Welcome Nicholas Tanek!
Hello everyone! Thank you for stopping by for my newest idea, The Author Interview. Yes, I am an author but I like to learn about other authors same as you. Only I want to know the stuff that most people don't. If you are looking for the typical interview, you might want to avoid this. If you want an interview that informs, makes you laugh and has you really contemplating why fish then this is the interview for you.
EL: I’m a bad speller. Oh who am I kidding; I am terrible at all grammar. What are you bad at?
NICHOLAS TANEK: I am terrible at remembering dates. When I was getting a divorce, I had to ask my ex-wife what our wedding date was for the paperwork. Yeah… she did not like that.
EL: I’ll admit, I haven’t read Chipped Black Nail Polish, your most recent book. Feel free to tell me all about it, but I have to let the readers know I can not verify your claims. I know you’re the author, but if I haven’t seen it does it really exist?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Chipped Black Nail Polish is a prequel to The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. It does exist. It is a book that you can hold in your hand. Actually, physical media is a major theme in the book because it is about my love of records. Mainly, it is a tribute to the very first love in my life. I was 14 years old and she was 16. She was a very emotional and wild post-punk rock girl who took me to my first hardcore / punk shows in New Jersey during 1989. I wanted not only to capture the coming of age aspect, but document the little hardcore / punk rock scene from 1989 in New Jersey. She was suicidal. She also ran away from home. In a crazy way, I wrote this book as a pipe dream that maybe she will read it and I will find out what happened to her.
EL: I have read The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself by you, so I obviously know it. But do you? Describe it to me and I will see if you are right.
NICHOLAS TANEK: It is this huge pouring out of emotion which tells a very true and very wild love story that takes place over the course of 15 years. We met as teenagers and got involved in the New York City rave scene during the 1990’s. I broke her heart and we both fell into hardcore drug addiction and horrible marriages. After we survived all of that, we found each other again and had the most honest and most meaningful relationship I have ever had. So, the book is a tribute to her and a story about second chances.
EL: Do you have a day job? And if you do, why haven’t they fired you yet? If you don’t have a day job, why are you so lazy?
NICHOLAS TANEK: I am a corporate zombie. By day, I am a suit & tie guy. Anywhere else, I still feel like that NJ indie rock skater slacker kid even though I am in my 30’s. I am very surprised that I did not get fired yet. Who knows? By the time this comes out, I could have been fired.
EL: Can you tell me about your current WIP (work in progress)? Does it involve fish? I’m not that much into seafood but I do like to visit the aquarium.
NICHOLAS TANEK: I like aquariums too. My new book has nothing to do with fish. My new book has to deal with the New Jersey BDSM fetish community. It is a sequel to The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. It is about how the wonderful and weird people of the fetish community helped me deal with Lynn’s death. Once again, those people from the fetish community helped me embrace my eccentricity and inspired me to express myself. It’s actually a very funny book about dealing with grief and loss. Plus, it is filled with sex.
EL: So, I’m super hungry right now. What are you planning on making for dinner and can I come over and have some? And by some I mean most of it. And by most of it I mean can you just cook for me and then leave.
NICHOLAS TANEK: Sure, why not? I am planning on getting falafel sandwich from one of the best falafel restaurants in New Jersey. I may get some baba ganoush and tabouli too. Help yourself.
EL: I LOVE baba ganoush! I think I will help myself...to all of it!
EL: What authors (living or dead) inspire you? On that note, what authors (living or dead) would you love to just punch in the face?
NICHOLAS TANEK: I love your questions. The ones that inspire me change, but I do like Hunter S. Thompson, Truman Capote, Hermann Hesse, Richard Shannon, and many others. I like some of the books written by comics too. Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, Chris Gethard, Marc Maron, and Julie Klausner wrote some funny books. As for authors who I would love to punch in the face? I will not name names, but there are some factory wrapped douche authors out there who are just writing about BDSM for the money. It’s so obvious that it is insulting. What pisses me off is that they are just exploiting BDSM and fetish culture and flooding the market with garbage. The magnificent Lydia Lunch said, “If it's for the money, you're not doing art.” I agree. There is nothing wrong with making money from your art. What annoys me is that there are so many authors out there who are obviously writing just because they think it will make them money and it is evident in their work.
EL: What is the average air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Do you mean an African or European swallow? Is one carrying a coconut? I love “Monty Python & the Holy Grail”
EL: Has anyone ever asked for your autograph in an unusual spot, like at a Denny’s?
NICHOLAS TANEK: Actually, yes. I was at a methadone clinic. I’m not on methadone anymore.
EL: You are from New Jersey. I am from Maryland. I know that the New Jersey state flower is the Common Blue Violet. Do you know what the Maryland state flower is?
NICHOLAS TANEK: I think it is Black Eyed Susan. The only reason I know this is because I know a woman named Tam Tam from Baltimore. What goes on, Tam Tam?
EL: How do you feel about criticism? I have strong feelings about it. It’s testy, so I know to go easy with criticism. Maybe wine it and dine it a little before I take it back to my place for a little hide the monkey.
NICHOLAS TANEK: It’s all in the delivery and who it is coming from. My books are not for everyone. Some people hate the title The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself, while the ones who get it, love it. If you are putting your art out there, criticism is going to come. Some people criticize just to troll. That’s not cool. Some people want to hate something just because so many people love it. That’s really not cool. At the same time, I am open to criticism. I’m not some teenager in creative writing class who gets all mopey. I do not agree with all the criticism, but I do take it into consideration. Melissa Blair is my editor and she is harshest and most critical about my work. That’s a good thing though. So, before it goes to the world, it goes through her. It is important to have a good editor.
EL: Last question. Your fans are your biggest asset. Any author knows that. What would you say to them if you met them on an airplane full of snakes?
NICHOLAS TANEK: I could do the whole Samuel L. Jackson “Get these mother*cking snakes off this mother*cking plane” joke, but I won’t. Wait? I guess I already did. Anyway, I would tell them to keep your cool and get the plane landed as soon as possible. Take a bunch of bottles of alcohol and lock yourself in the bathroom. Or, meet every situation head on and battle them with the heels of high heel shoes. There is usually at least one person who wears high heel shoes. See, heels can be used for more than just looking and feeling sexy. A high heel shoe can do some damage. Plus, keep a copy of The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. The physical book is very thick and heavy. You can use that as a weapon.
EL: Thank you Nicholas Tanek for your wise and, at times, bizarre ideas involving snakes on a plane.Snakes aren't always the enemy, sometimes they're our friends. You never know until you ask one for tea. Besides that, you give good interview.
Nicholas Tanek is an American ghostwriter from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor's degree in English. Nicholas Tanek grew up as a New Jersey punk rock skater kid who lost himself in the early 90's New York City rave scene. After years of drug addiction, he got his life together when he was reunited with Lynn, the love of his life, before she died at the age of 37. Instead of choosing negativity, he chose creativity. Losing Lynn inspired him to write his first book, The Coolest Way To Kill Yourself. There is quite a bit of kinky sex, drugs, and music in the life of Nicholas Tanek and he has some unique stories to tell.