JQM PRESENTS A BLOG POST INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR N. M. Rudolph
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
I’m N. M. Rudolph. I’ve been writing since childhood. The earliest thing I remember creating was little letters to my parents. I liked making cards and little poems. My dad has always been a scholar, so I think I picked up my love of reading and writing from him. Since then, I’ve tried my hand at most writing outlets. One of my favorite seasons was when I regularly attended a poetry group that would meet monthly. I met one of my dearest friends at one of those meetings. Generally speaking, my story is pretty commonplace. I dream of having my books read by everyone, so I get by with freelance work and part-time jobs. My main money-maker is my own tutoring business. Funny enough, I was certified as a high school math teacher. After quitting a job that stank, I created my one-man business. That let me tutor writing as well—among so many other subjects. I love learning and am always trying to find the energy and time to learn more. In my own publishing process, I’ve learned a tremendous amount. I went with self publishing because I didn’t feel like waiting for an agent to accept my work. It seems that that path is less and less feasible. Publishing companies in general seem to take more and offer less. Marketing is always an odious beast, but I like being able to control more of the variables. Mostly, I want to make money so that I can allow myself to create more. Besides books upon books that I long to write, I have so many other creative projects waiting for the opportunity to be created. Some of the prominent categories are music and visual art. I’ve dabbled in both and want to offer myself the opportunity to do them well.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?
It’s the deepest passion in my heart, so it’s more a matter of needing to write than being inspired to write. I enjoy it of course, but it’s a quiet itch that never stops. Sometimes, it’s not so quiet. The urge is always there, then, and it’s only waiting for time to do it. In that context, ideas are constantly sparking in my brain. It could be something somebody said, an existential question I ask myself, some movie that did a crappy job of delivering its plot such that I wanted to do better, and on and on. Since there’s no lack of digital storage (at least for text), I have piled up hundreds of different story and book ideas that are just waiting.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS? WHY?
C. S. Lewis forever. I love the worlds he created as well as how much content he packed into so few words. For example, his most famous novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was only just over 38,000 words. For the rest of that series even, the maximum word count stops short of 65,000. I’m not saying that a shorter novel is necessarily better, but Lewis managed to do extraordinary things with so little space. I also adore Brandon Sanderson. He uses a far higher word count (383,389 in The Way of Kings for example), but he also packs in so much vivid content. He manages to make each of his characters believable and relatable. There are so many other great authors I’ve read, but none stands out so boldly as those two.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS? WHY?
I’ve thoroughly been enjoying Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series. I love how much attention he gives to each character. No one is expendable, and the characters on whom he focuses are all captivating. The one that stands out to me, however, is Kaladin Stormblessed. It was his hardships—and how he survived them—that reminds me I can survive troubles. I even occasionally say to myself, “If Kaladin can survive bridge four, I can survive this.” The series is definitely a worthwhile read.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE LITERARY CHARACTERS? WHY?
Kaladin of course. I enjoyed Ransom from C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy. Dalinar Kholin—also from Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive—is another favorite. (I promise that I’ve read other books. It’s just that I’ve been in these for a while because they’re so blasted long.) I admire Dalinar’s lasting ferocity that, in his older years, is tempered with regret and a desire for purpose. He’s not perfect, but he’s constantly struggling to pursue what’s right and honorable. It’s a beautiful image.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW AUTHORS AND/OR ASPIRING AUTHORS?
Keep at it. The sun will rise and set. Peace will ebb and flow. You may or may not get support. Inspiration is fickle. Despite all this, you will be more plagued in your spirit if you continue finding excuses not to write than if you had just written and been rejected. Also, let go of the need to be validated in your writing. If people like it, splendid. If you can get published, awesome. If you make some money off it, glorious. However, write for yourself first. Write just to relieve the mental pressure your brain keeps creating in the effort to destroy itself. Also, work harder. Poetic license is never an excuse to be sloppy or lazy. It’s horrible trying to find the balance between rigor and flow, but you can assume that either extreme is bad news. Just because you’re trying to find freedom, it doesn’t mean you should abandon grammar altogether. Also, be more vulnerable. Writing is not a safe thing. We shouldn’t write to protect our feelings. Among many reasons, we should write simply to practice being vulnerable with ourselves—and possibly with others. We humans like to hide from each other and ourselves. Writing, even fiction writing, is the practice of being seen, being exposed. Let your hurts spill into your stories. It’ll make them that much truer.
IMAGINE ONE OF YOUR BOOKS IS ABOUT TO BECOME A FILM OR TV SHOW. WHO IS YOUR “DREAM CAST?” AND WHO DO YOU ASK TO CREATE THE SOUNDTRACK?
That is a tough question! I have no idea who should make the soundtrack because I don’t really know composers. As for cast, I want Nathan Fillion in something, whatever it is. There are a few of my stories whose themes wouldn’t quite align, but Fillion’s persona, recurring though it is, is one of my favorites. Amy Adams has a beautiful voice and great acting skills, so she should have a role somewhere. The same goes for Gerard Butler. Emma Thompson has played some amazing characters, and her accent would be its own great addition. Speaking of singing, Hugh Jackman would have to be in the movie too.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH POTENTIAL READERS?
I’ve written so many things and even published a lot of them! If you look for a little while, I’m sure you’ll find something to your liking.
WHERE CAN WE GO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR LITERARY WORKS?