Corin Nemec Interview
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by Corin Nemec, author of Venice High. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge, Corin.
CN: Thank you very much; happy to be here in two-dimensional form.
SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself?
CN: I was born in Littlerock, Arkansas with one older sister and two artists for parents – my mother a graphic artist and father an architect. My sister and I grew up primarily with our mother in Atlanta, Georgia while she worked professionally in the music and theater business. We spent a lot of time backstage at rock concerts meeting musicians and in rows of theater seats watching plays. Our father moved to Los Angeles, California where he went from being an architect to a Production Designer in the film industry, becoming very successful. During this time I was heavily influenced by the hip-hop movement, taking on the break-dancer persona of Kid Cruz and tagging that name around my middle school campus. My mother ended transferring jobs from the Fox Theater in Atlanta to the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, both of which are owned by the Nederlander family. The timing could not have been better as my father had just completed work on the Steven Spielberg produced film The Goonies which was the very movie that inspired me to pursue a career as an actor. We arrived in Hollywood moving into a two bedroom apartment in Studio City, my sister and I sharing a room. Now in eighth grade I was entering my early teens and had quickly made friends with other kids like myself, into hip-hop and graffiti art, only these guys were drawing on a way different level than what I knew of in Atlanta. Not afraid of a steep learning curve I dove headlong into the expression of the streets, the one performed with a can of aerosol infused paint. At that same exact time, I met David VanGorder, a fellow student and actor best known at the time for playing Waldo in the hit MTV music video Hot for Teacher by Van Halen. I joined a kids theater company he was a member of called Center Stage LA, run by Artistic Director Kevin McDermott, an excellent teacher. It was only eight months later that I had not only achieved catching my first tags and doing my first graffiti murals but also signing with my first agent and going on my first auditions.
SPS: Your novel is about a teenage graffiti artist. How much of the novel is based on your own experiences growing up?
CN: There are a few scenes taken from my real life that are very close to actual events I experienced, but mostly it is a compressed version, a simplified version of what I lived and the world I existed in. The true essence of my life is absolutely all over this story, inside and out, but the truth of my story is even more radical and wild than the one I created.
SPS: We understand that the book was originally written as a screenplay. What made you decide now was the time to write it in novel form?
CN: I needed this part of my life to be revealed, it has always been a huge part of my expression while at the same time always remaining hidden from the world in dark alleys and abandoned buildings. I have been wanting to tell my story, or some version thereof, for a long time, and finally, the pot boiled over and I had no other choice but to share the story with others, regardless of opinions from the outside world.
SPS: What can you tell us about the struggles Den faces?
CN: Den faces the same struggles the majority of the population on the planet face; financial struggles. Of course, that is not all. His family history is rife with substance abuse and some criminality, so his life experience has shaped him accordingly. Fortunately for him, his artistic expression saves him from going down that class drainpipe so many people never emerge from.
SPS: Who do you feel the novel would appeal to?
CN: I would hope the novel would appeal to everyone, the underlying premise of the story is love and a clashing of cultural differences, which I think is somewhat universal in nature. But the story being predominantly about teenagers and what they are going through may lean it in the direction of the young adult.
SPS: How did you feel when the novel was complete and published?
CN: I felt a huge sense of relief when I finished the first draft like a weight was lifted from my soul. Not that the story is so deep, it really is not, but for me it is. I still feel the relief every time I look at that first copy that arrived in the mail sitting on my table.
SPS: Have you left room to expand into a second novel on the same subject?
CN: I have a script I wrote many years before Venice High titles SIXERS about a small gang in Bakersfield, California that is also loosely based on my own life experience and friends I grew up with. I have begun the arduous process of adapting that into a novel form, and though rather different than Venice High, the essence is closely related. The characters are in their twenties, not
teens, it is also more of an ensemble than the way Venice High plays out, totally centered around a single character’s experience. But should Venice High be revisited I think I would rather see the rest of the story play out three-dimensionally on the set of a TV series.
SPS: What do you think a reader will take away from completing your work?
CN: I am not on a soapbox writing this story, there is no slant that I am trying to achieve to get a position across only desiring to share a piece of my own experience with others to make out of it what they will. I don’t have a clue whether it is well written or garbage, I just know I had to tell the story, to share a piece of myself with others.
SPS: You’ve also released a journalistic photography book of some photos you took of Mickey Avalon in the lead up to his debut record release. How did this come about?
CN: I started dabbling in photography when I was in my early twenties, by my late twenties was taking my 1974 35mm vintage Canon camera with me everywhere. It was somewhat known amongst my peers I was interested in journalistic style photography, since Mickey and I have known each other since high school, having met as graffiti artists in Hollywood, he was from CBS crew I am from TCF crew. So in the lead up to his album release we took some shots just for fun, but they ended up capturing such an iconographic feel for him as an artist, a few of my images were used for PR and the album cover. We had so many other great images that were never seen I finally couldn’t take it anymore I put this collectible photo-album out.
SPS: Is there a favorite story from the event you can share with us?
CN: I am not sure what event you are referring to. lol
SPS: Have you picked up any lessons in writing your first two releases that will help you in planning/executing further work?
CN: Perseverance and belief in oneself is the senior factor to the success of any artist, this is what I continually learn and deepen with every project I take on in any medium I involve myself with.
SPS: What do you have planned to do next in the writing world?
CN: I am going to begin adapting all my scripts into novel form, having enjoyed the outcome of Venice High I want to experience that with all my stories.
SPS: Thank you for joining us today, Corin, and all the best for the future.
CN: Thank you for having me, my friend!
SPS: For more information on Corin and his work, please do visit:
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