Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
I’m a lifelong fan of epic fantasy who finally got around to telling stories of his own! I love taking myths and philosophies from our world and ‘incarnating’ them, for lack of a better term, in narrative. I think storytelling is one of the core things that make us human, and I’m so excited to finally put my writing out there for people to experience.
What books do you have available? Can you give us a short description of them?
I have two books available, both from my debut series The Imperial Adept.
The Empire’s Lion. The story follows Reiva, a young woman who wields blisteringly powerful fire magic in service to the greatest empire the world has ever known. But when her first solo mission leaves her half-dead amidst a heap of massacred allies, she gets just one chance at redemption. She must conquer the land of her birth—a land she left in chains. Standing in her way is the Wolf—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!
Adept Initiate. This is a prequel available for free on my website nathantudor.com. It tells the story of how Reiva was recruited and trained by the empire. How is a young girl turned into a cold-blooded killer? Can she maintain her sense of identity as she assimilates into a culture bent on dominating the world? Action, friendship, struggle—this is a great read as either an entry point to the series or to fill out more of your understanding after reading The Empire’s Lion!
Do you stay in one genre when you write or do you find yourself veering toward others?
Throughout my life, I’ve almost always written fantasy. Now and then I might try a science fiction short story, or something a bit more literary, but fantasy keeps pulling me back. It’s the mythological heritage of it, really—the grand scope, the sense that these are stories about humanity itself, telling truths that we can only comprehend when they are dressed in fantastical finery.
Are you a panster, planner, or someone in between?
I’m about 90% planner. Having a scene-by-scene outline is essential for me; otherwise I end up losing motivation. That said, I always go off on unexpected tangents, and sometimes those are the best scenes in the book!
What is your writing routine like?
I do writing sprints—usually fifteen minutes apiece—with short breaks in between, then a longer break every hour or so. I find that forcing myself to write quickly without stopping to let my inner critic/editor activate allows me to freely tell the story as it needs to be told. My writing is more natural and honest this way.
Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve created?
I’m going to steal Brandon Sanderson’s answer and say it’s whoever I’ve written most recently J
They all have their own beauties and failings, things I admire about them and things that make me shake my head and go “Really?” If I had to pick one person, then probably Reiva. She’s someone who (despite being very different from me on paper) I resonate with intensely. She’s driven by ambition even though it trips her up. She gets more concerned with whether she can do things than whether she should do them. I can’t wait to show readers where her journey takes her in the future!
Where do you get your ideas for world building?
For this series, a lot of my world building comes from my academic background in Religious Studies. I spent years studying the ancient Greco-Roman world, along with Second Temple Judaism and the Ancient Near East. Those cultures, their belief systems, their mythologies—they all live in my head rent-free! It was kind of a no-brainer that my debut series would be set in a world based on those settings.
Do you add romance to your writing? Is it steamy or clean?
I do have romance in my writing—I’m an unabashed romantic!—and I’d say things get to about PG-13 in terms of content.
Romance is one of those subplots that fits in well no matter what the overarching genre is (as long as it isn’t shoe-horned in!) so most stories I write are likely to have at least a dash of romance.
What was your favorite scene to create?
I have far too many favorites, so I’ll settle for the lynchpin of The Empire’s Lion, which went in my outline as “Reiva confronts Villain.” This scene was really the heart of the story—it’s what I was writing toward from the moment I started, and the anticipation of it kept me going when I started to lose steam. This is really Reiva’s do-or-die moment, the time she’s forced to decide what really matters to her, what sort of person she is going to be.
Unfortunately it’s also the big ending payoff, which makes giving any more details huge spoilers!
Do you have any specific authors you follow and try to craft your work after?
Definitely! I have a longer list of my inspirations on my website, but off the top of my head: Guy Gavriel Kay, Gene Wolfe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Brandon Sanderson… I’m always seeking a blend of the artistic and the accessible. Something epic, yet intimate. Something with literary flavor that doesn’t get self-absorbed. Something that tells a meaningful story.
Do you have any recurring themes in your book?
Absolutely, and sometimes I’m consciously including those themes, but usually it’s just that these are themes that matter to me and I can’t help thinking about them.
When you’re reading my work, expect to see ordinary people standing against forces much stronger than them; expect questions about the nature of reality and the meaning of life; expect clashes of ideologies and moralities and even divinities.
Marvel or DC? Do you have a favorite character?
I’m more of a Marvel person. My favorite character is Matt Murdock/Daredevil—I got introduced to him through the Netflix series and…wow! As a trope, I love the blind warrior with hyperacute senses (it’s a figure I’ve used before and will use again!), and I’m a huge fan of the way Matt Murdock wrestles with his faith and his nature as a violent person. Talk about a complex character!
I’ll also go on the record and say Elektra is a better match for him than Karen Page—and no one will ever convince me otherwise.
What hobbies do you have?
When I’m not reading or writing, I’ll usually be watching something—whether it’s YouTube video essays, TV shows, movies. Reading manga is another nice diversion—much less mentally intensive than prose! I also play video games now and then, but only when I have the energy for it (I’m sure my teenaged self would be baffled to hear me say that).
Where can our readers find you?
The best place to find me is nathantudor.com, where you can sign up for my mailing list (and get your free copy of Adept Initiate). I send my newsletter out a couple times a month, and I usually include some links to free fantasy & sci-fi books from other authors.
Now and then I’ll blog on my website as well, which ranges from talking about writing to what I’ve been interested in recently.
I’m also on Twitter @NathTudorBooks, and I have a Facebook page (though the Twitter is more active).
If all you’re looking for are updates on my releases, then following my Amazon Author or BookBub page is a good bet.
Book link: books2read.com/u/3n2GLP
Amazon Author: amazon.com/author/nathantudor