Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guest Post: Scott Nicholson - Who Scott Thinks He Is

Who do I think I am?
Scott Nicholson

One of the jobs of the tour is to show “Scott Nicholson,” the human being. Some writers tweet every drunken binge, every divorce, every rejection, and every time they take the cat to the vet.

I’ve always been guarded about my personal life, and in some ways I’ve cultivated a certain aloofness. The bio link on my Web site used to say “Who Scott Thinks He Is,” a clear distancing mechanism that let people know my third-person bio was carefully crafted to present a certain image.

I’m not sure it’s served me well, especially in the “social media” era when it’s so easy for us to make connections. I’ve opened up a little more as I’ve come to realize that being a writer is a core part of my existence, and it can’t really be separated out from the rest of my life.

Truth is, a writer’s life is pretty boring, unless we’re getting drunk and shooting ourselves in the head, or else we’re important enough to dis Oprah and have people actually notice. But I’m okay with a boring life, because mine is an internal life of reflection, not high-stakes adventure or around-the-clock thrills.

I’m a newspaper reporter in my day job, since I’ve not yet achieved the wild wealth and fame sure to follow as a result of the Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour. We’re a small community paper that comes out three times a week, with a staff of two reporters. It’s a great job that affords me a lot of flexibility and allows me to meet a lot of different types of people in all sectors of society. It beats the heck out of working.

When I’m not on the job, I spend a lot of time writing, and this year a good bit of time promoting my books. The digital era and taking responsibility for finding my audience means I have to stay creative and keep building if I want my words to matter. Because they don’t matter until someone reads them.

But I also believe in a simple existence, as befitting my Taoist principals. I don’t have any debt besides the house payment, and I almost always pay extra to chip down the mortgage, because that’s my main financial goal right now.

I love my garden, though this year I neglected it in favor of my digital empire. My garden is about a sixth of an acre, and it’s entirely organic and I use only heirloom seeds. One of my old-age projects is to sell and save heirloom seeds and develop strains that do well in our cool, damp climate. I like the excuse to be outdoors, and I’ve learned a lot by paying attention to the natural cycles both above and below the ground.

I have two chickens. I had 14 at one time, but when I was away on honeymoon, many were carried off. Two is just about right for eggs, but I will probably add one more.

I’ve had goats before, but they always broke into the house and destroyed things, or got outside and tore up the fruit trees. I am developing an oasis in my Blue Ridge Mountain hollow, planting cherries, blueberries, gooseberries, pears, apples, paw paws, cranberries, Japanese wineberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, and Arctic kiwis. We can a lot of our own food, and I cut firewood for our woodstove.

Part of the plan is to pay off the house, be sustainable, and be able to live on less money instead of worrying about “More, more, more.” Then I can write without so much of the commercial pressure that keeps people from their dreams. I used to draw and paint, and I will return to those pursuits when I retire. We want to travel some, but we already go to the coast several times a year, so aside from some overseas trips, I don’t feel like I am missing much.

I already feel like I am “living the dream.” From time to time I will be out in the garden, and I’ll say, “Hmm, even if I had that big movie deal, I’d still be right out here anyway.” I guess that part of wanting to get rich selling books is already taken care of. I don’t measure success as a quantity anymore, though it’s tempting when you can check your sales numbers, ranking, and all the other competitive lists out there.

I measure success as quality. I tell stories. I live well. I try not to hurt anyone, and I follow a practice of compassionate self-reliance–take care of myself and do just a little extra for the person out there who can’t do that.

Not so spectacular, not so romantic, not so extraordinary. It’s who I think I am.


Scott Nicholson is author of The Skull Ring, Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, and nine other novels, five story collections, four comics series, and six screenplays. A journalist and freelance editor in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, he often uses local legend in his work. This tour is sponsored by Amazon, Kindle Nation Daily, and Dellaster Design.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free
to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on
the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and
a Pandora’s Box of free ebooks to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. And, hey, buy my
books and put me in the Top 100 and I’ll throw in another random Kindle 3 giveaway. Thanks for
playing. Complete details at


  1. Thanks Scott for sharing more about who you think you are and who you want to be. And all I can say is that as long as you are happy its a good place.

  2. Hi Scott. Nice to meet you :). Good luck with the garden.


  3. I just gave you the Versatile Blogger Award at
    Hope you enjoy it ! ^_^

  4. i think this entire tour has exposed you to us with this being the most direct. i thank you for sharing yourself!

  5. Great interview. He seems like such a fun and down to earth guy. I'm off to check out his books. x

  6. Nice to virtually meet you :)

    email: on profile
    twitter: simplydab

  7. Thanks for giving us such an intimate peek into your life, Scott.


  8. Apart from the few guys that I knew, that wanted to be millionaires by the age of 30, truly, you have the "American" dream (at least mine). It appears that you selected the right corner of the world in which to have it. My neighbors would definitely frown at my raising chickens, though it sounds to me, like no one should willfully raise goats.

    I enjoy a small garden from which we have had fun making pickles, salsa, and pickled beets. We have produced so few green beans that I marvel that they are so inexpensive at the local grocery. My neighbors shake their heads at my compost tumbler and the low spot in my little yard that I am letting grow tall.
    I wish you success at getting off the grid someday and still being able to go overseas to travel and explore. Sounds like a goal.
    Read you tomorrow,
    Jeff White

  9. Susan, later on in the tour I am talking about my wife and our lives together (she's a puppeteer and community artist) and also interview my daughter about books. I also have some video stops planned so people can see the mountains.


  10. I heard about your blog tour from Doug Dorow of my critque group. Nice job! Now I need to read some of your work. I don't "need" a Kindle. I bought a Sony E-reader, which I really like. of course, I could give a Kindle to someone for Christmas. :)

    Dan Smith

  11. So Scott, I see you're just a regular Joe trying to make a living. The only problem with that statement is how can you be a regular Joe when you have all this wierd scary stuff inside that head of yours. :-)

  12. That's been my favorite thing about this tour so far, getting to know the "real" Scott Nicholson better. When I first started reading your books, I couldn't find out much about who you were. Now I know you're the type of person who would send parts of your body to folks in order to promote a book. Good stuff to remember in the future! :P


  13. Thanks so much for letting us into your life.
    Quite the event. Thanks.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  14. Hi Scott, again!
    One of the great things about a blog tour such as this is not just to find out more about your books but also to get a glimpse of the person behind the stories. And during the new era of the "eworld" and independent publishing, new and meaningful connections are established between authors and readers, which is not necessarily the case when you are published by a big corporation.
    Love your "new" hat and Aunt Rhody - and I'll leave all the funny, hilarious remarks about chickens and goats to Monster A Go-Go!

  15. Great post...

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  16. You're just a cool guy, Scott. Genuine. That's the word.

  17. Great interview!!
    Great contest
    monacart32 at hotmail dot com

  18. I like getting to know you. Thanks.
    Jeff White

  19. Entering, thanks!


  20. It sounds like you pretty much live my dream life. Well, ones of them anyway ;) I love to garden and would love to have the acreage to be able to grow all that good stuff. I wouldn't mind having a few chickens for eggs either. Yep, sounds like a good life to me!

    candace_redinger at yahoo dot com

  21. Hi Scott
    Your garden sounds fantastic! And all the fruit trees and bushes!

  22. I guess our lives are not all that exciting, are they? In fact, boredom was one of my early motivations to creativity. When I can't find enough excitement, I invent it.

    Twitter: MachineTrooper
    machinetrooper at gmail dot com

  23. Hi Scott,

    About today's blog:

    "I’ve always been guarded about my personal life..."

    Well, sir, you STILL seemed rather guarded in this "tell-all." Where was the scandal? Where was the sex? Where are the bodies hidden? Gardening tips aside, I was shocked by all that you OMITTED! Oh my!

    " some ways I’ve cultivated a certain aloofness."

    Don't you mean "aHOOFness"??? I am stunned that you just glossed over your shocking non-stop love affair with goats! Oh, sure... you tried to casually dispell the sordid rumors by stating:

    "I’ve had goats before, but they always broke into the house and destroyed things..."

    But you never really addressed the issue. Those goats ransacked your home out of sheer jealously about your wife...even though your "marriage" is just a mask for the public to hide your strange and obscene passion for cloven-footed cuties! No, you no longer have goats at your place--that would start those ugly, sordid rumors running again. Instead, you have them "kept" in a stable and pen on the other side of town--and you cater to their every whim. That's the REAL reason you are trying to cut down on expenses, grow your own food, etc. -- your goat lovers are very demanding with extravagant tastes! It's all so shocking! (And I won't even go in to the fact that the ONLY reason you work at the newspaper is so that you can SUPPRESS all of those trashy-yet-true stories about you! It's simply mind-boggling how much you cleverly have gotten away with!)

    And that's just the scandalous tip of the Scott Nicholson iceberg! High morals, our long-time deep (ahem) friendship and common DECENCY keep me from revealing any more of your sordid little secrets. But really, Scott--- Next time you are going to open up about your life, let's get to the real dirt.

    Dig it?


  24. You've got a wonderful plan, sounds like you are well on your way to living the dream. Congrats to you Scott.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  25. Sounds lovely! It's nice to see who's on the other side of that keyboard. :)

  26. Well that certainly tells us more about you than any artificially contrived bio. Nice job.

  27. I'd love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

  28. hahah excellent pictures!


  29. Privacy has always been a priority for me but as a writer you have to share yourself with the world. It's a balancing act!
    dancingbetweenthelines AT

  30. Chicken and goats? Very interesting.

  31. Opening up through social media isn't the easiest thing to do, especially when you're so used to solitude and serenity in real life. But I'm adapting, myself, slowly but surely.


  32. Thanks for sharing who you think you are. As long as you are happy, nothing else matters.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  33. Keep it real. Keep it simple. Keep it real simple.


  34. It sounds like you're living the good life. Thanks for sharing a bit about who you are and what your dreams are.

    I like to garden too, and hope to do more of it once we're past the kid years, only about 9 months to go until the last one graduates - yeah! Right now, I only have some herbs on the deck and a couple of pots of tomatoes. I also have a large patch of chocolate mint and lemon balm. Nothing is better than fresh tomatoes with fresh basil - yum!

    We're working on getting to a better place financially. We've had some rough times and extended unemployment, but are starting to see the light of day. Once we have some savings built up again, we want to start paying off the mortgage faster. I'd love to be debt-free before retirement!


  35. The main reason to follow these blogs is to find out what books to buy next. Yet the secondary reason is to find out a bit about the authors themselves. Thanks for sharing yourself.
    troublelore @ gmail .com

  36. Nice to see the simple man with the simple plan come out and say hello, but with the creative juices flowing, I'm sure things are never quite as simple in your dreams. Glad to hear that life is coming to fruition for you.

    Wakincade AT gmail DOT com

  37. Hello!

    I enjoyed the post and look forward in reading your other ones.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  38. Great article. I envy you! I would love to have a garden and grow some of our own food...
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

  39. Being a reporter serves you well. Thank for revealing more of you.

    Nadine stacypilot at yahoo dot com

  40. Ha! Love the chicken! Thanks for the giveaway!


  41. Thanks for sharing. I would love to have a simpler life.

  42. It sounds like the kind of life many of us would love to develop.

  43. This is my favorite blog of yours yet, Scott. I'm looking forward to hearing about Lexie and to seeing the interview with your daughter. We only had that one goat, and were amazed at her ability to destroy. I think that sometimes in our frantic quest to have it all, that we sometimes pause and realize that it's already ours. varbonoff22 at cox dot net

  44. Following the tour. Thanks Scott.

    web at

  45. Sorry my comment didn't make it when I linked up this morning.Didn't mean to sound rude. I've got an e-reader but I'd love a Kindle to give away to a friend.

  46. Thanks for sharing Scott. It's always nice to get to know the author behind the books in a quasi-personal way.

    Congrats on your success thus far! Hope you continue to find happiness in what you do and who you are.

  47. Dan, the Sony reader is pretty cool. The only downside I see is there's not as many content options.

    @Randy it's been weird living several different lives--especially when I feel so normal and yet people think "bloody and gory" because of my supernatural fiction. Because it feels normal to me, thinking weird has never been a shock!

    @Sarah they say all your flaws and dreams are right there in the writer's work--if you know where to look. That's why I think James Patterson is a misogynistic psychopath, and Dean Koontz is a sociopath with a heart.

    I know plenty of people who started gardens int he last few years because of cost, health, and food security. It just helps to be self-reliant where you can, plus I'm a taoist so I stay in touch with nature ( another goat joke, Mr. A-Go-Go?)


  48. Seems like you have a lovely vision for your life. =)


  49. I appreciate your outlook on life, thanks for sharing!

  50. Wow! What a carefree life you have, Scott! :)
    You can reach me at

  51. I so much prefer a boring life myself. I hate the stress that goes along with being too busy.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  52. Great post! I like the life you've created for yourself. Sounds a lot like the one I dream of. I started gardening a couple of years ago but like you, this year I didn't have the time to take good care of it. I'd love to have chickens just for the eggs. I dunno if I could slaughter any for eating. I'd love a cow, too.
    teawench at gmail dot com

  53. I'm excited that I'm part of the blog tour - Nov 11th is the day :)
    Good to hear about a garden tended with such loving care...

  54. I am finding out a little bit more about your life and views in each blog interview. You have made following the Blog Tour more than just a way to enter a Kindle giveaway!!

  55. i wish i had the space for all you are planning! we are putting in a few but have to be dwarf sized.
    fun info!

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

  56. Another facet in the diamond that is Scott!


  57. Oh a job, you say?

    Well, I was wondering what you did for a living (you know, if you actually worked too or just wrote - and that IS a joke, btw).
    I heard someone ask a university teacher once if they also worked or just taught. It's an interesting POV...

  58. Wow!! Thank you for sharing about your life. I'm very impressed with your garden (yummy!).I wish that I could be more self sustaining. I would not want to go completely "off the grid" though. Do you use solar panels for energy or heat? Do you use propane or a generator?

  59. Thanks for opening up about yourself, and telling about your day job. My uncle owned and published a once-weekly county newspaper for over 40 years. I loved going into there, watching my aunt type the Society Column, my cousin doing the linotype, and especially being there on press day helping. I can smell the printer's ink! Another uncle was foreman of the comp. room in a large daily city newspaper. Ink is in my blood ... now it is pixels as in Kindle. Wish I could sponsor a stop on your tour.
    bmcbroom at gmail dot com

  60. I think I am addicted to the blog tour. I keep intending to stop, but I keep coming back. Can't you just tour the same blogs over and over again so I don't keep adding new RSS feeds? Or visit blogs that no one could possibly like or that aren't regularly updated? Thanks!


  61. Following the blog tour - please enter me.

    baychriz at gmail dot com

  62. "they say all your flaws and dreams are right there in the writer's work--if you know where to look. That's why I think James Patterson is a misogynistic psychopath, and Dean Koontz is a sociopath with a heart."

    Yes!! Yes!! So true... Writing (even fiction) is so personal, it reveals much about the writer and the core of their being. So the scary part is, Patterson has a huge following! Is that because people read to escape- or because they can identify with him at the core level?

    Anyway, thanks for giving us a glimpse into the calm, content life of Scott Nicholson.

  63. I'm following your bloggy tour Scott! Hope to win a Kindle! :) I'm enjoying your tour.

  64. Enjoyed getting to know more about you, your country life sounds similar to many of my friends here in the country. The only thing is every time I look at that picture it causes me to be very concerned for that chicken.

    waitmantwillie at hotmail dot com

  65. Okay I love Oprah but I'm think your next adventure should be a Dis Oprah movement, what better way to promote yourself and your books
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  66. I always wanted some fruit Trees but now I live in a apartment know yard.don't have enywhere to but one.

  67. what are heirloom seeds? I was also debt free until last year when I had a surgery and am now in debt with hospital bills.

  68. I'm glad you've seen the light Scott. Social media is supposed to bring you CLOSER to your followers -- not push them away. The web lets us pretend to be anyone we want, however social media like human interaction lets a hint or two of who we really are seep through the cracks.

    I love my garden and raise tomatoes every year and always have way too many. Those go out to friends and co-workers. A true form of social networking, with free giveaways, if you get my drift.


    jerry at jerrygilreath dot com
    or jerry.gilreath at gmail dot com

  69. Hey Scott, I have a rock garden and that's about it. That's what happens when you live in the desert SW. I really like all the different pics at each stop.


  70. It sounds like you're living the dream already, Scott.
    Gail in Florida
    cowgirl3000 at gmail dot com

  71. OK people--push THE RED CHURCH so I can give you that extra Kindle! Go team go, rah rah rah,,,(at #227 now)

    @StephenPrice good to see you out of the woodwork!

    @TeaWench we don't kill animals. I did when I was kid for food but would only do it for necessity now

    @stacy maybe the recession will drive all your neighbors away and you can grow stuff in their yards

    @jessica heirloom seeds are natural ones that will grow if you put them in the ground, and make more seeds, unlike all these corporate hybrid seeds that are designed to keep everyone buying seeds from big corporations

    @Jerry Ah, so you like THIS fake persona better than the other one? exxxxcellent!


  72. Lovely post! Sounds like you lead a bit more exciting life than mine. Thanks for sharing about who you are.

    conrad.jd (at) gmail (dot) com

  73. wow- nice post, Scott! Great to get to know you!

    dreamer dot ima at gmail dot com

  74. Enjoyed hearing who you think you are! ;-)

  75. I'm so jealous of your berry garden. We had fruit in the garden, including a range of berries, when I was a child but where I live now it is just too hot for them to grow.[@]gmail[.]com

  76. Wonderful idea!


  77. Keep on writing these great stories!

    skeltons3 at

  78. Thanks Scott! Insightful post.


    tztomfromcali _ at _gmail _ com

  79. Interesting post.
    pippirose59 at gmail dot com

  80. Thanks for the chance to win a Kindle...very cool!

    kt1969 at comcast dot net

  81. Thanks for a great giveaway, please enter me.

    kkappleby at msn dot com

    Karen / lilk13

  82. Howdy!

    sailorwind at gmail dot com

  83. Hi Scott,

    I really enjoyed this post. I don't know why but I like knowing a little bit about an author -- who he or she is. Not every little detail -- but a few things to create an illusion that I know you.

    Thanks for telling us a little bit about yourself,
    Greg "The Undead Rat" Fisher

    theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com

  84. What do you write at the newspaper? I'm guessing obituaries. Lol. Monster. You rock man. Must be scotts nemesis.

  85. It was nice to get this look into your life...I like hearing about your chickens and your day job.
    jentam777 aT gmail DOT com

  86. Sounds like a pretty good life to me!! Sure wish I was close enough to get some of those heirloom tomatoes.

  87. Well put, Scott.

    And, truth be told, most writers lead just plain ol’ ordinary lives when we’re not crafting stories. I know mine is about as exciting as watching the kettle boil. (Which, by the way, I just came from doing: boiling the kettle for coffee, not watching it.)

    I went out last night with some friends for the first time in months. Seeing people aside from those I meet online is a luxury nowadays as most of my life is spent in my books, comics, and just managing a family and running a household.

    Writers--on the whole--aren’t famous. We don’t get recognized on the street (that’s only happened to me once), and are pretty much faceless folks who’s “image” is our work.

    But, true, social media has opened up the “who we really are” side of things and then it becomes a balancing act of showing our plain boring selves while also trying to be interesting enough for folks to check out our books and, hopefully, think we’re cooler than we really are.

    Regarding being “cool”--I’m the exact opposite of cool. I’m hairy, I’m fat, I love comics and an ideal night out for me is going out with friends to talk about comics or hitting the theatre for the latest frightfest.

    What a life. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Coscomentertainment [at] gmail [dot] com

    BLOOD OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIE FIGHT NIGHT available for the Amazon Kindle. Grab your copies here!

  88. I like your attitude.
    (still following you around, hoping for that kindle)

  89. Very nice, I am also curious about what the chickens are named.

  90. Good luck Scott and thanks for sharing!

  91. We never really get to know who the authors really are behind their books-great post!

    rteenbookworm @ gmail .com

  92. Why is the theme from Green Acres playing in my head?

  93. I am really enjoying these posts and it's really nice to learn more about Scott.


  94. Holy Kindle giveaway! Whew, you are deep, man! Creativity or relativity?

    Either way, I would appreciate a chance at a Kindle. Thanks!

  95. Thanks for entering everyone, entries now closed here at 104 but you're welcome to keep commenting.

    Becky, the chickens are named Rhodey and Goldie (they are Rhode Island Reds)

    regge, we have two staff writers so basically I write about half of everything you'd expect in a newspaper (except sports)

    AP, writing is a life of quiet satisfaction because most people will never know you exist! (Nor care...)


  96. LOve the giveaways

    couponmoni at gmail dot com



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