Welcome! Pull up a seat and enjoy a chat with Today’s Tease Natsuya Uesugi
Your Name or Pen Name you use: Natsuya Uesugi
Title of the book you are promoting: grydscaen:beginnings
Link to purchase your Book: http://www.grydscaen.com
Genre: science fiction
Welcome NU…I, LH have some questions for you 😉
LH: I wanted to be a ballerina, race car driver and a private detective when I was little. What did you want to be when you grew up?
NU: A writer or a computer programmer
LH: I didn’t really have a literary influence, I just decided one day to start writing. Who influenced you in your writing career?
NU: William Gibson and Anne Rice
LH: I self published all of my books and was then “discovered” by a publisher. Are you an Indie or published author?
NU: I think you would have to call me an Indie author
LH: As an Indie Author, I was hesitant about being with a publishing company. If you are an Indie author, would you like to be published by a traditional publisher and if so, why or why not?
NU: I would like to be picked up by a traditional publisher. Right now I am self published and I like having complete control over my books including the cover art.
LH: This is easy for me…I’d invite Johnny Depp and I would not discuss movies! Who would you invite to dinner, living or dead, and what one topic would you NOT discuss with them?
NU: I think I would invite the Dalai Lama and not talk about Buddhism or China
LH: I personally think that there is way too much sex and violence everywhere in society these days and it’s everywhere but that Hollywood is one of the biggest contributors. Do you think that society as a whole is subjected to too much sex and violence and are you concerned about it? Ever feel conflicted and if so, why?
NU: I think there may be too much exposure to violence in movies and video games in particular. Am I concerned about it, maybe a little but I am not conflicted
LH: I’m a huge softy and by no means a beauty queen… lol but, I truly would want world peace in the blink of an eye if I could make it happen…If you could change one thing in the world, in the blink of an eye, what would it be?
NU: I would end discrimination. Everyone should be equal
LH: With the traditional bookstore becoming obsolete and everyone turning to buying books online, I don’t buy the hype that “the cover is everything”. How important do you think book covers are now that almost all shopping is done online?
NU: I think book covers are important; they are the first thing a reader sees sometimes of an author. I personally design and draw all my book covers because I want to highlight different characters from the work on the cover. I call myself a writer not an artist but I have had some glowing feedback to the cover of the latest book I released this year. I think it is important to have a say in the cover design
LH: I can remember wanting to write as a kid. I got a really late start! Have you always wanted to write and when did you start?
NU: I have always wanted to write and I started drawing comic book pages with the characters from grydscaen in middle school, that is when some of the characters for what eventually became the grydscaen series were originally started. The characters evolved over time and were refined more in college and were finalized in art school where I studied animation – I was able to really visualize them in character designs. So I think you would say I have been writing since the seventh grade.
LH: I love to see if I can see myself in a character. What interests you most about a story?
NU: I think the storytelling is important; an uninteresting story can cause you to lose interest even with strong characters. Being able to believe in the story and the world the author creates is just as important as character development
LH: For me, I just get hit with this whole movie in my head and start writing. How do you come up with your stories?
NU: I have 4 books published to date in the grydscaen saga and the books nearly wrote themselves. Some of the characters were finalized in art school so I had a solid grasp on the characters, what they looked like and their personalities when I actually sat down to write the novels. This was important so I could focus on the story telling and creating the world around them. I draw from my background in information technology so the technology in the books and the hackers come from my related experiences. For grydscaen, I created a world and then inserted the characters that I was intimately familiar with into that world and let the writing lead me
LH: I can’t tell you or I’d have to…lol Are you working on anything now?
NU: I am working on volume 3 of the grydscaen saga, and also finishing up on book 2 of a different trilogy about the occult and psychics
LH: I’m working on #6…5 have been published and the other is due out this year… How many books have you written? How many have been published?
NU: I have finished multiple books in the grydscaen series (but I don’t want to say how many there are just yet) with 4 currently published and another to be released next year which is already written. Plus I have written 2 other trilogies one is fantasy and the other is about psychics and the occult. I am also in the middle of a one-off vampire novel that is purely for fun
LH: I write for fun I don’t even dream of riches…Do you write for fun or money?
NU: I write to get a message out, so I guess you would say that is for fun.
LH: Some of my family members had a bit of a problem with me writing my first book “A Beautiful Liar” because the character Maggie West is basically me…to a point 😉 They had a problem with the genre and me “putting it all out there” so to speak so I took a pen name. They eventually came around as I have never cared who knows who I am what I’ve done or what they think of me. I’ve never wanted to be famous, just infamous! What has been your biggest problem when it comes to family or friends when writing?
NU: My family has an issue with some of the themes I write about in the grydscaen series. Though grydscaen is science fiction about technology and hackers, I touch on drug abuse, male prostitution, cyber terrorism, government oppression, and marginalized groups such as gay and transgender community and that culture. My friends don’t have an issue.
LH: I have never experienced writers block…I have experienced writers “don’t want to”… Have you ever experienced writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?
NU: I have not really experienced writer’s block but I have experienced something I would call “my characters don’t want to do that.” When that happens I take a step back and get into my character’s head and ask them, “what do you want to do instead?” That usually fixes the problem. Trying to write a character down a path they don’t want to go in can stop the story in its tracks I have found, so I try to listen to what my characters have to say, so that doesn’t happen.
LH: I get asked all the time “Do you have any advice for new writers?”… Do you?
NU: Stick with it. Never give up. Keep writing and never stop believing in your message
LH: I would not change one thing in my life as I would not be me if I did… If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
NU: I was accepted to an elite music college out of high school and my parents would not let me go so I graduated from an Ivy League school instead. I don’t think I would necessarily change that since it would change who I am, but I am making up for it now by going to art school. So I have no regrets.
LH: If I could go back in time and tell someone something, I’d go back and tell the founding fathers they were doing a few things wrong…If you could go back in time and tell someone something, who would you tell and what would you tell them?
NU: I would tell my best friend in high school who committed suicide junior year because he was being bullied for his sexuality not to resort to suicide. Then hopefully he would still be around today. Life is precious, suicide is never the answer. Didn’t mean to get depressing. I address this theme in one of the later books in the grydscaen series as a tribute to his memory.
LH: I would freak out if someone contacted me and said they wanted to make one of my books or my series of book into a movie as I am really very shy in person and I’d probably go into hiding. I don’t think I could handle it. How would you handle it? Who would be the first person you told?
NU: I think I would remain calm and probably be in shock for a while. I would tell my friends that I go to anime conventions with who like anime, since I have received some reviews that say my series is hard science fiction and “anime-esque.” And my cosplay friends have mentioned that they would like to dress up as some of the characters in my books. Yes, they are geeks and so that makes me a geek as well.
Thanks for that informative and interesting interview NU…Now…for the fun stuff!
Favorite Beverage? Unsweetened Iced green tea
Exercise or Bubble Bath? Exercise
Favorite Color? Black
Take out or Dine in? Take Out
Camping or Hotel? Hotel
Sports or Chocolate? Sports
Dogs or Cats? Cats
Favorite Food? Thai
Favorite Song? Blasphemous Rumors by Depeche Mode
Favorite Movie? Hackers
Favorite Car? Toyota Scion
Sex or Chocolate? (The answer “Both” is totally acceptable 😉 Sex
And now for the essay part of the interview 😉
LH: If you could go anywhere for a week, with anyone you wanted and no one would ever find out about it…where would you go, what would you do and who would you take?
NU: I would take Tilda Swinton to Russia to stand in Red Square with a big rainbow pride flag to make a statement for equal rights and the end of discrimination. I think she may have done that already, but can always do it again
Thank you for spending this time with us. Make sure to pick up your copy of Natsuya Uesugi’s