Publishing World Wisdom from Author Nick Chiarkas

Welcome to the 2023 Author Series! Here we will continue to share the knowledge (often hard-won) from published authors as they share with us what they wish they could tell their pre-published selves, and NEW FOR 2023, what they always do to help make book launches successful.

Our first author of 2023 is Nick Chiarkas, one of my fellow Wisconsin authors and a good friend and client. Nick is a stellar author and storyteller!

He grew up in the Al Smith housing projects in the Two Bridges neighborhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When he was in the fourth grade, his mother was told by the principal of PS-1 that, “Nick was unlikely to ever complete high school, so you must steer him toward a simple and secure vocation.” Instead, Nick became a writer, with a few stops along the way: a U.S. Army Paratrooper; a New York City Police Officer; the Deputy Chief Counsel for the President’s Commission on Organized Crime; and the Director of the Wisconsin State Public Defender Agency.

On the way to becoming an author, he picked up a Doctorate from Columbia University; a Law Degree from Temple University; and was a Pickett Fellow at Harvard. How many mothers are told their children are hopeless? How many kids with potential simply surrender to despair? That’s why Nick wrote Weepers and Nunzio's Way— for them. (Scroll down to the bottom to learn more about his award-winning crime thrillers.) 

What do you wish you could tell your pre-published self?  I would say to me five things:

1.     Forget outlines, point of view, grammar, and spelling; forget all the intelligent tools. Scribble down your story on paper or your laptop. Don't do any research. Just write the story. Three pages at most. When you are done, you will know what you need, where it takes place, and who's in it, and you'll know you have a story.

2.     Establish at least five implication points. An implication point is something that happens that changes a character, a situation, maybe even the arc of the story or plot.

3.     Stop thinking about how your novel will be received; just write a bad first draft.

4.     Never finish a chapter before stopping for the day. Suppose you write three chapters a day before completing the third chapter stop. Read some poetry and rest. Tomorrow you will begin knowing what to write to complete the chapter, and the mere act of writing will keep you going (the poetry will raise your game, yes it will).

5.     Enjoy rewriting and editing. Every line counts. Use all five senses to make your reader feel the emotions, the moments, and the change.

What is one thing you always do to help make your new book launches successful? Well, there are five things I would suggest:

1.     Make certain books are present for sale at the launch. Here a publisher like Kira Henschel is essential.

2.     Make sure you publicize the launch well in advance and often. Here the key is to have someone like Val Biel in your corner.

3.     The setting should be comfortable, inviting, and supportive. Mystery to Me Bookstore is a perfect setting.

4.     Although it's about your book, first let the attendees know something about you. Develop a personal connection. For example, why did you write this novel?

5.     Have someone interview you rather than you just doing a pitch.

About Nicks' Books

Weepers    BUY HERE

★ MULTI-AWARD WINNER, including: ★ Firebird Grand Prize & 1st place in Mystery, Thriller, & Young Adult  ★ Readers’ Favorite Best Young Adult Coming-of-Age Novel ★

The 1957 murder of an undercover cop in a New York City housing project has unexpected ties to the unsolved disappearance of a young father walking home in those same projects with his son, Angelo, on Christmas Eve six years before. The only witness to the cop killing is Angelo, now 13, while on his way to seek his own revenge in the early morning hours. The killers know he saw them. A series of gripping events forge a union between a priest, a Mafia boss, a police detective, and Angelo, a gang member. In the end, Weepers shows us that the courage of the underdog despite fear and moral ambiguity will conquer intimidation.


Nunzio's Way     BUY HERE

"Gritty and thoroughly gripping."--John DeDakis, award-winning novelist

"With Nunzio's Way, Nick Chiarkas is the Elmore Leonard of New York crime fiction."-- Barry Wightman, award-winning author of Pepperland and president of Wisconsin Writers Association

"This high-octane thriller moves fast with a captivating mix of violence and compassion as rival street gangs fight for control."-- Greg Renz, award-winning author of Beneath the Flames
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"In this city, you can have anything you want if you kill the right four people." ~ Nunzio Sabino

In Weepers (Book 1), Angelo and his gang, with a bit of help from his beloved "uncle" Nunzio Sabino, defeated the notorious Satan's Knights. Now, in this standalone sequel to Weepers, it's 1960 and Nunzio is still the most powerful organized crime boss in New York City, protecting what's his with political schemes and 'business' deals.

Against this backdrop of Mafia turf wars, local gang battles, and political power-plays in the mayoral election, the bodies begin stacking up. An unlikely assassin arrives fresh from Naples after killing a top member of the Camorra to avenge the murder of her family. She blends seamlessly into the neighborhood and with the focus on the threat from the Satan's Knights, no one suspects that Angelo's father and Nunzio are next on her hit list. Nunzio has lived his entire life by the mantra; Be a fox when there are traps and a lion when there are wolves. Will Nunzio be a lion in time?

Learn more about Nick on his website and these social media accounts:

Facebook: @NicholasChiarkasAuthor

Twitter: @Chiarkas




I signed a contract recently with Manhattan Book Group, a hybrid publisher in NYC. The information on a successful book signing was timely. I’ve learned a ton about the hybrid publishing industry. Phew. Happy to share.

Maryclaire - I'm so excited for you and that everyone will finally get to read your stellar content! I'd love to interview about your hybrid selection process and all you've learned sometime this year! Thanks, Val

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