Today I am interviewing Nathan Day, author of the new multi-genre novel, Orphan: Surfacing.
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DJ: Hi Nathan! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Nathan Day: DJ, thank you so much for the honor of being your guest. I’m definitely a jack-of-many-trades and master of none. Haha. I love to write in several mediums (literature, film, music, comics), and am both an actor (film, web and television) and singer. I am what I call a “story glutton”, meaning I fiend for stories from any source (films, books, theatre, gaming, song). I’m also a lover of travel who just can’t afford to do much of it, so I like to write places I hope to visit into my work, such as Positano, Italy which appears in Orphan: Surfacing.
DJ: What is Orphan Surfacing about?
Nathan: I don’t consider this a spoiler as it is the catalyst and first event of the Orphan Saga: God is killed. The Orphan Saga follows angels, demons, normal people and everything in between in the aftermath. Angels, now lacking guidance begin to become emotional and worrisome, their reserves of “grace” now limited. The demons are becoming emboldened and more fierce. Humankind is caught in the middle, but not all are defenseless, such as the paramilitary S.W.A.R.M. teams that are throughout the world exterminating “halos and horns” (aka angels and demons) under orders from a shadowy figure named Manual Valdez.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Orphan Surfacing?
Nathan: Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness was definitely an influence on Orphan’s foundation. It paints a very vivid picture of how angels and demons war and influence mankind. Also my sister-in-law, Angela. Years ago I wanted to write and draw comics and would frequently submit to Marvel and the newly formed (at the time) Image. Angela and I were talking about my goals one day and she asked why no one makes comics about angels…so, I came up with a concept about a priest, a little boy and a guardian angel. 20 years later this idea involved into Orphan.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
Nathan: My hope is that no single character takes a spotlight, as the roster is large and will grow with each nov in the series. Solomon is a boy gifted with the ability to see beyond the physical world into the spiritual realm, and watches the world with all the apathy of someone viewing television. His mother, Traci, is a single mom with a very sorted and flawed past (I say flawed, not tragic, because she is only a victim to herself). Athiel is an angel who loved humanity so much that he could not carry out his duties when it meant he had to sit idly by and allow so many to suffer. Instead he gave up his wings and spent four decades at the bottom of the Pacific in regretful reflection until being suddenly drawn back to the surface. These are just examples. Overall I try to write characters that have their idiosyncrasies, but are mostly imperfect and usually fall prey to themselves, and often as a result of dealing with, or neglecting to deal with, their pasts.
DJ: What is the world of Orphan: Surfacing like?
Nathan: The world of Orphan is our own. Set in the present. While many elements will come across as urban fantasy, I want the story to feel just as possible as it does impossible. Many religions believe that there is an ongoing, invisible (to the naked eye) conflict constantly waging all around and within us. In Orphan my goal is to bring that conflict into the light, but with the balance of power tipped in multiple directions. Demons have power to more directly influence or attack people, but as I said before, there are those who have the ability to fight back and the resources to do so on a global scale. Think of stories where aliens suddenly arrive and our normal world is suddenly plunged into a surreal situation.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Orphan: Surfacing?
Nathan: Admittedly the chapters and characters that take on more of a horror or comic tone (Uzahl, Ter Greiel and Sylvie Crindle for example) are the ones I enjoy spending time with. Perhaps because I feel I can stretch my legs a little more creatively with them, but the elements dealing with more relatable topics and backstories tend to be the most satisfying. Several readers have told me the story of Dexter Workman in chapter 1 is one of their favorite parts if the book.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Nathan: Hopefully they’ll be debating the hints and unanswered questions. I hope to have successfully built the foundation of a grand mystery that begins in the prologue but won’t fully be explained for another few books. I hope people will talk about their favorite characters and lament on the possibility of their deaths. I hope people have no clue what’s about to happen next, but can’t wait to find out!
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began writing Orphan: Surfacing? Was there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Nathan: One central theme I can’t mention because the theme itself is a bit of a spoiler that reaches beyond book 1. There are many themes tied more directly to characters: the cost of arrogance and jealousy, survival vs. duty, but one of the largest themes deals with faith in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I don’t mean like how many people believe science disproves certain religious claims, but moreso, when your faith is tested and everything, even your own eyes, tells you that there is no point in pushing onward, do you continue forward stubbornly or do you accept the evidence? What is faith if it’s not tested?
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Orphan: Surfacing that you can share with us?
Nathan: Here are a few of my favorite excerpts, but I feel like they stick out to me because of my affinity for the certain characters involved or their story arcs. I get pumped thinking about the things coming that these excerpts hint at:
“You’re going to dance in the shadows. Dance in the shadows and let me in. Tch! Tch! Tch!” – Sylvie Crindle
“But in this they have always had the advantage of knowledge over us. And that is coming to a close. Knowledge is a weapon, and we cannot win this war with so many unarmed and unaware.” – Doomsayer.
I feel that Culling has more memorable quotes by far. Haha.
DJ: Now that Orphan: Surfacing is released, what is next for you?
Nathan: The manuscript for book 2 in the Orphan Saga, Orphan: Culling, has just been turned in. My current project is a noir novella adapted from a screenplay by director Thomas Moore called The Devil’s A Lie. I’m also working on the outline for the third Orphan novel, Orphan: Advent.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Orphan: Surfacing that we haven’t talked about yet?
Nathan: Truthfully, how lucky I feel to be developing an audience that is excited about the book and anxious to see what happens next. It’s an amazing feeling to connect with readers and get their feedback and tease the future of the series. This book is a dream 20 years in the making and I couldn’t be more honored to share it with all of you!
DJ: Is there anything else you would like add?
Nathan: I want to thank everyone for the OVERWHELMING response to my first ever #IGotMine giveaway contest in which readers sent me pics of themselves with their copies of Orphan: Surfacing. I LOVED the genuine excitement painted on their faces! It was humbling! Can’t wait to do it all again when Culling drops later this year!
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
Nathan: Thank you SO MUCH for giving me this interview opportunity!!! It means a lot to me to have people interested in my work and wanting to help spread the word!
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*** Orphan: Surfacing is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
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God is dead.
The war between Heaven and Hell had waged for eons, spiraling towards its inevitable conclusion as the Book of Revelations began to unfold. Mankind, most unknowingly or unbelievingly caught in the crossfire, had played small but critical roles throughout its history. But when an unimaginable act resets the balance of power, no outcome remains guaranteed and all of creation teeters on the brink of oblivion.
A dark stage has been set.
Heaven falls silent. Its once glorious armies plunge into disarray while their hellish counterparts thrive unattested. The demon Uzahl sews corruption as it stalks Traci Nicholas and her son, Solomon, whose mysterious gifts surge in strength.
After turning from God, Athiel had spent four decades in the depths of the Pacific reconciling his lost faith with the suffrage he had witnessed. Suddenly he is jolted awake and inexplicably drawn back to the surface and the world of man, no longer sure to which world he belongs.
Kings advance their pawns.
The enigmatic Manuel Valdez watches events unfold, sending deadly S.W.A.R.M. assault teams to eradicate angelic and demonic targets to further his shadowy agenda.
In the city of Lanza del los Santos, the Big Apple of the West, stands the Cathedral of Saint Michael. Within its walls the angelic captain Dycliasses safeguards Joseph, a charismatic young priest scarred by a terrifying vision. If they can survive the enemy at their gates they may yet have a chance to stem the growing darkness.
About the Author:
Nathan Day has been called a Renaissance Man, passionately expressing himself as an actor, director, screenwriter, songwriter, producer of film and music and now author. A Kentucky native, he won The Young Author’s Award in the fourth grade and harbors an obsession for telling and collecting stories through any medium. He has appeared in over 30 film and television projects including Stash and Bulletsong, the latter of which he also wrote and directed. Orphan: Surfacing and the Orphan Sagaare his first published work.
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2/23 Sheila’s Guests and Reviews http://sheiladeeth.blogspot.com Guest Post
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3/27 Robin’s Book Spot Robinsbookspot.blogspot.com Review