Thursday, April 12, 2018

THE KEEPER'S CROWN - Nathan D Maki - One Free Book

Bio: A life-long love for historical fiction and a passion to create high-intensity, realistic novels from a Christian worldview has propelled Nathan into his writing career. He is the author of the War Within series of novels set in Ancient Rome, and most recently The Keeper's Crown, a novel of the Apostle Paul.

A recent trip to
Rome to walk the ancient streets, explore the Catacombs, and stand in the Coliseum plunged Nathan even deeper into the ancient world he brings to life for his readers.
Nathan's novels combine the faith and romance of Francine Rivers's Mark of the Lion trilogy with the action and adventure of Bernard Cornwell or Conn Iggulden.

Nathan lives in Ontario, Canada, with his wife, son, and three very spoiled dogs. He pastors a church and manages his own business in addition to his writing. Sometimes he even sleeps.

Nathan Fun Facts
Like most true Canadians Nathan has a fake tooth thanks to hockey (and his high-sticking brother!)

Nathan, Rachel, and their son Alexander have two pugs, Pandy and Portia, whose idea of a good life is waking up, eating, napping, eating, napping, potty, and bed. A recent addition is Oliver, the Boston Terror…er…Terrier.

Nathan spent 13 years in a program called Bible Quizzing and memorized over 6000 scriptures. His team took 2nd place in North America one year.

Nathan graduated from Carleton University with highest honors in Journalism and History only to become a landscaper, author, and pastor. Go figure! :)

Nathan has ridden horses in Texas and Arizona, studied fencing and saber dueling, and considers skiing, skating, and tobogganing a great way to spend his free time in the winter. (When he’s not reading or writing historical fiction.)

Welcome, Nathan. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think every character a writer brings to life contains a piece of their creator, but it certainly varies from character to character. Quintus, the male protagonist in The Keeper’s Crown, suffers a shoulder injury like I did, so I could bring that to life more effectively. Not only how it felt physically but also mentally. Quintus is also a catalyst for my own internal question, “What is true success?” He seeks success by the world’s standards until Paul shows him that God’s ways are so much higher.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Growing up, I always went to a church camp in the summer. It had a strict curfew. Well, my last year of camp a couple friends and I snuck fireworks onto the campgrounds and set them off outside the girls’ dorms at 2 in the morning. We got caught and in trouble, but we went out with a bang!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always loved books. Even before I learned to read at 5 my parents or grandma would finish reading me a book and I would push it back into their hands and say “Wead! Wead!” I guess my love for writing grew out of that.  Books are my favorite things. Park me in a library for the rest of my life and I’d be happy. So the idea of creating something as amazing and immortal as a book became my dream over my teen years and became a reality in my 20s and now into my 30s.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m mainly a historical fiction nut, given that that’s the genre I write. Of course, that’s a kind of chicken and egg sort of thing. I mostly prefer the ancient or medieval world, but I’ll delve into books about the World Wars, etc if it’s well-written. Besides historical fiction, I also enjoy fantasy like Lord of the Rings, historical mysteries like the Bro. Cadfael series, some dystopian novels, and modern-day political/military thrillers.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Who says I do?

Seriously though, between pastoring, running my own business, homeschooling my son, and writing books I’ve got a lot of hats in the air. Fortunately, here in Canada there’s several feet of snow on the ground during the winter so I get a break from my landscaping business and take that 3-4 months of the year to write.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I always want to pick names that are appropriate to the time and place, so I’ll pull up lists on Google of ancient Roman or Jewish names and then either pick one that sounds good or pick one that has a meaning I like. In the case of Jael, the heroine of The Keeper’s Crown, I picked her name because she’s one of my wife’s favorite Bible characters, and I envisioned my Jael having the same fiery spirit.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My greatest accomplishment in life is wooing and winning my wife Rachel and creating my son Alexander. Xander’s eight, and speeds through life at 100 miles an hour. Young Quintus is largely based on him.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d like to say an eagle, soaring above the world, or a lone wolf loping through the timber, but in actual fact I’d probably be a beaver. Very Canadian of me, I know. But I love to build something lasting, and I’m a fairly unassuming kind of guy. 

What is your favorite food?
My wife asks me this all the time and is exasperated when I tell her, “Anything you cook, Love.” Seriously though, I’m pretty easy-going about food. I do love a good steak with onions, mushrooms, and green peppers on the grill.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest problem with writing is the fact that after the writing and rewriting and publishing process is done the hard work of promoting your book begins. I’m not naturally the kind of person to put myself forward and promote myself or my own work, so while the writing is a joy the promotion is a job.

Tell us about the featured book.
My latest novel, The Keeper’s Crown, is based on the later life of the Apostle Paul, from his arrest in Jerusalem through his martyrdom in Rome. We follow his life through the eyes of a young Roman named Quintus who is exiled to Judaea by Emperor Nero, fights to win a victor’s crown, and instead ends up chained to Paul of Tarsus. Along the way, a young Jewess named Jael saves Quintus from her brother, a rebel captain, and though they are from completely different worlds that meet only to bleed they are drawn into a tumultuous love story that culminates the night of the Great Fire of Rome.

Please give us an excerpt of the book.
The prisoner looked over his bare shoulder at Quintus. “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and uncondemned?” His voice was steady and calm, as if he were asking a newcomer to a bathhouse about the weather outside.

A Roman! Quintus froze. If this man’s claim was true, by law they should not even have fettered him. They certainly could not scourge him.

“Hold,” he told the inquisitor. “Don’t touch him until I return.”

Quintus sprinted the stairs three at a time. He found Lysias nursing a cup of wine and staring blank-faced at the milling crowd in the Temple courts below. Lysias turned and cocked an eyebrow. “Has he broken already? I had him made of sterner stuff.”

“Watch what you’re doing with this one,” Quintus said. “This man is a Roman.”

The tribune set down his cup so abruptly its contents sloshed over his hand. He didn’t seem to notice. “Take me there.”

When they reached the dungeon, the prisoner was still bound as Quintus had left him. His arched back and lean, outstretched arms reminded Quintus of a juniper clinging to a wind-lashed crag. If he felt discomfort from the strained position he gave no sign of it.

Lysias paced around to face him. The man’s eyes were closed, and his lips moved without a sound. “Tell me,” the tribune demanded, “are you a Roman?”

The bound man looked up and met the tribune’s eyes with a frank gaze. “I am.”

“Hmm.” Lysias ran a knuckle back and forth across his lips as he slowly shook his head. “With a great price I obtained this citizenship.”

“But I was born free.” The prisoner’s eyes gleamed an inner light. “My name is Paul.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Nathan, for sharing this book with me and my blog readers.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a great book...I am intrigued! Thank you for a wonderful interview and opportunity. Melanie Backus, TX

Elly said...

I can't wait to get my hands on this novel!
Elly -Indiana-

MJSH said...

Sounds like a fascinating novel.
Mindy from NJ

Vivian Furbay said...

I've read some good Biblical historical fiction and this sounds like a real good one. Vivian Furbay of CO

Linda O'Donnell said...

I enjoyed your interview to get to know the author on a more personal level. Will the book given away be autographed? I hope so. *Linda O'Donnell

Connie said...

Historical fiction is a genre that I really enjoy and I look forward to reading this book. Thanks for sharing.
Connie from Kentucky

Nathan D. Maki said...

Thanks everyone for your interest! Yes, the book I'm giving away will be autographed. :)

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Pauline L Perez said...

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Caryl Kane said...

Sounds great!

Caryl in TEXAS

article writers uk said...

What a superb interview! Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres of literature.