Today’s answers come from Nick Cutter. Nick’s book, The Troop, was published in February. This one caught my eye because of the description: Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later—and all-consuming—this tightly written, edge-of-your-seat thriller takes you deep into the heart of darkness and close to the edge of sanity. It sounds terrifying. The sort of thing that you read under the covers, with the lights on.
And now, for Nick’s answers:
WN: What kind of reader will enjoy your books?
Cutter: I think in this specific case, lovers of thrillers—particularly horror thrillers—might get a kick out of the book. It’s a pretty … hmmm, “raw” might be the best word. A raw book. It’s sort of an homage to the horror I grew up reading in the 80s and 90s, and that stuff was strong medicine.
WN: Stephen King blurbed your book. What was it like on the day that happened?
For writers of my generation (and earlier ones, and surely later ones too) Mr. King tends to occupy a lot of space on our bookshelves. As a concerted horror reader myself, I had whole racks on my shelves full of him. So it was the most wonderful shock I could imagine. As I’ve said elsewhere, it’d be the equivalent of Michael Jordan showing up at your pickup basketball game, pointing at you and saying, “Hey, you’ve got a pretty sweet jump-shot.”
WN: What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?
Cutter: The only advice that has stuck with me—that isn’t really insider-y and peculiar—is that “writers write, and read.” So you write a lot and read a lot. Put your butt in that chair and get your work out. Every day. Weekends, too. There’s no trick to it. It’s the simplest equation there is: butt in chair, write.
WN: What’s on your to-be-read list that you can’t wait to get to?
Cutter: I’m looking forward to digging into Robert R. McCammon’s Swan Song shortly.
WN: What is your writing style? Pantser? Plotter? A mix?
Cutter: A mix. There’s always a rough plot (not a written outline, just some forethought about the scenes I’m going to write and a sense of the characters), but that allows for seat-of-the-pants additions as I go along.
WN: What question did we not ask, that we should have? (Our past participants sometimes provide an answer, sometimes not. It’s up to you!)
Cutter: I think you’ve about covered it!