Author Interview: Nick James

I'd like to welcome Nick James, author of the Skyship Academy series, to the blog today for an author interview.

About Nick James
When he was a young boy, Nick James’ collection of battle-scarred action figures became the characters in epic storylines with cliffhangers, double crosses and an unending supply of imaginary explosions. Not much has changed. The toys are gone (most of them), but the love of fast-paced storytelling remains. Working in schools from Washington State to England, Nick has met thousands of diverse students since graduating from Western Washington University and braving the most dangerous job in the world: substitute teaching. Luckily, being dubbed the “rock star teacher” has granted him some immunity. He currently lives and teaches in Bellingham, Washington.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

List five random facts about yourself.

I am horrified by most condiments. You could put mustard/mayo/etc. on a stick and chase me around and I would RUN.

I’ve lived and taught at a boarding school in England

I have an interesting summer job. So far, I’ve dressed as a clown, a pink bunny and an old lady fortuneteller. Two of the three have involved me being pelted with something. Can you guess which two?

I’m a (closet) Lego maniac! If I had the money and space, I’d be buying them like crazy.

I eat my pizza without cheese. (I know, I know… too many weird food facts)

Describe your book, The Pearl Wars, in a tweet (140 characters or less).

Tricky! I have one character to spare…

15-year-old slacker finds he can control Pearls, a dying Earth’s most important energy source. The government’s forces work to capture him.

What are some of your favorite (or influential) science fiction stories (book, movie, whatever)?

A book that always stands out to me is M.T. Anderson’s Feed, not only for its provocative vision of the future, but also for the voice in his writing. That book just kills me every time I read it. Much of my writing style has also been influenced by graphic novels, and in that realm Brian K. Vaughn is one of my favorite writers. His Runaways and Y: The Last Man series are exactly the type of thing I strive for in my own work.
As far as movies, I was a huge Star Wars fan growing up. The drama and epic grandeur of films like those is something I really try to capture in my writing. As far as more recent stuff, Children of Men, the Star Trek reboot and Super 8 are three that I’ve really enjoyed. Basically anything JJ Abrams does is amazing.

What is it about science fiction & fantasy that appeals to you?

I’m an action guy, and I have a very short attention span. But more than that, I love to read about worlds that bear resemblance to our own but are, to put it bluntly, more interesting to me. I’m fascinated with world-building, both doing it and reading about it. I love to immerse myself in a place I’d never be able to visit in “normal life.” That being said, my favorite sci-fi books/movies/etc. are all about the characters.

I heard that you think life would be more interesting if it were a musical. What would your theme song be?

Oh you asked the right question! I’m obsessed with music and a lot of the stuff I listen to is mostly unknown in America. I’d have to go with a song by my favorite band of all time. The Ark’s One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young. Carpe diem! Always an important message.

Favorite Joss Whedon character?

Hard one! I really want to pick Faith because she’s so badass, but I’m leaning toward Cordelia Chase because I think she had the biggest character growth throughout her two series.

What are you working on now/next?

I’m working on the finishing touches for the second book in the SKYSHIP ACADEMY series, which will be out next year, but I’ve also got other things up my sleeves.

Thanks to Nick for stopping by and answering some questions!

Nick's novel, The Pearl Wars, is the first book in the Skyship Academy series, and will be released on September 8, 2011, through Flux.

You can find The Pearl Wars on: Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook

Click here to read the first three chapters online.


  1. Ooo, I love the sound of The Pearl Wars. I'm adding this one to my wishlist. Great interview, Jenny!

  2. I think Nick and I could be BFF's. Seriously, Vaughn is AMAZING and I own most of the Runaways series :) LOVE this interview, definitely a book I'll have to pick up!

  3. The Pearl Wars sounds amazing! And this was a great interview. Loads of fun! Kinda want to chase him with condiments now...

  4. Would it be completely inappropriate to say I'm swooning over this author, just a tad? :)


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