21 August, 2015

#Interview with Nathan Squiers, #Author of Noir

About the Author:
Nathan Squiers (The Literary Dark Emperor and the author formally known as “Prince”) is a resident of Upstate New York. Living with his loving fiancé/fellow author, Megan J. Parker, and two incredibly demanding and out-of-control demon-cats, Nathan lives day-by-day on a steady diet of potentially lethal doses of caffeine. When he isn’t immersed in his writing, he often escapes reality through horror and/or action movie marathons, comic books & graphic novels, Japanese anime & manga, and gnarly tunes. While out-and-about, The Literary Dark Emperor can be found in the chair of a piercing studio/tattoo parlor or simply loving life with friends & loved ones.

Learn more about Nathan’s work and join The Legion at www.nathansquiers.com

Stalk Nathan on Facebook or Twitter or Goodreads


Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I don’t think there was really a specific moment when it occurred to me that this was what I wanted to do with my life, I just sort of always did it. Before I could write, I was acting out plot-driven scenes with action figures or crayon-drawing characters and settings and then explaining both in my rarely-understood-yet-seldom-silenced chatterbox moments to my mother. Eventually it just became too obvious to overlook that that’s who I was and what I’d always wanted to do.

What inspires you to write?
Everything. Things I see or hear can spiral into entire concepts; stories that others tell me that I feel the world should experience; anything, really. If I had to pick just one thing, though, I’d say it was pain. Everybody knows what it feels like to get hurt—to have a broken heart or a lost love or a painful betrayal; it’s unavoidable in life—and, despite the fact that we all share this, it seems like everyone would sooner ignore both their own and others’. When I’m hurting for whatever reason, I think of all the people out there who have felt what I’m feeling and feel driven to show them they’re not alone.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
Though it’s not entirely “current,” the upcoming re-release for first book in the Crimson Shadow series, ‘Noir,’ is definitely my most current project. As for how it came to be, I’ll refer back to the previous question and my answer there: pain. I was in a dark time in my life and contemplating ending it all and, in my desperation to reflect that pain—either for myself or for whoever found me, I still haven’t been able to answer that question—I wrote what became the first chapter of ‘Noir.’ Somewhere in writing that incredibly dark and self-destructive scene, however, I decided that I wanted to make the character, Xander Stryker, somebody I couldn’t be: a fighter—somebody to achieve what I felt I couldn’t—and I told his story of recover and revenge. By the time I’d finished, a bit of Xander’s strength had rubbed off on me and I realized I wanted to continue telling his stories.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Yes.

Tell us about your writing process.
After lots and lots and lots of struggle, I finally get a Word document open, and then, after a bit more struggle and finally settling on some Japanese music (English lyrics distract me), I begin typing. Once I’ve gotten that far, I’m pretty much unstoppable   lol

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
There’s quite a few scenes that I personally enjoy the visualization of—either because they were inspired by something beautiful or because it excites the part of me that loves action and horror movies—but I’d still have to say that my favorite scene is the last few pages of ‘Noir’ for… well, reading it will pretty much explain why.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Sort of/kind of. Xander Stryker was definitely written to REPRESENT me in the beginning, but he rather quickly shot off into his own characteristics that just weren’t me at the time. If anything, I inherited a bunch of his quirks in the process. If there was anybody who was “me” in the book—and I say this knowing that a lot of people would roll their eyes and disagree with me—it was a character known simply as “The Gamer”—an awkward, fat guy ogling adult magazines and getting far too excited about whatever job he’s been given.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I’m a method writer. Depending on the nature of the scene I’m writing, I’ll actually reflect that attitude in the real world. One of the most memorable examples was when I was writing a rather rage-fueled scene in ‘The Fighter’ (a short story/prequel to the Scarlet Night trilogy by my fiancé, Megan J. Parker). In that scene, the character, Zane, was beginning to go through a painful and mind-altering transformation due to a curse that fed off his anger; his body was popping and warping and going through all sorts of agonizing changes while his mind was shifting to very dark, very violent thoughts towards somebody who had wronged him. As I was writing this, my face was contorting, my jaw was tightening, and, apparently, I was growling to myself. Not seeing this, Megan asked me what I wanted for lunch and I just started ranting about being interrupted and whatnot for about 10 seconds before I stopped and suddenly wondered why I was angry. My body hurt, my eyes were teary and aching from being clenched, my teeth hurt from grinding… I was LITERALLY feeling what Zane had been feeling. While I’m not necessarily proud of the explosive moment, both Megan and I found it to be an interesting quirk about myself.

What is your usual writing routine?
I don’t have one really. I try to maintain a somewhat regular process, but I can’t even keep a constant sleep schedule. What’s important is that writing gets done  lol

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I read a great deal. A few of my favorites (I couldn’t possibly name all of them) are Rob Thurman, Nancy A. Collins, Jim Butcher, Sergei Lukyanenko, H.P. Lovecraft… the list goes on and on. Their influences, more often than not, are related to the techniques I use in shaping worlds and describing scenes, but I work to bring more inspiration from films, comic books, and Japanese anime/manga as direct source material. While I do love to read and feel it’s a powerful tool for writers to do so, I feel like if I take too much from other writers I’ll only ever sound like other writers; plus I studied filmmaking too long to not have it influence my craft in some way.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
The same advice I give to this day: write and don’t stop writing.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Just because it’s worth repeating: write and don’t stop writing.

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
I think I’d prefer to see a pair of fresh faces for the roles of the vampire Xander Stryker and his future love interest Estella Edash (I think it’d be fun to know somebody got their start on something I wrote). I kinda wanna see Liam Neeson play the role of Depok, the vampire clan’s leader. I think that, for the role of Marcus and Stan, I feel that Alan Ritchson (he’d have to grow his hair out, but I doubt the ladies would mind that) and Michael Fassbender (all “Satanized” and dyed blonde, of course) would be perfect accordingly. I think an A-list actor (like Bruce Willis) doing a cameo as the voice in Xander’s head would be really cool, and then I’d want somebody convincing as a dark and malicious character like Kyle… maybe Live Schreiber? I’m really more open to suggestions for something like this, though; the readers have more of a right to make that call than I do.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
A plate of bacon, a bigger plate of bacon, and an inflatable motor raft for when the bacon’s all gone (and if that’s not a satisfying answer: a sharpened kukri, 200’ of paracord, and night-vision goggles).

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I’m a pretty simple guy. I love movies and I love books. My biggest “guilty” pleasure (not that I feel guilty about any of it) are my piercings and tattoos, so I suppose you could say that’s something I like to do to unwind.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I love tigers and am active in doing what I can to prevent their extinction. If I had the chance, I’d love to “meet” a tiger—get up close and personal and watch it do what tigers do.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- When I decided to take the “suicide letter” that ‘Crimson Shadow: Noir’ started as and flesh it out as a novel, I actually used a lot of the elements from a graphic novel I’d been writing (at that time called ‘Crimson Shadow’). Though a lot of the elements remained the same from the original script, one major change was the main character, who was originally female.
- Writing ‘Noir’ took me 10 years (in large part to the content being so personal and causing many hospital visits due to anxiety attacks). After the first book, however, the other books came progressively faster: ‘CS2: Sins of the Father’ took two years, ‘CS3: Forbidden Dance’ took 8 months, ‘Curtain Call: A Death Metal Novel’ only took two months (the addition of song lyrics added three weeks), and my fastest (and longest) novel (to date) has been ‘CS4: Dance with the Devil,’ which only took six weeks.
- Ever since I first watched The Crow when I was 13 I’d dreamed of having a Halloween wedding, and I’m proud to say that, after more than a decade of being with Megan J. Parker, we’ll be tying the knot this October 31st.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
After the rest of the Crimson Shadow books (1-4 plus a collection of short stories) I’m going to wrap up the 7-book series as well as offer up a sequel to the multi-award winning ‘Curtain Call’ novel. After that, there are some very exciting plans that I have with my colleague-cum-wife that will take everything our readers have come to experience and go further down the proverbial rabbit hole ;-)

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
More than anything else I’d just like to extend my thanks to them for allowing me to be who I am and do what I do. I love being an entertainer and, without an audience, that’s just not possible. I owe everything to them and I cherish them for that reason.

About the Book:
Xander Stryker wants to die. 

Ever since witnessing his mother's murder at the hands of his abusive stepfather when he was a boy, he has spent every day trying to reach that goal. But every night he's denied the death he craves. As his eighteenth birthday approaches, a chance for change is offered when his life is plunged into a supernatural world of vampires and other creatures of darkness. 
Caught in the depths of this new reality, mysteries of his vampiric lineage begin to unravel and he's offered the ultimate choice: 
Continue on with his wretched human life or begin a new one as the vampire prodigy he was always meant to be. 
Unfortunately, the supernatural world can be just as unforgiving and brutal as any other and Xander's choice is met with disastrous consequences. 
Now, with a little support and even less hope, the chaos of his new world collides with his torturous past and threatens to crush him once and for all.

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