Tell us a Little about yourself.
Nik Grybaski lives in the shadows of the worlds Nik creates. A writer, photographer, baker and gin enthusiast, Nik enjoys nature and watching obscure black and white films. Nik has been writing for many years. Sharing stories but never publishing them, until now. Black Danube came to Nik when he was washing away cat wee from the kitchen floor. To this day Nik does not know how cleaning inspired this book.
Have you ever finished reading a book (OR...been intrigued by a synopsis) and wished you could get to know one of the characters a little better? Well, you’re in luck. Get to know Leo Katz, from Black Danube
Leo Katz, where did you grow up, and what was your childhood like?
I am from a small town in Austria, Retz, known for its vineyard and quality wine. I was raised by my aunt Miriam when my mother died. My father ignored me. I was sickly and spent much of my childhood indoors imagining far off lands whilst looking at slides from my magic lantern of London and Paris.
Tell me about your reputation and how it has impacted your life and your relationship.
My reputation is that of an honest and reclusive man who works hard to be the best photographer he can be. It means I am more than hesitant to engage in a relationship, although I do have feelings for Lucy that I should not.
Is there anything you wished you had done differently?
I have many regrets. It is difficult not to when you are in hiding. I wish I had not succumbed to my passion for Lucy. I should not have gone to Herr Klimt’s party and taken drugs.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still in Vienna, working full time as a crime photographer for the Police, under the watchful eye of Detective Kerner.
What are your dreams for the future?
To stop living in fear of being found out. To be able to love without lying about who I really am.
If there was one thing you could change about your past what would it be?
To not get married.
If you could go anywhere with one person, who would you take and where would you go?
I would take Lucy to Paris. We would dine in the most expensive restaurant and visit the museums and art galleries.
1899 Vienna. A young Jewish dissident is murdered, his face mutilated - his fiancée, the prime suspect.
Crime photographer Leo Katz has proof she is not guilty. But to save the innocent woman from the gallows, he risks revealing that he is a fraud and on the run.
As Leo unmasks the sordid network of vice behind the city’s elegant facades, he realises the gruesome death is a smokescreen for more depraved crimes and must bring the killers to justice before he becomes the next target.
Grab your copy of this thrilling, murder, mystery now!
What was the best compliment you have ever received?
From Lucy, ‘You are not disfigured. You are, peculiarly attractive.’
If you could have anyone locked in a room so that you could torment them for a day, whom would you choose and how would you torment them?
David Jäger. The man responsible for my chipped tooth and other scars. He is the reason I had to disguise myself and leave my home. I would tie him to a chair, gagged and blindfolded, and let rats nibble on his flesh.
If you could reward someone with a special day, describe that day and tell us why.
I would reward my aunt Miriam. I owe her everything. I would take her to our home town. We would have a picnic in the vineyard behind our house like we used to do when I was a child. We were happy then, and life was less fraught.
Would you rather be ugly and live forever or attractive and die in a year?
Ah, with my pock-marked face, I am already ugly and can stand it because Lucy thinks me attractive. So long as she continues to do so, I shall live, but forever? That I am not sure about.
If you could go to anyone (living or dead) for advice who would it be and what would you ask?
I would go to my mother and ask her what I should do about my feelings for Lucy. And whether or not I should reveal my true persona.
Mountains or Beach?
Mountains. I miss seeing them now that I live in Vienna.
Who would you like to be stuck in an elevator with?
Is an elevator that metal contraption that goes up and down on pulleys? I think it was Werner von Siemens who invented the electric elevator in Germany around 1880. Somewhere in America, New York, I believe, have such a thing in one of their huge buildings. They sound dangerous to me. I would not like to be in one at all, never mind with someone else.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to take with you?
My camera, I know it would be of no use, but I am a photographer, and I may be rescued. Think of the wonderful photographs I would have to show people. A sharp knife, for obvious reasons, and Pawel Kasparek. I know he is not a ‘thing’, but he is tough and resourceful. I know we would survive if he was there with me.
Will we be seeing more of you in the future or has your story already been told?
My story is only just beginning, so yes, you will see more of Leo Katz.
If you could change one thing about the world… what would it be?
For women to be in charge instead of men.
Tell us about your best friend and what makes them so special.
That would be Klaus. He is a pathologist and one of the kindest men I have ever known. He can be tedious at times with his pathetic and inappropriate jokes, but when he walks into a room and smooths down his perfectly trimmed moustache and beard, everyone cannot help but smile. He also has the most wonderful singing voice. Klaus is charming, fun, and knows all the places to get a drink even when everywhere is closed. He looks after me, and when he puts his arm around my shoulder and tells me, ‘Be brave, little friend.’ I find the courage to do things I would not normally do, even if it puts me in mortal danger.