Nicholas Nash, author of the recently released thriller “The Girl at the Bar”, took the time to answer a few questions for us. Check it out!
1) Tell us how you came up with the premise
of The Girl at the Bar?
I started writing THE GIRL AT THE
BAR as a pantser, figuring out the story as I went along. After the first few
chapters, I started plotting out the characters and story line.
I’ve always found the field of
cancer research very interesting. There are so many new developments that the
average person is not aware of. The biotech industry is enjoying its golden age
in terms of finding modalities to cure cancer. I wanted to highlight some of
that in my book while adding a human story around it.
enjoy reading mysteries a lot and hence decided to write one – one that I would
enjoy reading. Blend all these elements and what do you get? A mystery thriller
set in the backdrop of cancer research.
2) What kind of research did you do to
prepare for this book?
I read a
lot about what cancer is, what it does and the latest developments in the field
to cure cancer. I’ve met a few people, including researchers, who helped shape
my understanding of the science behind cancer. At one point in my life, I also
worked with some leading cancer researchers and learnt a great deal about the
latest developments in the field from them.
biggest challenge though with all the background research is being able to
synthesize all of this into plain language that a regular reader could
understand and appreciate. That was the toughest part of the research. I was
constantly afraid that readers would lose me if I became too technical in my
descriptions, so that kept me on guard whenever I wrote about cancer in the
Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies
was a great book that I had read and helped my understanding of this disease.
That said, to my point earlier, his book was long (592 pages) and relatively
technical and I must confess, at some point, I stopped reading and did not
finish it. Irrespective, it’s still a great book and a must read for anyone who
wants to understand this disease some more.
3) What inspired you to dive into the world
of cancer research?
some truly groundbreaking research and developments taking place in the quest
to cure cancer that the average person is not aware of. The biotech industry in
general is making huge strides in finding unique cures for cancer. I wanted to
highlight the work that I have been reading about.
biotech industry, particularly on the research side, is heavily dominated by
men. However, there are several strong well-rounded women who are instrumental
in the industry either as researchers, CEOs or biotech investors. Rebecca is in
some respects a composite of these real-life women who play a key role in the
progress we’ve made in the war on cancer.
4) What matters most to you when writing:
developing plot or developing characters?
Mostly from real life
experiences. Each of my characters is a composite of people I know personally,
people I’ve met, people I know of or people I’ve read about. Each character is
a blend of interesting characteristics from different sources.
5) What social media sites do you find have
been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Currently, I have only tried
Facebook and Instagram. I enjoy Facebook more as it allows me to interact with
the readers. You can find me on Facebook at @NicholasNashAuthor and Instagram at
6) What are your future plans?
I am currently working on my second
novel set during the last days of World War II. The book title is still under
wraps because I don’t want to give the story setting away just yet. There was
an interesting time period during the Second World War that I chose as the
Hitler died, having committed suicide,
on April 30th, 1945 but the war in Europe did not end with his death. Germany
continued fighting the Allies and surrendered only a week later on May 7th,
1945. During these days between his death and eventual German surrender, an
unimaginable series of events took place that remains unexplained and shrouded
in mystery to this very day. My second novel revolves around one of those
events during that period of uncertainty, with my imagination filling in the
blanks that history has left unanswered forever.
I first read about it a few years ago
and I always wondered to myself, “What exactly happened there? Why did they the
retreating Germans that? Who was really responsible? What were they thinking?”
I searched and searched and searched
and never found any satisfactory answers. That was when I said to myself, “Hmm,
that’s interesting. The magnitude of what happened then was immense and here we
are over 70 years later and we still don’t know much about it.” That’s when I
decided to write my second book around these bizarre events.
The first chapter of my
second book will be available to all readers of THE GIRL AT THE BAR. The
details on how to get it will be at the end of my first book.