‘Good Things’: An interview with author Nick Knittel

AJ: So while we’ve been chatting, I notice you posted a link to an event you’re going to be doing in Madison, Wisconsin to Facebook. Have you done a lot of these readings since being published?

Nick: Not really, no.
I’ve noticed it’s been very, very tough to try and break into the world with a book.

AJ: Yes. Yes it is.

Nick: I know you feel exactly the same way I do.

AJ: Readings are not my favorite thing. But you’ve got to do them.

Nick: New Rivers is a small press, but they still put out a large number of books each year, and they have a large distribution list of large names throughout the industry, but even with the huge number of promotional letters and books and query emails that we’ve collectively sent out over the last few months, it’s been difficult to get places interested, even in my hometown.
New Rivers held a book release party for myself and a couple other authors that had recently published with them, and I held my first-ever reading of “Good Things” there in Minneapolis back in November.
The reading that you just saw will take place in Madison, Wisconsin where I live now, and that will be on March 14.

AJ: Crazy feeling, isn’t it?

Nick: Yeah, it’s bizarre.
Going back to our initial conversation on how much truth is in the fiction, it’s just a really odd feeling to stand up in front of people and read these stories that are so much a part of you.
You’re really baring it.
really bearing it*

AJ: Both baring and bearing, really.

Advice for writers

AJ: Well, I guess we should wrap this up now. If there’s one piece of advice though that you would like to drop for aspiring writers, what would it be?

Nick: Oh man.

AJ: You’re a published author now. People want to hear your advice!

Nick: Haha. Well, I know the one thing I always wanted to hear when listening to authors was always to know how they got their ideas and how often they wrote.
I’m terribly undisciplined myself.
So, hearing that they wrote every day or something similar only made me feel worse.
But I can say that when you have an idea or a picture in your mind that won’t go away, it’s the clearest sign that you’re onto something.
And those pictures come from everywhere. Just think about pivotal moments in your own life, what was important to you, and how you felt in those few seconds.
And then you just expand and see what’s around you, where you were sitting, how you were looking, how you felt inside when this was happening, then you expand more and see what all those little things you were doing, how they stack up against everything else and then gradually, just from that little moment, you get a story.
I guess that’s the advice I would give. Find that moment and expand.
Because everybody has them, and you’ll find that the feelings inside each one are universal, either in sadness or happiness or some mix of both.

AJ: That’s great advice. Thank you. And thank you for doing this interview. I think a lot of my readers who are also writers are going to enjoy it.

Nick: Of course. Thank you so much for inviting me along. You’re my very first.
And you were gentle and sweet and whispered sweet nothings into my ear. Haha.

AJ: Awwwww. Shucks. I’ve never had an interviewee say that before.

One thought on “‘Good Things’: An interview with author Nick Knittel

  1. What a wonderful interview, very insightful and wide ranging. I loved reading this! Since I know Nick from the program, his depth and seriously sincere writing was not a shock to me. I didn’t want to stop reading his fabulous stories. They were just too good to put down. His voice is unique and serious, similar to Denis Johnson, but much more broad and wide ranging in terms of subject matter and again, depth of character.

    Nick rocks, his collection rocks – I want to read more – and of course, A.J. rocks.

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