Today I am welcoming Nathan Hall, author of An Altar on the Village Green into the Indie Spotlight – over to you, Nathan:
After reading The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist and The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan as a teen, I just KNEW I had to be a writer. I started immediately on my first novel, which was terrible. Sometime later, I started on my next novel, which was less awful, and in late 2017 I started on what would eventually become An Altar on the Village Green, book one in The Chained God.
I’ve spent several years as a freelance fiction editor, working with authors like Sarah Chorn and Michael Wisehart. I’m also known for my reviews, ramblings, and writer Crash Course series on my website.
I live in Indiana with my wife, two cats, and one sassy bearded dragon.
Good morning, Nathan, and welcome to my blog!
What made you decide to publish your book independently? What was your path to publication?
An Altar on the Village Green sits pretty evenly between Fantasy and Horror, and draws inspiration from video games, such as respawning on death. The first person narrative contains third person visions (Lances from the past amid their own supernatural Horrors) whenever the main character dies. This kind of experimental story is a perfect fit for self-publishing.
The path from concept to completion was a strange one. The series started as an idea for a video game I was dabbling with. But very quickly the story behind it grew into something I had to tell as a novel. Or, by the time I’m finished with it, four novels.
What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? (What’s your inspiration?)
I’ve always been into Fantasy and Horror. From reading Goosebumps and Edgar Allan Poe to The Hobbit, The Riftwar Saga, and the Wheel of Time, I’ve felt at home in both genres.
The biggest inspirations for Altar are video games, actually. Dark Souls is the obvious one, but readers will probably see a lot of themes in common with the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, as well. Hope in a hopeless situation, helping people who are perhaps doomed to suffer, risking and sacrificing out of compassion even if it doesn’t gain you anything.
Do you only read the genre that you write?
I read in many different genres. After Fantasy and Horror, my favorite is probably Thriller. I love a shorter book that pulls me through the whole story in one afternoon.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Video Game you are playing? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?
I’m finally getting to read The Forever King by Ben Galley! It feels like the kind of old-school Epic Fantasy I fell in love with growing up, and I’m having a great time.
Recently, I watched I Care a Lot, which is a treat if you enjoy rooting against despicable characters. Rosamund Pike and Peter Dinklage remind the world that they’re world-class actors.
You can always catch me playing Dark Souls. Every few days I think up a new way to play that game. But in the last week I’ve been obsessed with Hades, which just dropped on PS4. It is gorgeous, fun, and addictive as hell.
I listen almost exclusively to video game music while I write! Undertale, Xenoblade Chronicles, and of course the Skyrim soundtrack. I also want to shout out AdLibPiano on YouTube. Check out Sayoshigure, Sunrise, and Twilight.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Enjoy it. That sounds like pat advice, but it is vital. It is so easy to get bogged down in the process that you lose the spark. And if you do, it can be difficult to get it back. So, love writing. Throw yourself into it with reckless abandon. Keep going.
The more you write, the better you’ll get. Sure, there are tips on craft I could give, but if you love it, you’ll get to those.
What are you working on right now and what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
I’m working on The Hanging Tree, a more traditional Epic Fantasy.
Criminals are hanged from the Godtree. Those that survive are healed of all ills, granted invulnerability, and are driven by their god to fulfill a unique, divine purpose.
However, when a young man accidentally kills one of the Hanged, it sets off a mad scramble. To catch him, to save him, to find answers. How did he kill someone who can’t be harmed? Could he do it again? And would he?
It’s a story about trauma, grief, and how our obsessions can drive our lives off the rails.
This all sounds very intriguing! I wish you well with all of your future projects. Thank you so much for taking part in my blog series today, Nathan!
An Altar on the Village Green (The Chained God Book 1)
“If one suffers, I suffer. If one is chained, I am chained.”
My faith called me to become a Lance. My compassion drew me into one of the fallen lands. Through my connection with the Chained God, I alone can find and destroy the Horror that stains the land.
Death can no longer chain me.
But I couldn’t have imagined the madness waiting for me in this village. I’m not sure my faith can withstand the secrets I’ll uncover. Or that my compassion can survive the violence to come. This Horror may swallow me whole.
Death can no longer free me.
A creature stalks in the dark. Buildings burn. People die. An altar has been built on the village green.
Who is next on Indie Spotlight?
Taught to read at the age of three, words have been central to Marian L. Thorpe’s life for as long as she can remember. A novelist, poet, and essayist, Marian has several degrees, none of which are related to writing. After two careers as a research scientist and an educator, she retired from salaried work and returned to writing things that weren’t research papers or reports.