Author Interview: Nick Abdilla

“Why did they kidnap me? I’m not rich. I don’t have a lot of family to extort. I have certainly not been a police officer long enough to make any enemies. But instead of waking to the incessant ringing of my alarm clock back in my small city apartment, I awoke in the dirt. In the jungle. Naked. What is happening? Where are their demands?

Then I found her; beautiful and graceful, without a mark to show for her life trapped here. Wherever here is. How did she survive in this jungle? In fact, how is she keeping me alive? 14 days now, she has hunted, caught, cooked and provided without ever saying a word. She has listened to everything I’ve said, but never responds. Is she in on it? Am I in some weird experiment, or is it all a dream? But it can’t be a dream, because I keep having terrible nightmares. About bright lights, and pain, and figures at my door their voices in my head. Of jumping off cliffs, being eaten by monsters and hanging myself. How can you have such vivid nightmares inside a dream?

Then there is the X, tattooed on my head. Who kidnaps someone and then tattoos an X on their forehead? What’s it all mean? I’ve had enough! Tomorrow I’m taking control and repaying my debt to this girl. Tomorrow I escape.”

Coffee with Architects of Worlds Afar is delighted to announce that joining us in the virtual studio today is the author of Adam Exitus, Nick Abdilla!

1. When did you start writing?
I originally wanted to be a comic book artist AND writer and I can remember creating my own comics as young as four. Although I imagine the writing was probably not very good back then. It’s fair to say I can remember writing always being a big part of my life. The Game Guy comic strip that was featured in Gameinformer each month was my first published work and that’s when I started to consider writing as an actual career.

2. Why did you start writing?
As I mentioned previously I was interested in drawing as well as writing. The drawing side was clearly from my dad who is an amazing artist, but the interest in writing was uniquely mine. For some reason drawing a single picture was never enough for me. My pictures had to tell a story. I think what is boils down to, is I enjoy entertaining people and imagining new worlds.

3. Do you recall the moment you first conceived the idea for your novel?
I can remember the exact day I created Adam. It was June 6th 2006 which is weird that I remember that because I don’t remember the exact date of any of my other creations. It was originally a comic book, which I decided to turn into a novel ten years later as the story still resonated with me so strongly. My editor Chris Stead helped me flesh out a lot of the concepts for the novel but I’m proud to say the book remains very true to the original.

4. Tell us a little bit about your book’s title.
The original name I was running with for the book was Adam Exodus. But when I was close to completing my first draft, I discovered there was already a book out there with a very similar title. So began a mad search for a new name with me eventually settling on the now preferred Adam Exitus. Exitus: which is latin for “a passage from which one may depart” holds far more significance to the overall story, then the aforementioned exodus. So I guess it all worked out for the best in the end.

5. Does your story have a moral?
The book has a lot of themes but if I had to pick one moral to the story it would be “to never give up”. Adam faces many trials throughout his journey and considers giving in many times, but these hardships ultimately make him a better person and I think that is the point I’m trying to get across to the reader. That the hard times make us better people in the long run.

6. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
That’s easy. Anne is my favorite character and judging by most of the feedback I’m receiving a bit of a fan favorite as well. Problem is I can’t really tell you why without spoiling what makes her special. Sorry:)

7. Using five words or less, describe the protagonist in Adam Exitus.
Adam starts of his adventure very unsure, inexperienced and maybe even a little naive. But at his core he is brave, kind and always puts the welfare of others before his own.

8. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
I like quiet when I’m writing so I mostly do it late at night when the wife and kids have all gone to bed. I have a little corner alcove at home where I do all my writing and drawing.

9. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
Not a big fan. I like to work at my own pace.

10. What is your favorite book genre?
Another easy one. Science fiction fantasy. Maybe one day I might explore other genres but for now I’m happy writing books under that category.

11. What are you currently reading?
Star Wars Thrawn by one of my long time favorite writers Timothy Zahn.

12. What is your favorite book?
Too hard. There are so many books I love I can’t narrow it down to just one. The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks springs to mind of the top of my head though.

13. Any project in the works?
Been super busy working on Adam Exiled, which is the sequel to Adam Exitus.

14. How long does it usually take you to write a book?
A good year for a first draft, with another year of fine tuning.

15. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
Being able to see aspects of yourself in the character you are reading.

16. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never give up. There’s a lot of rejection before you get that big break.

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Books

2. Dogs or cats?
Cats

3. Summer or winter?
Winter

4. Cake or ice-cream?
Cake

5. Car or motorcycle?
Car

6. Ebook or physical book?
Physical book

7. Nights out or nights in?
Night in

8. Living in the city or living in the country?
City

9. Having telepathy or having telekinesis?
Telekinesis

10. Being able to travel to the past or being able to travel to the future?
Past

11. Making a phone call or sending a text?
Text

12. Travelling by car or travelling by airplane?
Car

13. Staying in a hotel or going camping?
Hotel

14. Working in a group or working alone?
Alone

15. Losing all of your money or losing every picture you’ve ever taken and every picture that has ever been taken of you?
Money

16. To find true love or to win the lottery?
Love

17. Being Spider-Man for a day or being Batman for a day?
Spider-Man

18. Reading or writing?
Writing

Thank you for joining us, Nick!
Readers: want to connect with Nick? You can find him on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

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