**Author Peek** Interview with Nathan Parks
THE NEPHELIUM, The Eternals Book One
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full–time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
I have been writing since I was about 6 years old. For me it was an escape from an emotionally abusive home situation. Later it allowed me to escape to a world that evil could be conquered. I went through a time where I was molested, and as a young man I felt I couldn’t tell anyone about it. The older I got the worse the darkness became in my soul; writing allowed me to control situations.
For many years I refused to allow anyone to read my writings, and that was because I felt that by doing so I was allowing them into my safe world.
My first writings that I had published was for my college newspaper, and I wrote a short story called the Angel Sagas.
I am a father of 3 boys, a husband of an amazing artist/art teacher. I served for 20yrs in the military, and now my paycheck job (and career that I do love) is law enforcement.
When I am not writing my time is devoted to helping others and family. I am a fitness coach and life motivator; as well as an assistant football coach.
My family is focused on always finding new things to do. This could be new trails to hike, fishing, camping, or even checking out new historical sites. We live in the beautiful state of Colorado, and so the choices are endless.
My favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien. My mother would not allow me to read anything that had wizards or witches in it during the time I was growing up. I had found a torn copy of the The Hobbit when I was about 12 yrs old. I began to secretly read it until my mother found it, and threw it away. Later that evening I went to the trash and pulled out the book, and hid it away. I was transported to a world that I felt at home in.
In my writings I strive to ensure that I follow Tolkien’s example of ensuring that each character has a deep background; no matter if the reader ever knows it or not.
1. What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
My favorite part of the writing process has to be where I enter into the world of the story. Many people have asked how it is I come up with the things that I write. I explain it the same way every time. In my mind there is a long dark hallway. This hallway has crushed red velvet carpet. It is narrow, and on each side there are mirrors. These mirrors are gothic in nature, but I never look into them. I follow the hallway to an old ancient door. There I stop and listen. I can hear noises and conversations taking place on the other side of the door. I then open the door, and step into the world of the story. Here the story is taking place; no matter if I am going to write about it or not. It is not my place to change it or determine the outcome. I am not to influence it in anyway. I simply am there to watch and document what I see, and bring it back into our world for the readers.
Many times I have no idea what is going to happen, and I have found myself sitting on my computer stunned as something takes place that I never saw coming. I love this part!
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
I am not sure if I would choose a superpower. My favorite “superhero” has always been Batman. I love him because he is able to make changes in the world without having to have something that is not of this world. It really speaks home to me, and keeps me grounded knowing that each of us have the power to change the world around our center of influence.
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
Because I don’t write for a career there are many times I get stuck. The reason for this is also because how I write. By allowing the characters to just live out their story in front of me, and not really have a plan for where they take me I can get lost in their world. Many times I am “following” a character and writing away, and then I have to go be Dad, Coach, Law Enforcement Officer, etc. When I come back through the door the character I was writing about, their life didn’t stop, and so I find that where they were leading me has already happened.
This has been good in some ways, because it actually gives me material for side books (off the main series) that will be taking place during the main series.
I guess the way that I get “unstuck” is to remind myself I can’t control the characters. So, sit back, relax, and once again follow them to see what they will do.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
My least favorite part of writing is attempting to find the time, and feeling as if I am letting the fans of my writing down. Many who have read the first book have become very attached to the characters. Shortly after the first book was first published I even had fans start their own fan based stories. It was great. I realized then it wasn’t just my story, but it was the characters reaching out. I then felt the huge responsibility to actually ensure this did not become about me.
I also hate the self-publishing part of it. When I first published The Nephelium I had no idea what I was doing. The lady I was married to at the time, as a gift, had purchased this self-publishing/print-on-demand package for me. It seemed great! For a very small, one-time-payment, they would edit my book as well as print-on-demand. I would be the publisher. Well, it was a disaster! The company placed the book on amazon without me seeing the final edit. There were page numbers missing, chapters labeled the same, and even pages missing. This was just the start of the issues. The lady who ran it/owned the company passed away suddenly. Her husband sold it to an out of country owner.
I discovered that when they had placed it on Amazon they had also stated they were the publisher. Amazon refused to pull it down because I am not the publisher, and the new owners claimed that I owed them all kinds of money in order for them to take it off.
I then revamped the novel, did a new cover, published through CreateSpace, and then began to market it by telling people not to purchase the 1st edition.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
I love to cook! I haven’t done a lot of that lately, but love to! Ironically I am not much of an eater. I enjoy the taste of great food, but do not enjoy eating. So, it really makes it hard a lot of times. Colorado has a huge “foodie” environment, and so I love to see how things are used. I love making steaks, and love prepping them a day in advance. I then put different seasonings on them, lather them in butter, and then wrap them in plastic wrap. Then they will set in the fridge for a day. (now I am hungry)
6. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
By allowing my characters to drive the story it can become difficult to experience their emotions. I am very empathic, and this can really cut deep sometimes. There is a scene in book one where I was so drained afterwards, because of the emotion, that I felt depressed. A scene, that I believe will be in the upcoming novel, was really hard. I followed my character into a place that I started recognizing sounds and smells. I realized that the scene in front of me was of a young boy dealing with being molested. It wiped me out!
7. A penguin walks into your office, right now, wearing a sombrero. What does he say to you and why is he here?
PenJaun the Penguin has nothing to say to anyone because he doesn’t have to. Truly if you are a Penguin with a sombrero, there is nothing you need to say. In fact he just would sit down, pull out a cigar and begin to blow smoke rings. He would ask for a margarita on the rocks though.
8. If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?
If I could I would change the way people refuse to actually listen. They want to be heard, but do not wish to listen. If we could learn to communicate with care and love for each other we would be so much better.
9. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
My next novel will be tiled Vapors it will pick up about 5yrs after the first novel. Many new characters as well as returning characters. Right now it is on schedule to be out the beginning of 2018. I’m also working on three other novels. One will be a Steampunk novel that will have a children’s book adaption, as well as a coloring book. My wife will be doing the artwork, and we hope to get donations so that we can take the children’s adaption and coloring book to patients in Children’s hospital. My wife and I will dress as characters from the book as we give these to the children. I’m also working on my first law enforcement novel, and a novel that will deal with PTSD.
Be sure to come back to learn more about Nathan’s novel, THE NEPHELIUM, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.
Links to Nathan’s website, blog, books, etc.
Amazon Author Page: