I'm Nathan Major, I grew up in Paso Robles, California (aka wine country). I am currently residing in Provo, UT in a tricked-out basement.
How long have you been writing?
I actually started writing as a very young boy. My brothers and I were homeschooled for most of elementary school, and my mother would have us do writing exercises called "30 Minute Writes" where she'd give us nothing but a title and then we were to write a complete story in thirty minutes. I started enjoying them so much (and adding silly connections between them) that my mother and I actually edited and compiled the best of them into a book, which is still at my house. My mother is constantly badgering me to rewrite it and try to get someone to buy it (she currently uses it to teach special ed. kids to read).
I started writing "for serious" back in 2006, after reading Eragon and deciding I could totally do that. I've been at it pretty regularly from then on out (just finished book #8).
What genre(s) do you write?
Epic fantasy and young adult (urban and traditional fantasy) primarily, but my goal this year is to try and write a middle grade (maybe a rewrite of the above mentioned childhood story) as well as test out a few new genres.
What’s your current WIP? Can you tell us about it?
It is a young adult novel starring a girl named Aria, who is a skilled violinist. She also had horrendous stage fright to the point that even being called on in class can cause her to get socially anxious. Her mother is deceased so she lives by herself in a big house, essentially a hermit.
Oh yeah, and did I mention she's the literal daughter of Death?
It seems that when we die, before Death ushers us to the hereafter, we are allowed to hear one song of our choosing. Aria accompanies her father to these meetings as both a means to help ease the burdens of the deceased and a way to gradually overcome her panic attack inducing stage fright.
Of course, if you are the daughter of Death your life never continues as usual, and if questions about what happened to her mother weren't bad enough, Aria's life is about to be completely uprooted in the most insane way imaginable.
And that's it. My writing group reads this blog, and I gotta keep them in the dark for the alpha. :P
What’s your current day job? How does it help or hinder your writing?
I work in a call center providing technical support, part-time. In truth, it does nothing but burn hours I could have spent planning, but I do get some time to at least re-read what I've written the night before and brainstorm on my breaks. I'm unfortunately the kind of person who has to have relatively ideal circumstances in order to write (ie be at home on the couch with some music), and whenever I've tried at work it usually ends up being more effort than it's worth.
Who is your favorite author?
That is an extremely difficult question, so I'll go with the two I'm currently heavily invested in: George R. R. Martin and Terry Pratchett. Martin because his dark, realistic, "every character is gray" fantasy feels like it was completely written just for me, and Pratchett because he is probably the cleverest writer I've discovered.
Others included Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, John Bellairs, Jim Butcher, Orson Wells, and... I'll stop there for sake of time.
An old, out-of-print (but still available on Kindle) fantasy novel called "The Face in the Frost," by John Bellairs. It's a very short book, but is brilliant at blending humor, realistic magic, and absolutely nail-biting horror. Bellairs was famous for writing middle grade horror novels that were genuinely terrifying (yes, really. I think only Dan Wells comes close to doing something like that now-a-days), but this fantasy novel was really something incredibly unique and witty. It's a fun little read, and I highly suggest picking it up if you want to see how to manage both humor and horror in the same book without it seeming convoluted or awkward.
What other hobbies or activities do you do outside of writing?
Well, I play a lot of video games. That's a hobby. I also enjoy walking, reading, playing the piano, and just generally Being Awesome.
What is something unique about yourself?
I have crazy red hair and a beard. I was one test away from a black belt in Tae Kwon Do when I went to college and got lazy. I really, really like Pokemon more than a grown man should. My wife and I don't have kids, but we do have like 30 video game themed plush toys. I am obsessed with Rice Krispies Treats Cereal.
Do you have a blog, Twitter, and/or Web site we can link to?
I do indeed. www.nathanmajor.blogspot.com is my writing blog, but sometimes I do stupid things like review the Kindle Fire or Rice Krispies Treats Cereals. I also am going through and reviewing every single video game I've ever played, which may or may not kill me, but you can read them all at nathanvsvideogames.blogspot.com. Lastly, I'd love if you followed me on Twitter at @TheUselessGod. I promise that at least ONE of my tweets will be interesting. Eventually.
If you're willing to be interviewed for Someday Stars, please email me at CNHolmberg (at) gmail.com.