From Soraya: Interview with Steve Niles

While I travel, we have another interview today from my friend, Soraya Murillo Hernandez, from Spain. Soraya speaks Spanish, and I only speak English, so our friendship has leaned heavily on technology and Google Translate.

Soraya has so many, incredible interviews, I’ve created a category for her work. You can find all Soraya’s interviews at From Soraya. Today, she shares her interview with Steve Niles.

Steve Niles (born June 21, 1965) is an American comic book author and novelist, known for works such as 30 Days of NightCriminal MacabreSimon DarkMystery Society and Batman: Gotham County Line.

He is credited among other contemporary writers as bringing horror comics back to prominence, authoring such works as 30 Days of Night, its sequel, Dark Days (IDW Publishing), and Criminal Macabre (Dark Horse Comics) with frequent artist collaborator Ben Templesmith.

Photo courtesy of pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA.

Soraya—Because of your birthplace, do you have any creative, didactic, moral or personal influence, taken from the streets and suburbs of New Jersey, as well as its urban artists, or from your friends? 

Steve Niles—I was born in New Jersey but left at a young age. I wound up spending most of my childhood and teenage years in Washington DC which had a major effect on me. I was part of the local music scene in DC which had a very DIY attitude and I think a lot of that rubbed off on me. In the scene we put out our own records, booked our own shows and tours and pretty much did everything ourselves without relying on the big corporate music companies.

What is your personal opinion about the big publishing houses or industrial companies inside of the writing and comic world, and what took you to undertake the adventure of creating your own publishing company, Arcane Comic?

Steve Niles—Because of the DIY music scene I was a part of when I decided I wanted to write and publish comics I did it myself. I formed Arcane at a young age but realized very quickly my strength was not in business. From that point on I became just a writer and have been at it ever since.

How did you live the experience of being adapted to the big screen with 30 Days of Night?

Steve Niles—It was a very exciting and positive experience. The producers and director kept me in the loop throughout the process that took nearly seven years. In the end I was very happy with the film so all around it was a great experience.

Are you working on any project unknown at present?

Steve Niles—I have several projects I’m working on at the moment but nothing I can really talk about yet. My main focus has been on October Faction which is a monthly title I do with Damien Worm.

Regarding the last question, have you ever thought, for example, writing a steampunk horror novel? 

Steve Niles—Not really.

You are one of the writers that better know the independent publishing world. Based on that and on your long way as a professional in literacy and graphic art, which advice would you give to an independent publisher who wants to follow your steps?

Steve Niles—You have to love what you do. If you don’t love it you are in for a lot of disappointment. Being a writer is very tough and even harder to sustain so be sure that you love what you are doing and that will go a long way.

Do you have your own resources to get inspired for writing? Any kind of ritual? Any mania?

Steve Niles—Mostly reading inspired writing but I’ll also watch films to trigger creativity. The only ritual I have is sitting at my desk first thing every morning and waking up as I try to think of things to write.

Why did you choose horror? What were the reasons or the special reason besides you like that genre?

Steve Niles—I was actually scared of horror as a young child and then around the fourth grade I fell in love with everything that scared me.

What can you tell us about working with Damien Worm?

Steve Niles—Working with Damien has been fantastic. I think we’ve been working together for three years now and it’s been a pleasure. He’s got a great attitude and he is very, very talented.

You shot amateur movies. What memories you keep from that?

Steve Niles—Mostly I have memories of setting things on fire and covering my friends with blood. It was a fun way to try and tell stories but in the end I found writing to be a much more satisfying and less messy way.

Which writers are your biggest influence?

Steve Niles—Richard Matheson is one of my biggest influences. From I am Legend to his Twilight Zone episodes he was always fresh and original.

Photo by Luigi Novi.

It is said that you are a very good reader. Can you learn to write by reading?

Steve Niles—I think it’s very important to read as a writer. Reading makes you a better writer.

It is obvious that you enjoy your work with a passion. Is that also the key for your success?

Steve Niles—I think it is. I really love what I do and I look forward to everything I write and I love collaborating with artists.

Soraya Murillo Hernandez

From  Soraya Murillo Hernandez: I am an early reader, I started reading very soon and I was interested in terror, I liked to look for monsters and ghosts in the stories. Then I knew that the greatest terror came from humans. I am a book reviewer in Spain, I do it free to help its authors to know their works.

Soy una lectora precoz, comencé muy pronto a leer y me interese por el terror, me gustaba buscar monstruos y fantasmas en las historias. Luego supe que el mayor terror venia de los humanos . Soy reseñadora de libros en España, lo hago gratis para ayudar a sus autores a conocer sus obras.

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Packing to Poe Versus King

We leave for Kansas City tomorrow night after our taekwondo testing, so we are busy packing and preparing. I’ll fill in more details tomorrow. For now, enjoy an Epic Rap Battle—Edgar Allen Poe versus Stephen King.

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Kansas City Bound!

Everything is set and I can now confirm that Saturday’s event at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida will be my LAST event in Florida this year.

Then I will be temporarily relocating to Kansas City until the end of the year. If this seems like a surprise, you aren’t alone. This was not in my plan last week.

After Saturday, I won’t be making any more appearances locally. The Creative Community Day event at the SpaceBox Storage in Niceville is continuing as planned. Friend and fellow author Tami Kidd is the organizer for that. The only classes I will be teaching until the end of the year are online, which you can find here.

Looking forward to new horizons but not forgetting the old ones. This is not a permanent good-bye to the Emerald Coast. I plan to be back in 3-6 months. Yes, I will miss seeing all my friends locally every week. Don’t forget me :)

You can always keep up with me on Instagram and Facebook.

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My Pixabay Profile

I’ve recently started submitting photography work to Pixabay. I use Pixabay all the time for their excellent quality, free domain images. They are free, but tips for the photographers are encouraged.

I started submitting photos to Pixabay a few weeks ago for fun. I like the idea of giving something away and I hope one day to be walking through a store and see my photo on something—a book cover, candle, whatever. If anyone I know uses one of my photos for anything, let me know.

They are pretty strict on their acceptances. So far I’ve had 15 photos accepted out of probably 50 submitted. I guess that’s what keeps them such a fantastic image resource.

You can keep track of my Pixabay profile and photos here.

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Final Event of the Year?

I may be vanishing after this Saturday’s event at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. I’ll be reading TWO brand new books for the first time ever. The first one will be the long awaited third book in the Lizard Adventures series—Truman the Tarantula.

The second book will also be brand new—Everly Is Everywhere is the first book I’m co-writing with my husband, R.A. Smith and the second in the Everywhere series.

Both books will be unveiled for the FIRST TIME EVER at the grand opening of the new Little Free Library at the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida. It may be your last chance to see me anywhere this year.

I hope you’ll stop by the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, ​115 Westview Avenue, Valparaiso, from 2-3 p.m. for two BRAND NEW STORIES and a surprise announcement.

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Irma Update: Evacuating

  • Will try to stay in touch via phone, but things have deteriorated enough where we are that we are evacuating to our office in Niceville.

It has become possible that we will be indirectly hit with a Cat 1-3 hurricane, reports vary. As full time RVers, we are all leaving.

Chaos in the park as people scramble from this unexpected turn of events. Furniture is moving in, power being disconnected and every available patch of grass is hosting evacuees from the south. We are all scrambling ahead of Irma.

Rumors have it that all major stores—Walmart, Publix, Winn Dixie—will be closing today beginning at 2 p.m. to allow employees time to get hunkered down somewhere. Shelters are fast filling up. Gas stations are mobbed as our southern neighbors pass through on their way to the north and our locals now decide to get out.

We will be fine in Niceville. We stocked up on canned goods and coffee a few days ago, have water and will be riding the storm out in a concrete and steel fortress.

We are on the same grid as the hospital and the sewage treatment plant, so we expect power loss to be minimal. We are taking the dogs.

This is the time to pray for everyone affected by Irma, Jose and Harvey. Houston is no longer in the spotlight, but they are still trying recover. As resources rush to aid the new disaster victims, everything is starting to be spread thin. They are calling her Irmageddon. Maybe Revelations just had the spelling wrong.

Stay safe everyone. Will be updating via Instagram here.

Will also update to Facebook here.

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Where Irma Is, & Where We Are

Not much to do today but continue on. Today I prepped two kid books for publication and started a third. I also answered a LOT of texts about how safe we were. Right now, we are safe. Storms are unpredictable and no one is taking Irma lightly.

To ease minds, however, I made this infographic to show everyone where the storm is in relation to us tonight. Irma could easily give us trouble, but for tonight, our prayers are with the rest of Florida, the Caribbean and Houston.

Where Irma is in relation to us tonight.

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Hurricane Irma Inspiration

Things are tense here as everyone rushes to batten everything down ahead of Hurricane Irma. Disaster certainly puts things into perspective. The things we complained about last week seem petty today. Irma reminds us not to sweat the small stuff. We’ve done all we can to prepare.

No one can predict what will happen during this unprecedented storm. I’m sure we will be fine, but it does make me think about death more than usual. Should disaster strike us here and my time winds to a close, I hope I go mid-sentence, fingers on the keyboard, final thoughts paused for an eternal moment.

Today, all I can think about is Irma. 

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Hoping for the Best

As Irma bears down on the Caribbean tonight, all our hopes and prayers go out to you.

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Available Classes

Here’s a reminder for the classes I have available online and at Northwest Florida State College. This morning I’ll be doing a talk on Social Media Basics for the  Niceville Business Exchange at Cafe Bienville, 314 Bayshore Dr, Niceville, at 8 a.m.


NWFSC Niceville Campus

Elements of Story I on Thursdays from Sept. 21 to Oct. 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in bldg. 330, room 210. Class costs $40. CRN#: 10709

In this beginning story writing class, students will learn the basics of creative writing. From the initial who, what, when and where questions, students will craft their own tale, polish it and be empowered to continue writing stories on their own. Please bring laptop or tablet to class. 

Business of Creativity on Thursdays from Sept. 21 to Oct. 26 from 1-3 p.m. in bldg. 330, room 210. Class costs $50. CRN#: 10708

You have created your masterpiece, but now what? Creative souls oft en struggle with the business side of managing their art. Designed for writers, musicians, artists and anyone working to bring their vision to the world, students in this class will learn about branding, social media, Google tools, business cards, record keeping, guerrilla marketing, press releases, professional set up and more. Please bring laptop or tablet to class.

Elements of Story II on Thursdays from Oct. 19 to Nov. 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in bldg. 330, room 210. Class costs $50. CRN#: 10710

A follow-up to Elements of Story I, this advanced class is a more in depth study of the short story. Students will dissect the story created in Elements I into the various parts using different forms of writing, including poetry, screenplay, nanofiction and timelines. Please bring laptop or tablet to class.

Click here for information on registering.

NWFSC Crestview Campus

Creative Exercise: Writing with Prompts on Fridays from Sept. 22 to Oct. 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in bldg. 60, room 304. Class costs $50. CRN#: 10677

Exercise your creative muscles every week as we explore writing with prompts. Each week a new prompt will challenge your literary skills. Stories from the class will then be presented in an open mic format. Spoken word and performance skills will also be part of the class, to help you learn to present your work in a dynamic and effective manner.

Writing as Therapy on Fridays from Sept. 22 to Oct. 27 from from 1-3 p.m. in bldg. 60, room 304. Class costs $50. CRN#: 10720

The written word is a powerful tool for change, and the most powerful changes occur first in ourselves. Writing as Therapy explores our ability to use words to change our lives, deal with anger and find the positive aspects in any situation. Please bring laptop or tablet to class.

Click here for information on registering.

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