... Bob Nailor
1. Tell me about your book, Ancient Blood: The Amazon and where you got your inspiration for it?
Curious how it came to be. I became friends with a gentleman in Brazil who cooked and we traded different tidbits. He was born in Minnesota, I think. Anyway, one day he sent me an article about a discovery in the Amazon jungle – Geoglyphs. Seems some illegal deforestation was going on and these large mounds of dirt showed up on satellite photos. The bottom line was: the Amazon jungle wasn’t as virgin as originally thought. We goofed around about Amazon women warriors, vampires, lost civilization, El Dorado and started to think about a B-type movie with the typical overly endowed young ladies. Then, on a whim, I decided to use the concept and wrote a novel during NaNoWriMo. I sent it to him, he modified it; added some colourful, local flavour and great historical information and it just kept improving. Next thing we realized, we had something that could be a series and have outlined 5 to 6 novels; each a tale unto itself yet continuing the saga we’d created. Damnation Books printed our first book of the series and I am currently editing book 2.
2. Who has had the most influence in your life? What lessons did this person teach you?
When I was young, my parents – obviously. Now that I’m married, I think my wife influences much of my life. She was the one who coerced me into writing after listening to me weave bedtime stories for our four sons. Much of that was based on fairy tales and stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs… you know him, he is the creator of John Carter of Mars. He also wrote the Tarzan series and several other books.
3. How would you like to be remembered?
Wow. Good question. I guess it would be a good husband, loving father, a great friend and one heck-of-a-writer.
4. Do you have a writing process? If so describe it.
Very basic method. Plop my buns into the chair, start up an eclectic collection of music, stick on the headphones, zone out and write. If that don’t work, and it is warm outside, leaning against a headstone in a cemetery and working on a laptop can be good.
5. Have you ever killed someone in a novel and regretted it later?
Uh, well, sort of, maybe? I have killed characters and felt extremely sad. My partner killed a character in book 2 and I created a ‘save’ since I’m not sure we really want to kill that person. All remains to be seen.
6. Which do you find more embarrassing to write, violence or sex?
Violence can be iffy but sex is definitely a blusher for me. Call me puritanical or prude. In Ancient Blood, I really had to pull in the reins of my co-author with some of the scenes. I’m not a goody-two-shoe; I’ve read porn – I mean, I was a sailor in the U.S.Navy for five years! But, when it comes to sex, I’ve normally written fantasy and SF and well, sex isn’t a big driving force in that particular genre… or it wasn’t.
7. Do you research your novels?
Heavily. For Ancient Blood I had to learn about the Amazon, Brazil, the conquistadors, drugs, and many other things.
8. Are you jealous of other writers?
It would be a major lie if I denied that. Will I offer names? Nope.
9. What would you do with 1 million ping pong balls?
Get me 1 million mousetraps. I think you already see the picture!
10. What’s your favourite book and why?
Aw, come on. Only one book? Guess I will go with Stranger In A Strange Land by Heinlein. I loved the characters in it and how the plot grew.
11. What do you like most about being a writer?
Living in my newly created worlds. Escaping.
12. What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done or ever been done for you?
Difficult question. I know I’ve taught a lot of boys to cook over the years while involved with Boy Scouts… and I don’t mean hot dogs and beans. These boys learned to cook Pork l’Orange, Fried Chicken, Rumple-de-thump Potatoes, Seasoned Carrots and even pizza on a campout. So, I guessing I’ve made quite a few wives happy.
13. What is one of your favourite traditions from your child hood that you would like to pass on to your child? (or if they’re older, have passed on.)
As a child, we always had peanuts in the shell and an orange in our stockings at Christmas time. I did that for my 4 sons and they’ve done it, too. Also, we’ve allowed the graduating boy to decide on the summer vacation before his senior year and he also picked out the Christmas tree that year, too. My eldest grandchildren have enjoyed that tradition as they graduate.
14. What three things would you save from a fire at your house? (assume that all your family get out safe.)
1) My computer since it has almost all our photos digitized on it. 2) Some antiques like my wife’s great-grandfather’s wedding certificate which is large, framed and very ornate. 3) As many of the signed books I have by other authors
15. If you could ask your favourite author one question, who would it be and what would you ask?
Edgar Rice Burroughs. How did you come up with the concept for the River of the Dead in your Martian series
16. How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
That would be Ancient Blood: The Amazon. We went through quite a few titles including Blood Lust which is so hokey and over-used. I finally put out some titles we were thinking of to my friends on Facebook and had them vote. When I revealed it was a series, Ancient Blood was the winner, hands down. We are currently working on Ancient Blood: The Homeland.
17. What are your current projects?
Of course I’m working on book 2 of Ancient Blood but I’m also working on a novel about an Amish boy in high school and a black teacher in an all-white school back in the early 1960s.
18. Do you recall how your interest in writing occurred?
I loved to tell stories and wrote/submitted my first story while back in high school. It was rejected and I was devastated. I attempted some writing while in the Navy and it wasn’t until mid-70s when I got married that my wife urged me to start writing again.
19. If you could choose one person, living or dead, real or fictional to mentor you, who would you chose?
Well, my living mentor is Denise Vitola. She has done a wonderful job, I feel. But, if I had to choose somebody else – uh, I think it would Orson Scott Card.
20. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I saw my name listed as an author in an anthology along with Orson Scott Card and Piers Anthony.
21. If you couldn’t be an author, what career would you chose?
Painter. I loved to draw and paint as a youth but my parents informed me there was no money in it. Well, there isn’t a lot of money in writing, either, and they didn’t really promote that possibility. I was a bored accountant who got involved with computers and became a Systems Manager. Much better career choice. I’m retired now. I write.
22. What’s your favourite love story? (movie or book)
The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond because I’m a sucker for his music and I love the love angst in the story.
23. If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
You’ll never regret what you’ve done; only what you never tried.
24. If you woke up as Bill Gates what would be the first thing you’d do?
Write a check for $1 million to a total stranger named Bob Nailor.
25. If you gave one of your characters the opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
My characters always speak for themselves; getting them to shut up gets to be the hard part. When I write, sometimes my characters take over and that is the easiest and usually some of the best writing I do. Of course, if they really did talk for themselves, perhaps some of them would wonder why I put them in the situations I do.
26. Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcovers?
I love ebooks for their convenience to pull up and read at a moment’s notice. Paperbacks were my mainstay as I grew up. Hardcovers I’ve always considered to be the book of the rich – you know, pipe, smoking jacket, mahogany or cherry panelled libraries, etc. Each venue has its place and I would hate to see any one of them disappear. Wouldn’t I look silly sitting in my rich Corinthian leather chair with a pipe and wearing a silk smoking jacket, reading an ebook on my phone? Since I don’t smoke, it would probably be a bubble pipe; I’d be blowing bubbles and yes, I would look silly.
The Amazon isn’t as virgin as one would think. Time has allowed an evil to lurk and grow in the jungles of Brazil for over 500 years. Today that evil wants to be free. El Dorado and the Greek Amazons were legends for a reason. What can a young woman do when confronted with the reality of horror? Ana is an anthropologist who so very intent on being one with a lost tribe she will do anything. The question is – will she hunt human prey?
The air filled with the sound of beating wings and the high-pitched squeals of mulher morcego. The engines sprung to life. The corporal ran to free the line, still unsure of why there was such a panic. As he went to untie and approached the cleat in the leisurely pace of the recently awakened, two near woman-sized flying creatures descended to grab him by the shoulders. They flew away under the tree canopy with the boy kicking and screaming.
Edson shook his head in disgust at the loss then noticed the rope was still wrapped around the cleat. He slammed and locked the hatch to the upper deck, securing him inside the well armored boat.
The air filled with squeals as hundreds of the creatures surrounded the boat. Edson slammed the throttles into full-reverse. Fifteen hundred horsepower ripped the line from the dilapidating dock and the craft lurched backward toward the center of the Acre River.
The volume of the squealing increased until he could hardly bear the pressure on his ears. To his horror, the boat began to rise out of the water. Dozens of female faces with glowing, red eyes were positioned around the gunwale. They lifted the boat back toward the shore using their wings.
The squealing rose in pitch until it was hardly audible. The boat was a few yards above the surface and rising. The engines raced, searching for water. Soon they would burn. Edson hit the button to activate the sonar system. Waves of unheard energy radiated outward toward the flapping creatures. In unison the mulher morcego screamed and let go of the boat. Their hands clamped over their bat-like ears and they fled, darkening the sky above.
The boat crashed into the water. Edson was thrown to one side. He found his feet just as the engine jets filled with water and the boat lurched forward. Within seconds he was at the center of the river, in full daylight. He barely breathed until he hit fifty knots and flew above the surface. Pair of black wings followed him by the river’s bank, hovering in the shade of the trees, but unable to keep up with his speed. After fifteen minutes, he dropped his speed back to a reasonable pace and set the autopilot on Boca do Acre.
Bob Nailor resides in NW Ohio with his wife on a small, quaint country acre. When not traveling in his RV rig for research or fun, he can be found writing or reading. In the summer there is the yard work with garden and flowers. In the cold of winter he enjoys feeding the wildlife and watching it from inside the warmth of his home.
He is an EPPIE award winner and has several books published including “Ancient Blood: The Amazon,” “Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold,” and “2012: Timeline Apocalypse.” He is also in numerous anthologies and had short stories published spanning several genres including horror, fantasy, science fiction, romance and adventure. You can visit his website at www.bobnailor.com for a list of books and short stories, many with sample reads.Follow him –