I appreciate all the comments. I’ve learned a lot and I wish I could give everyone a Kindle. Don’t forget to sign up for my Inner Circle newsletter to increase your chances of winning a Kindle and other future prizes. And don’t forget to leave some form of contact info in the comments in case you win.

Thanks so much for agreeing to do an interview with me.
Thank you, Crystal.

Scott Nicholson is author of The Skull Ring, Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, and nine other novels, five story collections, four comics series, and six screenplays. A journalist and freelance editor in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, he often uses local legends in his work. This tour is sponsored by Amazon, Kindle Nation Daily, and Dellaster Design.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free ebooks to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. And, hey, buy my books and put me in the Top 100 and I’ll throw in another random Kindle 3 giveaway. Thanks for playing. Complete details at


Anonymous said...



Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Scott!

I love Stephen King, but I have to say I was in high school when I first started reading his novels and novellas. The most scariest of the all to me is The Stand.... *shivers*

Thanks for a great interview!!

Dottie :)

Bibliophile said...

My first horror novel was "Psycho", and I found it very very creepy, but the book that made me lose the most sleep was "The Exorcist". Two very different stories - one supernatural and one not - and of the two sub-genres the supernatural can still give me the creeps.

Randy said...

Shoot. I'm too old to remember what my first thriller was.

Inspired Kathy said...

Thanks for entering me.
bkhabel at gmail dot com

Paul McMurray said...

Pick me! Thanks Scott.

Neal Hock said...

Another great interview! The Skull Ring is a great thriller.


debbie said...

I also love stephen king. The stand influenced me so much as a teenager. It even helped get me started in what I do now, (study pandemics and influenza). You can imagine my shock, I actually heard one of our goverment officals do one of the things in the book. It gets a little creepy when life imitates this particular form of art.

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

stephen king always scared the bejeesus out of me!! LOL

hancoci_s at msn dot com

sailorwind said...

I long ago ran out of witty things to say.

sailorwind at gmail dot com

Carol said...

You have to be really disciplined to work at home. This blog tour is a great idea. Who knew there were so many interesting book blogs?

Ashley said...

Im entering! Day #27?


Also don't forget to check out my amazing giveaways located at the top of my blog posts.

Ashley's Bookshelf

author Christa Polkinhorn said...

I am rereading The Red Church at the moment, still one of my favorite books of yours. The Skull Ring is great, so are The Drummer Boy and your short stories and As I Die Lying is an absolute hit!
Great book blog, by the way. I love that cozy picture of the easy chairs, makes you want to read.

pippirose said...

Great interview!
I began reading horrors when I was 10, and my first one was Rosemary's Baby (from my mom's secret stash).
Then Mephisto Waltz...Excorcist, The Sentinel. Boy, do I feel old!!

Inanna said...

OMG Christopher Pike! He began writing in 1985... how young ARE you? :)

Maureen said...

Please enter me.

mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Rabid Fox said...

For as many people who dismiss Stephen King's novels, I find there are that many more of us who appreciate his work and are even inspired by it to create our own.

Rabid Fox said...

Whoops. Forgot to add my e-mail.


This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharon S. said...

Stephen King was my introduction into horror. I started when I was about 12-ish. Salem's Lot....good stuff

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Scott, I am still following you. lol.. Skull Ring sounds like a great book and I am adding to my ever increasing wish list.
Hope I am a lucky gal and win the Kindle. Trying to read ebooks on the puter is taxing to be sure.
Thanks again for your great books.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Candace said...

Great interview! It was nice to get to know Scott in a little bit of a different way.

candace_redinger at yahoo dot com

Monster A Go-Go said...

Good morning, Scott (well, it is here out west...). I think I finally figured out why your neighbors and town folk constantly shun you, are unfriendly and have on occasion tried to stone you while you've been in the town square. It's because of your shocking and uncalled for callous disregard for them as fellow human beings! Oh my stars!

You wrote: "my neighbors are horses and cows"! Jeepers, Scott! How utterly rude. Just because your neighbors aren't as sophiticated and (ahem) "attractive" as you are, does not give you reason to call them names. Sure, Edna Heifervas, your neighbor to the south, is rather large (HUGE, even)and has NO business wearing spandex pants - and is constantly chewing on something --- but to out and out call her a "COW"??? Shocking!

And Art Clydsdale, just because he has buck teeth (and some nasty big toenails), is no cause to call him a "horse".

Geez, Scott! I am so surprised and outraged by your flippant, cavilier attitude. (Of course, I'm sure the citizens of Boone have names for you as well! How shocking!)

Why can't you mountain folk all just get along? Pass around a jug o' 'shine with your neighbors. Have a good time with them! (Just make sure you avoid stepping in Edna's "paddys" on the way home...)


chey said...

Hi Scott,
I read my first Stephen King novel before high school. And other novels that scared me!
This is a wonderful blog tour!
chey127 at hotmail dot com

Eric said...

Oh - a colaberation book coming out in November, aye Scott? Looking forward to that!.

calseeor (at) gmail (dot) com

Regge Ridgway said...

Lol monster. I dig Stephen king also and am reading the dome now. Reading in the bathroom Scott? Really. Reg

monapete said...

Great giveaway! Great author!

monacart32 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I have to confess, horror and supernatural thriller are NOT my genres for reading. But Scott's tour is a lot of fun so I'm gamely making my way through The Red Church.

So far, the thriller part is good, but I can do without the disgusting descriptions of yuck and gore. Do you guys really like reading that kind of thing?

I do like science fiction and political/historical thrillers though.

Yet another fun stop on the tour.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cathy M said...

Another great interview, Scott.
Stephen King was my first horror writer with The Stand, and that storyline still resonates with me.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

sohamolina said...

contact info:

justpeachy36 said...

Sign me up for the Kindle...

Kristie said...

I went through a Stephen King phase in college. I like horror, well except for the blood and gore kind. Ick! Psychological suspense or paranormal are all good.


Nickname unavailable said...

The first horror novel I ever read was Salem's Lot. Horrifying. I re-read it about 20 years later to see if it had the same effect on me did. Too bad Stephen King's movies are so campy, people who don't read his books really have no idea how terrifying his stories really are.

Jeff said...

I was surprised to learn that Stephen King has many non-horror works as well. I loved the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" and was very surprised that the story had been written by THE "horror author!" I also got my copy of UR as one of my first downloads on my new Kindle (at the time) by Stephen King because I heard of it from Stephen Windwalker.
After getting my Kindle, I quickly became a member of The Kindle Nation and have shared Windwalker's Kindle books with many friends who were contemplating the purchase of a Kindle. The Kindle is very possibly the best Christmas request I ever made!
I am a subscriber to (of?) The Kindle Nation Daily, and would tell anyone with a Kindle that it is worth all 99 pennies I spend a month on it! It keeps me up-to-date on "all things Kindle," has introductions to many authors (like Scott), announces free downloads of books that I would never have looked at in a bookstore, and I feel very well taken-care-of.
I am really learning a lot following this tour Scott! Thank you for your efforts!

Jeff White

Anonymous said...

Another interesting stop.

Nadine stacypilot at yahoo dot com

Andrea I said...

Still enjoying the tour.

Estella said...

I have never read a Stephen King book. Have read Dean Koontz.

Estella said...

Forgot my email.

kissinoak at frontier dot com

coriwestphal said...

What a fantastic way to get people aware of your name and your books! Thanks for the generous giveaway!

coriwestphal at msn dot com


as new books are accepted, do you find yourself feeling the same joy as you did with the first?

Patty said...

I am entering now...

Jason Fedelem said...

Thanks for the tour, Scott.

web at

Douglas Dorow said...

Love all Stephen King books. Reading Scott Nicholson's Drummer Boy now.

If you can't give a kindle to everyone I guess I'll just have to accept this one on everyone's behalf. Maybe we could share :)

Great tour Scott. Not only learning about you but lots of great sites as well.

Anonymous said...

Good interview!

booklover0226 said...

I can't recall the exact story but it was from Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories for Late At Night. A little boy had a small town terrified because he could "think" them into the garden if they displeaseed him!

Yeah, I'm still haunted by that story....

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

author Scott Nicholson said...

@Dottie, Debbie I loved The Stand but I don't think I found it "scary"--I guess because I can't believe in the devil. The military virus stuff, THAT was scary.

@bibliophile I haven't yet psycho yet--need to fix that.

@Christa one of my great pleasures of the tour has been exploring the wide world of book blogging. the diversity and energy are amazing.

@Innanna a gentleman never says...but I still read some YA books

@monster why call her a cow when I might get some milk if I'm nice?

@lorraine if you want some non-yucky Scott, try my YA collection Flowers--but I stand by my conviction that I am far less disgusting than James Patterson

@Jeff, I agree, Windwalker is a genius and you can also get Kindle Nation Daily FREE by visitngt he blog and signing up for the newsletter--of course, he's a sponsor of the tour but I'd say that anyway!

Douglas, stay tuned on the October leg to find out how I am hoping to add MORE free kindles to the pile!


Weston said...

The Skull Ring was good and its good to hear about the small things in life that other writers do. Keep up the good work.

Wakincade AT gmail DOT com

Monster A Go-Go said...

Scott re:"@monster why call her a cow when I might get some milk if I'm nice?"

You called her a "cow"--not me. And if you want to make "nice' i'm sure you'll get all of the milk you can handle. Although, I've seen your neighbor Edna and, oh gawd, she looks as if her milk is well BEYOND its expiration date. Eeeew! Just thinking of you and her playing naughty dairy games has my stomach curdling! Nasty! But to each his own...Moo Moo, big boy!

linz said...

Thanks for the giveaway!


lingeorge said...

I started reading Edgar Allen Poe in the 6th grade, and fell in love with the genre.
troublelore @ gmail .com

Cathy W said...

Great giveaway! Great author!
cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Sophia said...

Wow thanks for the giveaway!


Candy's Creations said...

Great interview Scott

Kippoe said...

My first was The Shining

Brenda said...

Your home sounds nice with the pine floors and mountain view. I was wondering if your blog was labor intensive, but I'm glad to hear it's also fun. It's fun to follow. I really wish you hadn't mentioned that homemade salsa, though. We used to make it with fresh tomatoes and it was amazing. varbonoff22 at cox dot net

YzhaBella (aka Kate) said...

The Skull Ring sounds like a great read! I too am not real fond of the horror type blood and gore, but Julia Stone's story sounds action packed with suspense and the type of mystery that keeps you on your toes!

Great interview!

Kate aka YzhaBella

Tala said...

The Skull Ring is interesting.

talaminari @

Tala said...

The Skull Ring is interesting. Thanks for the post.

talaminari @

dor said...

The Skull Righ sounds awesome.
I used to read Dean Knootz alot.
Thanks for being part to this awesome giveaway. Would be very interesting to read on a Kindle.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

heatwave16 said...

I am so bad when it comes to horror. I enjoy it, but I am such a wimp since I need to read it or watch it during the day. :)


Linda Kish said...

Thanks for the chance to win.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Stefanie said...

I started out reading Christopher Pike too.. I must have been 12 or 13.. Great post!

deanna said...

I would LOVE a Kindle DX. Thanks for the opportunity to win one! :)

P.S. Click on my name for my contact info. ;)

byonge said...

Keep the blogs coming.

Anonymous said...

Stephen King's "Carrie" was my first horror novel, recommended by my high school librarian.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only author that doesn't write with an outline! LOL

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

Icedream said...

I know many people like yourself who enjoy reading in the bathtub but I just don't know how you keep from getting your books wet.

waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

May said...

Entering, stalking and being politelly nice, leaving a comment more than 3 words long :)

mayarend -at-

floating said...


Gail said...

I don't remember what my first supernatural thriller was... but I remember as a kid watching 'Shock Theater' on Saturday afternoons, and the TV series 'Dark Shadows'.
Gail in Florida
cowgirl3000 at gmail dot com

author Scott Nicholson said...

@Brenda the posts take a little time but i use a portion of each day for promotion and meeting people online so this is just part of it all. Thank goodness for the Internet!

@lingeorge Poe is always cool, especially in october

I tell you, "horror" is an incredibly hard label to shake, because of all the preconceptions about it. "Blood and gore" are the first words most people associate with it, but I don't really employ a lot of that. Hopefully my children's book and comics will help broaden the old "brand name"

Beth said...

Scott, your book tour has taken us to the nicest places. I really enjoyed reading this blogger's post about banned books: Think for yourself and let others do the same, indeed.

wordygirl at earthlink d0t net

stacey said...

Hay Scoot Thanks For the Chance to Win a Kindle.

booklover0226 said...

I enjoyed the interview; it was interesting and entertaining.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

CindyWindy2003 said...

I've always loved thriller books since I was a kid, anyone else remember RL Stine and Christopher Pike, lol, now its more than stephen King. I do not like James Patterson's style of writing though, thanks for the chance!

Margay said...

Hey, Scott, I know a lot of us readers are enjoying this tour, too!


Horror Books said...

Hello Lorraine,

You asked in your post if we -- and by we, you me those of us who read horror, a lot -- really enjoy reading the parts with the yuck and gore. Well, I can only speak for myself but yes, I do.

But I never really thought about why. I'm certainly not what anyone would call a blood-thirsty person in real life.

And I have to say that I can't stand blood and gore thrown in just to make a feeble story seem interesting. It doesn't work and makes me feel manipulated.

However, if someone in a story gets hurt, I feel like it cheats us of the emotional power of the scene to turn away from it.

Does that make sense?

This is something that maybe I need to think about some more.

Thanks for the chance to win,
Greg the Undead Rat

theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com

Hank Brown said...

I don't have a "man cave" yet, but I do have a "man corner" and that is my favorite spot to read, write, and sit staring blankly at nothing.

Twitter: MachineTrooper
machinetrooper at gmail dot com

Michael L. Martin Jr. said...

Cool interview. I also never found Stephen King novels particularly"scary". But I don't scare easily. Not that everyone else does. But I've just never been afraid of monsters and things that go bump in the night.


Teawench said...

My steel sieve memory doesn't allow me to remember what my first horror book was. But I've loved reading them since grade school!
teawench at gmail dot com

Kimberly K. said...

It is really cool to find out what inspires this author to write his books.

Kaitlyn (Kaitlyn in Bookland) said...

I haven't really read many "horror" novels, but I can't wait to read Scott's!


Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...

I'm old enough to remember when comic books cost 10 cents; started reading horror in comic books way back when they cost a quarter.
Then watched every episode of Twilight Zone. And screamed at Psycho (even though a friend told me what would happen).
Looking forward to being scared by YOU.
bmcbroom at gmail dot com

A.P. Fuchs said...

I got into horror when I was 18, started writing it when I was 19. It was a good fit with my “inner self” at the time. Most people think of horror as just “blood and guts” and that’s it, when that’s far from the truth. The gore part is only a piece of it. Horror is about human relationship with itself during times of terrible crisis, how it acts under pressure, and exploring the darker parts of our hearts, which is something we all have. It’s about facing what we’re capable of in times of stress, whether human-inflicted or through some other otherworldly means.

It’s an amazing genre that, I think, needs to make a big comeback.

Coscomentertainment [at] gmail [dot] com

BLOOD OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIE FIGHT NIGHT just $2.99 for the Amazon Kindle. Grab your copy here!

ylime1981 said...

Emily ebdye1(at)gmail(dot)com

hendy said...

Great interview, what was your favorite ghost story your grandmother told you when you were a child?
hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

Doreen said...

I remember Stephen King's 'IT' being scary!! Killer clowns...yeah it's intense. :) I love horror movies, anything gore since my Dad sat me down at 2 yrs old watching 'Halloween' and I still LOVE it! :)

purposedrivenlife4you at gmail dot com

JerryGilreath said...

jerry at jerrygilreath dot com
or jerry.gilreath at gmail dot com

Jesse said...

I think my first "horror" book I've read was a Dean Koontz book, "Dragon's Tears". I have to confess that I have never liked Stephen King's books. I have tried two of his books and could never finish them. The only one I've finished by him was "The Eyes of the Dragon" which was absolutely fantastic and wasn't a horror novel!

Great interview!

conrad.jd (at) gmail (dot) com

author Scott Nicholson said...

@Beth I regret i didn't make a blog about banned books. Thank goodness for all the libraries that fight for freedom and for the Internet that has made sharing info so easy

@CindyWindy, glad you found the tour!
@ Greg thanks for sharing your experiences as a reader

@Tracey D I read a lot of those Alfred Hitchcock Presents collections! Thanks for the memories.

@sandy I still enjoy writing and living in the stories. Once they are done they turn into work!

@hendy I talk about those old ghost stories on other parts of the our so stayed tuned!

@AP thanks for explaining that

@Jesse Koontz's Dragon Tears was a cool read.


Ima said...

I missed a few days of the blog tour-- trying to play catch-up!

Wonderful interview. Looking forward to reading The Skull Ring.

dreamer dot ima at gmail dot com

EVA SB said...

I read a lot of James Herbert's horror as a teenager. They caused me a few sleepless nights.[@]gmail[.]com

vindel said...

Wonderful idea!


Kim said...

The Exorcist is the scariest movie of all time and the book was even better:-)

skeltons3 at

jessica said...

I've read a couple of Stephen King's books but not all of them. The last one that I read was The Cell. These types of books are good for Halloween.

Tom said...

Thanks Scott!

tztomfromcali _at_ gmail _ com

author Scott Nicholson said...

Thanks for entering, everyone, entries here capped at 98 but please feel free to comment.

@Ima, life gets in the way of a good blog tour and that's why you have a week to enter each blog!

@eva Herbert is a great pulp writer--Rats and the Haunted books ware enjoyable

@jessica I didn't enjoy Cell. I realized with horror near the end that I didn't care about any of the characters, remarkable for a King novel

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