Sunday, November 19, 2017

Interview with author Nathaniel Szymkowicz

 The Shroud of Peace

1.      What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?  The development of this story occurred over about 12 years, of half my life. If I had to point to the core inspirations for “The Shroud of Peace,” it would undoubtedly be the Mass Effect games, The Bourne novles by Robert Ludlum, and the works of John Le Carre. Looking at the end product, it is a testament to broadening one's perspective and marching toward a life goal.

2.      What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader? Essentially, “The Shroud of Peace” is The Bourne Identity in space. It’s a homage to probably one of the best spy novels and action movies out there. I utilize the themes of that story but also ground my story with personal and internal conflicts such as trying to accept one's self and how blinded we are to the bigger picture in the face of conflict. Suffice it to say, the conflict between a rogue super soldier and the Special Forces officer hunting him gets very personal and very heated in a ruined galaxy on the brink of war. I think this would appeal to anyone between the ages of 16 and 32, especially future, current and former members of the armed forces.

3.      What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down? Though I do hate to spoil things, if you go into this book expecting a happy ending, you will be sorely disappointed. Neither character in “The Shroud of Peace” is necessarily good or evil. They're normal people who grew up amidst war and chaos pitted on opposite ends of a conflict they have no control over. They're foils to each other. The actions they take to combat each other have far reaching consequences on both the galaxy and each other. 

4.      What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? The only reason I was able to get here was stubbornness and ruthless discipline. As a 12-year-old boy I committed myself to this story and realized it as a 24 year-old man, that takes a special kind of stubborn. I didn't spend 12 years of my life doing the things teenagers and twenty-somethings do. Rather, I spent the better part of 12 years dedicating myself to improving my craft to assume full command of my medium. And ultimately, tell the best version of this story I could. Keep at it, but always learn from your mistakes.

5.      What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? Technology is a scary thing. As much as I love a printed book, the next greatest story won't be printed on a page. All of these E-book publishers have opened the floodgates to writers. There's a lot of bad E-books out there, but there are quite a few diamonds in the rough and at least a dozen talented enterprising authors to follow in these examples. Given the utter disconnect the entertainment industry and main stream media has from most people and the creative drought caused by that disconnect, it would be no surprise to me if in the near future the title of "Amazon Bestseller" will be more coveted than "New York Times Bestseller."

6.      What great challenges did you have in writing your book? Perhaps the greatest challenge I faced during all of this was time. To put it in perspective I grew up, graduated three schools, studied two martial arts, moved out of my parent's house, joined the Army, got my first civilian job, and resided in three different states. That's a lot for any man starting his life before even thinking about writing a novel.

7.      If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? Well, if you've been disappointed in the plethora of "versus" movies and games that have been coming out recently, Jason Bourne's recent film or novel adaptations, or any recent interpretation of your favorite Sci-Fi franchise, this'll be right up your alley. If you're looking for a quick but thought provoking military space opera, this will also scratch your content itch. If you like strong characters and conflict that results naturally from their faults with strong subtext, you won't be able to stop reading this. 

Nathaniel Szymkowicz is a recent graduate from SUNY Brockport with a bachelor’s in history and minors in English and military science. He practices judo and marksmanship regularly. He currently resides in Vermont.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby

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