The Light, The Dark, & Ember Between by J.W. Nicklaus

the-light-the-dark-and-ember-betweenYears ago, as is still true now, I found I would happen upon some small event or object that would practically insist that it be written about. I’ve always leaned toward short stories because of their urgency and ability to deliver a satisfying beginning, middle, and end in a short period of time.

And so I would often jot something down when inspiration hit me, then find some appropriate vehicle to convey the idea that struck me. Seems pretty obvious, right? Isn’t that what we all do? I couldn’t find the heart to let a good idea go just because it might not fit into a more lengthy format, so I’d craft a short story around it instead. Just so happened, much of what I would write centered around the very personal ideals of love, hope, desire, longing, and a host of other emotions. I didn’t know it all those years ago, but The Light, The Dark, and Ember Between was slowly evolving.

In one case (Streetlamp) I’d been tossing and turning, trying to get to sleep one night. I had a lot on my mind and my brain had apparently decided it wasn’t ready to shut down. As I lay there I suddenly recalled reading a story by Ernest Hemingway during my freshman year in college—A Clean Well Lighted Place. That one thought was the emulsifier that helped to bring together a number of other disparate thoughts and feelings. I immediately got out of bed and typed out the skeleton of the story.

There are a few instances where the story I wound up with had little or nothing to do with the initial spark that generated it. I started with a lit match then switched to the flashlight. Emissary and Winter Rose are two such examples.

The things that I think move us most are storylines and characters we can relate to. You may not get a super detailed description of what a given character looks like or what clothes they might be wearing, but if through their actions and dialogue they can compel you to feel something, then that’s the hook I’m hoping for. Once you can relate to them, then who cares what they look like—and if you care about the character then you’re naturally going to read through the story, because we’re only human, we have to know what happens. With a short story, you don’t have to wait too long. Something like the reading version of the impulse area at the checkout!


J.W. Nicklaus resides in a place not entirely fit for human habitation about five months of the year. No pets to speak of, only the apparitions from which all romantics suffer.

An Arizona native, he’s been from one coast to the other, and a few places in between. College brought an AA in Journalism with a minor in Photography, and a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications. His work experience has run the gamut from Creative Director for a small advertising firm in Tucson to a litigation support bureau in Phoenix (and assuredly some awkward stuff in the mix).

Snow has been featured prominently in his stories, perhaps because of the seasonless cli-mate he lives in. Nature was meant to be enjoyed and experienced, not hidden from the senses. So to that end, he hopes someday to live amongst those who are able to live through four true seasons, and not just blast furnace and warm.

He enjoys the occasional Arizona Diamondbacks game with his son, as well as watching him grow up. The experience of being a single dad has taught him far more about himself than he ever thought possible.

Within the expanse of every waking moment, he hopes his guardian angel keeps its arms open wide and heart ever watchful, for there but for one true Hope goes She.

For more about J.W. visit

The Story Behind the Book is part of the pre-tour package included with certain tour packages.  J.W’s tour will begin on April 1 and continue until April 30.  If you would like to visit his tour stops, visit in April.


One thought on “The Light, The Dark, & Ember Between by J.W. Nicklaus

  1. Pingback: Blog Tour Warm Up « J.W. Nicklaus’ Blog

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