Thorsten Nesch is an award-winning author published in traditional publishers with more than 1,500 direct readings in dozens of countries at schools, universities, book fairs and on cruise ships. He received a literary arts scholarship and was invited to work for writers at H.A.L.D. Denmark and LeseLenz, Hausach, Germany. He was born in Solingen, Germany. From 1998 to 2003, he lived in Canada. 2004 to 2013 in Leverkusen, Germany. Since 2014 in Lethbridge, Alberta. Permanent resident in Canada. “His style is amazing”, Hans-im-Glück Award Jury
Here is an interview with Thorsten Nesch.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a bilingual multi-disciplinary storyteller. I write novels, radio plays, screenplays, film, photography, poetry and songs.
How many hours a day do you write?
4 hours a day.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
None. I can’t afford not to finish a novel. Before I start I try to think everything through. Otherwise it would be a waste of my time.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
From idea to actually sitting down, the planning/research phase, it can take anywhere between 2 and 15 years.
Where did you get the idea for your recent book?
I am about to finish the dystopian novel I have received the Literary Arts Individual Project grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for. The original idea goes back 15 years. The idea came to me just by observing our society. Since it plays in the year 2112 I gathered a lot of material for world building.
How did you develop your plots?
I draw a timeline on a sheet of paper and add details with pencil. I take it pretty much everywhere with me. If a page is about to be shredded I photocopy it or transfer what I have on a new page. On 1 sheet of paper I always have the entire novel in view.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Their names relate to their story or their place in the story. Sometimes there are re-occuring characters: a side-character in one novel can be the main character in another novel 5 years older etc.
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Songwriting. Currently I record and publish 1 EP a month – I guess still heavy on the songWriting part of the spectrum.
How did you get inspired to write your recent book?
Dystopian novels reflect today’s society. There is a lot to reflect on. I picked one aspect, the value of a person, the abomination of a term “human capital” (what a contradiction) and went for it.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I grew up 99% on comics, and I mean since I was a baby. In an “Asterix & Obelix” comic I have the circle doodles babies make if you give them a pen, and I did that, and my favourite series was “Asterix & Obelix” as a kid.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Over Charles Bukowski I found Jack Kerouac and the beat generation – that was the moment where I found my place in life.
What are you currently working on?
I am 2-3 months away from finishing my dystopian novel. I document the process on the blog on my homepage.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, I do. It’s fun. I really like it, and I like to engage. Example, my 1st reviewer for a near future novel that is now mandatory high school read in Germany next to “1984” wrote that I took it too far with a detail. I answered with a video from Lockheed, and he took it back. I love literature, and I love to interact with people.
A friend is a strong word, I use it carefully. But friends make me a better writer, good people, people telling the truth, or having alternative views and perspectives make me a better writer. If that happens in a poetic way, in work and way of life, the better. The poet José F. A. Oliver is such a person, and I am happy to call him my friend.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Ask yourself, if you need to write. Really Need!? If the answer is yes, aim for time, not money. You have to find and create time to write and pay the bills at the end of the month. Ask yourself: Do I need a car or brand-name clothes – I ditched both by the age of 23.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The money I did not spend. Which buys me time to write.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
To live so many lives (of all the protagonists).
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
Not soon, but I have 2 novels at publishing houses right now and one is about to get finished. 6 novels are published, also as audio books. There is an songwriting EP coming out every month right now.
What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
Under “thorstennesch” you find me anywhere (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…) – the name is unique.
My songwriting you find on www.nesch.bandcamp.com and on all streaming services (spotify, apple etc.), and my homepage is www.thorstennesch.com
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If you are curious what being a bilingual multi-disciplinary storyteller means or you are curious about “the making of a dystopian novel” then please check out www.thorstennesch.com