G’day / Kia Ora.
Today I have the honour of hosting the first of a number of author showcases focusing on the awesome talent originating from Australia and New Zealand.
The idea came to me whilst seeing so many of the book community gathering at recent conventions in the US and UK. And once my FOMO had subsided, I got to thinking about who might be gathered together if we had similar conventions closer to home. Pending the master planning required to arrange a massive convention, I thought the next best thing might be to run an Australian & New Zealand author showcase. Whilst I was aware of a few authors from this half of the globe I was sure there must be many more I hadn’t encountered. So, I sent out the call, with the only prerequisite for participating being the author had to have been born in either country or currently live there.
I’m thrilled to say that a huge number of authors have reached out to me, and I will be posting their individual showcases at regular intervals over the coming weeks. So hopefully you will enjoy these interactions with some very talented people. Please be sure to check out their work, sign up to their newsletters, follow them on their social media of choice and of course try to buy their books when you can. I make no apologies for any damage inflicted to your TBR’s!
So lets step into the Sledge-verse with Nick…
- Do you feel that being an Aussie / Kiwi (or residing there) influences your writing?
Hugely! Both I and the SLEDGE-verse were born and raised in northern Minnesota, but throughout my journey I’ve lived in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Wellington, Auckland, as well as my current home in Palmerston North, and I love each place for different reasons.
I’ve met a shitload of awesome people and survived many a wild night, but if I was going to pick one experience which is the most SLEDGE it would be hunting wild boar in the New Zealand bush with George Whitelock. If someone had told me that one day I would be running up a mountain to tackle a 300-pound gnarly-tusked monster with nothing but a knife I’d have told you to fuck right off. I can’t fathom how guys like George do it every weekend. Sledge as fuck!
- What are some of the challenges being located so far away from the rest of the world, do you have any tips for overcoming these?
My first three Sledge novels are set in northern Minnesota, so the big challenge has been my inability to visit locations as I write them. Fortunately my parents still spend a lot of time on the North Shore of Lake Superior and through the internet I can travel anywhere in the world from my writing nook! The Sledge books have a strong sense of place and the harsh Minnesota weather is one of main characters, so I get super stoked when readers describe my writing as evocative.
- How do you go about establishing connections in the book community? (any tips / suggestions)
One of the best parts of starting my career as an author has been the other writers I’ve met through social media. Most of them live overseas but EC Greaves lives right here in NZ and we’re gonna catch up for a beer next time we’re in the same city. Stoked.
- Do you have a favourite character to write? And conversely are there any of your characters that are the more of a struggle?
Sledge, of course, is my favorite fictional character ever created. I’ve been yearning for him ever since I picked up my first Conan story back when I was ten, so I guess you could say he’s been 30 years in the making! I couldn’t be happier with how he’s turned out. I’ve spent so much time living inside his head, it’s such a surreal and dream-affirming trip to see him come alive in others’! “The ultimate anti-hero!” Let’s fucking go!
I write very lean, mean, dialogue-heavy prose, so I find I need to know my characters inside and out before I can write them convincingly. Due to this, I have to spend a lot of time hanging out with them in my head before I know them well enough to paint them truly in only a few key strokes.
- So aliens finally reveal themselves to us and your work is presented to them as example of what humanity has to offer, what do you hope they will take away from this intergalactic exchange?
That they better fuck off right-quick before Sledge gets his hands on them!
- Tell us something about yourself that not many people know?
Even though I’m 6-foot-10, I love skateboarding!
- What would you say is the best thing about being an author and the worst?
Living inside the SLEDGE-verse is my greatest joy. I liken it to being in the middle of the really good Netflix series where you just NEED to find out what happens next, except I’m creating it!
The worst part about writing is marketing. It’s annoying that you could write the greatest novel of all-time and no one would read it if you didn’t market it. Social media can be a soul-sucking void of doom if you let it, so I do my best to keep it fun and Sledge the fuck out of it!
- Any other Aussie / Kiwi creatives you’d like to give a shout out for? (lets spread the love)
I’m really looking forward to meeting more Kiwi and Aussie authors, so thanks for doing this! The only brother I’ve met thus far is my man EC Greaves who’s been so wonderfully effusive in his praise of my writing. Can’t wait to catch up for a beer and swap stories!
- What’s your favourite quote or passage from one of your books?
Ooooo that’s a tough one. I crack myself up all the time writing Sledge. He gives not a single fuck. If I had to pick a favourite I might go with this passage. The single-word sentence thrown in the middle of the description perfectly encapsulates Sledge.
I walked in the front door of the mill holding the hammer. Inside it was loud. Three hundred drunk assholes screaming at the top of their lungs over pounding death metal. Every eye in the place was glued to an illuminated square of concrete in the center of the cavernous space. A chain-link fence encircled the fighting square with coils of razor wire strung along the top. Cute. Inside the cage an enormous guy was holding another guy by the hair and punching him repeatedly in the face. With each punch the crowd’s bloodlust intensified.
- What can you say about your current project or what you are planning next?
Sledge vs. The Wendigo (Halloween 2024) is in full-swing, currently at 19,999 words. In this book I fully explore the terrifying Wendigo warrior-cult who control The Boundary Waters, the unguardable wilderness between northern Minnesota and Ontario. Sledge is on the run and completely out of his element. He must learn and adapt , quick . . . or he’s very much fucked.
Bonus Question: Lastly Vegemite* yes or no?
I miss the days of fooling American imports on my basketball teams of this awesome Nutella-like spread they need to layer on their morning breakfast. But I have to say I never eat that shit.
(* for the rest of the world, Vegemite is a salty spread that is very popular on toast in Australia)
Nick’s first novel Sledge vs The Labyrinth is due for publication on 31st October.
Nick Horvath is the author of the SLEDGE VS. action-thriller series. A native of northern Minnesota, Nick double-majored in Physics and English at Duke University before embarking on a 12-year professional basketball career. Over that time he transformed himself from a timid finesse player into a rugged rebounding monster, much like his savage anti-hero, Sledge Laukkanen. Though he has yet to bludgeon anyone to death with his bare hands, anyone wishing to date his daughter should consider themselves forewarned. He currently resides in New Zealand with his girlfriend and their kids.
You can reach Nick at: