I'm Greg Nichols, an author and journalist focusing on narrative tales of true adventure. Usually that means outrageous characters and unlikely heroes who set out with confidence — only to have things unravel in unexpected ways.
I also write books.
The longer version
A former fiction writer, I got hooked on non-fiction after taking a class with Megan Marshall at Emerson College, where I went to grad school. I've had other great mentors, too, like Teddy Macker, Doug Whynott, and John Trimbur. Before Emerson, I went to college at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I studied philosophy, skipped too many classes, and met Nina. Later we got married.
I wrote my first piece of journalism living in Medellín, Colombia, where I began writing features for magazines. I've also lived in Seattle, Boston, Oakland, San Diego, and now Los Angeles, where Nina and I laugh a lot with (and at) our son Leopold (AKA Babinski, AKA #Babinskopold). Bandit, our curmudgeonly German Shorthaired Pointer, laughs less, but his heart's in the right place.
I know a lot about robotics and report on the industry for ZDNet.
Adventure is important. I try to live that ethos. I travel, camp, fish, sail, and hike as often as I can. It's never enough, and I'll work with anybody who can help me do it more. When I'm not doing any of that, I cook and make bread. I also speak Spanish.
I work hard. Mostly it's stuff I love. The current breakdown looks something like this:
My non-resume accolades include juggling, rebuilding a motorcycle and crashing another, getting arrested (twice), and owning a truck with more than 200K miles on it. I've also had the same best friends since I was five. Some of the best things I've made by hand include a pen necklace I wear everywhere, a chuck box for camping, and a huge deck.
like true adventure?
Loved the story. Are film rights available?
Thanks. Shoot me an email for a speedy reply. And don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter for the latest true adventure stories, plus previews of what's to come. I'm represented by Pouya Shahbazian for film & TV and Laurie Abkemeier for books.
Can I pitch you?
Should i go into journalism?
I don't know. Honestly.
If you love journalism more than stability, yeah. If you want to be a writer, maybe. If you're not sure what you want but journalism seems fun, probably not. If you're a contradictory mix of all of the above and you're entrepreneurial as hell, by all means.
In my experience, journalists are overworked and underpaid. The industry is cartwheeling. In a lot of ways that's bad, but it's also creating opportunities.
It's bad because sweeping changes are costing talented people their jobs. I've had a string of great editors get fired. That sucks — great editors should be celebrated. It's also bad because right now the market rewards clickability over quality. That will change once smart people figure out how to measure and sell ads against authentic engagement, but there's no telling when that's coming. Writing clickbait is worse than working for Wall Street. If those are your options, take the money. Your soul is gonna get roughed up either way.
But moments of strife are also moments of opportunity. With fewer staff positions, publications need freelancers, lowering the barrier to entry. And content has never been more important or more consumed. If your idea of a good time is slogging through a self-designed internship so you can bootstrap something totally new and unprecedented, journalism is fertile territory.
And it can be a lot of fun.
Will you write the story of my life?
Probably not, and I'm sorry about that. I'm threading a needle with the stories I meticulously report and write, and that sweet spot is tiny. But if you've got some adventurous stuff in your past or you're about to undertake something wild, go ahead and holler. You never know.
How do you make money?
My income is an amalgamation of recurring contracts with publications and one-off money from movie options, book sales, and random writing gigs that are too attractive to pass up.
want to collaborate?
I'm always on the lookout for organic partnerships, particularly those that support my adventure writing and help my stories reach new audiences.
Can i include one of your stories on my site with proper attribution and link-back?
Usually, but please check in first.