Author Interview with Nicky Byma

The LetterGet to know Nicky

Growing up in NW Washington, I loved to write. Songs, poems, and stories; you name it, I wrote it. I loved writing, but never had the slightest inkling to actually publish anything I wrote. That changed in 2010 when I moved to Portland, OR and found myself overwhelmingly inspired to write my first children’s book King Boogie. After King Boogie was released, it was like a faucet of ideas was turned on and I haven’t looked back since. I love writing and cannot think of a better gift than knowing that something I wrote might bring a little joy to readers young and old. If God gives you an idea, run with it and see where it takes you: This is my philosophy, and I’m still running. For more info, find me on Facebook!

Quirky Questions 

Would you mind sharing an embarrassing moment?

Where do I start? I have probably made every goofy move in the book but, most importantly, I have learned to love my gaffs as they happen. Making a complete fool of yourself can be a great conversation starter! 

What great idea did you come up with, but never followed through on?

I’ve had lots of ideas that I haven’t followed through on but fully intend to. The way I see it, I’m going to write down every idea I have and try and develop them. If God provides the means or shows me where to take those ideas, I will. If he doesn’t, I will just look back on them one day and laugh about what could have been. 

If there was a national holiday in your honor, what would that day be like?

My holiday would be a day where everyone celebrates by anonymously doing something nice for someone else. Like a national secret Santa day where people just do good things without getting any recognition. Everyone loves getting a surprise mystery gift right? Now imagine that on a worldwide scale! 

Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?

Artist Point on Mount Baker near my home town in NW Washington. It’s amazing. Your cell phone doesn’t work and you are surrounded by the most beautiful views of mountains and valleys. Things like email and traffic jams don’t matter for a minute and it’s a beautiful thing. 

How do you feel about small talk? Love or hate?

I like it to a certain point. It’s fun to chat with people but when you reach that line of obviously not having anything else to say it can get pretty awkward!

What do you get most enthusiastic about?

New ideas. When I come up with an idea for a story or something else, it is honestly all I think about. There is something so amazing about letting your mind pour out on paper and seeing a thought grow from fleeting idea to something tangible and real. 

What would complete your outfit right now?

Shorts. Always shorts. I could be in a tux and want shorts. 

If you were a farmer, what would be your most abundant crop?

I doubt I would grow anything. I would just drive the tractor around all day while accomplishing nothing in the process. So, to answer the question, I would have endless crops of empty fields. 

577533_237284573097221_33837308_nWriting Questions

How do you deal with creativity blocks?

At one point I hated them but now I just see them as chances to start another project. If I am writing a book and hit a wall, I just start writing ideas for another project and before I know it the ideas start flowing again.

Can you visualize a finished product before you begin a book?

Yes and no. I usually have a rough idea of the entire book before I start writing but I’m always ready to change that if the creative process takes me elsewhere.

Do you feel that you chose your passion, or did it choose you?

I feel it was chosen for me. When I first thought about writing a book I laughed it off and told God that I would only do it if he showed me how. Needless to say, I’m working on my second book and just enjoying the ride.

Is there a particular place where you feel most creative?

This is going to sound silly but I have had my most successful brainstorming sessions in the car as I drove from NW Washington to my home in Portland. There is a certain point every drive where my wife and son both fall asleep and when they do, the ideas start coming to me as I drive.

Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?

There have been a few moments that really inspired me on my journey. Chance meetings with people that I don’t believe were chance at all, support and feedback from friends and family etc. That and hearing stories of people taking joy from what I wrote. It’s incredibly humbling and inspiring at the same time.

What words of inspiration were given to you that you would like to pass along to others?

If God gives you an idea, run with it as long and as hard as you can. It doesn’t have to be a huge success to be successful.

If you knew that you had only one last opportunity to express yourself creatively, what message would you want to convey to others?

Enjoy the things today that you would be lost without tomorrow.

When did you realize that you had a gift for writing?

I sometimes wonder if I actually have a gift for writing in the first place, haha. I was never really good in school except for English and Creative Writing classes. I guess I’m a natural at making stuff up.

How much of your own life is reflected in your work?

More than people realize. I try and put subtle life lessons I’ve learned in everything I write but always leave it open to interpretation for the reader.

What was your childhood like? Did your upbringing influence the way you write today?

My parents always encouraged my crazy creativity in ways I could have never imagined. They listened as I learned drums, told me my stories were great (they weren’t) and always had the time to humor my youthful whims. In retrospect, that was one of the best gifts I could have asked for.

Which of your books gives you the most pride or satisfaction?

My next book The Letter is the one I am most proud of so far. I feel like I had a story to tell that could be enjoyed by both kids and adults and hopefully pulled that off.

Has your creativity changed stylistically as you have matured? If so, in what ways?

Absolutely! With my first book King Boogie I wrote simply to entertain with minimal thought of moral or message. With my next books I have realized that I can entertain and convey a stronger moral in the process and I hope that comes through.

Does your writing reflect your personality?

I hope so. I’m a silly, odd and philosophical guy whose two favorite things are having deep conversations about life and laughing hysterically when someone trips and falls on something.I really hope my books offer a little bit of that to the people who read them. 

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