Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nowhere, AZ by Chris Nunley: Interview and Excerpt



Tell us about your current release.

Nowhere, AZ  

I originally wanted to write Nowhere, AZ as a screenplay, but realized that the back and forth structure between past and present was not ideal for that type of writing style.  Therefore I decided to write it as a novel.  Just like the character riding the rails west, the past/present chapters start picking up speed as the novel gets deeper and deeper into the story. 

I've always been fascinated with karma and its impact on people who treat others poorly, and that's the main message of the book:  treat those the way you wish to be treated, or very bad things could happen to you.

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask? 

Sure, I’ve heard from some of my readers.  Generally speaking, it is usually positive which makes me feel quite good about what I’ve written.  Regarding Nowhere, AZ, the most common question I get asked is, “What is the character’s name?”

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book? 

You should read Nowhere, AZ if you like a good ride.  The way the book is written, you will feel very much adrift, like the main character in present day – until his backstory is fully explained near the end.

Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it?  If so, can you share it?

The following is Copyrighted © 2009 by Chris Nunley 

I told Vrej the story of how I’d almost died.

It went something like this:

My dad and I were at his annual holiday work party.  A little tipsy, we had been arguing about why I hadn’t done anything with my degree yet.  It was basically because I didn’t like business and I had only studied it for him and that I was happy interacting with all different types of people at the bar.

“Well, I think you’re wasting your life,” he said.

I asked him, “What do you care?  It’s not like you’re helping me pay off any of the debt I’ve got.”  He didn’t like that answer, so he headed to the bar to get another drink.  With his back to me, I said, “Get me another beer while you’re over there and something to eat, I’m starving.”

It always pissed me off how he had to be right all the time.

It was my life.

I went to school.

I was working.

Why couldn’t he have been just a little more supportive?

Why couldn’t he let me be happy?

While he was away, I spotted a really attractive co-worker of his and wondered if he’d fucked her.

He was always dipping his dick in the company pussy.

Then him fucking her made me think about my upcoming date with Jennifer Hines.  We were planning on going to a party at Sam Michaels’ house that weekend.

The attractive co-worker started walking toward me, but I wasn’t interested in what could have possibly been my dad’s sloppy seconds, so I turned my back to her and looked out at the ducks floating on the company pond down below.  I heard her quietly call me an asshole and turn and walk in the other direction.

A few minutes later my dad returned with a fresh beer and a mozzarella stick on a toothpick.  “Here,” he said, “eat this and when we leave, we’ll go get a real dinner.”

I hadn’t eaten anything except for my morning Fruit Loops so I shoved the thing into my mouth.

“Careful,” he said, “it’s really cheesy.”

I rolled my eyes and nodded like I cared about his warning, then panicked.

The cheese had lodged itself in my throat and I couldn’t breathe.

I couldn’t force it down.

I was choking.

My dad sipped from his beer, unaware of my situation.  I slapped him on the back and pointed to my throat.  He stared at me calmly for a second, then said, “I told you it was cheesy.”

I pointed to my back so he’d do the Heimlich maneuver.  He sipped from his beer again and said, “Try to get it down.”  Sipping again, he said, “You’re starting to turn purple.”

My life flashed before my eyes.

Image of me swimming in the pool.

Image of my first kiss.

Image of me scoring a goal on the soccer field.

I thought for sure I was about to be killed by cheese.

No one else at the party had noticed.

Image of my first doctor’s visit.

Image of my dad slapping me.

Image of me cracking a tooth on the cement in our back yard.

He was just staring at me.  “Don’t fight it,” he said.  “If it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go.”

I couldn’t believe what he was saying.  It’s like he wanted me to die.

So with all the strength I could muster, I shoved my hand into my mouth in an attempt to dislodge the gooey mess with the tips of my fingers or force it farther down so it would get past that point where I could draw air again.

“Can you get it?” he asked as he sipped his beer again.  “I’d hate for you to make me regret raising you.”

Image of my first dog fetching a stick.

Image of getting hit in the face with a wild pitch.

Image of jumping off a platform diving board.

Forcing my fingers deeper into my throat, I was able to barely grab the blockage and yank it free.

I gagged.

I spit.

I used my throat muscles voluntarily.

I got the cheese out and flung it at my dad.  It landed in his beer.

Drawing breath, I locked eyes with him as he removed the chewed mess from his cup and took another sip.  “Congratulations, son,” he said.  “You got it.”

I took another breath, stood up straight and cracked my dad across the face.  After I heard the pop of his nose breaking, I said, “Hope you’re not disappointed.”


What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

I think the most surprising thing I learned from writing my books is that I feel like I’m actually pretty good at it.  Since I have a degree in screenwriting, I spent most of my early adult life writing comedy features and sketches.  It was only a few years ago, due to an increase in self-publishing platforms that I started focusing on narrative fiction.

Entice us, what future projects are you considering?

I am currently brainstorming a set of short stories that are very dark.  So far, I have about six ideas.  If all goes well, there will be no less than ten stories making up the book.  There is a lot of fun that can be had writing quick, dark fiction.

Tell us about your next release.

The Pouch – A Story About Sacking Up

The Pouch was originally written as a comedy screenplay.  I had been sitting on it for several years and didn’t really do anything with it, so I decided to adapt it into a first person narrative.  I kept the overall story in place, but as the writing of the chapters progressed, it started to become something of its own – a comedy novel.

At its core, it’s a comedy, but it’s also a heartfelt love story told from the point of view of a man.  It reads very much like Chick Lit, but as it’s told from a man’s POV, I like to (with absolutely no seriousness) refer the genre it falls into as Dick Lit. 

It is also available now for Kindle devices and as a paperback.

Publisher: CreateSpace, Sept. 30, 2012
ISBN: 978-1478352969
Category: Thriller/Suspense/Mystery
Tour Dates: January, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 149 pages

"Always going somewhere. Never getting anywhere." 

Negative energy haunts the nameless Narrator, who's been on the run for twelve years. A convicted killer on the loose, he has no one left to rely on and no place to call home, so he heads west. 

"Those who will remember will say it's all my fault." 

He has no control of what he's capable of and does his best to avoid any type of confrontation at all costs. 

Words are said, things are done. Friends turn into enemies.

"They call me a monster." 

Goodreads photo AddtoGoodreads.jpg

Praise for Nowhere, AZ:


"Excellent Read! Just when I thought I figured out what was going to happen, it changed on me. I like when that happens. The author was one step ahead of me!"-Dennis, Amazon Reviewer 

"I enjoyed Nowhere Arizona very much. It's a unique concept that has a trace of Torchwood in it. It's dark and it's fun and makes you think about how you treat yourself and those around you. It's a pretty quick read and would be good for travel. To say it's a new spin on tit for tat would be an understatement. What would you do if the safety of all those around you depended on them treating you benevolently? And at the same time you discover that your whole life is essentially one big lie? When the bodies start to pile up, we start to get some answers to those questions."-Angela, Amazon Reviewer 

"Not all books have the ability to engage the reader in a way that makes you constantly try to guess what is really happening. That finds you constantly guessing what is really going on while your turning the pages. The author tells a story that takes place both in the present and in the past. Both stories are converging towards the truth of how the main character has become the person that he himself fears and the truth of who he really is. I found it very difficult to put this down because I was always left thinking about what I had just read. My curiosity was so piqued by this story that I had to have the answers, I had to know what was really going on. This is a story that left me wanting to know what the main character's future would be and ready to read about his next adventure if the author produces a sequel."-Paul R. Ryan, Amazon Reviewer

"Nowhere, AZ is quite the read! The author begins by entangling the reader into an unusual set of events which undoubtedly spike an enormous amount of curiosity! One must read on to settle this feeling, but surprisingly, and wonderfully, it doesn't end until the book does. As each new clue emerges, the reader becomes a detective as to the past and present of the main character...the twists, turns, and excitement never seem to end! It would be beneficial to start this book when one has a bit of free time because there is NO putting it down! Definitely a MUST READ!"-Meg, Amazon Reviewer



Chris Nunley has been writing ever since he could put a pen to paper. 

In tenth grade, he wrote a spec episode of "Seinfeld" for his creative writing class, and realized that writing wasn't an assignment, it was a passion. He went on to write several other screenplays, including an adaptation of Albert Camus' "The Stranger." 

Chris graduated with a degree in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, then went on to work for the television show "MADtv" as a Writers' Assistant as well as selling material as a Contributing Writer. 

His first novel "Nowhere, AZ" - a story about karma and its implications, as well as his second novel "The Pouch - A Story About Sacking Up" are both available for purchase as paperbacks or for a Kindle device at Amazon.com. 


Nowhere, Az  Web Tour Schedule 

So Many Precious Books Jan 8 Giveaway & Feature
Let's Talk About Books               Jan 9 Review                                                    
Kristina Princess & Gummy Bear Jan 10 You Tube Review   
Dr. Bill's Book Bazaar Jan 13 Review                                                  
Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews Jan 14 Interview
Sweeps4Bloggers Jan 15 Review & Giveaway
Saving for 6 Jan 16 Review                                                        
Diva's Bookcase Jan 17                Review                                               
Grown Up FanGirl  Jan 20 Review                                                         
Jody's Book Reviews Jan 21 Guest Post & Giveaway
MN Girl In the World Jan 22 Review                                                    
Deal Sharing Aunt Jan 23 Review                                                             
Paperback Writing Services Jan 24 Guest Post  & Giveaway
Indie Review's Behind the Scenes Jan 24 Live Radio 8pm cst
I'm a Voracious Reader Jan 27 Review                                   
Books, Books, & More Books Jan 28 Review                                                  
Books, Books, & More Books  Jan 29 Guest Post
 Reader's Muse                 Jan 30 Review                                  


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