Kim's Blog

Kim's Blog

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Interview with Nicholas Tanek

Kim Gray's
Interview with

Nicholas Tanek

The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself. 

I have had the great pleasure and honor to interview this Author, this great guy that is just too Cool, I cannot describe it.  Let me start off by talking about the things I already know about this Author.   Nicholas Tanek is an American ghostwriter from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors in English.  He has been a ghostwriter for over 15 years.  He’s written his first Novel “The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself” which was independently published in Oct. of 2013.  Nicholas is also very much into music and use to write reviews for new music when he was younger, not to mention he owns a very large collection of music.  He has a great sense of humor, little odd, but a very funny guy and he has a way about him that causes people to gravitate towards him.  He is the easiest person to talk to and make friends with, no wonder all the women love him, I know I adore him.

So let’s get started with my questions.

Q:  When did you become so interested in music and why?

A: Ever since I was a little kid, I would listen to the radio or my brothers music, and I loved soundtracks like the Big Chill, and also the movie the Blues Brothers, both had excellent soundtracks, even the movie “All that Jazz.”  I grew up in the era of having a Walkman, or tape player, I always had headphones on and when I was in Elementary school I would always have my headphones on listening to whatever music I could get my hands on.  Even at school waiting and or riding on the school bus.  I looked forward to going to the mall on the weekends to buy music, stuff that I wouldn’t like now, or maybe have matured from, like the classis’s Led Zeppelin, the Doors, I loved that stuff.  I use to love watching this show on MTV called 120 minutes and that’s when I really got involved with alternative or punk rock, or just weird stuff.  I would love to go through my Dad’s music and make mixed tapes.  I have a huge music collection.  (This is when Nicholas showed me his CD shelf that’s on the cover of his book, as he was sitting at the same desk that is shown on the Cover) We ended up talking about a lot of the music that I liked and what I grew up listening to, which was my older sister’s music from the 60’s.  And I discovered we both love T-Rex.

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

This one made Nicholas laugh.

A: I wanted to be rock star or a movie star.  It’s funny that you ask me that because I love film and I loved acting and music.  I had this whole mystique idea where I had this character that I made up when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. I would be veryMachiavellianwhere I would fake my own death and I had the whole character in my head that I would think about when I would walk to the bus stop. I would create these characters in my head and on top of that I would create my own cable guides and write different movies and what the ratings would be, all the way down to what production company it would be in. I definitely wanted to be in the movies, or write movies or direct, anything to do with movies.  

Q: Why an English major in College?  Was it because you knew you wanted to be a writer?

A: Yes I always wanted to be a writer. I always wanted to create something. I was always good at writing essays in school. I got good grades. Now for math or science, I would really have to study hard.  I was always writing stories.  For a short time period, I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist. Thank goodness I didn’t decide to follow that though.  (This is where Nicholas goes into a long discussion about differential equations and how he studied this in college and why we shouldn’t try to count to infinity as it will drive you insane. I was blown away by this discussion. Nicholas speaks with such passion and knowledge.)

Q: We know that Lynn has inspired you to write The Coolest Way, but what is next in store for Nicholas?

A: I have already written a prequel, that I am thinking about calling Chipped Black Nail Polish. It’s another true story, basically about me right before I went to high school.  Nicholas, in The Coolest Way, is very much conceited, very hedonistic and very overly confident.  But before that, I was actually very shy and kind of dealing with depression. It was really more due to hormones, so most teenagers go through some kind of depression.  I was a media snob. Everyone in Jersey during the summer of ‘89 was very much into hair metal. That is fine if you were into that, but I wanted something different. It seemed like everyone was into the same thing and I wanted something more alternative, something more like punk rock music and hard core shows.  I met this woman named Kim. She was very interesting. She was a first love, and she gave me confidence to approach women. Before her, I did not think that a woman would even be interested in me or wanted to be with me at all.  It’s a little over 100 pages. It’s a prequel kind of supplement to the Coolest Way. It doesn’t have the same emotional intensity as The Coolest Way has. Don’t get me wrong, it does get intense. It’s very emotional, but it’s not as epic or grand as The Coolest Way. I like it and I have more work to do to tune it up a bit. It is a good snapshot of the late 80’s, early 90’s New Jersey punk rock, hard core scene.

Q: What kind of books are you interested in reading? Or have read?

A: I do like erotica, but more classic erotica, the insanity of Hunter S. Thompson, which the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was based on, is very good. The Rum Diary was also made into a film.  I love reading Hunter S. Thompson. He is definitely someone I enjoy reading. He was someone that would put himself into the story. 

(Again Nicholas goes into a long discussion about how much he loves Hunter S. Thompson and anything he does and how bizarre some of his characters were, or how some people may not like him.  This man could talk for hours if you let him.   I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Nicholas talking to me, answering my simple questions.)

Q: Do you want to write other than Romance novels?

A: I would absolutely love to! I have been writing my whole life, some of it was for
free, and some of it was with other names, due to ghost writing.  I have this really foolish pipe dream that someone will read my work and think “Oh yeah he can help us out with this television show or this movie or something else.” It depends on the project, and I love to write anything, especially about life.  I wrote 3 screenplays when I was 14. I look back at them and think they are crap, but I would love to write more. 

(We started talking about my nephew that has passed and how he was writing a screenplay before he passed.  At this point Nicholas is trying to encourage me to finish it for him, even offering to help me with the editing process. What a sweet guy.  And he was successful. For the first time since July of 2012, I decided to just do it.  I found the screenplay and started reading it.  It has proven itself to be a difficult task, because it only makes me start wondering what was he thinking when he wrote this part? But this only proves how persuasive Nicholas can be when he wants to be.)

Quote from the book:

"Emotional women are magnificently and uniquely mind-blowing. They are usually exceptional and imaginative lovers. They are wonderful at conversation. They are open minded. They are Kinky. Right then, I knew that being with Lynn would be a wild ride."

Q: For those of us that do not know… In your book, you write about Femdom.  What is the difference between Femdom and just a male submissive? Or are they the same?

A:  Femdom is basically worshipping the superiority of women, and being dominated by a woman, being submissive towards women.  Whereas to be a straight sub, which I am not, is basically someone who is just submissive to anyone that they allow to dominate them.  For me, Femdom is about the trust between the man and a dominant woman, and the man letting himself go and allowing the woman to control the situations.  A submissive can be a male or female, and so that kind of relationship can be very different.
(There are so many ways to describe a submissive and Nicholas does describe a few, but I am not going to put that down on paper here because I don’t want to end up getting into a debate over the logistics of our discussion.  But all of this only reminds me of a quote from the book that may help explain this question as well.)
 Quote from the Book - “Femdom is a fetish that is based on the submission of the male, (and to varying degrees, humiliation) which means that for the man, it is important to be with a woman who he can trust.”

I was a little reluctant to ask this question, but Nicholas told me to ask him anything, so…

Q: Have you ever been the Master in a relationship?

A: I have had the “upper hand” in most of my relationships, not all, but most, but not so much as a Master, but I have been the dominant one.  I had a couple of relationships where I had total control - like 100% control over the woman.  I’m talking micromanaging to the point that I would have her beg me to perform certain acts on me in a parking lot, if I may get graphic. Still, it was consensual and I knew that was what she liked. I’m glad you asked me that question because The Coolest Way shows me as being the submissive male in parts of my relationship with Lynn. Still, during most of our relationship I am fighting the fact that I could be the submissive one in a sexual way. That was part of the character arch. It was a change for me. Once I gave into that, it became a very sensual relationship.  But yes, I have had relationships where I was in complete control and it was kinky and very fetish-oriented and I was ‘like’ a Master. Still, I never made anyone call me “Sir” or “Master” or anything. So, I would say I was more like the dominant one.  There are aspects of the book where I am very much the dominant male in the sexual relationship. But at the same time, some of the other sexual adventures wouldn’t fit for this book. If I included it, I feel it would have been excessive and exploitative. Everything dealing with sex or sexuality had to contribute to the story and the characters development. I chose not to include sexual episodes if they didn’t have anything to do with Lynn or if they did not contribute to the story of Lynn. 

At this point we were at the end of my slotted time with Nicholas and thus my interview was over.  I had to ask though if he liked my questions and Nicholas complimented me on the frankness of my questions and that it was different in a way that it was more like a conversation, not generic.  I was honored to have had this time with this very intriguing man and author.  Nicholas is very articulate and I could listen to him talk all night, but sadly he had to go.  I have, however, had many more opportunities to speak with Nicholas, as shortly after I did this interview with him I teamed up with Isa from Isalovesbooks blog and we started a Street Team for Nicholas.  We have been on this crazy adventurous ride ever since.  I have grown to absolutely love this man as a friend, and have had many conversions about things I would never speak to a male friend about.  Like I said before, Nicholas has a way about him that makes you just want to tell him anything he ask you.  Meeting and getting to know Nicholas has certainly been an experience to say the least.  I have come to understand so much about Nicholas, and myself for that matter.  There were several parts of his book that I could relate to very well, some more painful than the rest.  Probably why, no I am sure this is why I really loved The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself.  It’s real, it’s true and it digs deep into your soul and makes you take a closer look at your own self and what you may be holding back. 

Thank you for reading my Interview, I hope you enjoyed it.  Kim Gray.

This last question is NOT mine, but from another Interview and I feel it should be included here as well.

A very Crucial Question and Answer from one of 
Nicholas Tanek's interviews this week.

How did you come up with the title?

The title has multiple meanings. The book does not condone, promote, or make fun of suicide. It does deal with depression though. The title itself was a saying that Lynn would use all the time. Basically, it meant that you would be doing something that you loved to do, even though it could be dangerous. It was about not caring how others may judge you for doing what you love and believe in. In our world, it was kink and exploring sexual fetishes. In this case, the book is a brutally honest memoir. There are parts of this book that will upset people I know. I decided to write this book even if it killed me. Finally, there is the metaphor. As someone who dealt with depression and truly hated the person I became, love changed me. My honest relationship with Lynn killed off the selfish person I used to be and I became a kinder person who respects and nurtures the people who love me. 

Kim Gray’s Interview
with Nicholas Tanek

The Coolest Way to Kill Yourself


Jennifer Trevino said...

Looking forward to the next questions! :)

Maggie Steele said...

I loved the old school style!

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