Nick Gilmartin's Weblog

And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

Introducing Nicholas Black, Author and all-round Hard Ass

with 15 comments

Nicholas Black, author

Nicholas Black, author

It was the other week that a new author came in under our radar.  At the appointed time he fast-roped down from the chopper and made his presence felt on our bookshelves, MP5 machine gun in one hand and a manuscript in the other.

Nicholas Black is a writer like nobody I have ever met.  Sophisticated yet uncomplicated, potentially dangerous yet remarkably tranquil.  This is a man who has walked the walk, seen it, done it and carried the scar.

Little in known about his childhood, something he chose to remain private.  He is, however, a master of Muay Thai, Boxing and Ju Jitsu.  Fight Club is like a home-movie to this guy.  He trained with the legendary Gracie clan and Carlos Machado and Allen Mohler.

jujitsu

His roller-coaster ride started when he worked as a Security advisor for the wrong company.  Normally a straight up guy, he found himself under arrest on weapons charges and coerced into testifying against his former employers.  Rather than betray his employers, whatever their faults,  he chose to escape to Europe, where he joined the famous Foreign Legion.  Here he fitted in well with all the other colourful characters that make up the Legion’s rich tapestry.  He was finally caught on the island of Ibiza where he was working as a security manager.

Foreign Legion

The US Government ordered his repatriation and trial in 2003, and he was sentanced to 87 months in prison.

87 months, for owning a firearm, in America.  That’s like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.  But in this new cage of gray bars and hopelessness what could he do to keep himself from going nuts?

Nicholas Black started to write.  He scrounged paper and pens where he could.  He borrowed or stole any paper he could find, pencils, sharpeners and set to work.  His mind spewed visions of  clammy fear, of white hot fury, of horror and occasional wild hilarity.  He collaberated with paramedics, other men of the world who had fallen foul of the law and produced page after page of startling prose.

It started to occur to him that he was rather good at this.  It is a strange, giddy feeling that leaves you high on adrenaline even as you are sat alone in a silent room.  You write a chapter and you just want to carry on because even you don’t know what happens next.  A book can become a roller coaster, you just hold on for dear life and the characters leads you by the hand down whatever road they choose.

And the roads they led him down were dark indeed.  Tales of medical horror and supernatural terror began to leap off the page in front of his very eyes.

See Jack Die

But that was only half the battle.  He needed an agent now and a publisher which is another battle in itself.  Agents and Publishers get a little nervous when they get letters written on prison headed note paper.

So I finally got a hold of him, and sat his ass down.  It was time to get a few answers from this hard ass.  Could Mr Gilmartin succeed where many interrogators have failed?  Time to find out.

Your life experiences read like a Tony Scott film.  Is there a clear line between the facts of your life and the fiction you write?

Well, all of my nonfiction is based on my experiences.  However, in the SEE JACK DIE series, it all started from something that happened to me when I was working in IBIZA, Spain.  I saw something that shook me up, and then I thought, “Oh, that would be wonderfully haunting.  I’ve got to write about it.”  It thus spawned the series that starts with SEE JACK DIE.  It’s part one of 7 books that I believe are going to have a huge following in the next few years.

Have you thought about taking on Hollywood?  You could kick their ass right?

Well, those Hollywood boys can chew you up and spit you out.  That being said, I’ve got a tiny part in a small film that starts shooting in mid-August.  If you blink, you’ll probably miss me, but I plan on keeping my eyes open while I’m in LA.  The best way into a place is through the bedroom window, so I’m going to shake a bunch of hands, kiss some babies, and find out who I need to punch in the face to get my books made into films.

Nick worked with actor and martial arts icon, Chuck Norris

Nick worked with actor and martial arts icon, Chuck Norris

You met the all-American hard-ass Chuck Norris.  Is he as awesome in the flesh?  How many of the Chuck Norris facts are correct, in your estimation?

I did stunts and worked with Chuck for about 3 years.  He is a wonderful person, probably the nicest actor I’ve ever met.  And yeah, he’s pretty tough.  He still does his own stunts, and can kick like a mule.  And he showed everyone on the set the utmost respect (even us lowly stunt guys).

We have both studied Muay-Thai, Boxing and forms of Ju-Jitsu (You did the Brazilian version, I did the old Japanese style).  Is the Ultimate Fighting Championship becoming too mainstream now the Gracie family have left the picture?  Is it a refreshing change from the WWE lycra-clad ‘sports drama’?.

This is the evolution of the sport.  In order to go mainstream the UFC had to take on some entertainment angle.  Fighting isn’t about fighters, it’s about personalities.  You can’t market skill, but you can easily sell charisma.  Once Dana White–an extremely astute and intelligent man–keyed into that, things really started changing for the UFC.  He has done an extraordinary job of changing what was a nearly bankrupt organization into a multi billion dollar enterprise.

Have you any plans to release your books in any other languages?

Yes, I’d like to release all of my books in Spanish.  I am very fond of Spain, as well as Central and South America, and I want spanish speakers to be able to read my words.  I love spain, and plan on buying a place in Ibiza when I cut a few book deals.

Do you think Obama is doing a good job?

Obama inherited a mess.  Simply, Bush and his buddies did some damage.  No two ways around that.  We know, the world knows.  It’s about damage control at this point.  And Obama is a very intelligent man.  I like him, and support him in his endeavors.  Let’s just all remember that the President, is more or less a talking head for a cabinet of very smart people.  Let’s just hope his people are as good as we need them to be.

Did you ever write as a kid?

Never picked up a pen until I got to Prison.  Failed every writing course I ever took.  Hated reading anything bigger than a news article.  so I figured, if I could write stuff that people like me would enjoy, then I’d have a market.

What is more difficult, being on the run from the law or getting a book deal?

(Laughing) well, I’ve been on the run, and did that pretty well, so I’d have to say snatching a book deal.  But I figure I’ll nail that here pretty soon.  I’m a patient guy, and I’ve been poor before.  I’ve been rich too, and I find that rich was better than poor.  That being said, I’m okay being poor right now, and when the ‘right’ deal comes along, I’ll snatch it up.  And hey, don’t call me a sell-out.  I’ll never ‘sell out’, I choose to call it “Buying-in.”

Sodomy Cat
Where the hell did you get a title like Sodomy Cat?  (I really must read that book in an airport departure lounge opposite a nervous looking passenger)

That’s an interesting story.  The book title was a joke that my mates and I used to laugh at.  We’d walk down the hallway and start talking about the surprise ending of “Sodomy Cat”.  A book that we figured would never be written.  And when I finished the sequel to See Jack Die (See Jack Hunt), my pal Thomas and I had this evil idea…why not write the book that people will be afraid to open.  And here’s the thing, it is, by far, the best writing I’ve done.  The book is going to get good reviews, despite the name.  My plan is to take all the people that don’t like it and organize large book burnings.  The more the merrier.  Buy them by the thousands and burn ’em.  I’ll even throw the match!

Souls Harbor
Your book, Soul’s Harbor, relates the tale of a frontline Paramedic in Springfield.  Do you think America would benefit from a national health service, like we pay into in the UK?

Your system, while there are some obvious time-related flaws, is much more forward thinking than in the US.  No joke, you can get kicked out of a hospital in America, an axe sticking out of your head, if your insurance provider says they aren’t covering it.  Europe has a wonderful way of learning from the mistakes of the US, which is why I choose to live in Europe, when I possibly can.

Keep up with Nick as his website and on twitter:

http://www.nickblackbooks.com

http://www.twitter.com/nicholasblack60

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Written by Nick Gilmartin

July 23, 2009 at 6:56 pm

15 Responses

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  1. You lost me at Introducing ….. boring!

    Lisa Cameron

    July 24, 2009 at 9:43 am

    • You must have had quite an exciting life. Not that I’m some Rambo or anything, but boring isn’t the adjective that comes to mind. What would you say was ‘interesting’?

      Nick Black

      July 27, 2009 at 11:46 pm

  2. I can’t wait to get into the books. You sound like a real live human who has lived and isn’t afraid to talk about it.

    Skyla Jones

    July 26, 2009 at 5:27 am

  3. The books could very well be some of the most captivating stories on the market but those graphics kill it for me. Invest some money in a graphic designer who will do you justice because those book covers look corny and its a sad fact but people will buy your books 8 times out of 10 because the cover is inviting.

    Jack Treez

    July 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm

  4. Yeah, I agree. I did the artwork from inside prison. No computers, no real design tools. I had to rely on being sneaky and clever just to get the books out. So, I agree completely. but, since this is a solo project, I haven’t had the financial wherewithal to sink money into covers. the plan was to get to a real publisher and have them take the books out on their own.

    Nick.

    Nick Black

    July 27, 2009 at 11:45 pm

  5. hey dude u have one amazing story to tell and the fact that although u ve been struck down and risen up even higher really inspires!best of luck for ur books and ur martial arts!
    by the way, one question 4 u pls reply

    if u were offered a book deal or a action film with u as the lead,which one would u choose?;-)

    divyank

    July 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    • I would take the book deal hands down. I doubt I’m a very good actor because my ex-girlfriends seem to always know when I’ve been out and about, cheating bastard that I am. so, I’d take the book deal. Plus, I figure there’s a certain amount of nobility that comes with a book deal. Any old truck driver can star in a movie.

      cheers,
      Nick

      Nick Black

      August 2, 2009 at 1:42 am

  6. Cool pleasure to meet ya!!!

    Jarvis Killens

    July 31, 2009 at 11:08 am

  7. Cool I’am thnking anyone who knows,Chuck Norris is cool as f,U see Life is about choices some good and some bad so what only one jugde GOD!!!

    Jarvis Killens

    July 31, 2009 at 3:58 pm

  8. i like it and im interested in reading more i would love to be in a movie tho it would be fun if i had the chance im a good actress lol but get back to me

    husslebunny412

    August 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    • Well, if the movie ever gets produced, you’ll be called in for an audition!

      Nick Black

      September 21, 2009 at 5:13 am

  9. Very nice Q&A. I would love to meet some of the people that think this was boring. I would sink my fist into them. Repeatedly. I was there, most of the time. What were you doing? I doubt it was standing outside in your underwear, in December, in Southern France, at 2 in the morning while being screamed at in a language you didn’t understand. I would love to take you there and watch you cry like a baby after a day of physical and mental training, you worthless waste of space. It’s people like you that make me want to unleash punishment on the unworthy.

    Niles

    September 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    • Thanks, Brother. It’s good to see there are still some shooters out there.

      Nick Black

      September 21, 2009 at 5:14 am

  10. This sounds amazing! Look forward to reading this.

    nursetausha

    October 20, 2009 at 1:54 pm


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