Name – Nicolas D. Sampson
Place of birth – Cyprus
4 Bums on a Rugby Goalpost
Why do you write?
It’s part of my job. I write for publication, and I’m also a screenwriter. I love the process of writing, hard as it may be. To have written is phenomenal, but so is writing – something like therapy and emotional fitness in one go.
What do you write about?
I started with epistolary fiction and nonfiction think-pieces before moving on to hybrid literary prose. I also write genre and prose-poetry. I love human behavior as related to politics, group dynamics, conformity, conflict, and revolution. And change. And madness. I think everyone’s a little mad. I don’t trust people who pretend to be 100% sane. What are they hiding, and from whom? Are they putting on a show for others or for themselves?
When do you write?
I write every day because the muscle needs the exercise. I prefer early mornings, but any time works. Idyllic settings are ideal, for example a mountain resort or the seaside, but the sad reality of writing involves a desk, a chair, and a workspace in the middle of construction works, noisy traffic, passers-by, and run-of-the-mill urban chaos.
Who do you read/take inspiration from?
Haruki Murakami and Don DeLillo are huge influences, as are Joan Didion and Cormac McCarthy. Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger blew my mind, as did Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. Beryl Markham’s West With The Night stole my heart. And Gabriel Garcia Marquez – he’s is a legend, he could write magical circles around the best of them.
How do you write?
I type on laptops and smartphones. Technology makes the process super-easy. The office is portable, the material goes everywhere. One click away from the manuscript at all times, I’m ready to go. The cloud saves it, syncs it, and updates everything. Sometimes I scribble on napkins and scrap paper, but only when the battery’s dead. I’ve written on boats out to sea, on chair lifts, in restaurants at night with everyone around me wining and dining, in the bathroom (TMI), in taxicabs, in the hospital on the day after surgery – just give me an opening.
The Quickfire Round
You’re going to release your first Album, what would it be called?
‘Make It Up, Write It Down.’
You could be anything other than a writer, what would you be?
A professional tennis player. Or an actor.
Why are manhole covers round?
So we can move them around more easily. BTW, isn’t ‘manhole’ a dated and inappropriate term? How about ‘homo sapiens holes’ or ‘access-holes?’
What would your autobiography be called?
Right now I would call it En Route. Ten or twenty or fifty years from now I’ll probably come up with a different title, like Lifelong Heretic … On The Contrary … Splitting Hairs …
You can claim one piece of art as your own work, what would it be and why?
Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa. It’s a poignant representation of civilization, if not the planet. Aren’t we, as a species, drifting on a vessel in the middle of endless space, trying to stay alive without tearing each other to pieces? We’re castaways looking for salvation. No wonder we’re obsessed with saviors and promised lands and deliverance. Heavenly kingdoms and ethereal dimensions. The religions of the world got one thing right: we have everything to look out for beyond our world. I’m talking practically, not metaphysically. Deliverance is out there, in the heavens, in outer space. One day we’ll cross the ether and yank open our horizon to release ourselves from the rock-raft we call home, and when we do, we’ll appreciate Earth for what it is – special – and stop treating it like a floating trashcan-slash-slaughterhouse.
You’re on death row, what would your last meal be?
I skip the meal, and fast. Fasting clears my mind. Better go out with a clear head and an empty bowel.
What was the last piece of music you listened to?
Ozzy Osbourne’s Ordinary Man and George Kallis’ The Black Prince.
When did you last go to a live sporting event, what was it?
I went to The Laver Cup last year. It’s an annual intercontinental tennis competition between Team Europe and Team World – a very competitive but cheerful event, full of friendly, festive, constructive energy. No toxic vibes.
If interviewed, what would your pet say about you?
I don’t have pets, but if I did – probably a pair of Retrievers, Golden and Black – I’d like to think they’d call me their friend.
You can invent an App, what would it do?
It would enable people round the world to exchange used mail packaging. Why recycle when we can reuse?
Describe yellow to someone who is blind in 50 words.
Springtime. The sun rises, and its glow warms the skin. The warmth turns to heat, the soft rays become sharp, the sun turns from sunrise to full-blast yellow. Some of us wait for the yellow to recede into sunset.
Nicolas is the fantastic author of our Connection Degree Three segment. Check out his amazingly interesting work here