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 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?)
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.