Thursday, November 19, 2015

Interview with novelist Nicholas Conley

Welcome, Readers. Today’s guest is mystery author Nicholas Conley. He’s in the midst of a virtual book tour for Pale Highway.

Originally from California, Nicholas Conley has currently made his home in the colder temperatures of New Hampshire. He considers himself to be a uniquely alien creature with mysterious literary ambitions, a passion for fiction, and a whole slew of terrific stories he’d like to share with others.

When not busy writing, Nicholas is an obsessive reader, a truth seeker, a sarcastic idealist, a traveler, and — like many writers — a coffee addict.

Welcome, Nicholas. Please tell us about your current release.
My newest book is Pale Highway, a science fiction novel about Alzheimer’s disease. It’s the story of Gabriel Schist, a genius immunologist whose AIDS vaccine won him the Nobel Prize. But now, he has come down with Alzheimer’s disease, and is spending his remaining years in a nursing home — until a devastating new superbug starts infecting his fellow residents. He’s the only one capable of finding a cure, but doing so will mean racing the clock against his own dementia symptoms.

What inspired you to write this book?
This book exists because of my work with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home. After years of interacting with people who have this disease, I felt strongly that they deserved a greater representation in the media. All too often, Alzheimer’s is cast aside as if it’s a “normal” part of aging, which is definitely not the case, as it’s a horrendous disease that changes the entire structure of the brain. Considering that over 46 million people are estimated to suffer from some form of dementia, it’s really shocking that Alzheimer’s, and similar diseases, don’t receive more attention. Hopefully Pale Highway can help inspire people to rethink our society’s current discussion on Alzheimer’s.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I always have a slew of projects in various points of development, but my next focus is on a story I first conceived of back in 2010 after a visit to New York City. It’s of a similar genre to Pale Highway, but a different subject.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing in elementary school, and was immediately enthralled with it. In some ways, I think that the storytelling gene existed in me even before that. Looking back on my childhood, I realize that all of the games I’d play with my younger brothers were epic sagas possessing elaborate storylines, spaceships, dragons, and intricate character dramas—and amusingly enough, commercial breaks, which we would then act out briefly before returning to the main story.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Coffee consumption is as much a part of my writing process as typing, reading and sitting down. Starting my work for the day never quite feels right unless I have a mug of steaming black coffee in hand.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer, of course! From the point I wrote my first story until now, there’s never been another thing I felt so passionate and sure about.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I can be found online at For frequent updates about writing, books, movies, travel, mixed with the occasional coffee pictures and obsessions, check out my blog. I’m also on Twitter at @NicholasConley1.


Thanks, Nicholas! Happy writing.