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How to write a best-selling life

Nicholas ThomasHorror fans, remember this name: Nicholas Thomas. The Metropolitan State University of Denver senior is majoring in psychology to learn the deep, dark, human behaviors that make for best-selling horror novels. He is minoring in writing in order to help develop his life long love of writing.

Nicholas “Nick” Thomas is a cancer survivor, a public speaker, writer and a high school drop out who went on to earn his GED at age 27, become an MSU Denver peer mentor, an Urban Leadership Program assistant, and a scholarship recipient from the National Federation for the Blind.

He’s also relentlessly positive. “I’ve never believed that failure is the end,” Thomas said. “It’s just a bump in the road to something greater.”

Thomas works on campus in the Urban Leadership Program planning events and activities to inspire and assist other students. He helped plan the CLA Summit, which invited students from 15 universities to campus, and he planned the Student Awards event on April 13. He speaks in front of groups from three to 200 people, at orientations, conferences and other events. And he happens to be legally blind.

“My goal is to set an example that no matter who you are or where you come from you can succeed if you work hard,” he said. “If an opportunity arises, take it. Show up. Volunteer for it. It will always lead to success.”

That is exactly how Thomas approaches writing. He started writing when he was in the third grade. In fourth grade he discovered that poetry was an excellent way to express his feelings.

“I was always the kid in grade school who would ask to stay inside at recess so that I could write,” Thomas said. “It led to me being published by sixth grade.”

At MSU Denver, Thomas once again finds himself staying inside in order to work. It helps that he loves his psychology classes and professors. “I like the learning methods here,” he said. “And any class that deals with abnormal behavior, violence or aggression is great for developing a horror novel,” Thomas said. Each class helps him develop his characters and inspires new plot ideas.

He also can’t get enough leadership development classes to help hone his inherent leadership abilities. In addition to his MSU Denver leadership roles, Thomas was the president of the National Federation of the Blind, Poudre Chapter, in 2013-2014. He is currently the treasurer of the Colorado Association of Blind Students.

Thomas is currently working on a Metrosphere submission before he finishes his studies at MSU Denver. His writing classes continue to polish his skills. “People say that you can’t teach writing,” he said. “But I find that I get better and better every class I take because there’s always something new to learn.”

At MSU Denver, Thomas found a community that supports his career and life goals. He plans on using his psychology degree to work in counseling or clinical psychology as his “day job” while he continues writing after graduation.

His advice for other students at MSU Denver? “Life is only what you make it,” he said. “And it’s time to go out and make it.”