Interview with Nick Cree

What's the story behind your latest book?
Well the book The Eilat Trap came about as a consequence of the blog site It Shouldn't Happen to a Volunteer. This project was designed to be an archive, a memory of the time that my brother and I spent as Kibbutz volunteers in Israel thirty years ago and it launched on the 30th Anniversary of our arrival on Kibbutz Erez, the 9th of June 2017
But when we started to reminisce and remember incidents that had happened to us during our stay I realised that there were so many other stories I remembered that didn't happen to me or that I was not part of. Tales I had either overheard or been told by other Volunteers at the time and some that I had read or been told by others during later trips back to Israel.
I came up with the idea of trying to meld some of them into a story about one person and see where this went. The result was the Eilat Trap
What is the Eilat Trap?
In its simplest form this was a collection of usually ex-volunteers who had made their home in the southern city of Eilat and had become involved, mainly, in the black economy where they earnt enough money to keep themselves in food, drink and sometimes lodgings but not enough money to escape from the city. This circular, hand to mouth existence occurred in other major cities where there were ex-volunteer communities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The jobs were often menial and sometimes manual and ranged from bar and café work, through hotel and hostel chambermaids, to manual work like building site labourers and gardeners.
Some people chose this life, others had it thrust upon them by expulsion from their Kibbutz or Moshav, for drunkenness, fighting, laziness or in some cases all three.
There was always a sense of hopelessness associated with the Eilat Trap concept although for some it was a memorable part of their Israel Experience. I do remember going to a bar in Eilat in 2005 and seeing an "In memoriam" photo for a local character who had been part of the scene since the eighties. His face looked familiar although I couldn't swear that I had met him back in the day. The irony was at that very moment the jukebox began playing the Doors track One in Five and as I stood there looking at the photo, so Jim Morrison yells out
"No one here gets out alive." It was a thoughtful moment. I am sure plenty escaped the Eilat Trap eventually, but there were some who clearly didn't.
What made you decide to go ahead and write the book?
That's a really good question. I suppose it must have been the fact that I was sitting at my desk with a blank document open and thinking about what I was going to write for my next blog post and instead of remembering something that had happened to me I remembered or half remembered a conversation I had with a volunteer one night in Champs Bar in Jerusalem where he was regaling me with his own story about how he had ended up where he was in this bar, in this city. It was nothing I could use in the Blog as that was supposed to be my own personal story but I found myself writing the details down. As the months went on I accumulated more and more of these other people's stories and that was really the starting point for the book.
What are you working on next?
Right now, I am a little bit undecided on where to go next. I have two main projects I want to focus on but I think the deciding factor will be how well The Eilat Trap actually sells and the feedback I get from that. If it is good then I have another similar project I can finish, but if everyone hates it then I have a book in another genre that needs final editing and then I can try that out in the marketplace. So, I guess you could say that decision is in the lap of the gods and the hands of the reading public.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing my first novel while I was driving a van delivering machine parts. I was travelling the same roads day after day on my route and I began to construct a story based on this landscape. After arriving in Israel in 1987 I resolved to finish the manuscript but when I returned home the following year it was still unfinished and remains in paper form to this day in a couple of notebooks. Maybe one day it will see the light of day again and I will finally finish it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Whilst I have never submitted a single proposal to an established publishing house, well not so far, I guess the idea of Self Publishing appeals because no one is going to tell you you are not good enough. So as long as you believe in yourself then you can continue to write.
What do you read for pleasure?
I have always enjoyed the big scenic authors, those who paint pictures of the places their heroes visit and where the action is taking place. I think of Wilbur Smith, Jack Higgins, Clive Cussler and in more recent times Dan Brown. They all manage to take the reader to where the hero is and allow the reader to experience the places and the people that they interact with.
What do your fans mean to you?
The people who have been following my blog up until now are all people who can identify with the stories I am telling because they had similar experiences. Their kind words have meant everything to me and have encouraged me to keep writing. Hopefully these same people will enjoy the Eilat Trap. The tricky part will be hooking them into buying my other work when it is published given that the subject matter will be different.
Describe your desk
I work from home so I have an office here and my Office desk is my writing desk, but I am equally at home with my MacBook on the coffee table in the Lounge.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When you are sitting alone at your desk in the middle of writing a piece and the storyline takes on a mind of its own and starts to develop in a direction that even you, during the planning phase, could not have imagined or visualised, but when you put the final full stop on the section you realise it just works.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an iPad with the Kindle software installed on it
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes and I still have the note books containing those written pages, written in pencil, often late at night and by candle light so I didn't disturb my room mate.
What is your writing process?
I start with either an idea or a question, a what if scenario and then I take it from there. I usually just open a new document and start typing. After the first few pages I can usually feel if the idea is going to work or not.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Probably not the first story I ever read but I can certainly remember the first story that I read that had an impact on me. It was the Sunbird by Wilbur Smith and it made me change my mind about my choice of University Degree Course.
Why do you finish all your books with The Beginning rather than The End?
That's purely a childish thing on my part. When you get to the end of a story, however long it is, what gives the writer the right to say that's it, this is the end of this person or persons existence. I think that once you close a book then the story of the characters involved in the book does carry on, unless of course they all die in the final scene, but even then, there is an aftermath to that particular tragedy.
So, in the Eilat Trap, life for Billy, Mel, Mike and all the other characters involved in the story did or does carry on in one form or another, I just had to stop the book, but their lives definitely continue and hopefully, long after you as the reader has turned the final page and put the book down
Published 2018-04-14.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Eilat Trap
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 160,080. Language: English. Published: March 20, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Billy Randell and Mike Spencer have been friends since school so when Mike announces he is leaving for a Kibbutz in Israel, Billy tags along for the ride. But when Billy is kicked off the Kibbutz he casts his lot in with all the ex-volunteers who have made their home in Eilat. He is about to pit his wits against the Eilat Trap. The question is will he survive?