8 Questions with Nathan Lowell
Posted by rasplundjr
It’s Monday we al lknow what time it is right? Right t Minus x hours til Chuck… well your right but that’s not what I was thinking. It’s time once again for 8 Questions form Random Pimpage – Today it’s a great honor for me to present Nathan Lowell teh talented Author of The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper and the Tanyth Fairport Adventures and all around just great guy.
Nathan Lowell is in my not so humble opinion.. (yeah I admit it I have an ego… but think about it I’m posting my thoughts on the internet so people can read them.. you have to admit that requires a little bit of an ego… ) one of the best Podcast novelists out ther and I don’t mind sounding like a geeky idiot fanboy by saying when he agreed to do 8 Random Questions I about fell out of my chair. Now as far as people I listen to Nathan came to the party late. I was a freaking idiot thinking that the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper stories sounded interesting but I had more pressing stuff on my list to listen to. I finished the first 4 Podibooks in less than a week and the fifth in less than 24 hours after it finished (Nathan is one the authors that I have to wait until the podcast is finished because I’m driven to distraction to find out what happens next.
1 ) I hear that a Publisher wised up and you have a deal, first off Congrats on that, secondly, is it for the single book Quarter Share or is Ridan going to make many of us happy and get the entire series?
We signed a contract for the first book because that’s their business
model. We’ll do one book, get it right and then move on to the next.
The intent at the moment is that Ridan will pick up all of my works.
I’ll be working with them to produce some of their other authors in
podcast format as well as helping them become more active and visible
in the social media and new media spaces. It’s really shaping up to be
a great — and I hesitate to use this over-worked buzzword, but in
this case it really does apply — synergistic effort.
I started writing in junior high — what we called “middle school”
back in the olden days. I started with poetry and was greatly
influenced by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I don’t remember the first story
I ever wrote, but I had a poem published in an annual junior high
school anthology of poetry about 40 years ago. The title was
“Tomorrow” and the theme was how you can never get to yesterday or
tomorrow, but only have today. I suspect it was quite pretentious for
a 12 year old.
I love reading and messing about with technology. I spend a lot of
time in Second Life building, scripting, taking photographs, and
participating in the virtual fashion world.
I started listening in October or November of 2004. At that time there
were only a few podcasts to listen to. I remember Adam Curry’s “Daily
Source Code” and “The Dawn and Drew Show.” Pretty soon I discovered
Coverville, Austin Riffs, and Earthcore. Earthcore led me to
Podiobooks, and once I went thru all the completed books there —
wasn’t many at the time — I decided that they were having way too
much fun to be allowed to do it without me. The idea that I could
write a novel — something I always wanted to do — and put it up as a
podiobook just made so much sense.
The problem new authors face is getting noticed in a sea of other
works. With podcasting just starting up — in those days there were
fewer than 10,000 I think — and millions of hungry MP3 players
beginning to circulate — every one of which needed fresh content —
it seemed like a good way to get my work out in a more forgiving
environment than print and to use that to see if I could actually
write a novel.
5 ) What is Durandus?
Durandus is the last name of a really esoteric writer — William
Durandus – who wrote one of the first collections codifying the rules
of Catholic practice — Rationale divinorum officiorum. It was first
published in 1459 by Fust and Schoeffer in Mainz, Austria. While
Gutenberg got the credit for printing the first Bible, as an example
of the art of printing, Gutenburg’s Bibles are … um … early works.
Fust and Schoeffer’s work was much better and established many of the
ideas about page layout, print “color” and the art of printing that
are in use six centuries later.
Back in the late 90s I started a web designer while I was in grad
school. In those days, web design was largely governed by what would
become the “MySpace School of Crappy Pages” — replete with animated
gifs, blink tags, and marquee scrolling. I designed with a sparse
style that owed more to European art printers than Microsoft Blink
tags. Having studied print, typography, and layout, I knew about the
history of print and the part that Durandus’s Rationale played in it,
so I adopted “Durandus” as the name of my web design company and I’ve
kept it ever since.
Oh yes indeed. I wasn’t sure about the book before I got into it. One
of my first reader corps has been after me to “write a female
character” for a while and when Mur challenged me to the 15 day
NaNoWriMo, and a certain other individual challenged me to write
fantasy, I figured I may as well do the trifecta. I thought this was
going to be a single volume, but when I got dug into the story, I
realized it’s probably a trilogy. Now that I’ve got the world
introduced, Tanyth can go on to find Gertie Pinecrest up in Lammas
Wood and I’m expecting that to fall into two parts.
7 ) Did you ever expect to be looked up to by so many fledgling writers or have this kind of a following?
Short answer: No!
I don’t know that I’m looked up to by many except as a writing
machine. All things considered (and I’m having my face rubbed in it as
I prepare Quarter Share for print), I’m not a great writer. I think
I’ve improved as I’ve gone along. I figger, over 800,000 words in less
than three years better teach ya something about writing or you’re
doing it wrong. What I *do* consider myself is a *story teller.* The
distinction is subtle but important. A writer looks for the perfect
word or phrase that says exactly what he or she wants to say. A story
teller may tell the same story a hundred times, and never tell it the
same way twice. This is particularly true in an oral medium like
podcasting. For me the One True Thing is really the story — who does
what to whom and how does it work out?
As for following, I started out thinking if I could get a couple
hundred people to listen and like my work, and I could have some fun
doing it, then it would be cool. I knew about the Long Tail and was
only shooting for a small segment of it waaaaay down the power curve.
That left me free to write the kinds of stories I wanted to read
without having to worry about whether any of them would have a broader
appeal and — it turns out — a lot of people besides me like these
kinds of stories.
8 ) You started off on a Iriver and in a Taurus, how has your recording equipment and environment changed?
First generation was a $20 Radio Shack head set plugged into an iRiver
ifp799. I recorded on 64 kbps MP3 format while sitting in the front
seat of my Taurus. It was the quietest place I could find. I worked
off printed pages. I was also doing the work under the table – trying
to surprise my wife with a completed work. She’d suffered through many
an effort that was never actually finished and I didn’t want to put
her through the pangs of Work In Progress again. That was Quarter
Second generation, I was still recording on the iRiver but in 394kpbs
MP3. I used a BLUE 8-Ball plugged into a Behringer Preamp that fed the
iRiver. I did Half Share and most of Full Share on that.
Unfortunately, the cartridge on the 8-Ball gave out just before the
end of Full Share and I wound up recording the last episode on a Radio
Shack $30 dynamic mic. All things considered, that’s not a bad mic.
Third generation (current), I use a Rode NT1-A driving a Prosonus
TubePre amp and recording on a Zoom H4 (the old one, not the new N
model). I can record in a lossless WAV format and the Rode is
sensitive enough for me to whisper still gives me a good sound
One thing that changed with Ravenwood – I stopped reading off paper
and tried using my netbook as text source. It worked ok, and certainly
saved a lot of paper. The Rode is so sensitive tho, that it did pick
up the very faint sounds of the computer whenever the furnace wasn’t
running. I need to think about whether I want to do that going
forward. The clicking sounds showed up in several places that I wasn’t
I record in our spare bedroom and need to re-arrange some furniture to
create a more durable environment. It looks like I’ll be doing a lot
more recording so some of the “temporary” fittings need to be
What is the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything?
… redefine the model.
… look in the wastebasket for the instructions.
— thanks again 🙂
You can Find Nathan Online here
Durandus.com the Home of Nathan Lowell’s Ficiton on the Web – http://durandus.com/
On PodioBooks.com – http://www.podiobooks.com/podiobooks/search.php?keyword=Nathan+Lowell
And on Twitter @NLowell