Q1: When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most now and currently?
Nick: I wrote a story about a yellow car, for my grandma, when I was 4 or so, can see the picture I drew for it now!, and have been at it, sporadically, ever since. As a kid, I tried writing like everyone I was reading – Stephen King and Ray Bradbury particularly lit me up in my early teens, the Dune books too – and nowadays, I’m a soup of everything I’ve ever read, from Virginia Woolf to the sides of cereal boxes.
Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Nick: When I was 11, 12, I had an English teacher at school, Mr Sidney McMinn, who’d boil over with enthusiasm for the ‘Creative Writing’ stories I wrote, and encouraged me to read them to the class. That undoubtedly helped!
Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?
Nick: My friends David Gladwin, Tony Black (no relation), Jim Biss and Raj Krishnian have helped immensely, reading endless neurotic drafts, tweaks, rewrites, punctuation changes… (Thank you!) Career-wise – lots of lit mag folk and fellow flash fiction writers have been beyond-generously supportive (especially Steve Campbell, editor at Ellipsis Zine), and Jude and John at my publisher Ad Hoc Fiction are the reason I have a book in the world.
Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?
Nick: I grew up in the suburbs of North London, in a very secular Jewish household. That culture, and locations from that part of London, feature in several of my stories. I spent four consecutive summers in California, when I was 9-12, so have always had a deep fascination with and openness to American popular culture, too.
Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?
Nick: I wrote a story called ‘Even Dead I’m Neurotic’ that achieved more than anything I’d written previously. (It was published online by Open Pen https://www.openpen.co.uk/even-dead-im-neurotic/ in 2017, and is now in my collection, with another linked story…)
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Nick: Listening to music, loudly.
Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing?
Nick: The opening line of a story called ‘With Her Soft Hat On’ (also in my collection): ‘“Oh, you make my heart clap!” I blurt but it’s true, with her soft hat on I’ve not seen in months.’
Q8:What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration?
Depends on what I’m writing.
Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, etc that you would like to promote?
My debut story collection, ‘POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE’, is out now, via Ad Hoc Fiction’s website https://www.adhocfiction.com/2022/06/positive-and-negative-nick-black/ and Amazon worldwide https://www.amazon.com/Positive-Negative-Nick-Black/dp/1915247128/
Bonus Question: Any funny memory or strange occurrence you’d like to share during your creative journey?
Nick: There’s a story behind the dedication to my book… but another day!
Bio: Nick Black’s writing has been published in lit mags including Okay Donkey, Ellipsis Zine, Lost Balloon and Jellyfish Review. His debut collection ‘Positive and Negative’ has just been published by Ad Hoc Fiction.