Nathan Goyer is a new Christian author who is bringing the word of God to life in new ways. Fictional world building and fantastical settings are his way of tackling real issues and thoughts, as is seen in his first book series Bask. The Bask trilogy is about an alien world that has become dependent on a mysterious form of energy, and those in power have abused the population’s need for the precious resource and use it as a means of control.
Raised by author Tricia Goyer, Nathan has spent his life creating stories and building his writing skills. He took creative writing classes through high school, and was even recruited to be an intern at the writing center in University of Arkansas Little Rock.
GWN recently had the opportunity to speak with Nathan. Let’s welcome him into the world of authors.
GWN: What inspired you to write a book about one man being used by God in a world where God is unknown?
NG: It’s a thought I’ve had a few times before I started writing Bask: What would the world be like without God? What I imagined in my head was a world that was depressed. A world that no one found true happiness in. A world without hope. Then I kept those thoughts and wondered what would happen if someone who was being used by God was brought into it. What would he be able to change? How would the people of that world react to him? When I came up with the idea for the story of Bask, I decided that these thoughts should be the focal point of the story.
GWN: How did you transport your protagonist, who is a Marine, to another world?
NG: Eric was assigned to a special military research base due to his high performance as a marine. One of the projects they were working on there was a device that could send the user to a specific place in both space and time. After a potentially world ending calamity appeared, Eric, along with all the other staff at the base, tried to use this device to instantly travel all the way to Australia so they could have a chance at survival. It may seem convenient, but I assure you that the two events are not coincidental.
GWN: Why was he chosen and not a Reverend or a teacher of religions? Is he a believer in God?
NG: The world of Bask is a dangerous one that goes through constant wars and battles. Because of this, I felt that the main character should be someone who is already acquainted with combat. Throughout most of the first book Eric is not an active believer. He was raised as one as a child, but the troubles of life caused him to drift away. His journey back into a relationship with God is not an easy one, he fights it every step of the way. He feels confused, betrayed, and it takes a long time for him to realize that he was never as far away as he thought he was.
GWN: What does he encounter on this new strange world? Is he seen as a threat to those he encounters? Does he preach religion or compassion?
NG: Eric encounters a mess of politics and covert operations. He sees leaders that don’t care about their citizens, and common people that resort to violence at every given chance. At the start of this story, Eric is known only to a few. But as time progresses he leads by example and shows those around him that there are other methods than using evil to fight evil. These actions bring him both allies and enemies as his reputation grows.
GWN: Are there several races of beings there? Are they civilized? What climates, transportation, way of life can be found there? Are they more advanced than Earth? What are their basic beliefs? Is it government controlled? Or governed by powerful males?
NG: The people of Bask are for the most part human. The only difference from Eric is that they all have blue hair and glowing blue eyes. They are different from the people here on Earth, more advanced in some ways while less so in others. This is due to their utilization of the Bask stones for almost all forms of technology. Their government is a series of layers. There are your noblemen and women of varying importance, the archdukes and archduchesses who govern large provinces of the kingdom, and then the immortal and unstoppable King who has been controlling the known world with cruelty as far back as history goes.
GWN: Who provides him shelter, food, and protection?
NG: Immediately after arriving in this alien world, Eric encounters a group of influential people who are planning a rebellion in the shadows. The other main character, a girl native to the alien world and part of this group, gets a sense that Eric can be trusted. The rest of her group soon sees the potential in Eric, as he is a man who isn’t bound to the rules of their world.
GWN: Are there those that want him dead?
NG: If they knew he was there already, absolutely! In the first book, Eric stays mostly unknown due to circumstance, and doesn’t even know that there are those who would hunt him down endlessly should they find out he is in their world.
GWN: Is he ever in contact with God?
NG: Of course! God is an active character in this story, he is constantly pulling the strings of various character’s hearts. And in a time of need, Eric gets to have a conversation with him directly!
GWN: When does he learn what his mission is?
NG: On Earth, Eric felt he was without a true purpose. Once he travels to the alien world and is fully exposed to the darkness there, he sees the needs of that world and how little the individual lives of its people are cared for. He takes it as his duty to stop the cruelty of the world’s leadership.
GWN: What did you find to be the most difficult scene to write?
NG: Aeia, the other main character of the story, has a rare ability to transfer her own consciousness into the minds of others. It’s a complex power and the representation of the sub-conscious was very difficult to write in a way that was both easy to understand, and still fun to read. I had at least a dozen different ideas on what it would be like before I decided on its current representation.
GWN: Is this your debut novel?
NG: It is! I had many partial books written before Bask, but none of them quite met my expectations. Even Bask itself had many rewrites before I was satisfied with the final draft. But I am happy to say that this is the novel I can call my first!
GWN: Who inspired you to become an author?
NG: I’ve been telling stories for a long time. Even as a child playing with my friends I would come up with elaborate stories to why our toys were doing what they were doing. In fact, one time I was staying at a friend’s house for a week and had an “episode” planned for each day with our toys. My friend woke me up early on the third day because he wanted to find out what happens next! I also had the perfect upbringing for writing between my mother who is an author and my father who took time out of his day each night to read us Christian novels. I knew early on what I wanted to do, and now I’m happy to be doing it!
GWN: When was the book published? What do you feel are the benefits of self-publishing?
NG: Bask was published on July 29th, so very recently. I chose to self-publish on Amazon because frankly I was ready to start working on other projects! Choosing to find a publishing house would be an entire process that could take years for anything to happen with a first-time author like myself. I felt that I could move a lot quicker if I wasn’t forced to wait such a long time to be published.
GWN: What do you have planned for promotion?
NG: There is another Q&A in the works with Christen Krumm, as well as a Kindle Countdown Sale from September 20th at 8:00 AM to September 22nd at 8:00 PM where “Bask: City of Shadows” will be available at half price!
GWN: Are you already working on your next book?
NG: Yes! I am hard at work on the second Bask novel, as well as another book I will provide more details on when it gets closer to completion!