An Interview with Author Nathan Timmel

Not as serious as Plato, but lighter than Socrates. Not as edgy as Clinton, but livelier than Nixon. Not as heavy as GWAR, but deeper than Culture Club. Nathan has been writing since he could hold a crayon. He has written 3 works of nonfiction; We Are 100 is his first work of fiction. He lives in Iowa (on purpose) with his wife, two kiddos, and their cat, named Turtle.

Q: Can you sum up We are 100 in 20 words or less?

We Are 100 tinkers with your moral compass; it makes you question who the good and bad guys are.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

I’m a stand-up comedian by trade, and I needed a way to get the thoughts out of my head that I couldn’t turn into jokes. Not that the book doesn’t contain humor, but at its core, it’s a thriller.

Q: What sort of research went into the writing of this book?

Google was a very good friend to me while writing. I Googled locations, FBI procedures, geography, train schedules, news events… I wanted to make sure the book read as realistically as possible, and did my best to achieve that goal.

Q: Do you have a favorite character in the book?

Oh boy, this is mildly embarrassing… Yes, I do. The main villain, Josh, is kind of based on me. So… Josh would be my favorite character. Most writers turn themselves into the hero—the person who saves the day and gets the girl, so to speak. Not me. I based the bad guy on me. Maybe I’m odd; you’d have to ask my wife.

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Q: What did you mind most challenging about writing this story?

Lol, well, writing the story was actually very easy. I didn’t feel pressured, didn’t have a deadline… I wrote when I was on the road performing comedy. If I had downtime in a hotel room, I’d sit and write. If I was home, parenting, I wouldn’t write. 

That said, the biggest challenge to me was dealing with Microsoft Word when trying to get the margins correct for publishing aspects. THAT was a pain in my tuckus. I’d fix something, Word would change it. I’d tweak something, Word wouldn’t accept it. That was by far more frustrating than the writing.  

Q: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers?

Thankfully, positive. Like anyone would be, I was nervous when I released it. I thought it was good, but what do I know? I’m too close and personal to the material. When Amazon reviewers started saying, “When’s the sequel coming out?” I was happy.

And then nervous again, because I hadn’t planned on writing a sequel. Oops.

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Q: What inspires you to write?

I’ve written since I could first hold a crayon, so while I don’t know exactly what inspires me, I know the burn to express myself has always been there. I have thoughts and ideas, and I try to get them out there in any way possible, including stand-up comedy, Tweeting, blogging, and long-form writing.  If I didn’t get all my silly thoughts out there, I’d probably be Violet in Willy Wonka, expanding to the point where I explode.

Q: Is there a message or common theme in We are 100 you want readers to grasp?

Just that we never know anyone’s backstory. We live in an age of headlines and clicks; where we see a tweet and think we know everything. Life contains nuance, and subtlety.  We would all be wise to step back and research any situation before passing judgment. All too often we glance at incidents and believe that’s enough. I’m not sure it is. I like digging deeper into stories, past the headlines. I want to understand people, and motivations.

Q: What is on your current reading list?

I’m looking forward to Michael Lewis’ latest release, The Premonition.  

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Q: What is your next writing project?

I have a nonfiction idea bouncing around my noggin, but since I’m a stand-up comedian first and foremost, my next actual project is recording my seventh comedy album.

Q: Where can readers connect with you (website, social media, etc)?

Absolutely! nathantimmel.com contains all things me. On Twitter, I’m @nathantimmel, and I spend more time in Facebook Jail than on Facebook, so I don’t really plug Zuckerberg’s moneymaker. Sorry, Zuck! 

Q: Any closing remarks?

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