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Sunday, November 19, 2017
Interview with author Nathaniel Szymkowicz
The Shroud of Peace
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
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
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."
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.
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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