As we continue to rack our brains for something to do at home, this week I thought it would be nice to showcase the work of an Indie author and reshare a short interview from two and a half years ago!
Paul Nelson is the author of the Susquehanna series of books for both young adults and adults. The first book of this series is Burning Bridges Along The Susquehanna, which I highly recommend for a pacy and unusual read. Paul has also written Saving Worms After The Rain, and the Fisher’s Autism Trilogy. Paul is an advocate of autism and his main characters are autistic. It is Paul’s desire to open up the eyes of all of us to what it is to be autistic and to break through the preconceptions about autism and the way autistic people are treated. I can highly recommend these very original books, as they are warm, funny and very human. In addition, I love the period detail and the settings of these books, as they are steeped in local history and folklore.
Now, over to Paul:
Thanks for agreeing to be tortured in this way, Paul, I have a few basic questions for you, if you don’t mind. Hopefully these will help people to see the man behind the books!
Q1. What kind of books do you write?
I write fiction that includes those with disabilities, especially autism. Saving Worms After the Rain is an adult mystery with historical elements, and the Fisher’s Autism Trilogy are aimed at young adults and are mainly fantasy.
Q2. What were your earliest influences? What did you read as a child?
Reading was hard for me as a child. I think I have ADHD. When I got older, I read lots of short stories by Truman Capote in school. I also love John Steinbeck and Anne Rice. I read a lot about spirituality…Richard Rohr and Buddhism.
Q3. What are you working on at the moment? What can we look forward to in the future from you?
I’m working on a novel about a young woman with an autistic brother. (Spoiler alert, that’s the Susquehanna series, people, buy it now here) It’s historical and fantasy combined. They find a time portal and travel back in time. It’s about the Susquehanna River Valley, where I live.
Q4. What are your favourite authors? What are you reading now?
Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Richard Rohr, Anne Rice. I’m not reading too much right now. I’m trying to spend most of my time writing.
I know what you mean, I don’t read much when I’m writing either, it seems too much of a distraction, and I’m worried about bringing other authors’ voices and styles into my work. Plus I just don’t have the mental energy!
Now on to Q5. What do you do when you’re not reading?
My autistic son needs a lot of my time. I make sure I walk for at least 40 minutes a day. It’s good for the body and the spirit and mind. I do a lot of writing in my head when I walk. I also love movies. I wrote a screenplay of my first book. My son and I go to movies quite a bit. (Caron adds: let’s hope we can all get back to that soon.)
Q6. What is your writing process?
I like to write in my head first. When I sit down to start writing a rough draft, I imagine what I want to write as a movie scene. It’s like storyboarding in my head. After I write all the scenes, I go back and embellish, add descriptive passages and link the scenes together. I’m a very visual person.
That’s an interesting approach – I find it difficult to write until I’ve created a book cover – I need that visual stimulus to bring my story alive in my head, but I don’t do the full on storyboarding. Maybe I should try that.
Thank you so much for sharing your writing process with us. I’m really looking forward to your new book – and all your subsequent books out there in the big wide world.
About the Author:
Paul Nelson is a former music teacher who has written a trilogy of fantasy fiction books inspired by his 19-year-old son Michael, who was born with autism. Michael has a hard time communicating on his own, but Paul knows his son has a story to tell. Paul wants to show the world that people with autism are not ‘badly raised and in need of spanking’ nor are they ‘stupid and lazy’, but are creative, intelligent, compassionate people with something to say and who deserve the same respect everyone else should get. On top of that, his books are a breath of fresh air. The books are available as a set in one volume called FISHER’S AUTISM TRILOGY, or as individual volumes, entitled: Through Fisher’s Eyes, Dark Spectrum and A Problem With The Moon. In addition to this trilogy, there is also a novel for adults, Saving Worms After The Rain, which Paul describes as a mixture of mystery and the history of central Pennsylvania. You can follow Paul on his author page on Amazon.com or on Twitter.