07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Interview with Gifted Teen Writer Nic Q.

Welcome to Romancing the Genres, Nic! Thank you for doing this Guest Interview for our Highlighting Young Writers Month.

Tell us a little about yourself. What inspired you to start writing fiction?

I am fourteen years old, turning fifteen in over a month, and will attend L.O. High School next year. I first began writing fiction in the second grade, but, since it was many, many years ago, I cannot remember just what my main inspiration was. 

Over the years, however, my inspirations for fiction pieces have included works like Star Trek, Star Wars, The Hunt for Red October, and others.

What’s your favorite place to write? 

I generally prefer to write in a quiet place with computer access where I can feel comfortable and at home. My room fulfills all of those requirements, so I generally do most of my writing there.

Tell us about your latest writing project.

I am presently working on a science fiction novel, which is for the moment untitled, that is set in the far future. It tells the story of a naval officer fighting in a centuries-long interstellar war that has long since degenerated into a long, protracted stalemate, with a corrupt totalitarian regime using it to stay in power. The protagonist finds himself caught in a covert resistance movement attempting to overthrow the government, while simultaneously attempting to end the war through any means necessary. I have actually been developing the plot, characters, and setting for several months now, but due to the pressures of school and recent surgery I have been unable to make much progress.

What was the last great book that you read?

Just a few months ago I read H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds and found it to be quite a good read, even though some elements appeared scientifically dated or outright absurd.

What types of scenes (dialogue, action, romantic) do you most enjoy writing and why?

I enjoy writing description, as it allows me to vividly flesh out and elaborate upon the detailed minutiae of my fictional worlds.

Who has helped you most as a writer? What did they do?

All of my teachers since the beginning of my formal education have helped enormously with my writing ability, helping me to refine my work while simultaneously giving considerable support and encouragement. My teacher last year was especially helpful, and I am actually maintaining an email correspondence with him to assist with my novel.

Are your friends writers, too?

Some of them, yes, but they are not quite as interested in writing as I am. However, both of my parents are dedicated writers.

Where do you go for writing help?

Usually I consult online sources (no particular site, just whatever comes up on Google), my parents, or my teachers whenever I encounter difficulties when writing.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
I hope to finish and publish my science fiction novel by the end of high school. Beyond that, I simply aspire to be at least moderately successful as a professional writer.

What question would you like to ask the writers in our audience?

What is the easiest way to get one’s writing published?

 I hope you get some thoughtful answers to that question, Nic. thank you for sharing your experiences and perspective as a young writer with our audience.


Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for contributing to RTG, Nic!

As a lover of Science Fiction stories, I can see why an SF writer would need to enjoy writing description. The great story worlds are mind-boggling!

As for your question about getting published, I'd say the 'easiest' way to get published is to hone your craft, find mentors and finish the darned book.

The great author/publisher/writing instructor Bob Mayer says, "There are many roads to Oz." Each writer's path is unique. Not many are quick or easy. This is not a career for the thin-skinned, the impatient or the faint-of-heart. But those who persevere can be successful doing what they love.

BTW, Bob Mayer writes SF and military-related stories, as well as non-fiction for writers. He's a former Green Beret. His publishing company, Cool Gus Publishing, loves to find good military-related stories. I'm just sayin...

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Nic,
Lovely to find out about your writing journey, and you are only 14, that is amazing.
My one piece of advice is, persevere, believe in yourself and your writing, and never ever give up on your dream of publication.



Shobhan Bantwal said...


Coming this far at 14 is very impressive, indeed!

As for getting published, besides what Sarah mentioned, I'd advice you to keep reading books that are similar to yours and find out who the authors' agents are. I found a terrific NYC agent via this method. Also, good critique partners are one of the most valuable resources a writer can have.

Wish you lots of success in your future endeavors.

Deanne Wilsted said...

Hi Nic....
How great to see such a dedicated writer at such a young age. There's little I could add to the already wonderful advice given, other than to surround yourself with other motivated writers. If you haven't already found Young Willamette Writers it might be a good place to start. They also have a contest every year... a wonderful tool for getting great feedback.

I wish you a ton of success in your writing, school, friendships, and life... so exciting that the world is open before you (and, because of your genre, other worlds too:>)

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Nic,

You've some great answers to your question about becoming published. The first answer, obviously, is to write a Great Book!

I attended a conference where the keynote speaker was Terry Brooks, an award winning, best selling author. What I took away from his talk (and in reading his book on writing) is the concept of 'working on our writing'. According to Mr. Brooks (and I heartily agree) when the plot, characters, setting, etc. are percolating in the back of our mind or we are gazing off into space as aspects of the story float around in our brain, we are working on our writing.

There is more to writing than putting the words on the page, although to become published we eventually need to get that accomplished.

And, the challenge with directly answering your question about the easiest way to become published is there are so many 'it depends'. But always first is to write the best story you know how and to make sure it is as perfect grammatically, etc. as you can make it before it is published.

With your drive and determination, I'm sure your goal of having this story published in the next few years is doable.

Linda Lovely said...

Hi, Nic--I'm impressed with your dedication to writing at your age. And dedication/perseverance is one of the keys to publication. My advice is to stay positive. I don't know a single published writer who hasn't received multiple rejections from agents and/or publishers during their careers. Based on your reading interests, you also might consider writing some "fan fiction" shorts to start establishing your online credentials.

Diana Mcc. said...

Write the best book you can. Have your book edited professionally, write a query letter and a synopsis and begin sending your book to agents and editors. Enter contests as a lot of editors/agents are judges and are looking for new talent. All the best as you pursue your career in writing.

Paty Jager said...

Welcome,Nic! I think all writers start at an early age. It's something we have to do to find our inner peace. Congrats on following your dreams.

Nic the Great said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nic Quattromani said...

Thank you all for your insight, advice, and encouragement. I do very much appreciate it, and shall keep your comments in mind as I move forward in my writing this summer and through high school.
A few specific responses I have:
Sarah Raplee, thank you very much for posting my interview responses online and providing an opportunity for me to receive plenty of helpful feedback.
Deanne Wilsted, thanks for telling me about Young Willamette Writers. I'll have to look into it sometime.
Diana Mcc., I'll definitely try to enter into some writing contests. Thanks for the advice!
Overall, I would like to once more thank all of you who shared your wisdom with me. Your insights are very helpful!

Maggie Faire said...

Hi Nic. I am DEFINITELY impressed with your dedication. You are indeed fortunate to have two parents who are also writers.

I began my writing career in SF and submitted short stories to a number of magazines. It is a great way to do three things at once: 1) find out how your stories and writing craft compare to what the market wants to see; 2) get paid for your writing; and 3) begin to get your name out there.

If you ever decide to try your hand at short stories, drop me a line and I would be happy to give you a list of places to submit. From what you describe as your writing and your interests, I think it would fit really well. Your Mom knows my email. :)