Interview: Jeremy Flagg author of Nighthawks

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What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Are we talking the good stuff or are we talking my cheap chocolate ice cream? Depending on how classy I’m feeling I’ll usually just go with good ol’ fashioned generic chocolate ice cream. However, every now and then I treat myself to some Peanut butter Cup ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s which is pretty much going to vanish the moment I get home. Self-control isn’t one of my strongest traits, especially in the chocolate department.

Which mythological creature are you most like?
My background is in art, and one of my all time favorite pieces of architecture was the gothic period’s usage of grotesques. These small “demons” sitting on roofs would eventually be known as gargoyles and were used to siphon water away from the roof. However, they would later be given their own legends, calling them protectors and only stone during the daylight. I think it’s fascinating that something so simple as a creature on a roof has developed such a cult following of its own. I think if I was going to be a mythical creature, I’d hope I’d be more of the protector, and having wings wouldn’t be too shabby either.

First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.

The first book I remember reading on my own as a youngster was Peter Pan. I knew so much of the myth from pop culture that I decided to give it a go. I was captivated by the book, the characters and the sense of wonder given to the characters. However, it wasn’t until I read Michael Ende’s “The Neverending Story,” that I found a book that would stick with me for life. The main character embarks on a journey he thinks he has no chance of accomplishing. As he embarks on this journey, he finds himself becoming the villain and has to step back and take a look at what he’s done. It was the first time I read a story with such a drastic fall of the protagonist into the antagonist role. It’s fantastical elements only enhanced this amazing character development. Because of that, I’ll always remember the line, “And that is a story for another time.”

How do you develop your plot and characters?

I generally approach a novel with a plot in place. I don’t really outline, but I know where my characters are going to start and where I want them to end. The space in between is where I rely on my characters to write the story. I find if I give my characters enough drive and personality, they’ll propel the story forward. There are even moments I feel they hijack my plot and turn it into something they need to have happen. My characters start with a simple passion, and I tend to push outward from that. Often times I’ll look to my friends to uncover habits and traits that I find interesting enough to infuse into my characters. It helps having a model I can reference when I need to get into their head. Once they’re jammed packed full of personality, I feel the story just drives itself.

Describe your writing space.

I have a nice little office that I like to write in. My office is basically a single desk, with nothing on it but the computer and keyboard. I find if there is a distraction, I will find it, and I’ll wander off and stop writing. Since I’ve been giving myself word limits, however, I often leave the house and go sit at a Starbucks for a couple of hours and write there. If I can’t squeeze it into my work schedule, I will take my laptop to bed and write until I start to get tired. It’s been going pretty well. I find I have to work writing into my life. I’m hoping in the near future the responsibilities will shift and I’ll be fitting life into my writing schedule and I’ll be able to spend some dedicated time in my office banging out words.

Titles: Nighhawks

Author: Jeremy Flagg
Genre: Sci-Fi (Dystopian)

Twenty-six-year-old painter Conthan Cowan takes art to a shocking frontier…

His debut exhibit features the transformation of his high school friend, Sarah, as she went from a shy, soft-spoken girl to a Child of Nostradamus—an individual gifted with extraordinary abilities. Living in a society where the Children of Nostradamus are captured by the government, Conthan’s exhibit draws attention from officials and protesters alike.

A government psychic may be dead, but that doesn’t stop her from manipulating the future…

The deceased White House aide is only remembered for her failed assassination attempt on the president decades before Conthan was born. Foreseeing her own death, she scribed letters to bring together specific Children of Nostradamus on a mission that will change the world.

On the night of the gallery exhibition, Conthan receives one of those letters…

Whispers from the past direct him to visit Sarah, the subject of his paintings, who like many Children of Nostradamus, is being detained in a government research facility. It’s there he finds himself aligned with a rogue group of Children on a mission to prevent a dark future.

As a dark future unfolds, there’s only one hope to stop the destruction of the world…

The Children of Nostradamus.

“…Seabrook, New Hampshire is gone. If you’re just tuning in, the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant has just exploded. We have no word yet on what caused the explosion, but we do know there was a catastrophe resulting in failure of the systems at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant.”

“God help them,” said the woman at the news desk.

He could hear Elizabeth gasp at the announcement. His mind was moving a million miles an hour. His wife, still covered in sweat and grime from giving birth, his newborn son, his office calling him to alert him to the news, all of it caused his head to swim. He was unsure of what his next move would be.

The television flickered and turned to static. Mark reached up and smacked the side of the box. The static began to take the shape of a person. He stepped back to see the solid outline of a man on the TV.

“United States of America,” said a voice through the static, “land of the free and home of the brave. We are calling out your discreet operations. We know all about The Culling. Individuals who for years have been in your employ, using their more-than-human abilities to further your goals, will not die in vain. Killing empaths, slaughtering clairvoyants, and the genocide of telepaths will be responded to in kind.”

“Eleanor,” he said in a hushed voice as he realized what they were talking about.

“The United States has declared war on the wrong people. We can see you coming. We can hear your plans. We will not be eliminated. You’ve seen our reach.”

I’m high school graphic design and marketing teacher, at a large suburban high school in Massachusetts. Working as a high school educator and observing the outlandish world of adolescence was the inspiration for my first young adult novel, “Suburban Zombie High.”

My inspiration for writing stems from being a youth who struggled with reading in school. While I found school assigned novels incredibly difficult to digest, I devoured comics and later fantasy novels. Their influences can be seen in the tall tales I spin.

I took the long route to becoming a writer. For a brief time, I majored in Creative Writing but exchanged one passion for another as I switched to Art and Design. My passion for reading about superheroes, fantastical worlds, and panic-stricken situations would become the foundation of my writing career.

I participated in my first NaNoWriMo in 2006 and continue to write an entire novel every November. Now I am the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison to the Massachusetts Metrowest Region. I also belong the New England Horror Writer’s Association and to a weekly writing group, the Metrowest Writers.

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