It’s a December Author Spotlight Flood! Clearing out my backlog and getting these authors into the spotlight.
- an epic fantasy author who’s really into stuff that’s old and weird.
Readers, thanks for checking out another Author Spotlight Interview. Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Nathan Tudor has researched ancient religion at Oxford, traveled the seven continents, and mastered the art of speaking in the third person. His debut novel The Empire’s Lion tells an epic story filled with action, identity, and the struggle to do what is right in an upside-down world.
Allegations that he hired an alchemist to give him the tread of a cat and the ears of a fox are categorically false.
Nathan, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most author spotlight interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
To paint a picture, I’ve been hunched over my laptop with fingers bridged thinking this over for about ten minutes. It’s a deeply serious matter, of course.
I’m feeling something winged—but I’m not sure whether to go the scaled or feathered route. How about some sort of great Raven, on the scale of Tolkien’s Eagles, but without the sentience that makes having one as a pet ethically problematic. Ravens are one of my favorite animals—they’ve got this mischievous wisdom to them that I’ve always admired.
A giant raven sounds like a great choice! So clever, and very social.
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I write epic fantasy.
I first got started when I was maybe seven or eight; I wrote a little story based on a video game I’d been playing. Pretty much my whole life since, I’ve known I wanted to be a storyteller, and I’d say about 95% of the fiction I’ve written has been fantasy. I love epic fantasy because it has this mythological heritage to it, the sense that these stories are cosmically important in all the magic and mystical trappings.
Ah, fanfic, the gateway drug of many-a-writer. Creating new mythologies is one of my favorite parts, as well!
What do you like to read?
I can answer this in super vague or super specific ways! At the broadest level, I just want a good story. It can be action-packed or slice-of-life, mind-bending or straightforward—I just want something that tells a memorable tale, something that will make me feel for the characters. Fantasy is a great genre is that regard because you get all different sorts of stories—from brilliant literary works like Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun to more pulpy action like Will Wight’s Cradle. I’ll bounce all over the place from one read to the next!
Aside from fantasy, I like reading old stuff. Mythology, religious texts—something that pulls me out of modernity and helps me see through ancient eyes and think with an ancient mind. Oh, and Dostoevsky. No one compares to Dostoevsky!
Thanks for answering both ways! You know, my to-read bookcase was already full. *scribbles down a few more suggestions*
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you
No tears for the writer means no tears for the reader.
I understand the sentiment, but it just isn’t true for me. I’ve written scenes that have made people cry, but for me, that was just a day of work—maybe even a bland one! Emotions in the reader are produced by craftsmanship, and if you have the skill to write the scene as it must be written, then who you were at the time of writing doesn’t particularly factor into it. I do have emotional moments while writing sometimes, but it isn’t required.
Same here! I’m not that easily moved to tears, except by frustration or a great song. With my own stories, where I’ve been sorting out how to make this tragedy work in the back of my head for weeks? It’s probably not going to actually make me cry, I’ll be more worried about trying to get the right emotive feel for the scene.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice they can pry out of your cold, dead hands
Something needs to change.
This is sort of the Golden Rule for me—has something changed in this scene? I’m a diehard outliner, and every scene I plan usually is based around some short of shift. If something isn’t happening, why are you including that scene? For the record, that doesn’t mean I think quiet scenes are a bad thing! Quiet, reflective scenes often give the more dramatic, bombastic scenes their significance. But something should probably happen during those downtime scenes as well 😉
So true! It can be hard when you need transition scenes to get them to actually do stuff, but all scenes need to either move the plot forward, show character development, or world-build, preferably at least two, the best do all three.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
The Empire’s Lion (#1)
She left a slave. She returns a conqueror.
As an Adept, Reiva blasts fire from her hands and leaps over walls. But when her first solo mission leaves her half-dead amidst a heap of massacred allies, she gets just one chance at redemption.
The Empire orders her to crush the one kingdom she thought she would never see again: Talynis, the land of her birth, the land she left in chains.
Standing in her way is the Wolf, a vicious assassin hell-bent on killing Adepts—and a single cut from his cursed blade will destroy Reiva’s magic forever.
Even if she can survive, victory may come at a price too high to pay…
Betrayed and sold into slavery, Rebbaelah fears her life is over—but when the Empire discovers sorcery in her soul, she gets another chance at freedom.
She has seven years to learn the art of war. To master her flame magic. To conquer the fear of death.
To become an Imperial Adept.
Most who go through the training will lose their minds—or their lives.
She intends to finish with highest honors.
Check out Nathan Tudor across the web!
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