Check it out I got Nicholas to stop by and have a chat with me
T: Good Morning Nicholas thanks for joining me this morning. I hope the drink is strong enough?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Yes. I love green tea.
T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.
NICHOLAS TANEK: Wonderful! It’s a pleasure to be here.
T: How did you start writing?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Since I can remember, I have always written stories. Some were fiction. Others were true. I wrote a bunch of screenplays when I was 12 years old. They were horrible, but the effort was there. When I grew up, I did interviews and reviews, music journalism stuff. It was not until Lynn died, that I began writing books. Lynn was the love of my life. She passed away in 2012. I was so overwhelmed with grief and so heartbroken that I felt I had to write about our lives. Our relationship was wonderful and unlike anything I had ever experienced. So, I wrote The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. That book is filled with hard drugs, kinky sex, and an endless amount of music references. Ultimately, it is a tribute to her and a book about second chances.
T: How often do you write?
NICHOLAS TANEK: I try to write at least once a day. Usually, I write at night. I have a bunch of records that I have ready that become the background music or theme music for each part I write.
T: The titles of your novels are hilarious, how did you come up with them?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Well, the title The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself is a multi-layered metaphor. By giving myself over to love, I killed off the person who I was and became a better person. It is also about how people deal with depression and addiction. On top of that, there is a major theme about honesty and being yourself. I admit to many things in the book. There are drugs, crime, and plenty of kinky sex. Many people would be ashamed of this. I just let it all out. Many people I know got mad at the book. My ex-wife’s family threatened to kill me. So, I was going to put out this book even if it killed me. Plus, the title, The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself divides many people. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Either way, it gets attention. Then, my other book, Chipped Black Nail Polish is a coming of age story about this punk rock teenage girl who was the very first love of my life. Her style was so cool and her interests were so wild, but she suffered from depression and was hurting inside. So, the title of Chipped Black Nail Polish is a metaphor too.
T: Can you give us a hint at some of the ghost writing you’ve done?
NICHOLAS TANEK: No. I can’t. I wish I could.
T: How much of your rave scene days influence your writing?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Just like the punk rock scene, the rave scene was a major influence on my writing. Like any kind of scene, the comradely and friendships are important. When it comes to romance, being a part of a scene enhances the intimacy in some ways. Both people can be social, but they always come together in the end. The drugs, dancing, and music enhanced the feeling of love and connection with other people too. Rave culture was something that helped me express myself. It connected me with so many wonderful people. It opened my mind to so many new things: music, drugs, art, film, politics, and new ways of thinking. My next book is also about a scene, the BDSM fetish community. Just like the rave scene, I have met so many wonderful people and learned so many things about music, drugs, art, film, politics, and new ways of thinking.
T: What did Lynn do to jump start getting clean?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Like many addicts, Lynn reached a point where she just had enough. Also, she went from being sober to being an addict and back to sober again. Although it is possible to just stop and be sober, many addicts fall back into drugs. Due to the cancer and the abuse from her husband, I think she just did not have a choice but to live with her parents. Her parents lived in suburbia. Lynn did not have a car or any money. So, her only addiction was to OxyContin. She remained on OxyContin until the day she died. There was a point when she was abusing the prescription, but we worked together to get it in control. For us, we just could not take the lifestyle anymore. It was killing us. So, it was either die or get our lives together.
T: How much of Lynn is in your writing?
NICHOLAS TANEK: All of her. Even when I am not writing about her, I am wondering what she would think. Would she like this? Would she think this phrase sounds stupid? She’s like that little angel editor that sits on my shoulder.
T: Do you ever visit your old haunts to get inspiration?
NICHOLAS TANEK: I am a sentimental fool so, yes. The book that I am currently writing is about the BDSM fetish community, but it is mainly about dealing with the loss of Lynn. I also live in the same area and see the places we have been. I’m surrounded by her photos. She will haunt me for the rest of my life and I am thankful for that.
T: What authors influence you?
NICHOLAS TANEK: There are many and they change often. I do like Hunter S. Thompson, Anais Nin, Richard Shannon, and Herman Hesse. One author, Virginie Despentes wrote a wild book called Baise-Moi which I have this weird fascination with. Regardless if you think it is great or horrible, this violent, sexual book is influential. I like books by comedians too. I like Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, David Cross, Chris Gethard, Marc Maron, and many others.
T: What’s it like going from ghostwriter to that name of the book being yours?
NICHOLAS TANEK: The main difference is that when I write a book, I write what I want to write about. Whenever I did any ghostwriting, I had to write about topics and people that did not interest me.
T: Favorite author?
NICHOLAS TANEK: I cannot pick just one. If I did, it would change every day. The same thing with music. My tastes are so varied and deep that I cannot just pick one.
T: What inspires you? What gives you inspiration?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Honesty, kindness, and people who are creative in an original way.
T: What do you do for relaxation?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Doing anything creative. Even though being a part of creative projects can be hard work, it is relaxing to me. Also, I love film and television.
T: What comes next?
NICHOLAS TANEK: My next book takes place after The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. Although it can be considered a stand-alone book, it is a sequel. My working title is Your Kinky Friends. It is a tribute to the wonderful and weird people in the NJ/NY BDSM fetish community. Although it is filled with sex and kink, it’s not masturbation material. The book is a time capsule that captures the BDSM fetish scene, but it is mainly about how sex and friendship can be healing.
T: Well Nicholas that’s all I have for you today. Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.
NICHOLAS TANEK: Thank you very much. Those were some great questions. This has been an absolute pleasure. I love what you are doing, so please… keep doing it.