First and foremost, this is me in all my not-so-photogenic glory (the picture itself was taken by my fiancee, Megan, and then tinted red and animated by a stranger--I apologize if the person responsible for editing the piece happens upon this blog--on Vampirefreaks). My name (as the gif implies) is Nathan, and I am an up-and-coming fantasy/horror author with over three full manuscripts for a vampire series, a slew of short stories (both related & unrelated to the aforementioned series), three original comic books with at least three issues scripted each, and one current publication, Death Metal, available to the public in both paperback and digital copy for the Kindle.
"Life was good and the future was bright for up-and-coming heavy metal band, Bloodtones. With a steadily-growing fan-base, the five members looked forward to a promising career in the music industry. And then things went to hell. Soon after a strange sighting, the Bloodtones' lead singer, Bekka, finds herself capable of the impossible and in mortal danger from otherworldly forces that catch even the non-human members of the band off guard. With their rock-solid future rapidly crumbling before their eyes, the Bloodtones find themselves struggling for not only their music... but their very lives."5-star review from a reader:
"Scooped this up and it is a VERY good read from a solid up and coming new author. I found him through the book Immortal Night Vampire Series: The Anthology Of Vampire Books Volume 1 and after reading the first part I wanted to get more. He keeps the story moving and the characters are extremely real and readable. I'm impressed. You don't typically get this level of quality from a "new kid" but you can tell he spent the time, effort and money to have this come out flawless. Very good stuff. I'll be looking for more from him."
Below are some "sketches" of the characters from the novel (note - these were created as visuals for Death Metal's sequel--in progress--on Tektek, an avatar generator associated with an online group. While I'm not a member of the group, I use this program to help me visualize characters that I intend to use in the writing process):
|(Clockwise from top):|
Will - Drums - Vampire ; Derek - Bass - Magician ; Bekka - Vocals & keyboards - Possessed ;
David - Lead guitar - "Therion" (werewolf) ; Brian - Rhythm guitar - Human (and angry)
Outside of writing, I spend my time reading (novels & comics/manga), immersing myself in movies, listening to music, and enjoying a select few television series. While I don't necessarily indulge in these things evenly, they make up my major interests:
- Reading (literature): I'm pretty hard to please when it comes to literature (probably one of the leading reasons I've decided to be a writer) but when I DO find a book/series that I enjoy I immerse myself fully and completely in it. My top 2 in terms of books/series (to date) are:
- Nancy A. Collins' "Sunglasses After Dark" series.
- Rob(yn) Thurman's (the author prefers to publish under the name "Rob Thurman" but has admitted that the name is an abbreviation) "Nightlife" series.
- Reading (comics/manga): While I'm not entirely proud to admit it, I'm more likely to fly through a comic book/graphic novel or manga than I am to read a book cover-to-cover (something in the merging of the written word, intriguing plot devices, and art just has a way of grabbing you by the ol' eyeballs and not letting go). While I'd be hard pressed to mention all my favorites, let's (for the time being, at least) settle for the top 5:
- Deadpool - My ALL TIME FAVORITE comic book character (from ANY of the publishers/universes). Deadpool/Wade Wilson/"the merc with a mouth"--one of Marvel's #1 favorite characters (second only to Spider-Man from time-to-time)--is a rare example of a character that makes insanity work FOR them (the use of multiple-colored thought boxes often serve as a means of having the character carry on three-way conversations with himself). The character has made such an impact on me that I have a partially-finished tattoo of him (my only tattoo of a character not associated directly with my personal work) on my left leg.
- 30 Days of Night - Written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith, this is possibly one of the best horror comic series ever written. Niles' story-telling coupled with Templesmith's extraordinary ability to create gritty & complex images work in ways that are comparible only to a culinary masterpiece (yes, I'm that much of a fatass).
- Sin City - A balls-to-the-wall series straight from the imagination of comic book legend, Frank Miller, Sin City is an example of a comic series in which any--and I do mean ANY--panel from any book can be used as a unique piece of wall art. The amount of detail (both seen and unseen) is breathtaking and (for me, at least) makes it hard to drag my vision off of one panel to take in the next.
- Hellboy - Like Sin City, Hellboy is a legendary product that couples stunning visuals with spectacular stories. However, where Sin City is gorgeous in its use of black-and-white imagery coupled with heavily shadowed panels, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola's art is incredibly rich with vibrant colors that look as though a series of colored Sharpie markers had been used to bring life to each geometric panel.
- Priest - While you might not be aware of the Korean manga (known as "manhwa") by talented artist and writer, Hyung Min-woo, you MAY be aware of the US film "adaptation" by the same title. While Min-woo WAS involved in the writing of the film, the 2011 movie was in no way related to his comic. While the film is set in a post-apocalyptic future in which superhuman priests fight hordes of strangely quadrupedal vampires, the beautifully-illustrated comic series featured a demonically possessed priest who traveled the American Wild West in search of a demonic entity that had killed his lover.
- Because my writing is very visually-driven, I'm usually picturing a scene as it would appear on a theater screen as I write it. This being said, movies are an important element to both my art and my life. My top 3 favorite movies/sagas are:
- The Matrix trilogy & The Animatrix - When you take gnarly, post-hostile-robot-takeover, couple it with insane sequences of Kung Fu awesomeness and "guns. Lots of guns", you get one of the greatest movie concepts the world has ever experienced. Saturate all that badass-ness with heaping doses of groundbreaking special effects and enough theories of philosophy to help you ace a college-level course... well, what's left to do besides drool all over yourself?
- The Underworld saga - What happens when a microbiologist decides to write a "Romeo & Juliet"-style script about leather-clad, gun-toting vampires and werewolves of such intense ferocity that it redefines a nation's view of the legend? Underworld, baby! For the record, the microbiologist in question just-so-happened to star in his own project as Raze, one of the movies' werewolf characters (and, yes, that IS his real voice).
- The Blade trilogy - A badass vampire-cum-vampire hunter with tattoos and a slew of weapons that would make The Matrix's Neo and The Underworld's Selene both weak in the knees. The second movie in particular, directed by my FAVORITE filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro, is still my favorite.
- While I haven't been one for television lately, I recently came across three shows that I've been loyal in planting myself--week-after-week--on the couch with great, euphoric glee to watch:
- House - The greatest handicapped, pill-popping, sarcasm-dropping, ill-tempered doctor to ever grace a television screen.
- American Horror Story - It's on FX Wednesday nights at 10PM (EST). Watch it... a lot.
- Family Guy & American Dad - Two great shows for the price of one (or so I think). Seth MacFarlane is pretty much a comedy genius and these two programs are his masterpieces.
- Who doesn't love music of some form or another? For me, silence is an enemy (ask anybody who hasn't been able to make me shut up) and, as a result, when I'm not listening to the television, I'm usually seen pinched between my headphones as they pour out some of my favorite tunes (top 5):
- Marilyn Manson - In the immortal words of the great Stan Lee: "'Nuff said".
- Aiden & William Control - Okay, so this IS technically TWO groups, but since the vocalist for Aiden IS William Control (Wil Francis), it's fair enough to put them into one group (my blog, my decision, my right, so there!). While I can't write to their stuff, they both make excellent driving music!
- Alesana - Every time I think I've gotten over this hard rock/metal/"screamo" group, they come out with a new album that better incorporates their exotic and harmonious combination of melodic vocals and guttural growls.
- Kamelot - Sort of sad to bring up one of my favorite symphonic/operatic heavy metal groups. Within the past year, the band's vocalist, Khan, left the band. While it was thought to be due to anxiety and depression, it was recently confirmed that the decision was religious in nature.
- Dir En Grey - I'm a funny sort of person. When I write, I'm so immersed in the words bouncing about in my head that, if I'm listening to anything with English words being spoken (music included), I lose concentration (unless I'm scripting a comic book, in which case I seem to function just fine with a playlist in any language). Since I can not very well write to NOTHING, I have taken to putting on foreign music, especially hard rock & heavy metal from Japan. Of all my favorite Japanese bands, however, Dir en Grey is, by far, my FAVORITE. Check out my collection of their awesomeness here.
So there you have it: an in depth and overly-intimate introduction to yours truly (see what I meant earlier when I said it's hard to shut me up). The above is pretty much me in a nutshell: a vampire-loving madman of literature driven by the twisted, the artistic, and all things in between. Hopefully you've had a fun time reading my first post (or, at the very least, enjoying all my purdy pictures.