Interview: Supernatural: Nick Andreychuk (Nicholas Knight)

We’re talking today with Nick Andreychuk, author (as Nicholas Knight) of the Supernatural season companions and writer for Supernatural Magazine:

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IFP: Can you tell us how you started out as a writer?

NA: Well, I always loved reading, which is probably true of all writers. Then in high school, I wrote a couple horror stories for creative writing assignments and received A’s, so that got me thinking that maybe writing wasn’t just a dream job. From that point on, I always knew I wanted to write for a living someday, yet I went to university for business, then got an office job and got married, all the while procrastinating on actually writing anything. Then my wife and I quit our jobs and bought a coffee shop, which turned out to be way more work than we expected, LOL, so I had to bring a laptop to work and write short stories sentence by sentence in between customers…but at least I was finally writing. I started off with a piece of flash fiction, which, thanks to the wonders of email, I sold the same day I wrote it. And that was it; I was hooked. I wrote and sold some more flash fiction, then moved on to short stories, then I sold a novel, after which I expanded into comic books, picture books, screenplays, and non-fiction. And somewhere in there, we sold the coffee shop and I became a full-time freelance writer.

IFP: Tell us about some of the projects that you have done. Under what names do you write?

NA: I write horror and dark fantasy under the pen name Nicholas Knight, for which I am best known for my Supernatural work, but I’ve published many short stories and short comics as well. One of my stories received an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and I have several stories slated for publication with Weird Tales. I also edited three issues of a horror comic book series for a small press, but the publisher has been MIA for a long time, so I’ll probably have to find a new home for the project.

I write science fiction and fantasy under the pen name Nick Aires. The first issue of my comic Mind Crimes can be read at www.mind-crimes.com and I’ve had short stories and short comics published in various ezines, magazines, and anthologies.

I write picture books through YA books under the pen name Nick Fox, and I have an animated TV show pilot called Body Powers that I helped create and co-wrote that’s in post-production. The rough-cut trailer can be viewed here: http://www.greaterworx.com/theater.php

And under my given name, Nick Andreychuk, I write mystery and suspense, for which I’ve won a Derringer Award. Recently, I’ve written several stories for www.5minmystery.com

IFP: How do you choose your projects?

NA: So far, there hasn’t been much rhyme or reason to the path my career’s taken. I love all genre fiction, in all mediums, so I’ve dabbled in pretty much everything. Sometimes, I initiate projects ‘on spec’, other times I see job ads and apply, and lately I’ve had people coming to me to ask me to work for them, which is always nice.

IFP: Can you tell us about how you got into writing tie-in books? How did you become involved in writing Supernatural non-fiction?

NA: Right place at the right time. Despite having published some essays in Supernatural Fiction Writers and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, I’d never even considered writing non-fiction books. However, when an author on a private Yahoo group mentioned that the Supernatural companion guide’s editor was looking for someone to write it, I jumped on the opportunity. I was already a huge fan of the show and I lived near the studio, so I knew I’d be a good candidate for the job.

IFP: How did you become involved in writing for Supernatural Magazine?

NA: The editor who hired me for the companion guides told the magazine’s editor that they should contact me, which they did, and so far, I’ve written articles for every issue. It’s been a lot of fun.

IFP: What is your favourite genre? To read? To write for?

NA: Depending on what I’m reading or writing at the time, I’ll probably always give a different answer to this question because the truth is that I’m not sure if I actually have a favourite. But my writing tends to lean toward the fantastic, with suspense, horror, romance, and humour working their way into most of my projects.

IFP: The Supernatural season companions that you write involve a huge amount of work, including arranging a lot of interviews. How do you prepare for each one? When do you start?

NA: I officially start the moment I’m contracted and given a deadline. However, I’m always watching the show and thinking about what I want to do for the next book. The preparation involves re-watching the entire season and putting together lists of interview subjects and section topics. And I always start a list of favourite quotes from the show early on because it usually takes me a while to narrow down which ones to include in the book. And I’m always on the look-out for little pieces of trivia about the cast and crew to include in the book.

IFP: What do you think of the Apocalypse storyline for seasons four and five of Supernatural?

NA: I think it was inevitable. They’ve been fighting demons and other supernatural creatures from the first episode, so it only makes sense that the biggest supernatural battle of all would take centre stage at some point in the series’ lifespan. I’d like to see the show go on past the fifth season, though, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do to follow-up the apocalypse…

IFP: What has been your favourite scene in the show?

NA: That’s such a tough question, but since I ask all the cast and crew the same question, I guess I should answer it. I think the big payoff of the Yellow-Eyed Demon storyline, where John claws his way out of Hell and helps his sons eliminate the monster that killed their mother, is probably my favourite scene. But the sequence of Dean dying over and over in “Mystery Spot” is right up there, so let’s call it a tie.

IFP: Who is your favourite character in the show?

NA: Since there are only two leads, I don’t want to choose just one. And there have been so many amazing guest stars that’d it’d be hard to pick a favourite. However, the Trickster and Meg are the ones that sprang to mind when I first read the question.

IFP: What has been your favourite project, Supernatural-related or not?

NA: I truly enjoy almost everything I’ve worked on, so I’ve never really given this question much thought. Nonetheless, the Supernatural companions do jump out as my favourite because of the people I get to meet, the things I get to see (like sets and props), and the creative elements I get to weave into the books.

IFP: Do you have a favourite film or television series (or both)?

NA: Supernatural is definitely one of my all-time favourite TV series. Dark Angel and Gilmore Girls are two of my favourites, so it should come as no surprise that Supernatural was on my radar long before it aired. It’s probably also not surprising that Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and The X-Files are favourites of mine, as are the various incarnations of Star Trek and Stargate. And I love The Amazing Race, Mythbusters, and Wipeout. A couple of my new favourites are Fringe and Castle. As for films, the list would be too long, but typical favourites like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Die Hard, Army of Darkness, The Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, and Jurassic Park are always fun.

IFP: Do you have a favourite filmmaker or author (or both)?

NA: Back in high school, I would’ve said that Stephen King, Lovecraft, Poe, Tolkien, and Piers Anthony were my favourite authors because I read everything of theirs I could get my hands on. However, since then I’ve read so many other outstanding authors that I don’t think I could choose a current favourite. Spielberg is always the first filmmaker that comes to mind, but again, there are so many other outstanding filmmakers whose work I enjoy that my list of favourites would be quite lengthy.

IFP: What artistic accomplishment are you the most proud of in your career so far?

NA: Probably my novel, Judgment Day (co-written as J.J. Ace, currently out-of-print), because of reviews like these:

“There is non-stop action, great character development and an exciting storyline in this unique speculative fiction work. J.J. Ace has written a work that will be put on the reader’s keeper shelf.”
–The Readers Guild, July 2005

“JUDGMENT DAY will cause the reader to look inside himself or herself and rethink some preconceived notions. Is there such a thing as absolute Good or Evil? Or would too much of either be a bad thing? It is rather rare for this reviewer to come across a story that is so enjoyable while being so educational. This reviewer would highly recommend JUDGMENT DAY to anyone as she feels that everyone would get pleasure out of the book.”
–LoveRomances.com, August 2005

IFP: If you could be a Lovecraft/Mythos monster (or character), which one would you be? Why?

NA: I would be Mordiggian, The Charnel God. He is a benign deity, but for those who wrong him, beware – nothing remains of his prey.

IFP: Do you have a favourite Lovecraft/Mythos story? If so, which one is it?

NA: Stories like “The Call of Cthulhu” and “The Lurking Fear” spring to mind, but I’d have to say that “The Alchemist” is my favorite, since I really liked the twist of the wizard keeping himself alive to fulfill his curse.

IFP: Please tell us about your upcoming projects.

NA: I hope to continue writing Supernatural tie-ins for a long time to come, and I’m always working on various ‘on spec’ novels, screenplays, and comic scripts at any given time, but I don’t have any specific release dates for readers to keep in mind. I have graphic novels entitled Friendship Conspiracy and Action Joe to the Rescue in the works with Markosia and Arcana Kids, and I expect both of those to be published in mid to late 2010.

IFP: What is your dream project?

NA: Whether it’s in TV, movies, books, or comics, my dream project would be to create an ongoing series like Supernatural, Star Wars, Stargate, or Harry Potter that readers/viewers fall in love with and follow for its entirety and beyond.

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Bio: Nick Andreychuk (a.k.a. Nicholas Knight) sold his first short story the same day he wrote it, in the fall of 1999. Since then, he’s accumulated over 300 credits that cover the spectrum of comic scripts, novels, non-fiction books, short stories, and screenplays. Under his given name and various pen names, he writes action, adventure, children’s, comedy, fantasy, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, thrillers, and young adult fiction. Currently, comic scripts and tie-ins to the TV show Supernatural take up a most of his time…when he’s not playing with his two little boys (who are one and three and impossible to say no to).

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IFPInterview: Supernatural: Nick Andreychuk (Nicholas Knight)