With us today is Nathan Singer. As you will see below, Nathan has many gifts and is able to incorporate them together to give his fans a total experience.
1. Tell us about yourself. May include links to Facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, Amazon author page.
I am a novelist, playwright, composer, musician, and experimental performing artist. My first novel A Prayer for Dawn (2004) was part of the required reading at Andover Academy for a while, but I don’t think it is anymore. My second novel Chasing the Wolf is also required reading somewhere. I think Milwaukee. Additionally, both Dawn and Wolf have been published in French, which is great. Sadly, I don’t speak a lick of French. My third novel, In The Light of You, published in spring of 2008, has done pretty well. My fourth novel, Transorbital, will be published in April of 2015 by Post Mortem Press, and Aurore Press will be publishing a collection of my one-act plays (mostly collaborations I wrote with my friend and fellow playwright Brian Griffin) around the same time. My fifth novel, Blackchurch Furnace, which is kind of a sequel to A Prayer for Dawn, has been in limbo for six years, but hopefully it will come out someday.
These two sites should take you everywhere you need to go.
2. How do you choose names for your characters?
A lot of it is based on phonetics. A character’s personality will lead me toward a certain tonal quality that I think fits best.
3. Do you talk about your book/characters as though they are real?
Only if I’m asked about them in that way, but usually no. I do horrible things to my characters, so although I want them to feel real to the reader, I don’t particularly want to think of the circumstances I put them through for the purpose of the narrative to be visited upon actual people.
4. Do you listen to music when you write or edit? What kind?
CONSTANTLY. My music and my fiction are so inextricably linked there is very little separating the two. Each of my novels corresponds to a different musical genre: A Prayer for Dawn is a thrash novel, In The Light of You is a punk novel, Chasing the Wolf is a blues novel etc. As such I often write — and occasionally record — my own soundtracks for my books to get a sense of tone first and foremost. For instance, this is the soundtrack I wrote and recorded for Chasing the Wolf: http://nathansinger.bandcamp.com/
5. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing, in some form or another, since as long as I can remember. Preschool probably? Forever.
6. Tell us about when you realized you were ‘meant to be’ a writer.
Well, I hadn’t intended to be a novelist per se. I thought I was only going to be a professional musician. When I was very young I made a pact with myself that I would sign my first record contract before I turned thirty. The summer after I turned 27 I was nowhere close to a record deal, but I got offered my first book contract and I said, CLOSE ENOUGH! And I’ve been a writer ever since. I suppose that’s not very romantic, but that’s how it happened.
7. Do you have a muse?
Hmmm . . . I suppose music is my narrative muse and storytelling is my musical muse. It’s all terribly messy.
8. How do you improve as a writer? (Workshops, conferences, reading)
I perform a lot and I do plenty of conferences and all that, but truthfully I improve as a writer but writing constantly. It’s like any other kind of exercise, as far as I’m concerned. The more you exercise your muscles the stronger they get.
9. Writing quirks or superstitions?
I’m sure there are some who would say that my writing is nothing but quirks. As for superstitions, nah.
10. Tell us about your current work-in-progress.
It’s a YA book about a teenage siren/mermaid who comes to land and joins a heavy metal band. Not joking.
11. What book are you reading now?
Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault. It’s required for a class I’m taking.
12. What genre do you write in? What about POV?
Each of my books is in a different genre, but “dark literary fiction” works for me. I’m often called a “crime writer,” but truthfully Transorbital is the only actual crime novel I’ve ever written and it’s not even out yet. My books constantly jump back and forth from different POV
13. Tell us about writing preparation. Character Profiles? Outlines?
Nope. Nope. Nope. Characters show up, they create chaos, I observe the chaos, it somehow becomes a story. That’s my process.
14. Do you know how your stories will end?
Most of the time, but sometimes the end will reveal itself in the exploration and discovery. I really dig when that happens.
15. Do you books have a message or theme? Or are they purely for entertainment?
I try to avoid being overly didactic, but yes my books definitely have social themes. I deal a lot with class issues, racial issues, issues of gender and sexuality. I don’t know if I’d use the word “entertaining,” but I find those issues intriguing and compelling, and essential to exploring the human condition.
16. Do you have any favorite snacks or drinks that you eat/drink while writing?
17. Tell us about your other passions.
I don’t really have any “other” passions, because they’re all of a piece to me. Theater, fiction, poetry, music, performance, activism, it’s all the same passion.
18. What’s something interesting about you?
Hmmm . . . well . . . I just put out a new album with my band The Whiskey Shambles, and my other band Starshaker is putting out a new album in Spring. I’m eight months out from getting my PhD (fingers crossed). I don’t know if any of that is interesting.
19. Share a small sample(limit to one paragraph, please) of your writing… can be a WIP or already published.
Here’s the opening paragraph from Chasing the Wolf:
When I’m upset, blood leaks from my head. That’s the truth – I’m not trying to bullshit you. I don’t know if you folks even use “bullshit” as a verb. Oh well. When I’m over the edge, my gums bust open and my nose bleeds and the whites of my eyes get little red polka dots on them. I only mention that because my eyes really hurt right now. They probably look like crimson marbles with black holes in the middle. It’s been a stressful couple of days. I’ve been hiding out in these woods since I got here. My name is Eli Cooper. I’m a twenty-seven year old “neo post-impressionist” or so I’m told. If Edvard Munch and Jackson Pollock had a child and so on. Anyway, I am – was, the toast of the Village back home. I had the freshest agent, the dopest shows in the choice-est galleries, the flyest reviews . . . I could clean my brushes on an old T-shirt and The Voice would call it “The boldest statement in art since Piss Christ.” I had the smartest friends. I had the prettiest . . . wife . . . So you’re probably wondering what NYC’s flashiest flash-in-the-pan of the new millennium is doing stranded in the backwoods of Mississippi in 1938. So am I. So am I. So am I. There goes my nose again.
20. Anything you’d like to say to your current and future readers?
Strap in, kids. It’s ‘bout to get wild.
Thanks Nathan, for your insight. Good luck to you and your band. 🙂