Website from the National  Underwater and Marine Agency and Clive Cussler

1. When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer?

When I picked up a paperback copy of Raymond Chandler’s “The Little Sister” at a used bookstore and was absolutely blown away. I knew I wanted to write like that, too.

2. What was your family’s reaction about it? (Mine always used to laugh at my ambitions.)

Well, coming from a family of cops and hardhats, it certainly wasn’t the norm in my family. Their reception was luke-warm at best, so I started to write secretly.

(Don’t let anyone diminish your ambitions, Nicole!)

3. You wrote some excellent scripts for Hollywood. How did it feel, working for film and TV?

Thank you. Working for TV was fun and exciting, but I grew to feel I couldn’t express all of the ideas I wanted to write about because TV imposes too many limitations; it’s too confining. With books, there are limitless possibilities and freedoms available to the writer.

4. Afterwards, you started writing books. Elvis Cole is one of your characters. Are you an Elvis fan?

Elvis Cole? Of course. The King? You bet.

5. Did you have any difficulties in having your first book published?

“The Monkey’s Raincoat” was rejected nine times before it found a publisher.

6. How does it feel to have a former president (Bill Clinton) for fan?

Like a rock star!

7. Can you deal with criticism?

Why? Is there something you want to tell me? Yes, I can deal with criticism, it comes with the job.

8. You like backpacking. Can you tell us to which places you have gone?

Alaska, Montana, British Columbia, and Central California.

9. Being a gourmet cook, mind sharing your favorite dish with us?

Anything I’ve killed with my bare hands. Okay, okay, I have a fondness for Cajun food. I’m a Frenchman from South Louisiana, you know? I grew up on gumbo and jambalaya, red beans and rice, that kind of thing. I love it all.

10. Who is/are your own favorite writer(s)?

Raymond Chandler was probably the most influential, but I have no ‘favorite’. I read damn near everything and learned from damn near everything read.


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© 2005 Nickie Fleming/Jansan