10 Questions with Nathan Rogers
By day Nathan Rogers is a software developer. By night he is . . . tired, mostly. But he writes as much as he can because he enjoys it. Nathan writes science fiction and fantasy both for children and adults and his first publications are fun children’s fantasy adventures called A Song for Old Nel and The Island.
Tell us a bit about yourself! Where do you call home and what do you write?
I live near Wellington in New Zealand with my lovely wife, our two feisty girls, a deranged border collie, and a cat. The cat thinks that she is in charge. She is probably right.
I grew up reading a mountain of books and I have been creating my own worlds and stories for as long as I can remember. I write as much as I can because I enjoy it, and I write what I like to read, which is fantasy and science fiction.
What drew you to that particular genre?
I enjoy both fantasy and science fiction because they take you out of this world and into another. They let you look beyond where you are and imagine other possibilities, realities, and points of view.
My own reading taste tends towards gritty and dark, so that is what I have always written until the last few years. However, now that my kids have also become big fans of fantasy and science fiction, I am writing things for their age groups as well, which is a lot of fun.
What’s your best known work?
My published novel is called The Island. It is a fun fantasy adventure for kids, but adults have given it good reviews as well, which is nice!
What inspired you to write it?
The main character of The Island is a magical imp named Sky. She is fun, cheeky, and impulsive—and based on my youngest daughter (a fact she is quite proud of). It is a story about a little girl coming into her own on a dangerous journey through a big world (with goblins, trolls, and dragons).
What are you currently working on?
I am planning to write a sequel to The Island, but I am currently co-writing a dark steampunk fantasy with a friend of mine, tentatively titled The Bone Road.
Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter, panster or somewhere in between?
I used to be an obsessive plotter and world-builder, but this is a great way to get mired in planning and never get to writing! These days, I try for a more balanced approach. I still create an outline, but only as a list of bullet points and ideas. However, I need to know how a story is going to end before I can really start writing.
What’s the strangest or most interesting thing you’ve researched for your writing?
That's hard to say... perhaps something like the ancient theory of Aether or the physics of dragon flight.
Who are your literary influences? In what way?
I started reading fantasy with the usual things like the Narnia Chronicles by C. S. Lewis, but the first book that really blew me away was The Hobbit. I think I was about 10 or 11 years old when I decided that I wanted to write something like that myself.
I've also read a lot of middle-grade and young adult fantasy and science fiction with my kids over the years, which was like revisiting my childhood and really helped me when writing The Island.
What books are on your bedside table right now?
I have just finished reading J R R Tolkien's Unfinished Tales. I love his stories and the depth of his world-building, so I am slowly working my way through the books that have been published since his death.Many of them are far darker than The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which is interesting.
I am currently reading Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy by Serhii Plokhy. I bought the Chernobyl book after attending a fascinating session about the disaster by Serhii Plokhy at the Festival of the Arts in Wellington earlier this year.
Last and most important, where can we find your books/stories?
The Island is available as a paperback from Amazon and as an e-book from most online services.
Follow Nathan on these platforms!
Liked this interview? Sign up to Nikky's mailing list to get a free story along with monthly updates, articles and interviews delivered straight to your inbox!