"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Thursday, 6 December 2012

An Interview with Nathan Squiers


Appropriately mean and moody photo of
Nathan Squiers, the Literary Dark Prince.

Nathan Squiers is a resident of New York City and writes and works for CHBB.  

Read on and you will see that he has a lot to say for himself about writing and books and we share a common history with comics too. 
This was one of those interviews where there was nothing for me to do to fill space because Nathan did it all for me. 

Affable, friendly, funny and knowledgable, I just sat back on the Wizphone and let him do all the hard work. Ladies, gentlemen and Wizard Watchers...I give you...the Literary Dark Prince.

Wizard watchers the world over are asking: "Who is Nathan Squiers?" What would you tell them if you ran into one in the street?

I’d probably tell them that Nathan Squiers is a rambling psychopath who harbors delusional claims to dark/demonic heritage (and one who owes me money, at that). 

However, if they caught on that they were in the presence of the subject, I’d admit that I’m just a morbid goofball with an overactive imagination. 

Behind the Gates (of Hell?)

I think that the combination of my writing and my online personality has put me in some sort of over-glorified league and, to be perfectly honest, I’m just thankful that there’s actually an audience willing to open themselves up to my work.

What is your chosen genre? What factors, in your reading and otherwise, influenced your choice?

I think what defines my genre is that I’ve never personally defined my own genre (yea, let’s pretend that makes sense). 

I grew up an avid reader—as a kid I scooped up all the copies of R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” and “Animorphs” by K.A. Applegate and watching/reading over-the-top action cartoons/comic books. 

My love of monsters and super hero stories grew and crossed into my teen years, where, while transitioning into a closet-case hopeless romantic, I began reading Stephen King and Nancy A. Collins and Rob Thurman as well as stepping out of the kiddie comics (Marvel & DC) and reading titles from Dark Horse and Vertigo that catered to my maturing tastes.

Dave McKean -Joker

This combination of horror, action, and supernatural/paranormal fantasy mixed-and-mashed, getting blended with a lifelong adoration of psychology and philosophy and, yes, even romance and taking a dark turn towards something that just always felt right with me.
            
Now that I’m set in my methods, I’d say my greatest influences continue to be movies (action and horror alike; especially titles like Blade and Underworld) as well as Japanese anime and comic books/manga (Japanese comics). 

Ultra rare first appearance of
Blade - with his wonderful
suede jacket and lime green flares.

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy reading, just that I take my methods/styles from more visual avenues (after all, if I aspired to write like other writers, I’d only ever achieve sounding like other writers). One of my goals in writing has always been to bridge a gap between the literary process and visual media. Since I began, I’ve strived to write scenes (especially action scenes) that elicit a visual response DESPITE the fact that there’s nothing to ACTUALLY see. 

While, for the most part, this effort has been an ongoing one that I had little-to-no guarantee of being received as it was intended, recent reviews from readers who knew nothing of the effort have proven that the method is, in fact, working. 

Short stories, anthologies and novels. What's your favourite medium in which to express yourself? And is that the same when you read?

Yes.  LMAO!! My entire life, even before I could write, I’ve been a storyteller. For me, the various mediums I utilize to convey a story/theme aren’t separated across the literary spectrum as something that can be favored over the other, but, rather, different means of doing what I’ve always loved to do: tell stories.

If I were to ever lose the ability to write (and couldn’t get a gig as a film director), I’d probably just set up a tent in the woods and become a “professional” campfire storyteller (call in advance to book your next camping trip).

Tell us about your latest project?

            You’ve actually caught me at a unique juncture. At this time, with book #2 of my Crimson Shadow series, “Sins of the Father”, just released and my next scheduled release for book #3, “Killing Loneliness”, is in February (Valentine’s Day, no less), so I’ve got a moment that, while not open to relaxation, is a rarity in that I get to step back from a single project and get several things done at once.

Sins of the Father

I’ve also taken a few editing gigs for my publisher, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, as well as looking into options and new technologies in the realm of comic books and comic distribution (including e-comics) to see some of my scripts get illustrated and slapped into the palms of eager geeks like myself.

Edited anthology

If time proves on my side, I’m playing with a few ideas (including a comic series called “Red Riding Hood” about a hoodie-wearing delivery-boy on the run from a werewolf mafia, as well as a Crimson Shadow mini-series with a serial-killing femme-fatale sadist in a gimp suit & gas mask called “The Night Striker Saga” [yea… I should probably be locked up]).

Red Riding Hood.

I hear you write comics? Tell us about that. And who is your favourite superhero.

First and foremost: my favorite comic book superhero has GOT to be Deadpool from the Marvel comics (I even have a tattoo of everybody’s favorite merc-with-the-mouth on my leg; a visual reminder to never take life too seriously and never let the slings and arrows of the world bring me down). 

I’m also fond of Batman, Hellboy, and John Constantine from the Hellblazer series, but none of them have achieved for me what Deadpool has.


            Anyway…because comic books represent a cohesive union between telling a story with written words and panel-by-panel visuals, the process of writing the scripts serves to take my methods as a novelist and—with very little change in style—create what serves as the “blueprints” for an artist to illustrate the story. 


Truth be told, there is not a single storytelling medium that I don’t adore and have some desire of getting my Literary Dark hands on   lol!

Superhero flicks? Fresh and relevant as the days when Stan and Jack created Spidey together on a Central Park bench? Or a cynical money making exercise for champagne guzzling Wall Street carpetbaggers who wouldn't know the Dread Dormammu from Stiltman. What do you think?
            
*tilts hands back-and-forth to weigh the options*
            Tough call…

Personally, I think that everything that motivates a person—champagne-guzzling or bottom-of-the-barrel—is inherently selfish. 

Even Lee and Kirby, whilst cooking up some of the most iconic comics the world has ever seen in their combined intellectual glory, had personal goals that drove them, though it’s not always money or fame, there is always a personal goal.

"Even I—wholesome and pure-hearted Literary Dark Prince, though I am—continually strive to write not because I’m pure and driven to see the written word flourish, but because writing saved my life (not figuratively, mind you, I was literally prepared to die until writing the story that would later become book #1 of the Crimson Shadow series, “Noir”, motivated me to live) and because I get a personal sense of purpose out of it."

 Now, whether the Hollywood filmmakers work to put out the newest Batman or Spiderman flick because they feel that it’s an inspirational franchise that holds some personal significance and will make them feel closer to something that’s motivated them or if they just see it as the latest trend and something to make a few million bucks on depends entirely on the individual. 
        
I won't ever go to see a superhero film again after Avenger's Assemble, Nathan. God knows what the talentless carpetbaggers are going to do to Thanos.

Jim Starlin. Thanos. Adam Warlock.
Proper comics...
You can only hope, Wiz!

I guess you're right, Nathan. So, more comics, who is the hottest bad girl Badass mofo? And I don't mean that Sinead MacDughlas.

            *snaps fingers* Damn! Stalled me with that specification at the end…
            Wow…
            I’m SERIOUSLY torn with this question…

I mean, comics are TEEMING with a myriad of hotter-than-hell, ass-kicking babes, but to try and pin one as THE hottest badass is forcing my mind to work overtime…
           
 Initially I’m driven to blurt out Witchblade and be satisfied with naming a character who’s all but renowned simply for kicking ass in little more than a bio-mechanical bikini in every issue, and while I’m certainly not going to condemn the lovely vixen for it—bikini it up, baby; what you do is ART!!—I think I owe you and the readers a little more thought. 

And so, because you’ve caught me in a more intellectual and less “hehe, boobies” sort of mood, I’m going to side with the lesser known star of the Hack/Slash comics, Cassandra “Cassie” Hack.


While a hottie in her own rights, the monster-hunting Cassie is not a stereotypical comic heroine. She’s vulgar, she’s brash, and she’s not afraid to get down and dirty; furthermore, any eroticism drawn from the character is more of a tease to the reader than outright fan-service. 

 Personally, I can never make up my mind between Elektra and Red Sonja...

Love girls dressed up as
superheroes.

Anyway, Blade the Vampire Slayer is disturbed and angry that you have created a vampire badass competitor in Xander Stryker.  He follows you to the shops, bashes you over the head with that big silver thing, throws you over his shoulder, then transports you to an abandoned meat warehouse in Hoboken, where you are left to rot. Blade's beautiful and buxom new vampire slaying assistant, Symphony, takes a shine to you and brings you a warm coat, three books, two CD's and a DVD for you to pass the time, while Blade broods on your future. What would they be?
            WHOO! Free stuff from a buxom, vampire-slaying babe! It must be my birthday! Okay… for my three books I’d have to take a copy of ANY of Rob Thurman’s books from the “Nightlife” series and ANY of the “Sunglasses After Dark” series by Nancy A. Collins, and, for my third, “The Crow: Shattered Lives & Broken Dreams” (an anthology of short stories based on The Crow comics by James O’Barr).



            My two CDs would have to be “Withering to Death” from the Japanese heavy metal band, Dir en Grey, and “Holy Wood” from The Antichrist Superstar, himself, Marilyn Manson.



Finally, for my one-and-only DVD, I would (ironically enough) have to choose Blade II by my all-time FAVORITE director, Guillermo del Toro (perhaps this will buy me a pardon and, his awesomeness willing, a chance to partner him with Xander in a future piece where they bitterly join forces for a tension-soaked mission for the greater good).


            And maybe a photo-op with Symphony!

Join the queue, mate!  Do you fancy a shot at another genre? if so, what would you like to write?
  
I never strike a single thing from the table. I’ve even played with the idea of doing inspirational children’s books. While I’m certain there will always be a certain Literary Dark Prince flair to everything I write, I wouldn’t mind venturing into the realm of crime drama/mystery. 

Because my work is ALWAYS—first and foremost—based on the psychology of the characters, as long as there is a mind to play with in the project, I can have fun doing it.

What does 2013 have in store for fans of the Literary Dark Prince?

I would like to start off by saying that I don’t like to use the word “fans” for my readers. I feel it condescending to refer to people who have been awesome enough to allow me and my work into their lives as a potential source of entertainment with a term like that. 

I actually held a poll a while back to determine what my readers should be called, and we’ve since come to be known as The Literary Dark Prince and The Legion; an “army” moving in a singular literary direction.

Okay, oh Prince. Forgive me. What does 2013 hold for The Legion?

I’m excited to say that there will be MUCH more of Xander Stryker and his growing vampire legacy as the seven-book Crimson Shadow series continues (followed by a five-book spin-off series featuring somebody VERY close to Xander). 

Book #2 of the Death Metal series should be debuting sometime in June of next year... 



...as well as the debut of at least one of my comic series (one of which, “Night Tide: Chronicles of a Vampire Vigilante”, features a vampire “ninja” named Tekashi who will be teaming up with Xander later on in the CS series). As always, new developments in all projects are broadcasted on my various sites and pages.

Nathan, thanks for offering everyone here an insight into your world. You're welcome here anytime. I've enjoyed it! 

Me too, Wiz. And thanks.

Contact Nathan here:


4 comments:

  1. Interesting post from the Dark Side :-) Good choice on the Blade II video.

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  2. A great interview. It was good to learn more about Nathan and his books, and to hear his take on things.

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  3. Had an ABSOLUTE blast with this interview! Thanks again so much for having me on ^_^

    PS - still lookin' forward to a photo-shoot with Symphony if you don't mind ;-)

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  4. I'm setting one up now, Nathan. Thanks for a great fun interview and the best of luck. Loads of views too...many from the UK. Cheers, Wiz.

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