As the author of Supernatural‘s Official Companion books as well as a contributor of various articles in the Official Magazine, Nicholas Knight has marked his place in the Supernatural world. We asked him if he’d be willing to answer a few questions; the interview was done via email.
WinchesterBros.com Exclusive – Q&A with Nicholas Knight, author of The Official Companion Season 2
By: WinchesterBros.com Staff
Nicholas Knight, a Derringer Award winner and Pushcart Prize nominee, is best known to Supernatural fans as the author of the Official Companion books. Mr. Knight writes in different genres, such as horror, science fiction and fantasy, for a variety of media, including books, comics and animated movies. With the release of The Official Companion Season 2 earlier this year and The Official Companion Season 3 scheduled for release on March 3, 2009, we asked him if he’d be willing to answer a few questions; the interview was done via email.
Firstly, thank you for agreeing to do this Q&A with us. As this is your second Supernatural Companion book, have you found the process to be different from when you worked on the first one?
No, I approached the project pretty much the same way as I did the first Supernatural Companion book (as outlined in my last interview with WinchesterBros.com). My deadline was tight, so I really didn’t have any time to consider changing my methods. I did, however, manage to squeeze in even more interviews than the first time around. And one thing that made it a little different was that the first companion was out, so everyone had a better feel for what I’d be doing with their quotes, which I think made them more relaxed since everyone seemed to like the first book.
Which interviews did you find more interesting, either due to the person interviewed or the info revealed through it?
Are you trying to get me in trouble? I can’t pick favorites! Actually, I always ask directors, which guest stars they liked working with best, so I guess it’s only fair that you turn the tables on me. Well, not surprisingly, some of the most interesting stuff always comes from Eric Kripke. He knows the show best, so I interview him multiple times, asking him countless questions until he begs for mercy. Likewise, it’ll come as no surprise that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are always fun to interview. The three editors — David Ekstrom, Tom McQuade, and Anthony Pinker — like to be interviewed together, and they’re a lively bunch, which is great…although trying to transcribe three different male voices off my recorder was tricky, to say the least. I really enjoyed talking with every single actor that received a character profile in the book; they all had such interesting stories to tell. I could honestly go on and on about why the writers, directors, people from the art department, and literally everybody else I interviewed made the job enjoyable…but just read the book and you’ll see what interesting things they had to say!
Which aspect of the book did you find more intriguing to work on?
I’m always fascinated, and often surprised, by the answers people give me for the “Do You Believe?” section. For instance, the actor who played the Yellow-Eyed Demon (Fredric Lane) had a real life close encounter that turned one of his childhood friends into a real life demon hunter — now that’s intriguing!
Were there avenues that you wanted to explore while writing the book but for some reason or another couldn’t?
For the first companion, I’d wanted to do a map of the United States with little ghost and demon images and so forth pictured at all the places where the Winchester brothers stopped along the way, but that didn’t work out, and then when the Season 2 DVDs came out, there was something similar done in the bonus features. And now The Official Supernatural Magazine is doing something similar for subscribers (with cool stickers), so I’m going to give up on exploring that concept in the books.
How did you find the fan reaction to the first book?
Very positive. The only grumbles I recall reading were about the synopses and the book itself being too short, both things out of my control. In just the first two reviews at Amazon.com, for instance, the words “awesome,” “informative,” “funny,” and “entertaining” were used, so I couldn’t be happier about the fan reaction. Of course, the reaction that sticks out in my mind the most was when Eric Kripke told me he loved the book.
Have you gotten any reaction to the current book yet?
Yes, the feedback remains positive, and it’s gratifying knowing that the fans are enjoying the books.
You have written articles for The Official Supernatural Magazine. How did you find the experience? Will additional articles be published in upcoming issues?
Writing for the magazine has been a wonderful experience. It’s a great way for me to keep in touch with the Supernatural cast and crew in between companion guides. For the companions, I’m always looking at the past seasons, but for the magazine I get to talk to people about their predictions (or hints) for future episodes, as well as their personal lives and side projects. And I’m happy to say that there will be articles by me published in upcoming issues for the foreseeable future.
Would you be interested in writing a Supernatural tie-in novel?
I’d love to write a tie-in novel! Hopefully the fans will buy enough copies of the three current novels to convince the publisher to commission more. And if anyone happens to have the ear of the editor, feel free to whisper my name…
Will you be writing the Season 3 Companion?
Yes, and I’ve already started preliminary work on it.
You have mentioned on several occasions that you are a big fan of the show. What are your thoughts on Season 3?
It had some of the best drama, laughs, scares, and twists of the show’s run, so I’d say it was a great success. Obviously, I was dismayed by the shortened season, especially since I tend to really like the standalone episodes (and those were the ones that had to be cut when the final ten episodes became four). I actually liked Ruby, but I was a fan of Jo, too, so I know not everyone will agree with me. Bela definitely had her moments, but I didn’t find the boys’ behavior around her to be as believable as I expected it to be. I think it was very brave of the show’s producers to send Dean to Hell and I’m looking forward to seeing how they get him out.
If you could write a Supernatural episode, what would it be?
I want to write an episode about James Dean’s ghost car. The car’s driver and Dean would compete over a girl’s attention and have an old-fashioned drag race, with the Impala winning of course. There’s a supernatural twist I have in mind, but just in case it ever gets made I don’t want to spoil it. Eric Kripke, however, has told me a few times that there isn’t room in the budget to do a car racing episode properly, as much as he himself would love to put the Impala front and center of an episode.
You use different pen-names to credit your work. Why did you decide to use a pen-name in the first place? According to Glass House Graphics, you use different pen-names for different genres. Was it your decision? And last question on the pen-names: What stands behind each name, if you can share this with us?
From the very first short story that I submitted for publication nearly a decade ago, I decided that I was going to use different names for different genres. I know people who hate horror, for example, but they like mystery. If I wrote a popular mystery novel, then switched to horror, I’d lose readers like them, and then if my third book switched again to fantasy, I’d probably lose more readers. But I figured if I differentiated my output with pen names, fans of particular genres would know what they were getting into. I chose Nicholas Knight for horror because of night representing darkness. I chose Nick Aires for science fiction and fantasy based on the expression “putting on airs” because I’m in a sense pretending to be someone I’m not. I used Nick Fox for children’s and YA because when I was young I used to use the handle “fox” for high scores in arcade games. And I use Nick Andreychuk for mystery and thrillers because those stories are based in reality and that’s my real name.
In the previous interview we did with you, you mentioned working on screen projects. Can you tell us anything about their current status?
Unfortunately, the principals of the production company that hired me to write the supernatural thriller had a falling out and dissolved the company. I’m in the process of writing a treatment for the script and will be looking to shop it around soon. I believe I also mentioned an animated feature in pre-production, and one of the major investors for that was all talk, sadly. But the good news is that the same production company has hired me to co-write two animated pilots that are definitely going into production in the coming months. So hopefully by the time you interview me for the third season guide, I’ll have some solid news to share.
You work with different mediums (screen, comics, prose fiction). Which medium do you prefer?
My first love as a writer is prose, because you can really flesh out the details of the story and get into the characters’ heads. That said, once I started getting comics drawn I got won over by seeing my stories come to life in pictures. And then some of my screenplays were animated and I got to see my stories come to life with movement and sound! So, basically, what I’m saying is that I prefer screen and novels and comics. I can’t choose!
Can you tell us about any current or future projects?
My Supernatural work, along with the screenplays I mentioned, will keep me busy for a while, and I have a comic called Mind Crimes coming out from Zeros 2 Heroes Media in July. I have several other screenplays, novels, and comic scripts in various stages of development, but I will always put those aside for more Supernatural projects!
Again, thank you for agreeing to do this Q&A with us.
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