Posted on August 14, 2020 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we’re interviewing author Nayden Kostov.
Born in Bulgaria, he has lived in places like Germany, Belgium, and Iraq, before settling down with his family in Luxembourg.
His career has been swinging from that of an army paratrooper and a military intelligence analyst; through to that of a civil servant with the European Commission, and presently, that of a clerk, performing purely financial tasks in a major bank.
With varied interests, he has always suffered from an unrestrainable intellectual curiosity. A member of the high IQ society MENSA, he pursues several hobbies: learning foreign languages, scuba diving, traveling, and reading.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
NAYDEN: It was not something I had planned for a long time.
Following the success of my trivia website RaiseYourBrain, in 2016 I published 1123 Hard to Believe Facts, which was read by tens of thousands and accumulated hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon and GoodReads.
The experiment was deemed successful, and four more books followed. Nowadays, I limit myself to one book per year so that writing still stay a hobby.
In the inventory, I have so far a quiz book, a children-friendly trivia book (illustrated by my then 8-year-old son Pavel) and three compilations of random facts.
I have perceived and still perceive the entire process as a challenge: to learn how to self-publish an e-book, then a paperback, then an audiobook, then how to market them all etc.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
NAYDEN: Many good ideas were suggested by friends of mine over a cup of coffee or a pint of beer.
My first three books were crowd-funded, and it was an amazing experience: many of the backers not only contributed financially, but also volunteered to test-read the books and helped me with further suggestions.
To convert a couple of books into audiobooks, for instance, was such an unsolicited hint, which proved to be a brilliant idea.
SADYE: What have been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?
NAYDEN: It all started as a joke and now I am the second most followed author in Luxembourg on GoodReads!
What I learned from experience is that (1) honest amateur test-readers are sometimes more useful than a professional editor and that (2) collecting lots of genuine reviews is indispensable.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
NAYDEN: To my greatest delight, an avid reader of my trivia books explained that he was preparing daily fact sheets for his son’s lunch box.
He prints out three random facts every day to create some lunchtime fun for his child and to provoke his intellectual curiosity.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
NAYDEN: Knowing stuff is cool. Knowing how to tell a real fact from fake news is much cooler!
SADYE: What advice, as relates to your writing career, would you give your younger self?
NAYDEN: Try to write about what you are really interested in, not about what appears trendy at the moment. Readers will feel if you are not genuine.
* * *
Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email us with a recommendation!
Categories: Author Interview