Writers, be patient with your characters, they are doing the best they can with the world you have given them. Brant Landon

Nathan Parks Interview Published on: 04, Jun 2019

Living at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains in Colorado, which is your favorite time of the day?

That is a good question. The weather and days are usually really good all the way through, but there is nothing like watching the sun sink behind the mountain range. The sunsets are usually spectacular and inspiring.

Where do you go to enjoy the beauty of the state in which you live? Where do you often spend time with your kids?

The thing that I believe I love about Colorado is that everything you want to do (minus the beach) is right here. We can go hiking in a park or mountains with just a small drive. My family is huge on getting out and exploring the state. We hike, camp, fish, and then there are the amazing historic districts and foodie areas that you can see. Colorado has some amazing things to do for free or very inexpensive.

What inspired you to start writing when you were very young?

I started writing at a very young age. It allowed me to express my true feelings without "getting in trouble". Then when I was about eight years old I was molested several times by a man. I did not let people know for about 10 years, and so my writing really took off. It gave me control over the story lines and characters. It was my escape, and then it grew into creating places where fans could escape; even if just for a little bit.

What did you find most fascinating about novels by J.R.R. Tolkien? Which one is your all-time favorite?

J.R.R. Tolkien was amazing at the deep and rich history of his characters. Even if you just stick to reading the popular novels you realize that the history is deep and rich. To pull a favorite out is hard. I honestly enjoyed the Lost Tales and any of the historical "background" books that Christopher Tolkien has helped get out from his Dad's work. They inspire me to continually seek to build strong and deep characters. You can have a great plot, but if the reader can't "feel" the character it all becomes lost.

What inspires you to to create characters that feel as if they have been around existing for a lifetime in everyday life?

Readers want to be able to escape. They want to be able to relate. Readers want to be able to feel that a character is distracting them for a little while, but also that the character could be one that understands the reader. Building strong and deep characters takes the reader deeper into themselves and into the book. This can present questions, challenges, and even solutions that a reader is able to relate to without really feeling as if they are focused on their personal life.

Having spent 17 years in the military, how would you describe your experience?

Nothing short of life changing. At nineteen I wasn't sure where I was headed or what I wanted to do. I didn't feel as if I belonged or fit in. The military made me stretch myself, learn more about myself, and expanded my world view. I had the chance to be in other countries and even the chance to experiencing things that I could never have imagined; i.e. standing guard over Air Force One and providing fully military honors for fallen heroes. It showed me the importance of compassion, gratitude, and being apart of something a lot bigger than myself.

How do you focus on building and maturing your skill set? What tips and tricks do you use?

Soak up everything! Also, in the military I learned that just because someone was given a leadership position didn't mean they should be a leader; when you are given that position then be the best you can be. This is how I approach writing. There are a lot of people out there who just want to be able to pump out manuscripts so they can say the published 20 something novels, but if you read them they are not skillfully written. I don't want to be an author that just pumps out words, but I want my reader to know that when they pick up a novel of mine it is well thought through. I watch everyone and everything. I keep a notebook with me so that I am able to write down character ideas and plot info as things happen around me. I have learned that you mix reality with fiction, and this allows the reader to feel that the story could be happening around them.

Why did you choose fitness coach as a profession? What's the best diet for weight loss?

Fitness coach is just part of what I do. I love helping people. I learned from good military leaders to always be ready to leave bread crumbs behind you so others can learn from you, and follow the path before you. As for a diet; I hate diets! I take the mind.body.soul aspect. Diets are waves. I can teach you how to eat healthy and tomorrow some new diet will try to get you to buy into it. Don't diet but when you learn how to motivate the mind, build the body, and search the soul you discover how healthy living and eating (yes and that can include cake) can become the real way of living.

What do you love about the art of public speaking? What do you want your audiences to remember of your motivational speak?

I strive to stay humble because each of us hit levels in our life where someone's motivation, life experience, and way of looking at things can help jolt us to take our life to the next level. I love public speaking because when you speak and you talk from your own experience and life lessons and someone "gets it" you know that what you went through was all worth it. I want people to take away the knowledge that I am not perfect, they are not perfect, but we are always growing. If we can learn from each other, stay humble, and start tapping into the ebb and flow of reality then we can start living on the offense and not defense; victorious not a victim!

The Nephelium is an amazing redefining of a good and evil story involving a very believable supernatural element. What inspired you to write "The Nephelium"?

I grew up in a very strict religious home. In fact I was told I was not allowed to read any of J.R.R. Tolkien's books because they dealt with magic and wizards. The older I got I really began to question religion, its role in my life, and the effect that it has when mankind uses it to create control. The Nephelium comes from a desire to challenge people to really think about their belief and faith (no matter what it may be). If we allow others to really define our faith and belief that it isn't ours, and we have allowed them control over our mind and purpose. I use a large field of myth, legend, and beliefs to create the universe for The Nephelium and The Vapor, and my intent is to really stir up questions on where does reality and myth cross? What if our reality today was yesterday's myth?

Who inspired the character of Eve? What is the biggest challenge while creating characters from opposite sex?

I have had several people ask me that question about Eve, and I am not even sure if I can still answer that. My characters come to me and ask me to write their story. They "appear" in front of me. One sect in the series are The Watchers. They are responsible for recording, but not allowed to influence. This is how I am with each of my characters. The questions and stubbornness of Eve I would say does come from me. As for writing the opposite sex, I don't find it to hard. I grew up in a house where I had three sisters; also with my observations of those around me I am able to allow the character (no matter the gender) to flow through me.

Did you plan the sequel "The Vapor" while writing "The Nephelium"? What challenges did you face to create a link between the books?

The short answer is "yes" and "no". I originally knew the plot was and backstory would fill more than one novel. Where that would take me I was not sure. So, I knew there would be a sequel, but didn't know what all it would hold. As I wrote The Nephelium there were key elements that I knew would take me into and through book two. The Vapor takes places five years after The Nephelium, and then the third (Untitled) book picks up right after The Vapor. The link between The Nephelium and The Vapor was not as easy as the third novel, but it was there. I chose to make a five year space so that later I could go back and write spin offs of what happened in those five years. The hard part was working with some ages of some of the characters, as well as the character changes that happened in those five years. How do I show the change, share enough of why they have changed some, but not to get into all that happened in those five years.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I know what I would like to characterize my writing, but the fans may something different. I want to be seen as an author whose characters are real, relate-able, and human (even if they are not). I want readers to always be able to be taken away into a world where they can just sit back and immerse themselves in through rich descriptions. I also want to challenge the reader with each novel to think outside of their normal existence.

When can we expect the release of "Untitled"? What is it about?

This is the third and final book in the original trilogy, and you can expect a fast pace, twist and turn book that concludes the story that started in The Nephelium. The reader will once again have the chance to revisit characters that they may not have seen since The Nephelium. Fans and readers will also really understand that nothing is as it seems, and you never know what will make someone do what they are going to do. Is anything predestined or are we all responsible for our own choices? It was hard for me to finish it up because I know that I will not return right away to this universe, and so it was like saying goodbye to a great TV series. As the author I have grown attach to these characters.

What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? How has AllAuthor helped you so far and would you recommend this platform to other authors?

I am still learning when it comes to marketing. I have learned a lot that I will change when it comes to the release of book three. I spend at least an hour every day doing some for social media post. I have run contest on my social media for signed autographed copies, even handwritten notes from my research etc. I think outside the box. Social media is what has helped the best for me. I do have a website and I blog there, but that blog is also attached to my Amazon author's page, and so it post in both places. As for Allauthor.com, I believe that for the price it has been one of the best places I have put my money. My second novel remained in the top 20 of cover contest for April, and even at times was in the top 10. This provided a lot of publicity. I am a graphic designer also, but don't have time to really focus on continual banners etc, and so for my money and time I find that the mock-ups and gifs that Allauthor provides it is worth it. Especially for indie authors I believe allauthor is a great investment. I have done a lot of research and some companies out there want you to pay hundreds even thousands of dollars; which most indie authors do not have. So, Allauthor.com allows those "forgotten" to be able to actually build a following, advertise their novels, and provide great mock-ups to help.

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