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Interview with Bruce Nesmith

Happy hump day! I'm back with another super fun author interview. Bruce Nesmith is a video game designer turned writer. Well, really he was always a writer but you catch my drift. Bruce designed games such as The Elder Scrolls V, Oblivion, and Fallout 3-4. To say my husband was a bit jealous of me when I got to interview Bruce is an understatement. While Bruce is no longer creating popular video games, he's creating books that are taking the fantasy genre by storm. He's currently publishing a trilogy of contemporary fantasy that centers around the Norse God, Loki. It's a fun read with some amazing world building. But my favorite part is the basic idea Bruce created. This trilogy focuses on Loki, an almighty albeit mischievous God. However, in Bruce's books Loki is hiding out in the suburbs pretending to be a magician. It's a really cool spin on such a widely known legend. It's hard not to love these books. I would highly recommend this series to every fantasy reader out there! Check out the links below to grab your copy!

How did your writing journey begin?

In my twenties, while working at TSR, they started taking submissions from employees to write the books they had planned. I had never thought I could be an author until then. Unfortunately, my writing was not nearly good enough at that time. However, many years later, I’ve acquired a lot of experience and honed my craft to where my books are now well received.

What is your favorite way to spend your time when you aren’t writing?

I’m an avid gamer and voracious reader. I play table top roleplaying games, video games, and board games. I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy books. Anytime my granddaughter calls me on WhatsApp, I drop whatever I’m doing to talk to her.

What is your writing process?

Do you find that the plot or the characters come first? They come pretty close together. I usually visualize the main character and the problem they need to address at the same time. From that, I make detailed character notes. Once the main character is solid, I start plotting. I always begin at the end. What is the resolution? Then I focus on the first sentence. What is the hook?. The middle comes last.

If you could pick any game character to become, who would you choose?

Not fair! There are so many great game characters. I’d probably pick Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series. I love the whole action Indiana Jones vibe. I like the intersection of history and fantasy.

Do you find writing inspiration in your everyday life? Where?

Great characters are all around you. If you pay attention, you can find a particular attribute or affectation from an everyday encounter and turn it into a compelling character.

Do you like to travel? What is your favorite place to travel to?

I’ve travelled to Mexico and seen many of the Aztec and Mayan sites. I’ve been to Germany and seen some amazing castles. But my favorite place has to be the Grand Canyon. Its breathtaking and awe inspiring.

What do you think is your weirdest writing quirk?

I overuse the word SO. I have to do an entire pass on my books to look for just that.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go? Is there any moment in your life that you would change?

I would travel back Rome to watch Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. As for my own life, I would be terrified that anything I changed would not lead me to where I am now. I accept the good and the bad moments of my life.

In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of writing?

Not making the main character sound like me. I can give different personalities to my side characters that make them interesting and fun, but if I’m not careful, my main character just ends up being me.

Is there a lesson or a feeling you hope people take away from your book? If so, what is it?

No matter how much power you have, at the end of the day you are a human being, with all the gifts and foibles of any other human being. Everyone is deserving of respect, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

From your first outline to the finished product, how has your book changed?

I found the beginning and end remained fixed. The journey between hit all the big notes I planned, but the path between them was not what I expected. Side characters that I expected to be minor, like Ullr, became far more significant. Characters I’d planned to be more front and center, like Thor, didn’t get as much screen time as I thought they would. Fortunately, I think all those deviations made for a better story.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write because you enjoy it. You may get rich, but it’s not likely. And even if you do, wouldn’t you rather enjoy what you do than just do it for the money?

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