Interview & Giveaway: Nicholas Sansbury Smith

There are times when you find an author on a whim and get blown away. This is what happened to me when I picked up Hell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, it was totally an unexpected hit for me in the past year. Due to this book I have been on the search for his other series and so far I have read Orbs (review to come) and Extinction Horizon (review to come) and have enjoyed all of them. While they may share some similar elements all of the series stand out in many different ways. Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:

Nicholas Sansbury Smith



You have a work history with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management to author, why the change? Did your work experience prepare you to be an author?
I was ready to focus on writing and had the opportunity so I took the leap. Yes, absolutely it has helped with my writing. I worked in disaster mitigation and learned a lot about how the government operates during and after a disaster. The knowledge I gained has directly influenced many of my stories. I think my work at HSEMD gave me a unique perspective and I’ve used it to try and create unique stories.

From your Orbs Series to your Extinction series and your new Hell Diver series; series appear to be your go to. What do you think are the main components of writing a successful series? Why do you choose to write a series instead of standalone novels?
I like telling a longer story, and a series allows me to develop characters and focus on world building that I’m not able to do in a standalone. Series are also very popular and have become a trend on Amazon. I personally love reading a longer story that continues with episodes and enjoy writing them as well.

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Great question and a difficult one to answer. I’d probably go with my current co-writer, Anthony Melchiorri. We both have a similar style and work well together, which is very important.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Probably non-fiction. I love researching a story, but I also like the creativity involved in making things up. I’m not sure I would be good at re-telling a true story or writing a biography. For me, the fun is making new material and building new worlds and characters.

Your three main series (Extinction Cycle, Orbs and Hell Divers) all feature some form of mutation of humans, what appealed to you about mutation instead of other horror monster out there to choose from?
A mutated human is more horrifying to me because that monster used to be a human, with a past, and a family, and a career. Can you imagine having some sort of your brain still functioning but being trapped in a mutated, monstrous body? To me, that would be Hell.

I have only read your novel Hell Divers (so far, I have the first Orbs and Extinction books on my nook) but in all of your novels you paint a bleak future not only for humans but the fate of the Earth. Is this the future you see us heading towards? How prepared are you for an apocalypse?
I personally believe humans will continue to survive regardless if civilization collapses. I also think that is very likely to happen in the next century. I agree with Stephen Hawking that we will need to eventually leave this planet if we hope to survive as a species. If we can’t leave earth, we may only survive in small numbers after a cataclysmic event, but humans are very resilient and intelligent creatures that will find a way to carry on life in some manner or another. In terms of the most likely of ways civilization will end, in my opinion, it will be a viral outbreak or natural disaster like a super volcano. When I worked for HSEMD I saw all of the different threats we face as a species, and there are too many to list. It’s quite depressing if you think too much about it.

Hell Divers is probably one of the most unique premises I have read in a very long time. Where did your inspiration come from in the creation of the world and premise of the books? Are you a sky diving enthusiast?
I’m not a sky diving enthusiast, and I’m actually afraid of heights. I like to keep my feet on the ground, and find the concept of Hell Divers, actually terrifying. The premise of the story came from a brainstorming session with my literary agent. I explained the idea and we went from there. I really wanted to do something different than stories about bunkers underground or survivors living in shelters in post apocalyptic settings. At the time I wrote Hell Divers those were the most popular stories. Don’t get me wrong, I love those types of books, but I wanted to do something different. I decided to take humanity to the sky and have the divers jump back to the surface to retrieve parts that kept the ships in the air. The plot developed from there...

X was one of my favourite characters in books that I read in the past year. What went in to the creation of the character?
That’s really cool. I’m glad you liked his character. When creating X, I decided I wanted to write a flawed character that had a fighting gene that wouldn’t allow him to surrender. No matter what the world threw at him, he kept pushing onward. There are a lot of reasons not to like X, but I think the reader still roots for his success by the time they get to the end of book one.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? Personally I’m hoping for some information on the next book in the Hell Divers series, Ghosts.
Ghosts is now available in all formats, and Extinction Cycle, War will be out in November. My next major event won’t be until next year as I’m spending the rest of 2017 finishing up Hell Divers 3: Deliverance, and the Trackers and Orbs series.

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Hands down my favorite book of all time.

I just want to say thank you again to Nicholas for taking the time to be part of my Blogoversary. I know I'm always happy when I can find an established author that I have never heard of before so I can make my way through their books and not have to wait years for the next one. Honestly if you are a fan of Post-Apocalyptic or the world just going to Hell, then you need to check out Sansbury Smith's series, you will not be disappointed. Nicholas has very nicely supplied a giveaway (US) to go along with his interview so make sure to enter in the rafflecopter link below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway