Our first featured author is Nathan Kross with his book
Nathan is 25 years old and lives in Asheville, North Carolina. It is a pleasure to have him with us to share some insights into his work, his life, and his mind.
When did you first start writing?
I remember writing really bad stories in preschool. Oh my God they were bad.
What was your very first story about?
I once wrote a series of stories about a bumbling hero named Joe Schmoe, who kept trying to do various illegal things, and kept getting interrupted and persecuted by the same busload of nuns.
What activity or hobby, besides writing, do you find most enjoyable?
Kendo. Japanese swordfighting.
What was your favorite childhood toy?
I started playing video games around age 5 and never looked back.
Have you written anything that you were too afraid to try publishing?
Anyone who's sane about what publishing entails knows that virtually everything belongs in this category.
How much research time customarily goes into your projects?
Something I read mentioned that we're always writing. Even when we're not holding a pen, our stories and images are being formed in our subconscious the same way we dream. And even when that's not happening, our experiences every day shape who we are. So... infinity. That's my answer.
If you lost the ability to see every color but one, which one would it be?
Blue. Everything I saw would be blue. It would be wonderful.
How do you treat people you’re not fond of?
It ranges from active forgiveness and kindness to actively plotting revenge, depending on how much I think reconciliation is possible. Oh, don't laugh at me, you know you do it too.
What is hiding in your closet as we speak?
All of my ex-girlfriends' bodies.
If you were ever to write an autobiography, what would its title be?
What if it was a biography of your favorite person?
Name three things about that person that influenced or inspired you.
I used to think that it was intellectually irresponsible to be kind, and good. I thought we all die in the end, and most things are absurd, and it's nothing but our genetic programming that makes us feel warmth for each other. The person who most influenced me, Aristotle, taught me that that was wrong by being disciplined, intelligent, and kind.
Did you experience anything you’ve written yourself?
I used to write strictly lyrical poetry about my spiritual experiences. Nowadays I like to just paint pictures of what I see in my mind's eye, you know, weave a web. Don't care so much about myself.
What do you see as your greatest achievement?
Surviving past a certain age. I tried to commit suicide a few times when I was younger. The fact that I'm still around impresses everyone who knows me.
What, to you, is absolutely wrong?
Most things, actually.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
"If you had even an ounce of faith, you could command this mountain, and it would pick itself up and hurl itself into the sea."
Who are several of your greatest literary inspirations?
Edgar Allan Poe tops the list. Nobody writes poetry like he does. Shakespeare is who I learned the sonnet form from, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning second to him. Chaucer is the one who taught me to write in heroic couplets. All of the philosophers I've read --- Aristotle, Kant, Plato, Aquinas --- taught me what it's important to write about.
You’ve decided to buy an exotic pet, what do you go for?
Definitely a large carnivore. A wolf, preferably. I don't want my life to be easy. I don't want survival to the next day to be guaranteed. I want to fight for everything I have.
What do you classify as “Adventure” ?
Going someplace and doing something that requires your whole attention, absorbs your whole self. Giving something your all.
Who is your most favorite literary character?
Javert from Les Misérables. Nobody's a badass like Javert's a badass.
Who is your favorite character of your own creation?
The Chimney Sweep, the superhero nemesis of Doktor Korvid.
If you could learn one new thing instantly, what would it be?
To stay focused on my breath. To breathe calmly and peacefully, the whole day through; to stay rooted in who I am.
Finish this sentence. “I sometimes find it hard to…”
Tell us about your featured book.
The Supervillain Sonnets is 50 sonnets and 10 matching historical documents describing the rise and fall of Doktor Korvid. Doktor Korvid was a supervillain. Doktor Korvid had a sensitive heart which happened to be filled with hate. But yours would be too if you had suffered as much as Doktor Korvid had. Well, actually, he just kind of decided that he hated everyone. That's where he and I differ. But that's OK.
Why did you write that?
I used to write nothing but poetry about myself. It was very dark, very depressing, and hardly ever good. Over the course of a few years I started to feel happy again, and I thought that meant I'd have to give up poetry, but then I realized that what I was doing wasn't poetry at all. It's not poetry until you write about something outside yourself. The Supervillain Sonnets is the result of my realizing that, and it's also partially about that.
Is there anything special you would like your potential readers to know?
A lot of people don't detect my sense of humor, 'cuz I'm pretty hard-edged, and I don't dangle it in front of your face. It's more often that I'm pulling the rug out from under you --- asking you to expect one thing and then delivering something completely opposite, just to see how you'll react. I don't even care if you laugh or not. Be prepared to laugh a lot when you read the Sonnets, and you will. Expect something serious, and you'll get something serious, but I'll be laughing (inside) at you.
Interested? Go check out Nathan's book right now, before old age robs you of your memories.