Author C. N. Nevets has worked in media, technology, anthropology, education, forensics, and things in between (if there is an in-between to be found there). He currently works as the director of technology for a K12 school system in rural Indiana, where he is also involved in a number of historical and cultural volunteer activities in the local community. Throughout all his paths of study and practice, Nevets has been primarily interested in people and the ideas that impact them, especially those ideas which impact people without their even realizing.
For fun, Nevets researches anything and everything that crosses his path, particularly if it seems like something that needs to be fact-checked. He studies languages such as Mandarin Chinese and martial arts such as aikido. He is also a big fan of mixed martial arts, the history of pop music from the 1960’s on, and the art of magic. He is a photographer and an amateur music producer. He likes satirical humor and music with strong lyrics and a good hook.
Nevets is very happily married to a creative and brilliantly original thinker named Rose. They live in Hoosier small town, where they drink coffee and watch subtitled television with their their half Brittany / half whatever-daddy-was yellow dog, and their tuxedo-wearing Great Dane.
He learned a lot of his writing and editing craft from his father, a retired academic whose non-fiction writing has always been highly readable and still intellectually rewarding, and his mother, the best and hardest editor he’s ever known. He lost his mother in the fall of 2017.
Music: Anty the Kunoichi, Atmosphere, Blue October, Boogie Down Productions, Buffalo Springfield, Daddy-O, Eve 6, Fugees, Guns n Roses, Wyclef Jean, Offspring, Our Lady Peace, Panjabi MC, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, Serenity, J-Sands, and whole lot more…
TV: Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Alias, Alienist, Bordertown (Finnish), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Damnation, Dollhouse, Fargo, Firefly, Fringe, Invasion, Homeland, Lost, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Stranger Things, Trapped (Icelandic), and others…
Japanese TV: Bloody Monday, Mondai no Aru Restaurant, Oh, On, Quiz Show 2, Siren, Summer Nude
Cuisines: Thai, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Nepalese, Mexican
You asked, and Nevets answered:
To get an idea of where the St. Mary’s County historical mysteries will fit in the world of books… Think Detective Murdoch novels (by Maureen Jennings) with stylistic and literary influences of the Cadfael books (by Ellis Peters), the brokenness of the Inspector Linley stories (by Elizabeth George), some of the darkness of the Laszlo Kreizler novels (by Caleb Carr), and the sense of place and people in the Dave Robicheaux books (by James Lee Burke). Like any author, though, my influences are much more complicated than that.
A lot of people think of Jack Higgins as an action writer, but his approach to creating (and destroying) grey main characters has been a big influence on the way that I think about stories and the way I approach my protagonists. There is also no question that I have been influenced by Chuck Palahniuk’s flair for creating surreal, exaggerated scenarios in which to play with arch philosophical ideas.
My sense of how to craft a thriller that centers around character has been inspired by RJ Ellory, and Ryan David Jahn, James Lee Burke, Dean Koontz, and the late Mary Higgins Clark.
A lot of my mood an tone have been influenced by literature from the American South – William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, and others, as well as European thinker-writers like GK Chesterton and Albert Camus. I’ve learned a lot about creating intricate webs from Robert Ludlum’s conspiracy thrillers, and about writing action scenes from western author Louis L’Amour and historical fiction master Bernard Cornwell.
Some core concepts regarding the use and nature of language, the relationship between words and ideas, and the interactive experience that is found in writing, come to me from the French symbolists and decadence movement poets, dramatists, and authors like Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Rachilde.
If I can shift the focus from my writing per se to being an author, I cannot end without giving a lot of credit to the late Michael Crichton and contemporary author Michelle Davidson Argyle for showing me, time and time again, it’s okay to write the stuff you want to, no matter how neatly it fits expectations, as long as you strive for quality in everything you produce.
Other Artistic Influences
While a wide variety of music continues to influence my writing, in a formative sense it was the psychologically evocative music of Pink Floyd, Metallica, and Our Lady Peace that really helped me understand how to show and not tell in order to create a mood of empathy with a potentially unsympathetic character. This music also drove home for me that context and setting are not independent of character mood, but part of the whole delivery.
I’ve drawn a lot from the quiet psychology that underlies the overt twists and thrills of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to do more than what’s obvious with a work of a art, even if portions of the audience only notice one small part of what you’re doing. The movie adaptation of Michael Crichton’s Sphere showed me a lot about how to create an atmosphere of psychological tension. The movie, Mercury Rising, based on Ryne Douglas Pearson’s novel, Simple Simon probably laid the foundation for my understanding that in any conspiracy thriller, it’s the characters caught up in that conspiracy that you end up remembering more than the conspiracy itself.
There’s no way to talk about inspiration without mentioning the mind-bending art of M. C. Escher. I have had a lifelong appreciation for working with words in a way that navigates and manipulates language and the rules that surround it rather than simply circumvents or ignores those rules. Escher’s work has always resonated with me, despite my own limitations at coming to grips appropriately with visual arts. His pieces show how to manipulate the physical world itself in a way that is both utterly rational and completely absurd. This is, in the end, precisely what I hope to do with my writing.