Interview with children’s author Keith Nichols

Children’s’
and YA author Keith
Nichols
joins me today to chat about his new children’s chapter book Cat Land: Midnight’s Gambit. Keith was
one of three visitors from Gator House Publishing for a live chat this past
Sunday at The Writer’s Chatroom. It
was a great time.
Welcome, Keith.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I
was born in Tacoma Washington and am the youngest son of 16 children. My father
was a blacksmith and my mother an artist. I am 43 years old and moved to
Missouri 3 years ago, so my wife could be closer to her family.
Please tell us
about your current release.
Midnight’s Gambit is the first book in the
King’s Son Trilogy. In it we meet Cat Land’s best detective Midnight Panther
and his group of friends. After investigating a simple case of missing kittens,
Midnight and his partner Ghost discover a sinister plot to take over Cat Land.
With the help of their friends they must find out who is behind this plot and
try and stop them.
What inspired
you to write this book?
I
had been looking for a new genre to try writing in and after watching my latest
rescue Midnight recover from a serious life-threatening injury and illness I
decided to see if I could write a novel with him as the lead character.
Excerpt from Cat Land: Midnight’s Gambit:
I was sitting in my office,
talking to Ghost about the latest cases we had been on, nothing too important,
just the usual run of the mill stuff. There had been a few suspected fish
robberies, a couple of catnip thefts, mostly all small stuff. But we didn’t
mind, it all paid the bills and kept our pouches filled with nip. Ghost had
been my partner ever since I opened up my detective agency. He was a good
friend and a great investigator. The best cat I have ever known.
It
was a damp and rainy day in New Cat Land, and we were both enjoying a cup of
catnip tea and a bite of tuna. Ghost liked his raw and fresh, and I preferred
mine slightly warm.
“Well,
Ghostus,” I said, “we have closed all the open cases we had. Maybe it’s finally
a bit of downtime for us.”
Ghost
laughed at this and nibbled his tuna a bit. Hearing his nickname used always
put him in a good mood. “Oh, I doubt that, Midnight, we have been busy as rats
in a cat condo! Although I wouldn’t mind the downtime. I would like to get over
to the Docks and do some fishing.”
I
agreed that this sounded like a great idea. “Fishing sounds much better than
sitting in this office talking about previous cases.”
Ghost
nodded. “Oh, yeah, but this is the best way we can learn from all we have
done.”
What exciting
story are you working on next?
I am currently working on the next trilogy in the Cat
Land Series.
When did you
first consider yourself a writer?
Probably
in 5th grade when I completely failed to follow instructions and instead of
writing a one-page story I turned in a 40-page masterpiece written on notebook
paper.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I
work night shift as a machinist. So, I’m up all night, I get home around 8 or 9
am and sleep all day. I write on weekends or during the week before work.
What would you
say is your interesting writing quirk?
I
like to write when there is no distractions or stress in my life. I need to
have a serious happy zone.
As a child,
what did you want to be when you grew up?
An astronaut. But I failed the math test.
Thank you for
being a guest today – and this past Sunday – happy writing!

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