Interview with Nate Levesque

Published 2017-07-12.
So you're a software engineer. How does that relate to writing? Isn't writing software inherently non-creative?
Code and prose are both writing, they're just structured differently. The biggest difference is that code usually has a much more strict structure to it while human language has more flexible rules. Good code describes the solution to a problem and a design as much as it is a set of instructions for the computer.

Software engineering is stereotypically non creative, which is sort of a sad stereotype because it isn't really true. There is no universal solution to a software problem. Designing and coding the best solution takes experience and creativity because textbook code is not always the best fit for a situation. However, textbook examples and designs provide a solid place to start because there's a lot of wisdom behind the smaller pieces of a design. Finding a way to do what you need to do in code can take some imagination to make it fit in to the other parts of a program and to make it work well.

Being able to write reasonably well in prose as well as code is important in software engineering because at some point engineers need to be able to express their ideas and how they built things to other people. For me, I find that writing engineering documentation isn't quite enough so outside of my day job I write things for a wider audience.
Do you prefer reading fiction or nonfiction? Which do you prefer writing?
I read a lot of fiction because I enjoy immersing myself in other worlds and other people's minds. Fiction is my go-to if I'm looking for a book to pick up. That said, I do read nonfiction on occasion because staying informed — both about things related to my career as well as the wider world — is important.

As for writing, I've been focusing on nonfiction. I have written smaller fiction pieces that I haven't published and I would like to try my hand at a full length piece. However, I feel like there's a lot more desire in general to write fiction, which is fair enough, but there are some voids in books about real-world topics that need to be filled.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm a big supporter of open licensing and the free and open source community. I believe that, especially in the world of the Internet, everyone has the right to knowledge, the right to other worlds, and the right to share knowledge. Becoming an indie author seemed to fit the best with those values.

That's not to say that it's impossible to use open licensing or alternative distribution methods in traditional publishing, so it's not out of the question that I might traditionally publish at some point in the future. However, having a large publishing company involved seemed a little antithetical to the values of open knowledge and licensing.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing on and off for nearly as long as I can remember. The first piece I was truly serious about — which is still incomplete many years later, though at some point I would like to revisit it — was a work of fiction that I eventually shared with a few people while I was in middle school.

I always assumed I would write fiction, since that's the "cool" thing to do. But, after blogging about real-world topics for several years, I developed an interest in writing nonfiction. As a relatively new serious writer rather than a casual blogger, there's still a lot of room for me and my style to evolve.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an old-school, jailbroken Kindle Keyboard that has served me well over the years. Due to that, my book ownership is largely in the Amazon universe so there's a good chance I would pick up another Kindle if/when I upgrade.

The biggest thing for me is an e-ink screen. Traditional LCD screens are unpleasant for reading and take some of the pleasure out of it.
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Books by This Author

They're Coming For Your Internet
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,550. Language: American English. Published: November 19, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Computers & Internet » Internet
The Internet is an innovation unlike any other. It has revolutionized the way we communicate, work, and do business. When it comes to communication, it may be the most important invention in our history. On the web, all of us are creators and global citizens. What happens if we lose net neutrality? Is the Internet doomed? Are we fated to become second-class citizens online?
Please Upgrade for Access
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 34,290. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Computers & Internet » Internet, Nonfiction » Computers & Internet » Social aspects / general
"Please Upgrade for Access" outlines the ongoing fight for net neutrality by examining some of the ways many Internet providers - maybe even yours - are working to centralize access to the Internet and control what their customers can see. The digital rights of everyone in the U.S. are at stake.