Book Trivia: Interview with Short Story Author J.W. Nicklaus

It’s time to play Book Trivia! Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us. By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows! So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!

Today our guest author is J.W. Nicklaus, author of the short story collection The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between.

the-light-the-dark-and-ember-between1J.W. Nicklaus currently resides in a place not entirely fit for human habitation about five months of the year. No pets to speak of, only the apparitions which all romantics suffer from.
An Arizona native, he’s been from one coast to the other, and a few places in-between. Snow has been featured prominently in his stories, perhaps because of the season-less climate he lives in. Nature was meant to be enjoyed and experienced, not hidden from the senses. So, to that end, he hopes someday to live amongst those who are able to live through four true seasons, and not just blast furnace and warm.

He enjoys the occasional Arizona Diamondbacks game with his son, as well as watching him grow up. The experience of being a single dad has taught him far more about himself than he ever thought possible.
Within the expanse of every waking moment, he hopes his guardian angel keeps its arms open wide and heart ever watchful, for there but for one true Hope goes She.

His personal blog can be found at, and his web site at

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, J.W.! Here are your questions:

If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of (name of your book), how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

It’s nothing short of miraculous how the human spirit can drive the body forward. If inspired to focus on what matters to the heart he could very well keep his attitude up and hope alive. We are social creatures by nature and innately require some level of interaction with others. He may just find the stories provide him the looking glass to peek into his own heart and gently blow on the ember within.

Everyone knows rock star idol Britney Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of. In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

Dear Britney,
How many mornings have you kicked off the covers and wondered who you are? Are you what the public wants you to be, or are you something hidden, a mask you won’t wear for all to see? Who is that stranger in the mirror?

What will your deeper legacy be if the world stopped turning today?

How long can you keep the dark from suffocating the light?

Listen to Aury’s father in Emissary. Be very careful about what you ask for and what price you’ll pay for the results, like in 10:18. What might get Broken that can’t be fixed?

The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between might just give you some food for thought.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

The cover—it has simplicity and quiet strength.

Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show. One catch: You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material. What part would you read?

The opening passage of One Washington Diner; it showcases the deep connections we develop between two people, even under the worst of circumstances.

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book. What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

I’m thinking it would be called something like By Degrees, and would be sold at FAO Schwartz.

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance. What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

Pine tree, because it bears the most symbolic reference to me—prefers northern climates, tall, quiet, and whispers softly when it needs to communicate.

President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it. Through luck of the draw, you were chosen. What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

“I am one American with fifteen stories told. Take the story of every American, native and naturalized, and launch them skyward into the gentle tissue-thin blue that stretches over this amazing country—you could grow crops with the tears from those stories, could educate by simply breathing, could open doors and windows to new ideas with the lightest of breezes.

We, the people, desperately want you to never forget to listen. Our national life is as close as the air around you. We are vigilant, are waiting — we are You.”

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. On stage, you must give an acceptance speech. What would you say and who would you thank?

In my best British accent I’d start with “Thank you, thank you . . . I love you all! Hope I see each of you next time I’m in town! Good night!” then wait for the thunder of feet stomping on the ground and lighters held aloft. Barring that highly unlikely scene I’d genuinely thank all those who helped my words see ink in the light of day, and then repeat the dedication from my book:

To those who have been quietly supportive and encouraging, you have both my genuine respect and unreserved gratitude.

To the concealed yet ever manifest angel watching over me, I need not reveal what you possess, for you already know.

1 Comment

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One response to “Book Trivia: Interview with Short Story Author J.W. Nicklaus

  1. Pingback: Day 20 - The Official Close « J.W. Nicklaus’ Blog

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