When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Describe the journey that led to the publication of the first Challenger’s Call novel?
I grew up loving both reading and telling stories, so I knew I wanted to be a writer early on. After college, I spent about four years writing on a story, and shelved it when I could never find a publisher. When I started reading Litrpg and Gamelit stories in Kindle Unlimited, it both sparked my desire to write again and gave me hope that self-publishing could be possible. So I set out to write what I felt would be a unique story for the genre, and was surprised as to how well it was received.
What were you hoping readers would get out of the series that separated it from other GameLit series?
I was hoping they’d find it a familiar but refreshing take on the classic good and evil stories like Lord of the Rings and Narnia. I tried to have the gamelit elements tie in well to the hero’s personal and emotional growth.
You bring a tremendous amount of emotion to your work and delve deeper in to the personal struggles of your characters than a great deal of Fantasy Fiction. Was this a conscious decision? What influenced your emotional writing?
It wasn’t really a conscious decision. Mostly it was a desire to have fleshed out characters in the stories I write. I think at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what *type* of character it is you write; it’s moreso whether readers can relate to them, find their actions and emotions reasonable. If I had to cite inspiration, I’d probably say Brent Weeks and Brandon Sanderson.
Describe your new series “Soulship” to new readers of your work and to those new to the Cultivation genre
Soulship is a western take on the eastern cultivation genre, where the protagonist and other characters embark on a path to become stronger, or more powerful, with sci-fi elements also present. If you liked Will Wight’s Cradle series, you’ll probably like Soulship as well. The main character is an individual in desperate need of the ability to grow beyond what people think his limitations are, and as he does so he finds he can not only protect others, but help them grow as well (and vice versa)
How important is reader interaction to you as a self published author ? How do you most prefer to interact with fans?
Interaction is vital; most indie readers expect direct contact with their authors, at least to an extent. The real challenge is balancing talking with your fans against spending enough time writing books. I usually interact with readers on my Facebook group, though I answer the occasional email as well.
The GameLit community is a very close knit unit, often made up of hardcore gamers. As a newer writer how have you found the experience?
I’ve thankfully found it to be pretty positive. The readers and other authors are very protective of their genre, since it’s so new, but I’ve played enough video/tabletop games to where people reading my books could tell I had done my research and really cared about the subject matter.
How much of yourself do you put in to your characters. Does any of your series incorporate autobiographical elements ?
I honestly have no idea how much of myself I put into my character, but they probably all get a little bit of my humor. They’re not meant to represent anyone in real life, although Wes’ condition in Downfall and Rise, as well as his determination to fight it, is loosely based off a real disability a RL loved one fights.
What takes up your time when you are not writing?
I try to write about ten hours a day, so I delegate about one hour for fans and the rest is spent on family time and self care.
So here’s my favorite question. Whats next for you in 2020?
More books, in both series. I hope to write at least 6.
What one piece of advice would you offer to new and aspiring writers ?
Practice, and don’t get discouraged. The more you write, the better you get!
For those that may be wondering, is there a prospective time line for your books to be released in other formats for those that don’t generally read E-books ?
I’ve ran into some small challenges getting them out, but I’m expecting to have them available in paperback by mid February at the latest.
Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nathan-Thompson/e/B07FLG9GWT