Author Nicholas Wasiliev, a familiar face around Lane Cove published his debut book “‘When Men Cry” last November. His book turned out to be the key to a job where he writes about books. A book lover’s dream!
Here’s Nicholas in his own words on his book, his publishing journey and what’s next for him. You can grab a copy of “When Men Cry” from his website.
How has your literary family influenced your career choice? Did they want you to pursue a specific path?
I was very lucky that I had a family with a background in writing. My father is a journalist of over fifty years. My mother, now a horse riding instructor, also came from a journalistic background. On top of that, she’s a published poet as well.
Even my brothers both have been involved in writing in some form, whether it be through music or through the world of academia. So I was always surrounded by writers and creative minds. Additionally, they were always very supportive. They are strong critics, (even to this day my mother does point out whenever I make grammatical errors!) but they have always been so supportive of me on this path.
I was very lucky that I fell in love with the concept of storytelling at a young age. My early childhood memories were of watching my Dad write his weekly column in his office which was stacked with newspapers. I started writing my own books and taking them to school to read in class.
The love started there and kept growing.
What made you want to write “When Men Cry?”
In 2016, while in university, I’d crafted this short story about four men going on a night out. It was about examining the world of growing up and the dangers of gambling. I workshopped it in class, and people, even the tutors, really flipped out over these characters and this world. At the time I thought it was going to be a short story, but then through meeting an indie publisher who then read it and said it had fantastic potential, I began to consider the idea of crafting a novel.
It took many years for that story to come together, but it was mostly driven by what the characters did. The writing really didn’t get going until 2018, when I was in a very depressing place in my life. I turned to writing 500 words a day, and it became my escape, my moment to just be creative.
Very quickly, the book came together. As I started showing it to my friends, many of my male friends responded strongly to it. I suddenly realised that the final novel could be a tool to combat a lot of the issues that men face with their mental health.
It came from a very hard place in my life, but I’m so glad it did.
What was your writing and publishing journey like? How long did it take? Did you struggle to find the right publisher, editor or self-publishing option?
My first edition was through a small, independent custom publisher called Lime Books, which is based in Chatswood.
I was lucky that they had been interested in doing a book with me from when I began writing it, so it was always going out through them.
It was a very long process over the course of 2019, and having to rely on family or friends to help with editing meant that often the process was quite stilted. However, that first edition helped me get a job in the industry working at Booktopia.
When they found out I’d written a book they passed me onto their publishing team, and I was able to do a second edition through the boutique publishing house Brio Books, which was a wonderful experience. That edition came out in 2020. They really got the essence of the book, the editing, and design process was a real team effort, and the book ending up being distributed by the team at Booktopia, which was wonderful.
Many people ask me, what options should I take when it comes to publishing? Often, it is heavily determined by what you actually want to achieve with the book, and also how much you’re prepared to spend. If you are wanting to get into the industry, you need to be aware of what publishers want, and also know who your audience is. Some publishers would not be appropriate for a certain book. Doing your research beforehand helps you out in leaps and bounds later down the publishing track.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
In terms of classic authors, I have a real love for the likes of John Steinbeck for the way he approached character and story, and James Joyce for his stream of consciousness style of writing. I love the likes of Harper Lee, Graham Greene, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett too. Additionally, there are some seriously incredible poets out there too, such as T.S. Eliot and Emily Dickinson who I think are just incredible with their use of language.
More recent authors I’ve enjoyed included Laura Jean McKay, who released her novel “The Animals In That Country” last year. I absolutely loved that book and its approach to human and animal relationships.
Any other books in the works?
I’m currently putting together a short story that will act as a coda for the story of “When Men Cry”. Lots of people have asked if I’d write a sequel, and I’m strictly of the belief that you shouldn’t force a story just to have another book. If characters come to their natural ending, leave it at that. Trying to stretch things out can diminish it.
I have a second book currently in the works, which will be a standalone effort again.
Currently, the aim is to have the manuscript completed by the end of 2021 or the start of 2022, hopefully for a late 2022 release. Also am working through some concepts and ideas for a third book as well.
Many things are in the pipeline.
Thank you, Nicholas, keep writing!