Today, I have the great opportunity to interview a character that really is unlike anyone I've met in a YA book so far. Nickel from Nickel Plated. Here's a bit about the novel:
Nickel is a survivor. He has to be. For as long as he can remember, his life has hinged on the flip of a coin. Or, rather, the scribble of a social worker’s pen. He’s been through the system, even had a good dad for a few years, until he was gone, too. But Nickel remembers everything he taught him, and since the day he escaped from foster-care hell, he’s put that knowledge to good use. Just twelve years old, he makes a steady living by selling marijuana to high schoolers, blackmailing pedophiles he ferrets out online, and working as a private investigator. When a beautiful girl named Arrow hires him to find her little sister Shelby, Nickel figures at best the kid’s a runaway; at worst, some perv’s gotten a hold of her. He scours the internet and the streets of Arrow’s suburban neighborhood, and what he finds there is as ugly a truth as he’s ever seen. For beyond the manicured lawns, Nickel discovers children for sale, and adults with souls black as the devil. And people like that aren’t about to let some kid ruin their game. This edgy thriller introduces a canny, precocious anti-hero, the likes of which young-adult readers have never seen.
Q: So Nickel, how did you get into the business of private investigation?
Would it kill you to keep it down? In case you didn’t notice, we’re not exactly alone out here.
My work isn’t something you choose, it chooses you. This is what my Dad did, and now it’s
what I do. It’s not the smartest thing, too much face time, but how am I supposed to say no? If a
kid needs help, I’m going to help. It’s what Dad would have done.
Q: What was your impression of Arrow, your latest client, when you first met?
Are you kidding? Young, dumb and full of…questions. Arrow is beautiful, and she’s got a bit
of bitterness to her, but the girl is just electric. She takes a minute to get used to, and she’s got a
heck of a right cross, but she is a sweet person, and she’s definitely easy on the eyes. I’ll say this
too, if you need someone at your back, Arrow is as good as it gets.
Q: What are the five best words you would use to describe yourself?
Won’t. Stop. Until. I’m. Dead.
Q: What's your past like?
Seriously? It’s bad, except for the time I spent with Dad, and that was like taking a course in
criminology, and in being a criminal. Dad raised me right, and that’s why I am where I am
Q: What do you want to do when you get out of high school?
Lady, I don’t go to school. When I turn 18, I’m buying a rifle, driving to Detroit and making a
few widows. I might forget to tie my shoes or turn off the lights, but I don’t forget a debt, and
there are some people over there that need some chips cashed in.
Thank you Nickel for stopping by. I definitely would not want to be one of those people you'll be after in a few years.