Thursday, September 20, 2012

Author Interview with Nat Parkinson

I recently had the chance to talk with the enigmatic Nat Parkinson. With over forty years of writing behind him, he has become an overnight sensation with his first book, Bishop and the Pixies, Book One: The Hunt Begins. Straight from the pages of Facebook, a story began to develop and Nat nurtured it to fruition.

In Book One of Bishop and the Pixies, all of the magical world finds itself on the brink of disaster. A former commando and his band of pixies find themselves on a mission to save the world. Will they be able to discover who's behind the threat and stop them in enough time?  Throw in a lovely human named Louise, grand theft tiger cubs, and Willoughby's galloping kittens and you'll enjoy the wild ride.

Keep an eye out for Book Two of Bishop and the Pixies. It's slated for an early November release!

Oh. I must tell you that without the pixies none of this would be possible. (There is currently a pixie bomb being held over my head. They forced me to say that.)

When Nat sat down to answer the interview questions, he told me that this was his first interview for the book. This little ol' blogger is feeling rather privileged at the moment! I'm always excited to do interviews with authors, but this one means a little more to me since I had the opportunity (with many of you) to watch the characters develop. Thanks Nat!

Alright Pixies, Humans, and Others, here's what you've been waiting for. A quick ten twelve questions with Nat Parkinson.

Are you a new author or do you have other books I can mention?
This is my first novel.  I have written for nearly 40 years – both for newspapers and business, but this is my first foray into fiction.

What is your background?
In many ways I am Bishop. I have traveled or lived in nearly thirty different countries and speak nine languages.  I love to cook, was in the rare wine business, worked as a Merrill Lynch Stockbroker, served in the Army, lived for five years on a sailboat, and was actually raised by butlers and nannies.  I am a throwback to the 1800’s, now living in quiet obscurity in Maine and raising my kids.  Most of my neighbors believe I am in the Witness Protection Program.  I encourage this belief.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book?
“Bishop and the Pixies” was drawn from watching the Facebook antics of H.P Mallory’s “Pixie” fans…they are delightfully mischievous and many of the scenes in this and the future books are shamefully lifted from their posts on Facebook.  This entire series is being written with ‘real time’ interaction with the fans – I release periodic snippets on my author page and to the secret Pixie Page for their approval.  I learned early on in this process that I had to satiate their curiosity for my own well being. I have made a careful effort to include locations I have visited, meals I have cooked, and real world things I have actually seen or lived.

Procrastination is defined as an author's favorite pastime. What do you do to avoid writing?
I still have a ‘real world’ job (almost 16 years as an agent for Aflac) and am interrupted at least 20 times a day with claims and questions.  Punctuate that with my kids, dog, cat, and life and the writing is crammed in between.  But, I was a US Army journalist and can bang out 3,000 to 5,000 words in a day.  If you ‘fell behind’ in army journalism school, you got re-assigned as an infantryman…I made it a point never to fall behind.

Will we be hearing from Bishop again? (If so, please give a guesstimate to when.)
“Bishop and the Pixies” will be a trilogy.
My ‘target’ for Book Two is November 2012.  Here are the opening paragraphs:

“Master ‘S’

It is with a heavy heart and my sincere gratitude that I must advise you of my intent to retire from your service. Recent circumstances have made my continuing employ impractical, if not hazardous to your personal safety, and thus we must part ways. 

Many years ago we struck an
agreement. You agreed to postpone our contract for the duration of the war out of respect for my patriotic duty to the crown. Once again, the world is at war, but this time the stakes are the future of the entire world. I propose the same agreement. I shall continue to serve ‘for the duration’ of this current conflict then, assuming there is a world remaining to which I might retire, I shall live out the remainder of my days.

You once told me that you would always take the solemn word of a British Soldier. I assume that is still the case today. Again, you have my solemn word that I shall continue my efforts to vanquish this threat with all my skills and vigor.

Given the nature of the enemy we face this resignation may well be entirely moot. The odds of my surviving this battle are certainly not in my favor. I have faced such odds before and do not fear them. But as in Libya, I have a greater obligation today than my own safety. If I survive, I must retire. This shall be my final campaign....”

How difficult do the pixies make your job as an author?
They are constantly looking over my shoulder.  But, without them there would be no books, so I do my best to ignore.

What do you do when you're not writing?
I’m pretty boring in ‘real life’. I am a news and golf junkie and watch C-SPAN for “fun”.  Really.

You've enjoyed immediate success with your book. What advice can you give to other aspiring authors on how to promote themselves?
I was amazed this afternoon to find that “Bishop and the Pixies” hit #1 on Barnes and Nobles ‘New Sci-Fi’ after only 6 days…I can only attribute this to the way I wrote it.  Every step of the way I included my Facebook fans, shared pre-release excerpts and included them in the writing process…I don’t think ANY book has ever been written in this way.  So, when it was released I had a fan base waiting – for a new author and a first book.

You're book is a tie-in with another successful series. Would you like to tell us a little about Bishop's origins?
I invented “Bishop” as the daytime Facebook bodyguard to Sinjin Sinclair (Vampires tend to sleep during the day and sorta need someone to keep them safe) and the Facebook persona took on a life of its own.  This is not a ‘tie in’ so much as a ‘jump to the left….and then a step to the right’  No characters in B&P appear in any of H.P.’s books…this is an entirely new ‘world’.

Is there a specific age group you are targeting or is this a book for readers of all ages?
I kept this book (and all future books) age appropriate for age 12 – but targeted it to also appeal to adults…there is no sex, very mild profanity (‘Crap’ versus worse choices) and most of the violence is aimed at ‘bad guys’.  I have kids, and would not worry for one minute about them reading my books, and 90% of my readers are adults – who enjoy a funny story.

Who are you reading right now?
I have a vast collection of 1950’s “Juvenile Fiction” and am currently re-reading the “Tom Corbett – Space Cadet” series.  Gosh they’re swell!

Where would you live if you could choose anywhere in the world?
No hesitation – back to living on a sailboat.  You get to pick your neighbors and the view is always lovely.

Below you can find Nat Parkinson's links:


Barnes &  Nobel:

Join Bishop's Army:

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