Joining Curiosity Quills for another edition of our Author Spotlight: Question & Answer Coloumn, is Nina Post, author of recently released humorous fantasy novel, The Last Death Worm of the Apocalypse, which hit Amazon on May 2, 2017!
In the comments, please join us in asking Nina Post anything you’d like to know about writing, her new book, and life in Seattle, WA. Or you know, just throw something completely random at her to keep her on her toes!
Who are you and where do you call home right now?
I’m Nina Post and I live in Seattle, Washington, in a house with a view of two volcanoes and the Cascades mountain range. Here’s a picture of one of the volcanoes (Mount Rainier), though it doesn’t always look like this:
Tell us about your latest book: your inspiration for it, how you got through your most difficult challenge in writing it, and what you love about it?
My latest book is called The Last Death Worm of the Apocalypse (a title that my mother is thrilled about, I’m sure).
Part of the inspiration for it was that my husband and I had moved out of a condo building just when short-term rentals through AirBnB were getting to be a thing, but we had experienced more than enough of the chaos those wreaked. My biggest challenge was getting all of the specific condo details right.
I love that it captures another insane element of the world of condos and HOAs — but mainly I love my characters and the weird things they do and say.
What are a few of your hobbies?
I’d say rowing, but that’s not a hobby. Is lunch a hobby? I’m into forest restoration, tabletop games (Pandemic, Dominion, etc), photography, and reading. And I’m a pretty good baker.
If you had your own food truck, what would it serve?
Challah and hamantaschen.
What do you want to get better at doing, writing-wise?
Ugh, so much. You never stop learning and getting better, and you always think you suck :) But I’ll say characters. That’s always the most important thing, as far as I’m concerned.
What TV series are you into right now and why?
Halt and Catch Fire, which does a brilliant job with characters and everything else (including music). Two very different women are at the heart of the show. They’re smart and talented, but flawed in realistic ways, and their achievements and conflicts as a pair of business partners drive the show forward. It’s a rare thing to have. And the show’s setting of both time and place — Silicon Prairie in the 80s, then Silicon Valley later in the 80s — is so well done. It’s a great series that more people should be watching.
What movie do you quote the most?
Ghostbusters, Young Frankenstein, Better Off Dead, The Princess Bride, The Man With Two Brains, Withnail & I.
What do you collect, even a little bit? Tell us about your favorite one.
I collect vintage Italian movie posters. My favorite is il Dottor Stranamore; it has the best design (and I love the movie). I also collect foreign editions of books; I haven’t traveled anywhere lately, but people are kind enough to find them for me when they go overseas. My favorites are a collection of short stories from Iceland called “Spring Chicken and Other Stories,” and a lovely hardcover of Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.”
What’s your preferred genre of book when you just want to escape?
Mysteries with a weird supernatural or science fiction element, a space opera with some levity, or something with a supernatural flavor that makes me laugh.
What do you like to do on vacation?
I’m not good at taking vacations (does this Q&A make me seem like the most boring person in the world? Like I’m reading about oatmeal? [Sesame Street reference]) — but I like to go to museums. The Art Institute of Chicago is at the top, but two of my favorites this year were the Wells Fargo Museum in San Francisco, and the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon. I like to have dinner at a small, out-of-the-way, and excellent restaurant, find a place with good coffee, and hit a few used bookstores for obscure research sources. I also like photography, and taking notes on things I can use later (like Harriet the Spy).
Is there another genre you’ve been itching to write in?
Commercial sci-fi / space opera.
What unusual object do you like to bring with you if you leave the house?
I have this Mary Poppins-esque bag full of all kinds of practical, utilitarian things, but maybe the most unusual object is a LeSportsac pencil case filled with an electric toothbrush and other dental care stuff. I’m that person brushing their teeth in the public bathroom.
If you had a champion racing pigeon, what would you name it and what would its tagline be?
I would name it Grace Zabriskie. Its tagline would be “Bite my scab!”
Finally, give us one recommendation for something - movie, TV, game, food - that you enjoyed recently.
The game Codenames is a word association game that’s great for 4-6 people.
The concept is the opposite of the Remote Associates Task, where you generate an associate (a word) that’s common to three other words. With Codenames, you’re given the associate word first, and then you have to pick from among the words on the board.
Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents, and give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the table (there are 25 cards). The teams have to choose one or more cards they think connect to the word the spymaster gave them, and there are some tricky parameters. I don’t know if I made it sound appealing, but it’s a lot of fun.
About The Last Death Worm of the Apocalypse
Kelly Driscoll has a steady job as building manager of Amenity Tower, but she’s struggling to find her place under the shadow of the former (and beloved) manager. Just before the big holiday party, a ruthless corporate bean counter imposes an onerous set of demands. Meanwhile, Kelly’s boyfriend — the mild-mannered Angel of Destruction — embarks on an ill-advised road trip with a chaos demon and a grim reaper so he can get back the money he paid to a fraudulent meditation guru.
As the building’s board members covertly plan the next apocalypse, Kelly keeps the building running despite a zombie infestation, problems with the new death worm lap pool, and the bean counter’s obsession with the shiny new condo tower across the street.
But during the building’s big holiday party, the bean counter reveals her true nature, the lap pool becomes a serious interdimensional problem, and monsters invade the city, jeopardizing Kelly’s job, relationship, and future. Can she save Pothole City and Amenity Tower, and get back her mojo as building manager before it’s too late?
The next installment awaits...Author Spotlight Question and Answer: Bob Defendi