Writer Wednesday – Nathan Day

Tell us who you are and a little bit about what you write:
I’m an introvert trying hard to convince everyone I’m an extrovert. I’m a geek – to me a “geek” is someone who loves nerdy things, but a “nerd” fully understands and can explain those things – who enjoys stories via any medium (film, song, gaming, theatre). I’m a Kentucky native, Tennessee transplant who moonlights as an author, actor, director, singer/songwriter. I try to write stories that feature rounded, realistic characters, even if they have been thrust into extraordinary circumstances or are extraordinary themselves in some way. An example of this is my current Orphan Saga which places regular and extraordinary people in the crossfire of the eternal war between Heaven and Hell.

What is something your fans would be surprised to know about you?
I think my fans would be surprised to know that once upon a time I wrote and performed R&B as part of a “boy band” called Innocence and was lucky enough to sing as part of a choir on the Backstreet Boys’ recording breaking sophomore album, “Millennium” on the final track, “The Perfect Fan” (Don’t believe me? Read the credits in the album jacket, I dare ya.)

What made you become a writer?
While I can’t remember any one thing or circumstance that made me “become a writer” I do remember laying in the living room floor as young as 6, banging away on my mother’s old typewriter, absolutely using up every piece of blank paper and ribbon in the house. It’s just always been a love of mine. Fantastic places and characters, the escapism, the whole shebang. Who doesn’t want to close their eyes and imagine they’re riding on the back of a dragon, wielding a sword of pure flame, saving the world from an overpowered entity the size of a mountain?

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I feel like I’m a plotter who likes to get a bit “pantsy”. While I spend lots of time, as many do, creating outlines, I find a lot of my ideas come to me in the middle of the actual writing. Most of the time this is an effect of how I feel the characters would react versus how I originally wanted the story to play out. Many of my initial plot ideas fall victim to this, but I hope it makes for a better, more digestible flow in the end.

What is the biggest mistake that you’ve learned not to make while writing?
The biggest mistake I feel that I am learning (as opposed to have fully learned), is to KISS (keep it simple, stupid). My initial run throughs are often unnecessarily wordy, especially when I first began to novelize Orphan: Surfacing, which was originally meant to be a graphic novel. I wanted my prose to really stand out, to have an intelligent, poetic air…but in the end a lot of what I, at first, thought was brilliant, just came across as pompous or overcomplicated and confusing. I hope my style improves with each new work.

What is the last book you finished reading?  What did you think?
I’m the Worst Person in the World (yes, I claim the title) for starting a book, and then starting another, and another, and…see where this is going? It’s not that these books don’t captivate me, it’s that I’m such a story glutton that I cannot wait to sample the next course, especially when it comes to indie and small press authors. I’m currently reading
Hidden by Serina Hartwell, a YA offering that feels both new and classic, real and fairytale, as well as Without A Conscious…by James William Peercy, a slick real-world thriller and finishing Sara Dobie Bauer’s hilarious and exceptionally well written Bite Somebody. I’ve also just picked up Michael David Anderson’s Teddy. As a big Stephen King fan, I’m very excited to see what title character Teddy Dormer’s story has to offer.

Would you like to pimp a specific project?
There are soooo many projects I would like to pimp: Stephen Zimmer’s
Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot and the Rayden Valkyrie novels from which it spawned (all available on Amazon); The Devil’s A Lie novella I’m currently working on which is an adaptation of a noire screenplay by award winning director Thomas Moore; Thomas Moore’s first feature film, Covet, an “inspired by true events” thriller; anything by author Michael David Anderson as many of his books are connected by means which I cannot divulge; my own Orphan novel series beginning with Orphan: Surfacing (available on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com); and lastly author Robb Hoff’s Cosmic Egg Rapture (available on Amazon). Stephen, Thomas, Michael and Robb have been incredibly supportive and inspiring to me in many ways, so the least I can do is help spread the good word about their exceptional bodies of work.

Is there a URL or social media account you’d like to share?
While admittedly I need to strengthen my social media presence, I can be found and followed on Facebook (
www.facebook.com/orphansurfacing ) and on Instagram ( @akagenre ). I can also be found on Goodreads.

 

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…on deep characters…

While I’ve already spoken of this point to a small degree, I want to emphasis what I feel is the importance of writing deep characters. Not all characters need to have massive depth, but I feel there should be enough dimension within them that the reader can begin to make base assumptions about their lives outside of your story arc. Little quirks, mannerisms and seemingly irrelevant beliefs or pasts, can bring a surprising connection between reader and printed word. The more fleshed out the inhabitants of your literary world, the more fleshed out the world. Look around you, everyone has their idiosyncrasy. What are the things you fail to notice on a regular basis that makes these people unique? What ticks do you have? Also, listen to your characters. Although many people react in unexpected ways in extreme circumstances, most of the time you can feel when you are having to shoehorn your character’s actions into fitting your narrative. If something he, she or it does feels unnatural as you write, it will feel unnatural as your fans read. Don’t break the immersion! Let’s be clear: I’m no expert. I’ve less experience in the field than your favorite authors and no education worth bragging about, but I can speak as a reader as to what works and doesn’t work for me. Art, advice, taste is all subjective, so take mine with two shakes of salt. I just suggest thinking of yourself as a reader first and writer second. Take a look through the window before you buy the house.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nathan Day
    Mar 21, 2018 @ 21:40:14

    Thank you SO MUCH for the honor of being the subject of today’s blog and the support for my first novel. I wish the very best in every endeavour. – Nathan Day

    Reply

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