Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Nick Medina Interview - Sisters of the Lost Nation

Photo Credit: Ashley Suttor

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Nick Medina has gone in search of Resurrection Mary, the “Italian Bride,” the “Devil Baby,” and other Windy City ghosts. An enthusiast of local and Native lore, his debut novel, Sisters of the Lost Nation, features several supernatural myths and legends. In addition to exploring haunted cemeteries, he enjoys playing guitar, reading, listening to classic rock, and spending time with family.


Greatest thing you learned at school.
My screenwriting professor in college taught me to figure out the ending first. It’s a great bit of advice. Once you know your ending, you know your goal—the finish line. You might not know how you’ll get there, but your characters will find their way.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Hearing how much something I created means to others had been pretty rewarding. SISTERS OF THE LOST NATION isn’t officially out yet (it’ll be released on April 18, 2023), but I’ve already read some moving reviews from readers who received advanced copies of the book.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
My advice is to make writing a priority even if you aren’t getting paid for it. Write (and read!) every day. Write what’s important to you, but don’t love your work so much that you refuse to accept constructive criticism from others. Seek and accept feedback; it’s one of the best ways to become a stronger writer.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
I can’t say that anything kept me from writing SISTERS OF THE LOST NATION, but since the story revolves around a very real and very heartbreaking social issue—the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) epidemic—I was concerned that readers might think I was trying to capitalize on others’ trauma. I worked hard to approach the issue with truth, sensitivity, and tact. My hope is that this book will help bring even more attention to the MMIWG movement.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is critical because it helps us makes sense of our most challenging issues without having to face them head on. By experiencing and learning about social issues or traumas through characters, we gain understanding and empathy without having to step too close to the flames ourselves.

  • 1. I must have gone through a dozen titles before settling on SISTERS OF THE LOST NATION. Nothing seemed right.
  • 2. I wrote SISTERS OF THE LOST NATION in chronological order. My editor came up with the idea to change the structure so that the story shifts between past and present.
  • 3. Through dozens of drafts, the opening chapter changed several times, but the last line of the book has remained the same since the very first draft.
  • 4. I got the idea for the story in 2018 after reading an article in the Chicago Tribune. The strange thing is that the newspaper randomly showed up on my driveway one morning. I wasn’t a subscriber and neither of my nearest neighbors were either. I tossed the paper in the recycling bin, only to retrieve it later when a nagging feeling told me I ought to read it. I haven’t found another newspaper on my driveway since.
  • 5. SISTERS OF THE LOST NATION was originally meant to be a follow up to a novel that didn’t get published.
  • 6. The chapter headings contain disguised tributes to family and friends.
  • 7. Two characters in the book were added during the final stages of editing.
  • 8. When choosing which publisher to sign with, I had to consider each editor’s vision for the book. One editor wanted to age the main character up. Another editor wanted to age the main character down (to make the book YA). The editor I chose agreed that we should keep the main character the age I wrote her.
  • 9. The cat in the book is named after my sister’s cat.
  • 10. I wrote the first draft of SISTERS OF THE LOST NATION in 2019. It took me about three months to write.
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
Make it a good day!

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?
I played in the school orchestra. It was always nice to escape into music during the middle of the day.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
Sprouting potatoes. I can’t explain it, but just the sight of them triggers a visceral reaction.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
One of my most memorable travel experiences is traveling to Paris and London with my siblings when I was seventeen. I still remember how strange it seemed to get off the plane and walk into an airport where people were allowed to openly smoke cigarettes. We saw and experienced so many things that were far from our normal on that trip.

What is the first job you have had?
My first job was as a public works laborer the summer after my freshman year of college. I got to work with the Land and Forestry crew, planting flowers, trimming trees, pulling up bushes, laying sod, and chipping wood. I was just glad I wasn’t assigned to the Sewer crew. One of my best friends had to endure that.

A young Native girl's hunt for answers about the women mysteriously disappearing from her tribe's reservation lead her to delve into the myths and stories of her people, all while being haunted herself, in this atmospheric and stunningly poignant debut.

Anna Horn is always looking over her shoulder. For the bullies who torment her, for the entitled visitors at the reservation's casino...and for the nameless, disembodied entity that stalks her every step--an ancient tribal myth come-to-life, one that's intent on devouring her whole.

With strange and sinister happenings occurring around the casino, Anna starts to suspect that not all the horrors on the reservation are old. As girls begin to go missing and the tribe scrambles to find answers, Anna struggles with her place on the rez, desperately searching for the key she's sure lies in the legends of her tribe's past.

When Anna's own little sister also disappears, she'll do anything to bring Grace home. But the demons plaguing the reservation--both ancient and new--are strong, and sometimes, it's the stories that never get told that are the most important.

Part gripping thriller and part mythological horror, author Nick Medina spins an incisive and timely novel of life as an outcast, the cost of forgetting tradition, and the courage it takes to become who you were always meant to be.

You can purchase Sisters of the Lost Nation at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.


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