Indie Author Interview #3 Nate Philbrick

I stumbled upon Where the Woods Grow Wild a couple months ago and was unexpectedly delighted by it. I had just begun my foray into the indie author world and this book will always stand out to me as an example of how good indie fic can be. It’s a clean, light-hearted tale full of imagination. I felt like a kid exploring Narnia again! Needless to say, I am very excited for the sequel. So I hunted Mr. Nate Philbrick down to answer some of my questions:
Me: What does your creative process look like? (Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you have a daily routine?)
Philbrick: I’d say I’m 75% plotter and 25% pantser. So I’m a plontser. Yep. I’m that guy plontsing around with a mug of coffee. I love outlines, and I need to know all the steps I need to take before I start writing. That being said, when it comes to individual scenes, I prefer to let those grow organically if that makes sense. And even my scene-by-scene outline is subject to change at any given moment.
Me: From start to finish, could you estimate how long it took to write “Where the Woods Grow Wild”?
Philbrick: The first draft took about four months, but the idea-to-publication process took a year almost to the day.
Me: Can you name three books that have impacted you?
Philbrick: Yeah! Tears of a Dragon (Bryan Davis) really shaped the way I saw life as a teenager. A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness) turned me into a puddle on the floor, and The Book Thief was pretty boring but it sure impacted my toe that one time I dropped it.
Me: What are three tools you use as an indie author?
Whenever I’m writing/planning/editing, I almost always have Scrivener open, a physical notebook on the desk beside me, and color coded pens because those make me feel fancy. However, when I’m proofreading or marketing I make good use of a tissue box and a punching bag.
Me: Have you read any great indie books lately?
Philbrick: To be perfectly honest, I don’t read indie books as much as I’d like to. However, I recently beta-read a short story/novella by Rachel Lester, which I won’t say anything about except that the ending punched me in the gut and I can’t wait for her to publish it.
Me: What area do you need to grow in as an author and what steps are you taking to get there?
Philbrick: If I want my career to keep growing, I really need to eliminate those months between projects during which I just can’t seem to get into gear. Once I get the ball rolling I’m fine, but I typically struggle in those in-between stages.
Me: If you had to branch out into another genre, what would it be?
Philbrick: Oh boy. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to write anything but fantasy, but if I had to give it a shot, I’d probably go for historical fiction (I’d say sci-fi just to stay speculative, but let’s be honest; I’m too dumb to write technology beyond “he pushed the shiny thing and they all died.”
Me: What are you working on right now? 
Philbrick: I’m about 2/3 of the way through the first draft of Where the Woods Grow in Flames, the sequel to Where the Woods Grow Wild.
Me: What can we look forward to in the next book? (And is there a tentative release date?)

Philbrick: Readers of Where the Woods Grow Wild can look forward to a whole lot more snark from the original cast of characters, as well as some new (yet familiar) additions that I’ve had a blast fleshing out (let’s just say Percy and Mr. Stump both get a lot more stage time.)

I don’t have a specific release date yet, but my goal is to get it out this summer.
Me: It looks like you are a Star Wars fan. Pick a favorite film and a favorite character!
Philbrick: I’m a huge Star Wars fan! Star Wars: Rebels is actually my favorite chapter in the saga, but that’s not a film, so I’m going to have to go with Rogue One and/or Revenge of the Sith. My favorite Star Wars character is Ahsoka Tano, hands down.
So there you have it, folks! Want more of Nate Philbrick? Go check out his blog. Follow him on twitter. And if you haven’t yet, pick up a copy of Where the Woods Grow Wild

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