This month we welcome a new Author Spotlight named Nathaniel Stewart. He is a young adult author and has written "The Last Alignment". During the month of march you will get interviews, guestposts and Giveaway!
Hello to all! My name is Nathaniel Stewart, and I am the author behind “The Last Alignment” series. Simply put, I am a young adult who writes for young adults, and I’ve dreamed of being an author since I was twelve years old. It’s still surreal to me that I’ve “taken the plunge,” but I’m ready to dig deep and go for it. Life is too short to not aspire to your hopes and dreams.
Where are you from?
I’m from Maryland. I was born in Washington DC, but I grew up and lived in Clinton, Maryland until I was eighteen. Then after moving around the state a bit, my family finally settled in Waldorf, Maryland, and that is where they are based now.
Are you a self-published (Indie) Author?
I am, and I wouldn’t have wanted to start my literary career any other way. Once I realized that I was going to take this route I was nervous because I know how hard it is. But if you can take the time to build anything meaningful to you brick by brick so that you can have a strong foundation to stand on, then why wouldn’t you? I have had my share of frustrations and failures already and I just started my journey at the very end of July of last year, but I believe that everything will be absolutely worthwhile in the end. You just have to keep going.
What inspired you to write your first book?
“The Last Alignment: Book One” actually served as my senior thesis. I am an English major, so my professor set the assignment for me to write a children’s book and I started out writing something within that realm. But as I was writing, I found that I wasn’t enjoying it. I wasn’t excited about it and it felt more like homework than a display of creativity and talent. So without seeking permission from my professor first, I completely shifted gears and he got quite the surprise when I plopped the first draft of TLAB1 down on his desk. At first I think he was shocked because he was expecting a kids book and got something that was very much young adult, and after a few days of fearing that he was going to hate it and make me go back to the original assignment, he then surprised me and allowed me to go forward with it which really inspired me and sparked the drive and desire to finally bring the series out of my head and into existence.
I came up with the idea for The Last Alignment Series when I was fifteen. Over the years I basically gathered information, came up with characters, plot points, concepts, etc., and after I decided that I wasn’t going to write a children’s book, I thought, “Why not?” I had enough information, I had enough of an outline and I had the plans, so why not finally start writing the story that’s been in the back of my mind for years now? It was awesome how it all came together in the end, and I’m grateful that I went with my gut and did what I wanted to do. I’m also grateful that my professor permitted me that freedom as well.
How did you come up with the title?
As I mentioned before, I came up with the idea for The Last Alignment when I was fifteen, and I’m twenty-three now. In all that time I didn’t have a title yet and I came up with a fair few (some good, some not so good). It wasn’t until I started writing the first chapter that there was a line that stuck out to me that one of my characters said, and it clicked. That’s how I chose “The Last Alignment.”
How much of your novel is realistic?
I categorize my book as Young Adult/Fantasy, but I definitely wanted to make a point. For me, I think the realism comes from my characters. The way that they act, their personalities, and the things that they say and do is all extremely comparable to real life and real people and not over the top or obnoxious. My characters are relatable in their thinking, in their expressions, and I think that a multitude of people can read my work and say, “Oh I know someone that acts just like that,” or even find a bit of themselves in my characters. When I started writing the series, one of the goals was to have the fantasy bits be fantastical and to have the parts that didn’t involve anything supernatural to be lifelike and genuine, and I believe that is something that was accomplished.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The aspect that I enjoyed the most about writing my book was actually writing it. It’s an awesome feeling to bring something out of your head and in to the physical. The process was fun for me. It was cool putting everything together and then adding stuff in and taking stuff out, hiding this here, and then hinting and foreshadowing there. I loved creating it, but more over I loved the fact that writing this book proved to me that I could do what I’ve wanted to do for a long time now.
Math or English? English! I despise math.
Summer or Winter? Winter.
Morning Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl without question.
Tea or Coffee? Tea. Love the smell of coffee, but not the taste.
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Got to go with Harry Potter.
Black or White? White.
Dogs or Cats? Cats. Love dogs though.
McDonalds or Burger King? Burger King.
Cake or Pie? Pie. Apple to be exact.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate.
Cable or Internet? Internet.
MySpace or Facebook? Facebook. Never had a MySpace.
The Simpsons or Family Guy? Family Guy.
Coke or Pepsi? Coke.
Batman or Superman? Superman.
Fantasy or Reality? Fantasy.
Comedy or Horror? Comedy. I rarely do horror.
Pancake or Waffles? Waffles.
Baked or Fried? Baked.
Hamburgers or Hotdogs? Hamburgers.