Jaime Flores Interviews Author Nick Nolan Jaime Flores:
So will you finally tell your readers about this new book? You’ve been driving me crazy with it for years, but you’ve kept everyone else in the dark.
Nick Nolan: Black as Snow is a deconstruction of Snow White--only it isn’t for kids; Black as Snow is violent and sexy and dark and funny…and it’s sure to stir some controversy--especially where I mash up sex with religion in one unforgettable scene.
Jaime Flores: That scene’s going to raise some hackles.
Nick Nolan: Yep.
Jaime Flores: Which elements from Snow White did you include?
Nick Nolan: Just about all, but only after standing them on their heads: Sebastian Black--he plays Snow White--is the messianic figurehead of a new "green" religion that celebrates evolution and the coming of the next species of Man; the dwarfs are people who’ve been marginalized by our society but who teach Sebastian what really matters; Sebastian’s "evil" mother is a religious prophet... although I’ve also sketched her with humor and pathos; there’s a love story and some straight sex and gay sex and Christian militants and drug addiction and tragedy. And there are scenes where you’ll laugh.
Jaime Flores: What about the poisoned apple?
Nick Nolan: Let’s just say there’s a poisoned Apple in the story.
Jaime Flores: So Sebastian’s supposed to be the "next species of Man?" Can you elaborate?
Nick Nolan: I think the emergence of the next human species is inevitable--if we don’t destroy the earth in the meantime. So I imagined what this evolved species might be like and created Sebastian as clairvoyant--in specific circumstances--and gave him enviable physical attributes... in other words, he’s clever and hot and gorgeous. But what I love about "perfect" Sebastian is how imperfect he really is: he’s arrogant and tender and selfish and vulnerable... just like we all are.
Jaime Flores: Why did you choose a religious movement as the backdrop for your story?
Nick Nolan: I think most of us are looking for spirituality that feels authentic. But I loathe those who prey upon people’s spiritual yearnings for their own benefit, and I show the explosive consequences that come from pig-headed, extremist views. But Black as Snow is not a book about religion, just as it’s not a book about what it’s like to be famous and beautiful…it’s really a story about love, and celebrating the golden magic of each day—even the boring, frustrating days.
Jaime Flores: So what’s the one thing you’d like readers to come away with after reading Black as Snow?
Nick Nolan: Mostly, I’d like my readers to have been entertained. But I’d also like people to read Tess’s words in the final scene and to consider their own sweet ghosts--those beloved people whom they’ve lost to fate and eternity... and then perhaps they might even look at their own spouses and partners and friends with "new eyes." And although I’ve written Black as Snow as a page-turner, it’s basically the story of how love thrills, transforms, and comforts--and ultimately unites us all.
Nick Nolan and Jaime Flores have been together since 1987. They live in Los Angeles with their two retrievers.
From NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS: A mad dash to a surprising conclusion that even Sebastian couldn't predict, including a murder or two, a brutal hate crime, an unexpected love affair, an epic revenge plot, and an extremely controversial sex scene you won't soon forget....Bottom line: A skillfully paced and plotted adult thriller (for readers who aren't afraid of open discussions of sex, religion, and politics) written by an up-and-coming author whose career this booklover will now be watching with keen interest. --Frank Mundo
From EDGE MEDIA: "An absorbing and compassionate thriller that ultimately ties all its strands together with dexterity and ease...Nolan is an obvious talent. His prose is articulate and cultivated..." --Kyle Thomas Smith
From READER VIEWS: "Nolan's writing skills are so refined that he is able to bring each character to full life and there is no forgetting who each one is or what they depict in the story. The character development is well beyond any I've seen and Nolan's wordsmithing is incredible...It is difficult to place a genre on "Black as Snow" because it covers so many different aspects but don't let that fool you, it's a story that you would not forget very soon because, although fiction, it streams of reality of everyday life." --Irene Watson, Managing Editor
From BOOKLIST: The author of STRINGS ATTACHED (2007) and DOUBLE BOUND (2008) has reimagined Snow White as a modern and suspenseful saga of religious fanaticism, greed, and retribution. The preternaturally alluring and charismatic Sebastian Black has been groomed for the duration of his young adulthood to be the messiah of a new religion, a tiny spiritual movement that quickly finds its foothold and gains surprising popularity. When a sudden tragedy threatens the safety of the group's core, Sebastian flees his overbearing mother and comes face-to-face with the ordinary people from whom he's been sheltered. With these extra influences and new information about his origins, he is forced to decide how much faith he has in his future. Nolan's ambitious tale revolves around the slickly handsome Sebastian, a perfectly drawn villainess of a mother, and a surprisingly nuanced cast of supporting characters. Nolan takes some fairly wide liberties with the traditional Snow White story, but the basic themes are examined in a new and original way. BLACK AS SNOW is a charming, thrilling take on a classic tale. --Stephanie Turza
Praise for STRINGS ATTACHED and DOUBLE BOUND by Nick Nolan:
"...ingenious, modern, and utterly mesmerizing, STRINGS ATTACHED transcends genre and is simply a great story. --KATHLEEN McGOWAN, New York Times Bestselling Author
"The combination of intrigue, corruption and betrayal, coupled with desire and romance, makes [DOUBLE BOUND] a quintessential page-turner." --CHRISTOPHER VERLEGER, Lambda Literary