The Hold Steady’s Franz Nicolay has published his second novel. SOMEONE SHOULD PAY FOR YOUR PAIN is out now via Gibson House Press and finds The Hold Steady keyboardist exploring the nature of creativity and popular success; artistic and ethical influence; the pathos of the middle-aged artist; changing standards of sexual morality; and guilt and penance in a post-religious society.
SOMEONE SHOULD PAY FOR YOUR PAIN follows singer-songwriter Rudy Pauver, his conflicted relationship with a successful former protégé, and a young niece who wants to travel with him and whose surprise appearance forces a reckoning with himself and his past.
In the doldrums of a career as a cult figure, Rudy has been overshadowed by Ryan Orland, to the point where Rudy is now identified as an imitator of the younger man. Ryan is generous and supportive of Rudy, but Rudy finds it hard to be grateful. Forced to confront the limitations of his own talent and ambition, his resentment triggers a confrontation that ends in their estrangement. When Rudy’s niece, a teenage runaway who admires the freedom of his lifestyle, turns up asking to join him on the road, he has to come to terms with the nature of his obligation to family and accountability for his past.
Nicolay’s first book, The Humorless Ladies of Border Control: Touring the Punk