Hey everyone! We are excited to bring you an interview with Nathan Squiers, a cover reveal for his new book and some excerpts. First of all we would like to wish Nathan a very Happy Birthday! We will start off with the interview with Nathan.
Can you give us a background on your book(s)?
The Crimson Shadow series is centered on the character Xander Stryker, a magically-inclined young man who witnessed the horrific assault and murder of his mother at the hands of his abusive stepfather. Since the tragedy, Xander’s been suicidal and bitter to both the world and himself. However, as his eighteenth birthday approaches, he begins to witness and experience unnerving and ever-more-violent attempts on his life. At the height of the insanity, Xander is saved by a duo of vampires—two different breeds of life-feeders with personal ties to his late father, Joseph Stryker—and introduced to the Odin Clan, a vampire group dedicated to upholding the laws of their kind. Xander soon discovers his biologic ties to this paranormal world, and is offered the choice to join them.
As the story (and the series) progresses, Xander—now a “perfect” vampire and having the strengths/abilities of both types of species and armed with killer instincts, a fierce attitude, and a wicked pair of enchanted revolvers—faces the unrelenting and deadly forces of his new world. Filled with action, suspense, horror, and a budding romance between Xander and his childhood friend/witch, Estella, the Crimson Shadow series takes everything that I (as a horror-loving & hopeless romantic comic book nerd) am entertained by.
What are some similarities you share with your characters?
This may sound a little strange, but Xander Stryker and I have the same eyes (or it at least started off that way)…
When I first conceived of Xander and his story I was also suicidal, but, through writing of his growth and discovery of strength, I found my own. By the time I’d finished the manuscript for “Noir”, the first book of the Crimson Shadow series, I had overcome my self-destructive ways and dedicated my life to entertaining and helping others find their own strength (where Xander, y’know, dedicated his to hunting monsters and violently ending their reign of evil).
Because Xander originally represented a piece of myself and I’ve always believed that the eyes were the window to the soul, I wanted to maintain that connection by giving him hazel eyes like my own. Later on in the story, as his strength blossoms and he takes the first step to being what I, at the time of writing it, believed I could never be, one of his eyes is turned blood-red (what was supposed to be a symbol of “separating” from the human/weakness element; this was later re-focused as a conflict of self).
Past that, however, I’m hard-pressed to think of any substantial similarities that don’t make me feel like I’m either speaking highly of myself or insulting Xander lol
What makes your book(s) different from others in this genre?
To be honest (and bear with me on this one): everything.
I’ve grown up reading books of varying genres that the Crimson Shadow series and my other work could feasibly fall under (fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, psycho-thriller, action, romance, etc.), and I think that what separates my books from others like it is that it doesn’t easily fit in ANY of those genres. Also, aside from being a total hybrid of multiple genres, I’ve come to incorporate a great deal of my studies in psychology and philosophy to create characters who, while very rarely human, have conflicts and compulsions that I believe everyone can relate to. Coupled with my love of film and comic books and my obsession with playing with elements of both (a technique that’s been referred to as “cinematic literacy”; a writing style that allows readers to “watch” the story unfold), and you’ve got a series that isn’t like anything else in any genre ;-)
What is your writing schedule like?
Chaotic and wild. Between a nearly entirely nocturnal sleep pattern and spontaneous bouts of manic inspiration and technical scheduling, there’s no real rhyme or reason to my schedule. To put it simply: I just write; always and often.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I read books & comics/manga. I watch movies/anime. I play video games & roleplay. I get tattooed & pierced. I spend time loving & worshiping my fiancé-and-fellow-author, Megan J. Parker.
I live <3
What is your favorite paranormal creature?
Pure and simple—vampires: one of the oldest, most globally-recognized and compelling creatures in mythology. No matter what time period or culture, there has always been a legend floating about of a life-feeding being that has struck awe and terror into the hearts of countless mortals. Though the sex-appeal is a relatively recent addition to the vampire lore (they weren’t always as gorgeous as they’re depicted now), I have to confess that the idea of them being hotties is in no way a deterrent to my adoration of them.
If you could live in a different time period what would it be?
Totally the Renaissance. I love art and beauty and philosophy and the study of newer & greater things and no time period in history better represents all of those things than the Renaissance. To live in that time—to be amongst great minds and scribing to my heart’s content without any of the hiccups of the modern world—would be totally awesome.
Anything you wish to say to your readers?
I adore my readers more than anything, and I’ve never felt comfortable calling them “fans” when they’re the reason I’m able to do what I love (if anything I’m their fan). It’s for this reason that I call all of my followers members of The Legion of The Literary Dark Emperor, and I adore The Legion more than I could ever hope to express in a thousand lifetimes. To be blessed with all of these phenomenal and passionate minds willing to let me into their lives and offer me the chance to entertain them, all I can ever think to say to them when given the chance is “thank you”.
You all rock my world <3
What are you working on now?
Along with the ongoing Crimson Shadow series, I’m also working on the sequel to the multi-award winning “Curtain Call: A Death Metal Novel” and several comic book series that I’ve been scripting (including “Night Tide: Chronicles of a Vampire Vigilante”, which features a “ninja”-vampire, Tekashi, in the same world/universe as the Crimson Shadow series [look for Tekashi in future books of the Crimson Shadow series ;-) ]).
Recently I partnered up with Megan J. Parker and Kristina Gehring (quite possibly one of the BEST literary editors I have ever had the pleasure of working with) to start up Tiger Dynasty Publishing, an all-encompassing publisher that supports all genres (including [but not limited to] YA, poetry, non-fiction, and comic books). It is through TDP that I’ll be re-releasing and continuing the Crimson Shadow and Death Metal books as well as working with incredibly talented authors in an ongoing effort to provide quality entertainment to readers.
What is the first book you remember reading?
Oh wow… uhm…
While I know this isn’t the first book I ever read, I distinctly remember spending almost every moment of my childhood toting a copy of either/or R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps or K.A. Applegate’s Animorph series.
Here is the cover for Noir
Here are some excerpts from the book.
“I need you to promise me that you won’t die,” [Estella] blushed and looked up at him, “or, at least, not again.” She walked towards him then and grabbed his left hand and ran her thumb over the stainless steel ring she had given him.
The burning scorched his brain, shooting down his spine and seizing his entire body. It boiled his skin and melted his insides and he felt himself fall into an empty, dark place with nothing but himself and his newfound torment. . .
And the gleaming red eye.
“If there’s anything you’ve taught me”—he spoke slowly and deliberately—“it’s that there is always one more thing to live for.”
Another night. . . Another chance to finally die.
He sees her necklace; sees her ghostly silhouette coming into focus— struggling to fit itself with its jewelry—and reaching out to him in desperation. Sound dulls and time slows and Xander hears the metallic snap as the necklace is torn from its rightful owner’s neck.
It echoes. . .
The sound ripples the scene and the image distorts before it explodes…
Now for the cover of Sins of the Father!
And here are some excerpts from Sins of the Father
[“Why kill the ghoul?” Xander asked.]
Marcus looked at him for a moment, seemingly disappointed in the question, “You mean aside from it being what it was?” he shook his head before continuing: “I traced it for nearly a mile while it ranted like a street-nut about a ‘mean feeder’ that rolled with ‘white-tooths’ and ‘tall dogs’.”
Xander suppressed the urge to add “oh my” to the end of that statement and, instead, nodded. It couldn’t have been coincidence that the ghoul was mentioning both vampires and alvs and therions.
“And, even after so many years of being out of your light—without that intoxicating joy of yours—you made me want to live again!”
Estella frowned, “But you’re different! You’re not evil! Not like the others!” she sighed and shook her head, “And you know that I don’t like you talking about yourself that way!” her angry stare melted after a moment and became a reassuring smile. “I like you”—her aura shifted and went rigid as her gaze hardened on him—“no matter what you are!”
Xander laughed, “No accounting for taste, I suppose.” He teased her. “Besides, you’re a witch! You’re opinion in this matter is a little biased, don’t you think?”
Her lips were Heaven because he’d waited so damn long for them and Hell because he knew that it wouldn’t last forever.
“…you’d never see me as anything more than a monster.”
We would like to thank Nathan for being with us today and sharing with us.