by Nate Streeper
Describe your body of work. What kind of stories do you enjoy writing?
Two-thirds of my work is young adult. The other third is science fiction. I enjoy writing in both genres. I enjoy writing what I like reading.
Describe your method of writing. Do you have a routine? Best practices?
I like to write in the morning in coffee shops without all the distractions that come from working at home. I typically review and edit what I wrote the day before prior to continuing with new material. I use a laptop and Microsoft Word. Sometimes I use an outline. Sometimes—especially with regards to short stories—I just start writing.
Of all the novels and short stories you've written, which one is your favorite, and why?
I’m more of a top ten type of guy, but if I had to choose my favorite novel, it would probably be my first, Death at Carp High. I’d never taken a class in writing, had never attended a writer’s conference, and had never discussed the process of writing with another person. All I knew was that I liked what I was doing. I liked telling the story, and since I’d had no formal training, I didn’t worry about mistakes, technical issues, or form. Or anything else that writers stress over. I just wrote. I was having so much fun, I wrote six sequels, and have been writing ever since.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy reading well-written, upbeat fiction, with great characters. Call me a philistine, but I prefer stories with winning protagonists. Every day, I’m bombarded with bad news and tragedy. I don’t need the additional heartbreak, misfortune, and catastrophe while reading before bed. My favorite genres include mystery, thrillers, and science fiction, though again, I’m attracted to anything with well-developed characters. One of my favorite authors is Robert B. Parker. I love his succinct, yet insouciant style.
What do you think is the most important factor in crafting a compelling story?
I think the most compelling factor in crafting a story is crafting a compelling character. I will follow a good, well-written character through a mediocre plot, but not the other way around.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received from another writer?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever received from another writer? I could list dozens of valuable pieces of advice I’ve received over the last decade. As for the best…no idea. I love to eat, and I love to cook but favorite dishes change from hour to hour and from day to day.
If you went by a pseudonym, what would it be? Would it be Jared Brass? It would be Jared Brass, wouldn't it? Cuz like, instead of Jeremy Gold... Oh, never mind.
I’ve never considered using a pseudonym. If I had to come up with something, though, I’d do what I often do in choosing names for characters. I’d start writing down names until I finally came up with something that felt right. This list would include scores to hundreds of names. Many would come off the top of my head. Others would be culled from the phone book or from the name of cities in distant countries. Once, I chose names picked from the rosters of women’s professional basketball teams. Another time, I Googled “list of most common Russian surnames.”
Nate’s science fiction novel, Murder on the Orion Express, recently garnered a positive review in Publisher’s Weekly. Streeper has received two Honorable Mentions at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. His essays can be found at natestreeper.com, and his short stories can be found in the Santa Barbara Literary Journal.
Jeremy Gold has lived in the Santa Barbara area for many years. He loves writing, as well as biking and hiking with his wife, Calla. He has published one novel, Death at Carp High.