Below is a link to my latest interview, which was awesome. I've done a few interviews now and I am always pleased when I see one posted and watch as the page views multiply.
Here is a copy.
Here is a copy.
I see you have a new book released. I believe the title is After! I want to know all about it, but before we talk about your books, Neil, let us get to know some about you, your background and your writing.
I am a prolific author of gritty, noir thrillers and middle grade sci/fi. I graduated from
with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy/Critical Thinking. Briefly, I wrote psychological evaluations for the Elmira College courts. I was raised in a rural town outside of Elmira, NY and have been a published author for more than twenty years. My science fiction and fantasy stories have appeared in numerous presses, zines, and websites. I have several published novels available at all online booksellers under the name N.D. Ostroff, or at http://www.Neilostroff.com. I am an avid boater, gardener, and poker player when not working on my novels. Philadelphia
When did you first begin writing and submitting for publication?
I have been writing since as far back as I can remember. When I was younger, I used to win all kinds of local writing competitions. I guess I started submitting seriously for publication in my late teens, which would be way back in the 1990’s. This was before the internet so getting published was a long, arduous task of handwritten query letters, painstakingly researching agents and publishers, and the cost of stamps.
Do you think growing up in a rural area influenced your writing, and how?
I do think it had a great influence in my formative years as a writer. I lived five miles from the closest town so there wasn’t much to do but play outside and use my imagination to keep myself occupied, especially before I was able to get a driver’s license. Many of my middle grade fantasy novels stem from the strange worlds I would conjure in my mind as I wandered through the woods.
You wrote psychological evaluations for the courts in NY, what was that like? How did you get that job? (I am sure many people do not any idea what this type of writing is or like.)
I spend several months sitting in supervised visitation rooms monitoring the interaction between parents and children. These were families scarred by alcoholism, child abuse, and violence. I would watch their body language and the way they spoke and interacted with each other and then write my assessment of their psychological conditions for the Judge to decide whether the family could unite outside the courts. It was horrible and depressing work, but taught me a great deal how to sum up complex character traits and the intricacies of various personalities onto the page.
I see you also write science fiction and fantasy. Why? (I have always read both, but when I see your other areas, it makes me curious.)
Sci/fi and fantasy come totally naturally to me. Like I said earlier, my middle grade and YA books were written in my head long before I was capable of putting them to paper. When I finally had the discipline to sit and write full-length novels, those first few came very easily. I think I wrote my first three in a year. My noir thrillers are the adult-writer in me. Had I written those books early on I am sure my parents would have had me see a psychiatrist. Reading them, you will understand.
How to you go about creating the setting and characters for your science fiction and fantasy stories?
For me, fantasy and sci/fi writing is the most fun. What could be better than creating any world you want inhabited by any kind of creature you want? My sci/fi fantasy books are crammed with the unbelievable. I like to take my stories to the limit of possibilities. Unfortunately, the only middle-grade Sci/fi available everywhere right now is TIM MADISON GALACTIC WARRIOR. I hope to have four more of these outlandish books out by the end of the year. You can check my website: http://www.Neilostroff.com, to see summaries and excerpts.
What was it like getting some of your work published for the first time?
It is a great feeling, like floating on a cloud while breathing in helium. But, what is even better is when you see your first sale. But, the best feeling of all… is cashing that first royalty check. There is nothing like it.
Could you tell us about the different genre of novels you write, and the audiences to which they are directed. (I see that you have adult and young adult novels.)
I actually write in several genres. My most popular are my noir thrillers; books that shock and appall, yet like a car wreck you just can’t stop reading them. I have written five books in the YA, middle-grade level, and two books that are very literary that I don’t mention on my website. Right now, I am concentrating on my latest novel, an edgy, literary YA called, WASTED.
Would you tell us about your published novels, and where someone might purchase one?
I will give you a list.
Okay, but tell me about this new one first.
AFTER! is the newest book that was recently released as an ebook.
AFTER! - Swept up by dark adventure, seventeen-year-old Nick Murray learns the devil has caused global war in the mortal world. The devil intends to collect billions of souls and then turn them into a massive zombie army to take over creation. Spirits intent on stopping the apocalypse insert Nick’s soul into the human body of a prominent, young army commander who lives in the future. Thrust into the center of a historic battle, he takes on almost limitless enemy forces using skills learned from this other person’s life; only to die a second time and come face to face with the ultimate adversary. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0050Q8D8U
PULP-Struggling thriller writer Kevin Turner just received a panicked call from his ex-girlfriend Tina, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant prostitute. One of her clients, the mayor’s married son, died in her bed and she needs Kevin’s help to dispose of the body.
DEGENERATES- Each degenerate overcomes incredible obstacles working in a restaurant named City Café until a psychotic co-worker changes everything about their lives.
FROSTPROOF- Niles Goodman is on a weeklong trip into madness as his best friend kills indiscriminately and then explains the philosophy behind his actions.
TIM MADISON GALACTIC WARRIOR- Thirteen-year-old Tim Madison is the only person who knows about and can stop the ruthless creatures who are working deep inside our planet constructing a massive extermination army.
Back to you the author. I see that you have several interests other than writing, could you share those with us. I see you like gardening, and I want to know what kind of gardening? Do you like speed boats or sail boats?
I grow a small garden that must be suspended over the ground because of a large rabbit population that lives in my area. Keeping tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peppers, and other vegetables three feet above ground at all times does present a challenge, but is also a great way to clear the mind.
I, also, have a small pond along the side of the house.
I, also, have a small pond along the side of the house.
As for boating, I prefer small, fishing boats that can cruise in secluded areas. I do my best thinking on the lake. I’m also an avid poker player.
I see that you have a degree in psychology, a minor in Philosophy/Critical Thinking, what influence do you think this has on your approach to writing fiction?
Philosophy was great to study but you can’t make a living pondering deep thoughts. As you can imagine, the great, historical teachings open your proverbial mind’s eye to the many possibilities of our existence and why we are here; am I getting too deep? But what do you do with this knowledge? Fortunately I’m able to write books.
I’ve had quite a few over the years. Talks with the vice president of entertainment at NBC. Serious interest by FOX TV over a sitcom treatment. Being written up in local magazines and newspapers. But probably the greatest moment that sticks out in my career was when I signed with my agent, a top NY,
AAR, agent with a highly prestigious agency and many sales under his belt. That was the best.