Interview with Nathanielle Sean Crawford

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
The first half of my childhood was spent in North Adams, Massachusetts and the last half was spent in Bennington, Vermont. If I had to narrow down the main influence both places may have had on my writing, it would be the places I got to explore. My elementary school was surrounded by the Mohawk Forest and every morning, I would take the short cut through the woods (which my parents explicitly told me not to do) and that just fueled my already active imagination. When I moved to Bennington to live with my mother, I had the campuses of Southern Vermont College and Bennington College, with their rich and unique histories and folk lore to keep me from ever getting bored.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wanted to write a story in the murder mystery genre that involves a civilian who doesn't actively want to get involved in the investigation, but winds up getting pulled into it regardless. He's not an amateur detective and he doesn't even play one on TV, but circumstances (he gets paid) and conscience (the victim's wife was one of the real fans of his short-lived film career) play major roles in his involvement.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Creative control, first and foremost. I want to tell the story I want to tell and traditional publishing has always been a main barrier to that since the first people who read your manuscript are the ones who are told to reject it if it doesn't immediately grab them. A story is going to grab different people in different ways and we have all heard the stories of successful writers who went through countless rejections from those very people.

Indie publishing gives both the writer and the reader the ability to decide what gets out there.
When did you first start writing?
The first grade. Our teacher had us write and illustrate our own stories. My concept of story structure was as underdeveloped as you might expect of a seven or eight year-old, but what's interesting is that I recently spoke to my first grade teacher, who told me that what she remembered most about my stories was how rich in detail they were.

This was definitely the time when I realized I like expressing myself in various artistic mediums, including writing.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
An empty stomach and a full bladder.
What do your readers mean to you?
My readers are the ones who have the final say. You know the names of Poe, Cooper, King and Rice. Do you know any of their readers? It's sad because if it weren't for the readers we would not know about those writers today and if I only have one reader in my entire lifespan, for as long as I write, I will count myself a success.
What is your writing process?
I spend some time mentally writing each scene in my head. Then I get my laptop and bring it downstairs, because if I work on it in my room, I know I'll wind up getting distracted by a certain sandbox game that rhymes with PineGraft and I immediately put that scene down.

If I forget to write the scene down then it vanishes forever and I mentally kick myself for forgetting.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The idea that I'm getting to read the book as I'm writing it. I have to believe that every author, especially the ones who write fiction, are having as much fun writing the book as we hope that our readers will have when they get to read it. There's nothing more exciting than writing a story that you're excited to finish.
What are you working on next?
The Sweetest Death. It's the next book in the Nicodemus Dean series.
What do you read for pleasure?
Like my main influence, Sherlock Holmes, I like to read the police section and the agony columns of any newspaper. Sometimes, the best way to get a feel for what's really happening in your area is to read the police section. And whether it's Dear Abby, Dear Tabby, or Dear Cathy, people write in with some of the most interesting and thought provoking problems and it's equally thought provoking to see how the current author of those columns responds to each question.
Where did you come up with the name of Nicodemus?
I wanted to have a name that stood out and caught the attention readers. I knew I wanted it to be an "N" name, so I tested a few ideas in my head. Nickolai was one of them.

Then I remembered the leader of the rats in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H. by Robert C. O'Brien, who was named Nicodemus. And I thought about how many people name their own children after characters in their favorite books, or books that inspired them. How many Katnisses and Lestats go to schools near you, for example?

I thought of Nicodemus' mother reading that book and saying, "Hey, I like that name for my son."
Published 2015-12-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Sweetest Death
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 41,970. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
Nicodemus witnesses the death of a young man, which soon turns out to be more complicated than it seems.
Survive By The Sword
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 20,790. Language: American English. Published: August 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
When Nicodemus Dean, a stage combat trainer, finds out that the wife of a murder victim was a fan from his short-lived career as an actor, the police hire him to get close to the victim, and find out what she knows. But Nicodemus may find himself getting more involved than he intended, when the reality of comforting a friend and catching a murderer is not as easy as the movies make it seem.