Howdy my lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat featuring author Nicholas J. Ordinans
Nicholas was born in Staffordshire, England and worked as a zoo keeper specialising in the care of wild cats, birds of prey and reptiles. He now lives in the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia with his artist wife, also a former zoo keeper, and writes multi-genre fiction in various formats.
Book blurb: ‘Where There Be Tygers.’
Ex-zookeeper and rainforest living recluse Lewis believes, like nearly everyone else, that the legendary Tasmanian Tiger has long been extinct. But one day, on a walk through the tall gum trees, he witnesses a terrible event that will change everything: his life, the lives of those around him and the legend of Australia’s pouched wolf. With the help of Angie, the wildlife artist who came into the forest to capture its treasures on canvas, Paul the country vet who shares his unhappy past and Marg, a dogged local journalist, Lewis is forced to face the challenge of engaging with humanity once again in a quest to protect a young and extraordinarily vulnerable life.
Why do you write? I love story. I love words. ‘I write about what is not, to understand what is.’
When did you decide to become a writer? I used to make up stories for my younger brother at bedtime, then when I was about fifteen years old, I began to write them down.
What genre are your books? I write in several genres including: thriller, fantasy, westerns, supernatural, non-fiction.
What draws you to this genre? I tend to write the sort of stories I enjoy reading.
How long does it usually take you to complete a book? It varies from six weeks in one case to over a year in another.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? An idea that will not go away.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? Yes, I write for 2-3 hours every afternoon, five days out of seven.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? More depth of emotion to my characters and less procrastination.
Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? I listen to Baroque music while I write.
What have you written?
A thriller set in Australia and the UK: ‘Home Run’.
A coming of age, ‘Walter Mitty’ style story: ‘The Celluloid Kid’.
A thriller set in rural Victoria, Australia: ‘Silent Land’ ( to be published in 2016)
Volume One of an irreverent fantasy series, ‘The Soo-nar Stories’ entitled “Whingeblade’.
A thriller set in Victoria, Australia involving the supposedly extinct marsupial carnivore, the Tasmanian Tiger: “Where There Be Tygers’.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I never outline, though I have a broad concept of the form the story will take.
Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? I design the basic cover concept myself on my PC and my artist wife kindly produces original artwork to match the story.
Any advice for aspiring authors? Read widely and avidly. Write quickly and edit only once the first draft is complete.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? My main characters tend to be honorable people forced to deal with unusual circumstances or events.
Where do your ideas come from? My imagination and, sometimes, my wife’s dreams.
What is the hardest thing about writing? The paperwork 🙂
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Maintaining momentum.
Which writers inspire you? Where to begin, or indeed, end? Incomplete and in no particular order: Jack Schaefer, Evelyn Waugh, William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Stephen King, Joss Whedon, Lee Child, Ian Fleming.
What is the current book you are promoting? My tale of the Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine: ‘Where There Be Tygers’.
You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? Jaffa, a novice Buddhist nun, returns from Thailand to bury her father in Melbourne, Australia and discovers that he had uncovered evidence of the existence of a small group of unnaturally long-lived early settlers who have been secretly manipulating society for more than two centuries.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why? One of the dogs. I love my real dogs and the ones that I make up for my stories.
Who is your least favorite character and why? I do not have one. I enjoy creating all my characters, good and bad and, I hope, none of them are boring.
Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend?
‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott.
‘Story Trumps Structure’ by Steven James.
‘On Writing’ by Stephen King
If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast? For ‘Jaffa’, I would cast Jaqueline Mckenzie and Hugo Weaving
What is your next project? I am still working on ‘Jaffa – Lost and Found’. Also my memoirs of my long career as a zoo keeper in the UK and Australia: ‘Whose Zoo’; and another thriller, a retro SF novel; the second volume of my ‘Soo-nar Stories’ and a new fantasy series whose main character is Marla pan Doean, the first female royal bodyguard in the history of the realm.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Shane, the title character from the Jack Schaefer novel, and the George Stevens’ movie, because both helped to ignite my ongoing love of the Western whilst, at the same time, providing me with a template for the kind of honourable man I hoped I might one day become.
What one person from history would you like to meet and why? Gautama Buddha. I would like to hear his teachings first hand.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be? Teach people that EQ is more important than IQ.
Who inspires your writing? My wife.
Do you have any fur babies to brag about? I have an adopted German Shepherd Dog, Pepper.
Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite? Jack Schaefer and his first novel, ‘Shane’.
Do have a favorite car or truck model? Aston Martin DB5
What are some of your favorite books and why?
‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare’
‘Shane’ by Jack Schaefer
‘Brideshead Revisited’ by Evelyn Waugh
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee
‘Random Harvest’ by James Hilton
‘Orlando’ by Virginia Woolf
‘The Eternal Champion Series’ by Michael Moorcock
Any Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child
Ian Fleming’s ‘James Bond – 007’ novels
I love them all for their characters, stories and use of the language.
What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing? Both have their place. My first novel was published traditionally and I may choose that path with future works.
Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published? Not at all.
What book are you currently reading or just finished? ‘Monte Walsh’ by Jack Schaefer. MF: Love the movie with Tom Selleck
What do your fans mean to you? Everything. I write to share my stories and I appreciate all those who read my work.
Is there a book you love you’d like to recommend to others? Sorry to be repetitive, but I cannot go past ‘Shane’ by Jack Schaffer.
Tell us something unique about you. I cared for big cats in zoos in the UK (lions, tigers, leopards, etc.) and trained injured birds of prey, such as eagles and falcons, for display and rehabilitation in Australia.
Is there anything else you would like to add? Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts on writing with you and your readers.
Many thanks Nicholas for coming by! For more about Nicholas and his work, follow the links below: