On October 7th 2015, I traveled five years into the future to interview my future self, and that day is TODAY! It’s kind of mind-breaking if you think about it, because back then I thought of my current self as future Nick, but now future Nick is me, and the person who had been current Nick is now past Nick.
Anyway, if you’ve been waiting half a decade for the answers (as I am sure you have…) HERE YOU GO:
Nick (2015): Hey, Nick, thanks for taking the time to talk to me today!
Nick (2020): Really, it’s no problem. Any time.
Nick (2015): There is so much I want to ask you, so let’s get right to it. First and foremost, how is the family? Jasmine must be, what, almost 16 now? Has she turned into an obnoxious teenager yet? Is she dating? Ready that shotgun! Sophia must be ten. Is she still doing tae kwon do? Yesterday (my yesterday) she was all excited to get her gi. Of course, we can’t forget the wife! If I had done this when I was 15, I’d have loved to tell my teenage self about Hynda<3 Have to say, we are one lucky bastard!
Nick (2020): We are one lucky bastard, indeed! The family is doing great. Jasmine’s sweet sixteen is coming up this weekend, but she is nowhere near an obnoxious teenager. She’s actually turned more into an annoying-Hermione, locking herself in her room day and night to study, but she says she doesn’t like it. Sophia actually quit taekwondo a long a time ago and is now doing gymnastics, and she is really, really good at it! The other day, she did an aerial (a no-handed cartwheel) at the park, like it was no big deal, and she won FIRST place in a competition in Tallahassee. I was so proud I almost cried. Also, I should probably mention that Jasmine plays clarinet for the Tarpon High School marching band, which has one of the best bands in the country. Who knew? Last year, their performance, which was amazing btw, came in second NATIONWIDE. Another proud moment for me! As for the wife, she has not aged a day. She’s as beautiful as ever.
Nick (2015): If I know myself (and I think I do) you’ll probably hate this question, but I have to ask, how goes the restaurant? The economy was really starting to improve in my time, so are we still making money? Or did another Republican get into the White House? And how much are you working there now? I know that I was planning, next year, to work a lot less, to devote myself full time to writing.
Nick (2020): I really hate having to tell you this, but politically, this country has gone insane, and in a very bad way. If I told you all of the details, you probably wouldn’t believe what is happening right now. It’s like a really bad movie. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 to become the next president—and he makes George W. Bush look like Jimmy Carter. Trump is like, super-villain bad, and he talks like a third grade bully. He makes fun of handicapped people, makes gross sexist comments all the time, openly sides with racist hate groups, praises dictators around the world, and suggests that maybe he won’t be stepping down, even if he loses the upcoming election! Really scary stuff! And somehow . . . the American people LOVE HIM! Sure, Facebook is full of anti-Trump memes, but every other truck on the road is flying a Trump flag. It was very disillusioning to discover how many hateful idiots live in this country! And I genuinely worry about the future of our democracy. Another thing you probably won’t believe, there’s been a global pandemic, a flu-like virus straight out of The Stand. So far, it’s killed 200,000 Americans, largely because the moron-in-chief hasn’t done enough to protect us. So far (knock on wood) we’ve been OK, as it seems to affect mostly older people and those with medical conditions, but everyone wears a mask when they go out. When it started, a lot of businesses closed, even Disney World, for months. Country Pizza was forced to shut its dining room, but we made up for it in pickups and deliveries. Now that the pandemic is no longer news, everything is opening back up again, even though the death rate hasn’t changed much. We are actually doing pretty good financially, and I only work two days, a double on Monday and on Friday nights. I should probably mention that after 40+ years, the Countryside location finally closed. It was a sad day for the family, especially for Bessie, who felt kind of guilty for not being able to keep it open, but it turned out better for me. She works at New Port Richey now.
Nick (2015): OK, enough beating around the bush, how goes the writing career? Have you been published yet? Found an agent? Gimme all the details!
Nick (2020): I am really sorry to have to say this, but there hasn’t been much progress. Still no agent, still no publisher.
Nick (2015): What about Ages of Aenya? Remember how devastated we were when our Kickstarter failed? Did that get picked up by a publisher, or did you go the independent route?
Nick (2020): Kickstarter! Ha! That whole thing seems silly now. No, the book wasn’t picked up by a publisher, but I…you (we?) did go the selfie-route in 2018, using a company called CreateSpace, which got bought out by Amazon. The cover is really beautiful, and I found a great editor to help iron out the writing. While I am nowhere near famous, the book sells pretty decently on Amazon, and almost all of the reviews have been positive. I also managed to get shelf-space at Emerald City, because Chad (the guy who runs the place) remembers you from twenty years ago, and so far I’ve made about $120 in sales, split 50/50.
Nick (2015): At about this time, we were finishing up on The Princess of Aenya. Were you satisfied with the end result? How do you feel it compares to Ages of Aenya?
Nick (2020): The Princess of Aenya turned out great, I think. It’s got a beautiful cover and I am selling it on Amazon. I think maybe the best thing that happened is that I sent it to two professional reviewers, IndieReader and Kirkus. IndieReader said it was a “great book” and gave it a 4.7 out of 5, while Kirkus recommended it overall, and they are the harshest critics out there! The problem is convincing readers to actually buy the damn thing. As you know, the market is saturated, more today than in your time.
Nick (2015): So, are we a success yet, or still struggling? Also, how goes the blog? I just switched to WordPress, but you probably remember that. It was after being with Blogger for 5 years. Wait, are we still on WordPress, or is this being hosted by some other server?
Nick (2020): No, I am still on WordPress, but people don’t really blog much anymore. I think it’s a passing fad. Usually, I direct people to my author website, www.nickalimonos.com, which has some really beautiful artwork and where you can buy the books. Right now, I am trying my hand at YouTube, because that’s where all the creative people get the most attention. There are YouTubers for just about everything these days, including book reviews. If I could offer one simple piece of advice, jump on the YouTube train!
Nick (2015): What are you working on now? The Children of Aenya? The One Sea? Some other book I haven’t thought of yet?
Nick (2020): Right now, I am four chapters into The Feral Girl, a novella about Thelana. I figured that, since any dumb thing can be turned into a book on Amazon, I can use the platform to release an ebook exclusive at no cost.
Nick (2015): OK, I know not much time has passed, but how is the nudist movement looking in 2020? Is public nudity legal yet? On TV? On Facebook at least?
Nick (2020): I see more and more nudist bloggers everyday, but the movement hasn’t changed much. It’s still illegal to get your mail in the buff!
Nick (2015): OK, our daughter just got an iPhone 6s for her birthday. It’s hard to imagine technology getting any more advanced. I know if I could show an iPhone to my 15 years old self, he’d freak out and call me a wizard. So, what comes next? Holographic computers like in Iron Man? VR video games?
Nick (2020): VR came out a few years ago, and virtually NOBODY cared. I guess the games make everyone dizzy and the gameplay is too basic. So instead of VR Zelda, we’ve got VR office simulator. I have an iPhone 11, but the best thing about it is it takes really good photos. Other than that, it’s about the same. What is actually really awesome, and maybe hard to believe, but DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is super popular right now! There are about a bajillion new YouTube channels dedicated to D&D, and even some online shows where you can watch (I am not joking) people playing the game. This has led to some amazing Kickstarters for everything from books to miniatures. So, at least now, when I ask people to play D&D, I no longer feel like an old fart extolling the virtues of hoop and stick.
Nick (2015): Speaking of Iron Man, lets talk movies! How was Avengers 3 and 4? And what about Star Wars VII, VIII and IX? I hope they weren’t too disappointing …
Nick (2020): Bad news first: The Star Wars sequel trilogy was an absolute travesty. Seriously. Episode VII was just a remake of IV, VIII was kind of interesting, with a bad-ass old man Luke, but a lot fans hated it, and IX I’d rather not talk about it. Honestly, it’s best if you never see it. Believe it or not, I didn’t even bother adding the movie to my collection. Now the good news: the Marvel franchise just keeps knocking it out of the park! By some miracle, those bastards turned the Infinity Gauntlet storyline into an incredible two-parter, and it was AWESOME!
Nick (2015): Lastly, what is the one piece of advice you could give me, if you could answer me now?
Nick (2020): Man, this is a toughie. The biggest problem is trying to figure out what to do to get noticed in this business, and I don’t honestly know what that is. Knowing what I know now, I can’t honestly say I would do anything differently in 2015. I think the only advice I can give is this: don’t worry so much about being the greatest writer, don’t obsess over language and style, because people in general don’t care about that stuff. I have seen some of the worst pieces of fiction getting a lot of attention simply because they are fun to read and appeal to a certain niche group. So try to write fast and loose and more frequently and maybe then you’ll find your audience. Oh, and maybe try your hand at YouTube! Good luck!
Well, that’s it for my interview with past Nick Alimonos. Maybe I’ll jump in the Delorean to talk to 2025 Nick for more answers!