Greetings readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors and welcome to The ToiBox of Words. I’m your host Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse, and today I have a treat to share. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview a wonderful author named, Dan Nimak. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down. Be sure to check out the special offer at the end.
Toi Thomas: Hi there Dan! It’s so awesome to have you here at the ToiBox Blog. I’m excited to learn more about you and your work.
Dan: Thanks so much for inviting me, Toi. I really appreciate it.
Toi Thomas: So tell me, who is Dan Nimak?
Dan: I was confirmed at birth as a total left-brainer – math degree and all (though the degree came several years later). Mysteriously, my memory didn’t kick in until the sixth grade, when I fell in love with books. I even tried “writing” one then. Thankfully, no copy of that masterpiece exists. I do remember someone died at the end, so it must’ve been YA instead of MG. Fast forward to three years ago: In an illogical attempt to verify right-brain vital signs, I decided to write a book. I’m not sure what happened, but I now have two completed novels.
Toi Thomas: I can relate. My first, 12-year-old, attempt at a novel “accidently” burned in a fire. Oh well. Glad to see that your left-brain and right-brain are working well together. Two novels is no small feat.
Toi Thomas: Now, before we dive into your special message today, let’s get to know you, the person inside the author.
Toi Thomas: Wow, you really are a sci-fi fan. I like it. Plus, if you are going to write science fiction, you should partake in the culture. Any thoughts on Firefly? I’m always curious about that one.
Dan: I’m a big fan of the Firefly series, though I must admit I was one of the many who missed out on its initial release. I didn’t catch up until a friend recommended the Firefly movie finale “Serenity,” which came out a couple of years later. It’s definitely one of the most unique sci-fi series ever (in my humble, little opinion). Now that you’ve mentioned it, I think it’s about time I watch it again!
Toi Thomas: I like you, missed the initial airing, but have since watched the show and movie. Now, I’m just holding out for an animated series… Moving on.
Toi Thomas: Okay, so what was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?
Dan: EZ question! Half Magic, by Edward Eager. I was eleven years old when I randomly read this book, and it absolutely showed me how reading could be FUN. I seriously had no idea until I picked up that book. Thanks, Mr. Eager.
Toi Thomas: What a fun endorsement. I’ve never read that book, but I can now see it on my TBR.
Toi Thomas: In terms of interviews, whose brain are you just itching to scratch?
Dan: I’m cheating and naming two people. I would have loved interviewing Robin Williams. And for the same reason, I’d love to interview Gary Larson (The Far Side comic strip, retired in 1995). No two people have ever made me laugh out loud like Robin and Gary did.
Toi Thomas: I totally get that. I don’t think people give enough respect to people with the ability to make others laugh. There’s no Oscar for best comedic performance and none of the writing awards that acknowledge it are ever publicized or televised. I like that you can appreciate humor; so many people don’t. Do you by any chance incorporate humor into your writing?
Dan: Definitely. I believe Middle Grade needs a good mixture of adventure, mystery, drama, fun and humor. And hopefully, my readers will laugh at the appropriate times.
Toi Thomas: Now that we know a little more about you, the person, let’s learn about you, the author, and dive into your special message.
Dan: “Has Anyone Seen My Brain?” is a Middle Grade adventure about a trio of twelve-year-olds and a dog named Blue invisibly traveling through time. They enjoy the best summer ever – until the trip in which one of the friends truly disappears. A fourteen-year-old girl from the Salem witch trials helps with the search, and they soon discover that finding their lost friend will lead to a life-or-death decision. Here’s a partial review from “The Page Turner” – “The writing is quick and clever…and as hard as it is to manage time travel without plot holes, this one aced it.”
Toi Thomas: I agree with The Page Turner Review; after reading the book myself, I can attest to your ability to address plot issues while keeping the fun rolling. Here’s a look at my review as well.
Toi Thomas: Now, Dan, tell me who’s starring in this 2-dimensional script read of Has Anyone Seen My Brain?
Dan: Addi, Brain and Jaden make up “The Blue Team” (named after Addi’s dog, Blue). While Addi is the true “brains” of the group, Jaden provides the comedy. And it’s Brain who has to make a heart-wrenching decision that determines the fate of one of the friends. They seek some timely assistance from Anekia, but the girl from the Salem witch trials has her own issues.
Toi Thomas: You have a way with words; no spoilers here, but you’re right. Anekia does have a whole set of issues it takes Brain a while to acknowledge; he is just a kid after all. Would you be willing to admit as to whether one of the characters is your favorite?
Dan: I’d have to go with Anekia, which you know, isn’t her “real” name. Even though she’s dealing with some serious 17th century problems, she wants to help her new friends hundreds of years in the future. Plus…she is very capable of getting even with Jaden (no spoilers) in the humor department.
Toi Thomas: I see. Well, overall, what do you feel about this story is going to reel in the readers?
Dan: I wanted to lightly touch on 17th century Salem, with a focus on friendship, tough decisions, and forgiveness. (I threw in a little baseball for the fun of it.) I hope many will enjoy, and I’m very grateful for those who take the time to give my story a shot.
Toi Thomas: I think the baseball was a fun touch. There are so many angles to which you could pitch this lovely story: Salem Witch Trials, Baseball, Time Travel, Invisibility, Coming-of-age, and so much more. I really think you’ve got something here.
Toi Thomas: Now this is where the questions get a little kooky; are you ready?
Dan: I’ve got to refer to you, Toi, on this. When I first read your review of my book, a fist pump was involved regarding, “It’s a very touching story with a coming-of-age significance and an ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ impact.” I suppose I’m a sucker for happy endings.
Toi Thomas: It’s funny that you say that. I was thinking over the holidays, that people don’t watch that movie enough anymore. It’s a classic worth watching from time to time.
Toi Thomas: Let’s play zombie urban survivor. What 3 things do you need to survive a black-out in Central Park the day zombies attack?
Dan: My kindle; my solar panel charger; and, my soon-to-be-acquired zombie blaster.
Toi Thomas: A hardcore reader to the end. That’s what I like to hear. Even in the zombie apocalypse, we have to let the good times roll.
Toi Thomas: Speaking of good times, what’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?
Dan: I guess I could get all “deep” and mention the birth of our three daughters. The miracle of birth is certainly wonderful, but to be honest, the word “gross” comes to my mind more often than the word “fun.” We’ve had a lot of great times traveling and hiking in many places. For a single event of pure entertainment, I’d have to rank zip-lining several hours through the Smoky Mountains on a beautiful fall afternoon a few years ago as one of the best!
Toi Thomas: Aww, how sweet. Yes, the birth of a child is indeed wonderful, but I agree that zip-lining is probably more fun. I love it.
Toi Thomas: Last question of the day; here we go.
Toi Thomas: Not that you can see into the future, but in your opinion, what does the future hold?
Dan: For the immediate future (2017), my goal is to complete “Dioji,” the sequel to “Has Anyone Seen My Brain?” I’m also working on another novel, with a hopeful appearance during 2017 as well. Ten years from now, I will be found zip-lining on a regular basis through the Smokies.
Toi Thomas: A sequel to HASMB sounds great. I can’t wait… And here’s to a future of fun and zip-lining. Is there a question you would like to ask me before you go?
Dan: Would you mind sharing my special offer with your readers?
Toi Thomas: Of course not, Dan. I’d be delighted.
Dan is offering both “Has Anyone Seen My Brain?” and “Above the Rain” as free eBooks. All you need to do is tell him which book(s) and what version (mobi or epub) you would like. Please email him through the “Contact” link on his site and let him know either your email address or your kindle email address, so he can send you the files.
Toi Thomas: Dan, thank you so much for spending time with me today.
Dan: It’s been my pleasure, Toi. I hope you and your readers have a great 2017. And on a personal note, I’d like to congratulate you and wish you luck with your guest appearance at a Fantasy convention this spring. Please keep us updated with the details!
Thanks again Dan. Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. For more from Dan Nimak, check out these great links:
Amazon Author Central: Dan Nimak
GoodReads: Dan Nimak
Facebook: Dan Nimal | @RainbugBooks
Purchase links for Has Anyone Seen My Brain?:
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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords