Nick is a gifted writer and a local Country Music legend, with a 1970s chart-topping album and a long list of Billboard singles.
Nick's thoughtful and candid critiques and his unique and haunting writing voice make him a cherished member of Coffee and Critique.
Due to his health he hasn't been able to grace our critique group table at the Rendezvous Café for several months, but he keeps in touch through e-mails and is always with us in spirit.
The photo above is of Nick Nixon with Donna Volkenannt (that's me) and Lou Turner at a tribute for Nick last fall.
his website and from his publisher, High Hill Press.
The following are my "take ten" interview questions and Nick's answers, along with his own bonus question and answer.
1. What inspired you to become a writer?
Nick: Aspiring young writer Jerry Tucker was a friend of mine, we lived in the same apartment building. He wanted to be the next Ernest Hemingway. We each had jobs, but for quite a while neither could afford a television. Occasionally, to pass the time, he would read his Hemingway efforts, some were good. I even penciled a few things of my own but was reluctant to share them for fear he'd find them simple.
As far as my writing that's the way it went for the next 25 years. Then one day the idea came to me again when another friend of mine, Nick Barry, encouraged me to contact local writing groups. I joined Coffee and Critique and Saturday Writers, and they soon gave me the confidence I needed to write freely. I showed some of my pieces to an older Jerry Tucker and he in turn encouraged me as well.
2. What is your writing specialty?
Nick: Personal essays, short stories, and memoirs.
3. How would you describe your writing process?
Nick: When the mood strikes.
4. What’s the best part about being a writer? The worst part?
Nick: The best is the opportunity to be creative. The worst: Trying to type, I don’t like the typing.
5. What the best writing advice you’ve received? The worst?
Nick: The best is write the way you talk. Worry about the spelling later. The worst: Someone told me I needed an education first.
6. Which books on writing can you recommend for other writers?
Nick: I don’t know.
7. How has belonging to Coffee & Critique effected you as a writer?
Nick: They gave me the confidence I needed to write freely.
8. Which writing awards mean the most to you?
Nick: My first writing award meant the most. “July the Wonder Dog" won first place in a Saturday Writers’ short story contest.
9. What three words best describe you?
Nick: Risk taker, entertainer, humorous.
10, What is your writing dream?
Nick: I’d like to interview Abraham Lincoln and write for the Lone Ranger. I would ask Abe how many times he re-wrote the “Gettysburg Address,” and did he feel confident about its content.
And, finally, Nick came up with his own bonus question:
Nick: How long would you like to live? Nick: As long as it takes to write the Nick Nixon memoirs.
There's not much I can add to Nick's answers, except to say, isn't he amazing!