Nathan Zeiter resides in the frozen, post-apocalyptic tundra of Minnesota and spends his spare time crafting tales of supernatural weirdness, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Headless is his premiere novel.
How did you decide to become an author?
I’ve always been into storytelling. When I was younger, I used to run all over the house, acting out different scenarios with my favorite characters at the time. Live-action fan-fiction if you will. Yeah . . . I was a weird kid. And I’m probably even stranger now!
Over the years, I’ve explored various outlets to get my stories out there: audio narration, YouTube videos, satirical blog posts . . . None of it really resonated with me, and I never stuck with any of it as a result. Then I tried writing a short story. I loved it. Creating my own characters and weaving a narrative for them to follow gave me a rush like no other.
How does your background help with your writing?
I discovered my love for writing back when I was in high school, but I also found out I was pretty terrible at it. Looking at my old short stories causes me to implode into nothingness from the cringe-factor, but you know what? That’s okay. Without the initial rush from those pieces, I never would have pursued creative writing while at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The classes and workshops I took helped me better understand narrative structure, how to develop characters—the works—and the people I met and traded writing with were nothing but supportive.
Can you tell us more about why you wrote your latest book?
I love weird and ridiculous concepts, horror, and humor. What better way to show my love than to mash them all together into a novel? The concept is bonkers, but at its core, Headless, is a story about friendship. My goal with the book was to write a relatable story despite all of the ridiculous and horrible things that occur. In one way or another, I think we’ve all experienced turbulence in even the tightest of friendships—and that’s really what this story is about.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Read. Read. Read. Keep reading the work of others and share your thoughts with them (if they’re reachable). You want people to read your work, right? Then you should be reading theirs. Pick up some bestsellers, too. Study books like your own, but don’t be afraid to venture out of your genre comfort zone—you never know what you’ll find. Consume as much as you can, but be sure to balance your time so that you can . . .
Keep writing. You’re not going to be an expert right away, and that’s fine. I’m sure as hell not an expert. But you have time to develop your skills. You have time to hone your craft. You’re not alone. There are so many resources out there to assist you, and there are so many other authors that are willing to help. We’re all in this together, my friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out for some advice.
What are some upcoming publishing projects you are working on?
The sequel to Headless, of course. I don’t want to reveal the title of Book Two yet, but it’s on track to release in the coming the months. It’ll continue the story through familiar perspectives, but we’ll also get to see the world(s) through some new points of view . . . Aside from this series, I’m currently in the planning phase for a standalone book:
Death! Shadows of Hell (title pending): The Grim Reaper has been framed! When a high-ranking arch-demon suffers a horrible fate, the council of Hell has nothing to go off of except for the murder weapon found at the scene . . . the grim reaper’s scythe. Sentenced to inhabit a human body and spend an indefinite amount of time on Earth, the Grim Reaper must work with the other demons stationed among the humans to unravel the truth and discover a conspiracy even more Hellish than the fiery pits they call home.
Anything else you’d like to share about your books?
Honestly, I just want people to enjoy them. These books are truly projects of passion, and if people can get lost in the world for a bit and have a good time reading through them, then I’ve done my job.