I’ve been promising this interview for awhile. Since it’s my birthday today, I decided to carve a little bit of time out to get it posted.
Nathaniel was not nearly as excited about being interviewed for the blog as Thomas was, but he has graciously agreed to answer our questions. I’ll dive right in with the things that readers are dying to know.
For those who haven’t “met” Nathaniel, he is William’s uncle. He is a doctor in our world, with a small medical practice in Bristlecone, Colorado, and a healer in his own world who travels throughout Eirentheos (and sometimes Philotheum) helping establish clinics and impart some of the medical knowledge he has learned in our world, which is much more technologically advanced than his own world is.
Alyssa: How do you cope with being away from home for so long?
Nathaniel: I’ve been doing it for a very long time now, so I’m sort of used to it. My life very much revolves around being able to pick up and go from one “life” to the other. I’m always very busy, wherever I am, so most of the time I don’t really have the opportunity to think about it.
Beth: Do you ever regret spending so much time in our world and wish you could spend more time in your own?
Nathaniel: I don’t really know how to answer this question. On one hand, I’m extremely grateful for the time I’ve had to spend in your world. The things I’ve learned here and have been able to bring back to our world are amazing, and none of it would have ever been possible if I hadn’t had the chance to live here. On the other hand, I truly love my own world and wish that none of it would ever have been necessary. The life I “should” have had was very different, and I regret that circumstances were such that it didn’t happen. It is a wish of mine that things in my world would be restored to how they should be, and if that happens then I would return to my own world to live full time there with no hesitation.
Kristy: Have you ever considered staying in Bristlecone forever?
Nathaniel: I’ve thought about what it would be like if I had to — if the political situation in my own world worsened to the point where it would be dangerous for me to spend time there. While there are many things I love about that world, and have even grown accustomed to, it would never be my first choice to stay there forever.
Sara/Jenni: Have you ever had a woman in your life/been tempted to settle down? (Actually, a number of readers are quite interested in learning if you’ve ever had any romantic exploits.)
Nathaniel: (blushing!) Um … I’ve always hoped that someday I would meet the right person and be able to settle down. Of course, balancing my life between two worlds doesn’t exactly make that easy. I don’t know if I could ever find a woman who I could share my secret with, and who would be willing to either deal with my being gone all the time or would come with me.
I have thought about it from time to time … and I’ve met a couple of women I wouldn’t have minded getting to know better, but so far nothing has really worked out.
Kristy: Will you go on a blind date with me?
Nathaniel: How do you feel about a horseback ride to Cloud Valley?
Sara: How did you get interested in medicine?
Nathaniel: I am the fourth born child in my family, which means that the gift I was given at birth is “healing.” While there are many things this can mean, I knew from an early age that I wanted to work as a healer of people. When I first traveled to the other world and discovered the medicine there, I knew it would be my life’s work to use what I could learn there to enhance the healing practices in my own world.
Jenni: What are the best and worst things about having medical practices on two different worlds?
Nathaniel: Probably the best thing about having access to both worlds is truly having the ability to compare and contrast the different practices in the two. It’s maybe because our technology is so limited in my world that our healing is much more individually focused and more holistic. Care is very relational in my world. It’s also nice to be able to study the scientific and technological advances of another world and have the ability to incorporate the best of both worlds into my philosophy.
The worst part is that I’m never in one place long enough to really build up my own ideal practice. I’m always moving, drifting from one thing to another, so there’s never really the chance to build up the community and relationships that I would truly love to.
Kristy: Do you like tomatoes?
Nathaniel: It took me a while to get used to them, but over the years I have acquired a taste for tomatoes, yes.
Jenni: What is your favorite color?
Nathaniel: Green. For all of the challenges and difficulties I have faced, in my heart I will always be loyal to my real home.
Nathaniel has graciously agreed to answer any follow-up questions you’d like to ask in the comments. Comment below for a chance to win a “new and improved” paperback copy of Seeds of Discovery when it is released in the next couple of weeks!
Ah, weekends. Time to spend time with my kiddo and catch up on the whole writing thing. And, of course, tackle the havoc that is my home after a long week. All I really want for my birthday (on the 23rd of this month, if you’re keeping track) is someone to just do one thorough clean-up of my house and fold my laundry for me. Is that too much to ask?
How do other single mommies with two-plus full-time jobs do it?
I did get a little bit of time to relax and celebrate last night, when I attended a special wedding. The beautiful, smiling and blushing bride was the little sister of one of my best friends from way back when.
My friend Beth and I were in eighth grade when her sister, Little Miss Jessi came into the world, and I remember clearly the night she was born. She was probably the closest thing I ever had to my own little sister, and I have these wonderful memories — when she first learned to talk, and would point to things that were interesting to her, calling out “Bo!” (we never knew what that meant.) The way she used to suck, not on her thumb, but on her first two fingers, until she drifted off to sleep and they fell out. The time we took her to the mall when she was a little over a year old, and all she wanted to do was crawl UP the slanty floor. Resorting to trickery, we called out “Bye, Jessi” and the little stink turned around, waved “bye” at us, and proceeded on her merry way.
Beth and I were co-leaders of her Girl Scout troop when she was a little older, and we had some fun times with those girls.
And now … last night she married the love of her life, and will soon be off to Germany with him, on his first deployment in the Air Force.
I know it shouldn’t be such a surprise to me. I’m all “growed up” now, and I have a little girl of my own, who grows much too quickly and will be five next month. The first two classes of fourth grade students I taught are adults now themselves, graduated and in college. Married, some of them. Even some babies. And I don’t know where it all went, but it reminds me of how precious the time is, how quickly it all goes.
And it’s wonderful at the same time — seeing Jessi so happy, hugging her in her wedding gown, seeing what a fine young woman she’s grown to be, and — even though I don’t know him well — seeing what a sweet, loving young man she’s picked out. Knowing that it’s true, that REAL teenagers and young men and women still exist in the world. That it’s not all as crazy and horrible as the media — and the rest of us, sometimes, would like to make it out to be. Sometimes, it’s magic.
And speaking of magic … thanks to my awesome cover designer, Mallory Rock at Novel Publicity, I can share the big reveal … the new cover for Thorns of Decision, which releases in just under seven weeks! June 1, 2012.
I know I’ve been a complete slacker about the blog lately. I’ve been knee-deep in other projects with the writing — editing Thorns, re-formatting Seeds and Roots for new hardcover versions, and lots of other little things. The blog is definitely what suffers. Something has to give. If you’re ever wondering what, please feel free to drop me an e-mail, or stop by on Twitter or Facebook.
But since I have been slacking, I’ll make up for it with a couple fun news items.
First, Seeds of Discovery is FREE on Amazon today. Stop by and pick up your copy if you never have. If you don’t have a Kindle, remember that you can always read it on a free Kindle app, AND that it’s DRM-free, so you can easily convert it to epub or PDF to read on any e-reader you’d like.
Second … speaking of other formats, Roots of Insight is now available at Smashwords, and in the next few days, you’ll be able to pick it up at Barnes and Noble and other retailers. And, as a bonus, use this coupon code at Smashwords checkout for a 25% discount: XD57C The code is good through April 15.
And the last bit of news, I will be interviewing Nathaniel for the blog on Friday. Please comment below with questions you’ve been dying to ask Nathaniel!
Here’s another little treat for you, as the date of release looms closer …
The dining room looked beautiful tonight; the tables were draped with purple and silver tablecloths, and enormous bouquets of purple and white flowers occupied the center of each one. Servants darted in and out near every guest, filling glasses with a thick, sweet juice that Quinn didn’t recognize. Soft music drifted through the room from a small group of musicians set up in the corner.
Everyone chatted amiably, nibbling on a mixture of roasted nuts and dried berries from silver bowls that sat between every two people. She noticed that nobody touched the glasses of juice, though, so she left hers alone.
Quinn had eaten the nut-and-berry mix before; it was a sort of appetizer that appeared before fancy dinners here in the castle. Although most foods here at least resembled things she was familiar with at home, there was one very unusual kind of berry in the mix, an odd green with an irregular shape. At the first couple of dinners she had attended in Eirentheos, she’d been afraid to try them. At Simon’s wedding though, Thomas had convinced her to taste one, and after that, she’d been hooked. Nothing in her own world compared to them.
Now, between polite conversations, she found herself surreptitiously digging through the bowl, looking for those green ones. She was just reaching for the bowl a third time, when William nudged her softly with his elbow. She looked up at him, abashed at being caught, but he only winked and dropped a small handful of them on her plate.
The heat flowed through her chest again.
After a few minutes, Stephen smiled at William, and then he and Charlotte stood. A hush fell over the room immediately.
William put his hand on Quinn’s knee then, and, heart beginning to flutter again, she looked up at him and smiled, placing her hand over his.
Thomas had a good response to his interview this week. Who do you think we should hear from next?
Nine weeks from today – June 1, 2012 — is the official launch of Book Three in the Dusk Gate Chronicles, Thorns of Decision. In celebration, several of the characters have agreed to be interviewed here on the blog, and to answer some of the questions you may have about them.
Never one to shy away from attention, Thomas has graciously agreed to go first (or else, possibly, he pushed me into it). :)
I have some questions for him, and there have also been readers writing in, both here on the blog, and on the Facebook page with questions of their own.
Me: Let’s start with the basic things. What is your full name?
Thomas: Really? That basic? (smiling) My full name is Thomas John Rose.
Me: Do you have any nicknames?
Thomas: (the twinkle in his eye is visible, dear readers) Most of the time I go by Thomas. But, aside from Crumple Champion, Best Brother in the Kindgom, Prince Charming, Swordsman Extraordinaire, The Older, and Better-Looking Twin, and Supreme Potentate of Emma’s Tea Parties, my siblings often call me T. I refuse to acknowledge anyone who addresses me with any other shortened versions of Thomas.
Okay, since I’ve been such a slacker about new posts lately, I’ll give everyone a special sample today.
Linnea is one of my favorite characters, and in Chapter Six of Thorns of Decision, we finally get to hear some of the things she’s been thinking in her own POV.
Enjoy … let me know what you think.
Linnea sighed as William and Quinn followed her father down the hallway, wondering what in the world was going on now. She’d been waiting as patiently as she could for them to return, and now there was something else going on that she wasn’t a part of.
She raised an eyebrow at how closely her brother walked behind Quinn, almost as if he were ready to catch her if she stumbled. She’d seen the subtle way that things had changed between the two of them when they’d first brought Thomas home from Philotheum, and she wondered how much more things had changed while they were in Quinn’s world.
After Philotheum, Will had no longer kept his distance from Quinn – no longer spouted off his ridiculous assertions about “letting” her get “too involved” in their world, that by being torn between the two worlds, she’d get hurt in the end. As if any of that was up to any of them, anyway. She’d met Quinn. That girl was going to do what she was going to do.
Not that he was fooling anyone in the first place. Linnea and Thomas had spent countless evenings gossiping about it while Will was in Bristlecone, and wondering when he was going to wake up and realize how he really felt about Quinn.
It had been obvious from the first night the girl had arrived at the castle. Careful, observant, meticulous Will not noticing that a girl was following him closely enough to find the gate? Right. Really, it had been clear that something was up with this girl from the first time he’d ever mentioned her.
He’d talked about girls in Bristlecone before, come home and told everyone stories about the ones who tried to get his phone number, or who asked what he was doing over the weekend. That question was always good for a laugh around the fire in the evening, because wouldn’t the unfortunate girl be surprised if he told her the answer? “Wanna come over to dinner with my family in a different world? I’ll bet you’ve never been inside a castle before. Don’t worry – I’ll take you back home after we keep you for a couple of weeks.”
But when Will had first brought up Quinn Robbins, said he’d noticed her around a lot lately, and he’d been wondering if she was watching him, it had been different. When Thomas had teased him about his “new secret girlfriend,” Will hadn’t laughed. He’d been defensive of the girl – insisting that she was only curious, not like the others – that she didn’t have a crush on him.
And once they’d all met Quinn, and seen William around her, it had become quite clear that he truly wasn’t worried that she had a crush on him. Although he’d never admit it even to himself, his real worry was that she didn’t.
In the next week or two, I’m going to be looking for beta readers for “Draft Two” of Thorns of Decision. If you think you might be interested, send me an e-mail. So far, I’ve had some awesome beta readers who have really helped shape the big questions in the story into something stronger, I think. If you’ve already beta read, and you want to do some more, you’re in. Otherwise, please know that I do give preference to beta readers who have reviewed the books on Amazon and/or Goodreads.