Monday, 22 August 2011

Interview with an Author: Nicholas Olivo

Please welcome Nicholas Olivo and his urban fantasy, IMPERIUM to the blog today. To learn more about the inspiration behind Imperium, the characters, and who he would cast if the book was made into a movie, read on!

About the Author:

My childhood consisted of way too many video games, comic books and 80's cartoons. Add in a healthy appetite for Tolkien and Stephen King, and the end result was a geek who had visions of someday writing his own novels.

It was Terry Brooks' Wishsong of Shannara that really clinched it and got me excited about writing. But it wasn't until years later, after reading Jim Butcher's Storm Front, that I decided to take a crack at urban fantasy. After a month of Pepsi-and-Snickers-assisted brainstorming, Vincent Corinthos and the Caulborn were conceived. A year later I published the first Caulborn novel, Imperium.

I've lived my entire life in various New England states, and I'm fascinated by New England's paranormal history. One thing I really enjoy is incorporating local paranormal events and urban legends into the books. Each Caulborn novel will include references to real-world supernatural occurrences, and explains how they fit into the Caulborn's world.

I live with my wife and three children, and a shape-shifting cat who may or may not be be in human form at any given moment. If you'd like to drop me a line, swing by my site - 

Vincent Corinthos leads a triple life. As a secret agent, he handles paranormal threats; as a god, he protects his followers from evil forces; as a stock clerk, he keeps the back room of an antique store tidy.

When one of his fellow agents goes missing, Vincent begins with the usual suspects. His investigation takes him to vampire lairs, golem laboratories, and the realm of the fae. Along the way he squares off against genetically modified gremlins, virus-spawned zombies
and a horseman of the Apocalypse.

But it's only when he infiltrates a private medical lab that he realizes just how big of a threat he's facing, and even being a god might not be enough of an edge...

What inspired you to write your first book?
When I was in Junior High, I read Terry Brooks’ Wishsong of Shannara. I didn’t know it was the third book in a series, nor did I know anything about fantasy beyond the Hobbit. After reading that book, I decided that I wanted to write fantasy stories of my own. I sat down and over the next seven years gradually built out my own epic fantasy novel. It went through several incarnations, and in the end, it was a total piece of crap. My wife’s the only one who’s read it, and is the only person who will ever read it, but I learned a lot from the experience.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Jim Butcher. His book Storm Front was the first urban fantasy novel I’d ever read and was what inspired me to try my hand at the genre. He also has a fantastic LiveJournal site with a ton of writing advice that I’m using for my series.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I keep a sheet of random thoughts and phrases that occur to me. For example, the impetus behind my main character, Vincent, was the phrase “god for hire.” Once I have a bunch of phrases on the sheet, I’ll grab a soda and a candy bar and start looking to see which ones would make interesting combinations. IMPERIUM was birthed out of that process.

What was your favourite chapter to write and why?
I’d say the first chapter was my favorite. I had to rewrite it a bunch of times before I got the flow and voice down, but once I did, I had a lot of fun with it. It gives the reader a chance to see Vincent at the height of his power and a full appreciation for what he can do before everything in his world goes horrifically wrong.

Introduce the main characters from your latest book. Who are they? Let them speak for themselves. What would they like to say?

“My name is Vincent Corinthos. I’m a god.”
“Well, technically, you’re half-god.”
“Thank you, Megan. Yes, I’m a half-god, my father was the Roman god Janus. Megan and I are agents of a supernatural police force called the Caulborn. We keep the peace between Boston’s paranormal and normal communities.”
“And sometimes we even get to do a little B&E.”
“Only when it’s necessary for the job.”
“Right. Which is why I carry lockpicks at all times.”
“Megan also carries this ray gun that can blow holes in nearly every known substance in the universe, and she’s got a handy extradimensional locker that lets her smuggle gear in and out of pretty much anywhere. You wouldn’t think she was trained as a diplomat.”
“And Vincent’s got a whole  bunch of psychic powers like telekinesis, pyrokinesis and telepathy. You wouldn’t peg him as a guy who’d carry a switchblade.”
“Megan and I just started working together. She’s working with me on a missing persons  case. Some paranormals and one of our fellow agents have disappeared. We’re going to have to turn over a lot of rocks to get to the bottom of this one, and I don’t like where it might lead.”
“On the plus side, we’ve got a lot of help. Our office has diviners, medical staff, artificers and a super whizbang genius of a gremlin who can build or fix just about anything.”
“Speaking of which, where is Gearstripper, Megan?”
“I saw him just before we came in here, he was going into the conference room.”
“Someone must’ve brought donuts in. Let’s go before he eats them all.”

If you could have a paranormal power or be a creature, what would it be?
I’d like the ability to warp time so I could have more time to write. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want, and if I could wave my hands and say “tempus fugit” or some other bad attempt at Latin to gain another three or four hours, that’d be great.

What do you do when you're not writing?
My favorite thing to do is play with my kids. If I’m not doing that, I’m usually reading comic books or playing video games. Lately though, I find I’m spending a lot of time promoting IMPERIUM :)

Add a question of your choice: If IMPERIUM were made into a movie, who would you cast in the main roles?
Vincent - Christian Bale
Petra - Summer Glau
Gearstripper (who would be a puppet so we just need a voice) - Greg Cipes (he was Beast Boy in Teen Titans, and I totally hear him when I write Gearstripper’s dialog)
Megan - Reese Witherspoon

Thanks for having me on your blog, Angel!

To Connect with Nick:

My site:
My Twitter: @NicholasOlivo
My Goodreads:
Imperium on Amazon 
Imperium on Smashwords

What are others saying about Imperium? 

"I almost can't believe this is Nicholas Olivo's first book. It was that good!
I am so impressed and completely enamored with this dark urban fantasy novel by Nick Olivo!
Urban Fantasy fans stand up and take notice. There is a new voice in town!" Nurslings

"The supporting cast is full of quirky, fun characters drawn from all manner of mystical mythology. You're guaranteed to fall in love with Gears, the Caulborns' resident IT gremlin. As well as Corinthos's girlfriend, the mighty Petra--every man's dream girl and then some...I'll definitely keep an eye out for the sequel, and hope this series lives as long as the immortal undead. " Rob Cornell  

1 comment:

  1. Great interview. I especially like that glowing blurb from that awesome writer dude, Rob Cornell. ;)

    But seriously, folks. IMPERIUM rocks the free world. It's a must read if you like urban fantasy even a little bit.