Storytime for Grownups – Author Spotlight: Nic Schuck, author of ‘Panhandlers’

With the cooperation of Waldorf Publishing, we are proud to be able to profile some of the finest fiction and non-fiction authors out there today.The second of the series is Nic Schuck.

How did you get your start in the literary world?  I decided to go to school to learn about writing and about literature when I was twenty years old. I had a story I wanted to tell, but didn’t know how. I didn’t know any writers and didn’t know where to start so I figured college was the right choice. I graduated with an English degree in 2004. I at least had some direction at this point. I knew what writers I enjoyed reading. I started teaching middle school English to pay the bills and I continued reading as much as I could and writing every day on what would become my first novel, Native Moments. In 2007, I finished a first draft and it was horrible. I didn’t know it at the time. Well, I kind of knew it, but wasn’t honest with myself. After many rejections, I put Native Moments away and pretty much stopped writing for a few years. I kept reading though. And studying the craft, but I wasn’t practicing it anymore. Then in 2009, my wife at the time was pregnant and I was going to have a child and I thought how can I tell my daughter to follow her dreams if I gave up on mine so I went back to school. I enrolled in the Creative Writing master’s program at the University of West Florida and graduated in 2012. My drive for writing was reignited. I was determined to get Native Moments published. From 2012 to 2016 I kept rewriting. In August of 2016, I felt confident Native Moments was finished and ready for publication. I told myself I would go the traditional route and if I got 300 rejections, I would self-publish. After 76 rejections, Barbara Terry of Waldorf Publishing said she would publish my book. 

Can you tell us a little more about what you do?  Writing still doesn’t pay the bills so I teach high school English in Pensacola, FL. I also own a historical tour company, Emerald Coast Tours. We take people on walking, Segway or bike tours through the Historic Downtown district. 

What is your favorite part about being an author? Man, this will sound like such a narcissistic answer, but my favorite part about being an author is when someone reads my work and then tells me they enjoyed it. It’s such a pleasure to know my hard work was not a waste of time. 

How do you get your inspiration?  My inspiration comes from other writers. I want to participate in the conversation that is taking place in the literary universe. It’s my way of sitting at the table with my literary heroes: Hemingway and McCarthy and Harry Crews and Larry Brown and Barry Hannah. It’s my way of listening to what they said and then offering my own insight into the dialogue. Again, it sounds ridiculous, but that’s what I like to imagine is happening. We are all sitting at a bar and telling stories. 

Of all the characters you’ve created, which one would you like to see come alive on the silver screen?  I would love to see Sanch and Jake’s story told on the big screen. I had such a fun time writing it and I think it would be fun to see it as a film, too. Sean Penn, you listening? If you’re wondering why I’m calling out Sean Penn to make the movie, it’s because of Spicolli. 

What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your career? I prefer not to put those stories in print. Those are better told orally or turned into fiction. 

Can you tell us a bit about your book? My newest book is Panhandlers. It is available for preorder on Amazon or directly from the Waldorf website and will be published in October of 2018. It’s set in a fictional lumber town on the Alabama-Florida border in the Florida Panhandle. It’s a story of poverty and crime and drugs and family and an attempt to escape the unfortunate circumstances the characters are born into.  

What is your next big project? I’m working on another novel. It’s a western. I always liked the genre and want to be able to sit at the table with my heroes that have written in that genre. McCarthy again and Elmore Leonard and Tom Franklin and Tony Hillerman.  

Anything else you’d like to add? Thanks for talking with me. 

Several of the books published through Waldorf Press can be found at your local library. The Palm Beach County Library System has dozens of electronic books, printed books – both novels & non-fiction, audiobooks, and DVDs or Blu-ray discs to help you understand how powerful reading can be! Travel to your closest branch or find them on the web!