My name is Thom L. Nichols.
I was born in Mt. Shasta California, but I grew up in Wickenburg Arizona. I joined the Marines out of high school and through them, was fortunate to visit more than half of the United States along with several foreign countries. I live in Denver Colorado now where I am married with three children. On Jan 1st of 2008 I was blessed with my first grandchild. She is my princess now. My first grandson was born on the 4th of July and my latest granddaughter is due on Thanksgiving. I guess I just have that holiday kind of family.
Update - My latest granddaughter wasn't born on Thanksgiving, but she is still beautiful and healthy.
I began writing when I was in high school. I didn’t physically write the stories down, but I was always running through characters and story lines in my head. When I was overseas in the Marine Corps, I wrote down a few one and two page stories and sent them home to my brothers in an envelope with the return addressed saying only ‘the Great Detective’. They were fun and they always ended with the Great Detective trying to solve the Great Pickle case. There was always a code that they had to try solving. It was a bunch of fun and it got me thinking about writing as a career.
After the Marines, I worked as a fast food manager for about 16 years. I would have loved to have tried my hand at being a novelist, but I also got married and had children at that time. And, back then I thought that a physical paycheck now was preferable to a possible paycheck later. After my fast food phase, I went back to school. (It was the best thing I ever did. So, if you are thinking about it, do it.) I actually went back twice. I have a degree in Computer Networking and another in Computer Programming. Before I got out of school the first time, I got a job doubling my previous salary. I was a UNIX administrator and it turned out I had a flare for programming. I worked for over eight years as a Senior Specialist and ended up almost doubling my salary again. I loved that job. I worked three days from home and my boss was in a different state. It was great.
I began writing my books down towards the end of my computer days. My kids were all almost grown up and I thought it would be fun to start putting everything down on paper (Well,on hard drive anyway). I had more than twenty five years’ worth of them up in my head and they were just taking up too much space. During that time, I crashed my computer. Yes, I know. I tell everyone to back up their stuff, but I was a computer guy. I didn’t think that would happen to me. I lost a few complete books and several partials. So, if you’re not doing anything right now except reading this, back up your stuff. You can do it in the background and still read. After I left the world of computing, I took a job as a manager at a truck stop. They are much nicer than the way they sound. That job transferred me out of state and away from my family. That was when I started writing again. I hated being away from my family so I left the truck stop and took up the best job a writer could ever have, a security guard. No, they don’t pay as much as my other jobs, but half the night I just sit there and watch cameras. Nothing usually happens and I can just sit and think about my stories. On my breaks, I write everything down. It's like getting paid to write even though I'm not getting paid to write.
I’m not very good at the selling part of writing. I hate making a synopsis and writing cover letters and sending them out and waiting for rejection letters. I know that it’s part of the process, but I would rather start writing the next story. So, after about three or four years of not having some agent just give me a deal, I figured I had better get off my butt and really applying myself. I used Createspace to self-publish my first six novels. I found it through Amazon.com. I only make about a dollar and some change off of the books, but if I sell enough of them, I'll get some repeat customers and they'll tell two friends and they'll tell two friends. (I know it's an old joke) I’ve already started my next three books and I’m falling back into that lazy stage of trying to sell them. But, don’t worry, one of these days it will happen.
Update - Well, now I have 22 books self published and one still out there looking for an agent. I'm already over twenty chapters into number 24 and so far I've only got 4 rejections for 23. The biggest problem I'm running into are those agents that want an exclusive look before their rejections. It usually takes about 2 months for an agent to answer a query so I'll probably have 24 and 25 written before I get all of the rejections for 23. But, I have declared that this is going to be my year. So, I'm going to make it work.
I am a collector. I started collecting comic books when I was a kid and have about ten thousand now. I did have the entire run of the X-men. I had number 1, number 94 and Giant sized number 1 and everything in between. But, I got into a car wreck in New Jersey and had to sell the entire run to buy a new car. I stopped collecting comics when the kids started coming. I don't know which is more expensive, comic book collecting or kids. But, if I had to give up one, it had better be the comics. My wife would kill me if I sold one of the kids. (Just kidding, I wouldn't sell one of them.)
Anyway, when I become a famous author, I’ll start collecting again. And, when I become really famous, I’ll have some of my books transformed into comics or graphic novels like Piers Anthony’s On a Pale Horse or Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files or Stephen King’s the Stand. All of which I have some of.
When I stopped collecting comics, I had to collect something or I wouldn't be able to call myself a collecor. So, I now collect non-sport’s cards. I have a huge collection of them. I was collecting movie and super hero cards, but now it is mostly gaming cards. Before I was married, I also collected action figures. But, when the kids came, I let them play with them and now who knows where they are. I wouldn’t mind starting collecting them again, but I think I would only get the super hero ones.
I am currently reading Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. I didn’t even know it was a TV show until I was flipping through the channels one day. I guess I’ve missed a whole season of it, so I’m pretty much lost. But, the books are better anyway.
Update - My favorite author is Robin Hobb.
I have all of her series and I can't wait until I can get my hands on the next Fitz and the Fool trilogy.
I am a movie freak. I love movies. I can’t tell you who the actors and actresses are, but I can quote story lines and characters. I could go to the theater in the early afternoon when they open and watch movies all day long until they close. I don’t think I have a favorite, but I like the sci/fi an horror genres best.
Update - My favorite movies are the Avengers and the Captain America series. I can't wait until Captain America - Civil War comes out. And, it looks like DC is trying to catch up. I hope their Justice League movie is going to be just as good.
I am a die-hard Denver Broncos fan as you can tell by the picture. But, I am also an even bigger Colorado Rockies fan. I’ve only been to one Broncos game because the tickets cost too much. But, I’ve been to a few dozen Rockies games. We usually sit out in the Rock Pile. You wouldn’t think that you could see very well out there, but it’s not that bad. I think it’s harder to see when I’m down on one of the baselines, because sometimes you can’t tell where the ball is hit from that angle. In the Rock Pile you can see everything. But, I still haven’t been even close to catching a baseball. One of these days I'm going to go to spring training. That would be cool.
Yes, I’m an old guy. When I go into a record store (Do they still call them record stores or are they CD stores, who knows) all of my type of music is on a little rack labeled ‘Discount’ way in the back of the store. I like classic rock from the 70’s and 80’s. I tell everyone that I prefer Heavy Metal, but I can be listening to Twisted Sister or Dio and switch over to ELO or Chicago in the same breath. If I had to pick a favorite song, it would be 'Feels good don't stop' by Kick Axe. (Yeah, lets see if anyone knows who they were)
That has got to be playing with my granddaughter. I can’t say very much about her, because this is the internet. Still, she’s so cute and can be such a handful.
Update - Now, my favorite pastime is playing with my granddaughter and my grandson. I just built them a sandbox out in the backyard. My grandson is just two, but he has already taken possession of it. Whenever we're trying to cover it or anything, he's always asking what we're doing to his sandbox. And, to my daughter's delight, the first thing he did after I built it was to fill a bucket with sand and dump it on his head.
I want to say spaghetti, but it has to be bread. I don’t care what type of bread it is, I like it all.
Just about every comic book artist, there are too many to name. But, for painting I would have to say Joe Jusko. He does all the Tarzans. Hands down, he has to be the best.
Favorite Movie Star
I don’t really have a favorite, so I would say any actress that will take her top off.
Update - Yeah, my wife didn't like that comment. So, I had to choose. For a girl, I'm picking Jessica Alba. For a guy, I'm picking Hugh Jackman - or Wolverine as I call him.
Favorite TV show
Right now, it’s 24. But, if V turns out to be as good as it started out, I might switch.
Update - V didn't last and now I can't even remember if it made a second season. So, my new favorite show is The Walking Dead. I don't know about the Fear the Walking Dead yet, but I'm going to give it a chance.
Favorite Vacation Spot
I don’t know yet. All of the vacations I have ever had so far were to visit family. Whenever I can take a real vacation, it will probably be to a beach somewhere warm like the Bahamas or Hawaii.
Update - Yes, this year is our 25th wedding anniversary. So, I am saving every penny so that I can try taking my wife to Hawaii. Our anniversary is in November which is perfect. It is Hawaii's off season so the tickets and motels will be cheaper. I'll get out of a little winter and into some 80 degree beaches. It will be very nice. I'm going to try to take two weeks so that it will be worth all that money. But, even a week will be nice. I'll let you know how it goes.