Featured Author Wednesday · Spotlight Interview

Today’s Featured Author: Nath Jones

Wednesday Spotlight

Genre: Short Story, Poems
Publisher: Life List Press
Publication Date: September 17, 2016
Pages: 242 pages
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Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Sure, I’m from a small town but I spent summers at a family cottage on Long Island. That balance of having a very poor rural upbringing with a few weeks each year on a private beach taught me more than anything about the breadth of privilege and opportunity in this world. I also randomly joined the army once, which really developed my understanding of more a more conservative point of view. This culture is so divided right now. It’s painful to witness. I’ve also worked in an area of Chicago called Back of the Yards, about six blocks from an AK-47 shooting on a playground. We must find ways to communicate clearly, peacefully.

What inspired you to write?
The Brothers Karamazov, my mother, my grandmother who took classes from Robert Frost

What inspired your novel?
This is a collection of short works. It is the culmination of a series that began as a joke on Facebook. I was making fun of Kindle books in 2010 and a friend challenged me to write one. Another friend said I couldn’t just call it Nath’s Kindle Bundle Number 1, to see how the IT side worked with the reflowable content on these new devices. So, right then in a mess of a thread of comments with friends from high school, the On Impulse series began.

What is the genre?
Literary fiction

What draws you to this genre?
The truth, the beauty, the inescapable nature of reality, the striving, the pain, the suffering, the hope, the will, the humanity, and the life

How did you develop your plot and your characters?
I’m still getting my footing with plot. It’s so simple on a diagram but very complex to make happen on the page. Characters, omg. Characters insist upon revelation. So I just sit back, meld into the space–the setting–and let them do their thing, transcribe what I can.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?
The hardest story to write in the series was, “How to Cherish the Grief-Stricken“. I don’t think it made the cut for this book. It’s in Acquainted with Squalor.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?
Hollace and Some Girl” is pretty funny and everyone’s favorite.

Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
Full time, but I also have another full time job as a clinical intervention pharmacist.

What are you currently reading?
The Melville-Hawthorne Connection: A Study of the Literary Friendship by Erik Hage

The Glass Blowers by Daphne du Maurier

City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence

Evicted: Property and Profit in The American City by Matthew Desmond

American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation by Jon Meacham

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

and Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar

Who would you say are your favourite authors?
John McPhee, Henry Miller (though I sort of hate to admit it), and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who really doesn’t make it fair for any of the rest of us.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Anything–make that everything by John McPhee

And Lauren Groff’s Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories

What are your future projects, if any?
I’m working on the third draft of a novel about a woman who runs up against herself and two great loves.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
My personal Facebook page is pretty much open season and everyone is welcome. For those who’d like a little more decorum, there’s the author site.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Nath Jones
Best New American Voices nominee Nath Jones received an MFA in creative writing from Northwestern University. Her publishing credits include PANK Magazine, There Are No Rules, and Sailing World. She lives and writes in Chicago.

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