Hi everyone! I was recently lucky enough to interview Nathan Timmel, who kindly sent me a copy of We Are 100 in exchange for an honest review. I’d like to say a massive thank you to him for his kindness and time. He has also kindly agreed to giveaway 5 digital ePubs of his book – details on how to enter this generous giveaway can be found below!
Before I get into the interview, I’d like to provide the synopsis as some useful background information of the book:
After losing his wife, Evan Francart is depressed. He has an axe to grind with the pharmaceutical company that jacked up the price of her medications, but feels powerless against a billion-dollar corporation.
Then he meets Cassandra.
She shows Evan a way to both end his life and become a hero. With her guidance, Evan interrupts a company board meeting and blows the building sky-high. As FBI agents Susan Chamberlain and Michael Godwin discover, Evan is the first of many.
Ninety-nine more like him wait anonymously in the wings, their targets just as personal as Evan’s: the prosecutor who lets rapists walk free, the inept surgeon who maims patients yet keeps operating, the phony evangelist preying on those seeking solace… and that’s just the beginning. Will the FBI unearth Cassandra’s identity before all 100 have carried out their plans?
When did you realise you wanted to become an author?
I’m not sure I ever had the thought, “You know, I’d like to write books.” I’ve always scribbled down little stories ever since I could hold a crayon. Back in college, I’d write these long winded letters about what I’d done that month, and then send them off to my friends and family. It was like a more regular version of a “Year end” summation, or “Christmas Letter.” That turned into blogging, which morphed into writing non-fiction books, and finally my first work of fiction, the tome you so kindly read.
What inspired the idea of We Are 100?
Frustration, mostly. The idea we all watch the news every day and nothing seems to change. Those with money and power seem to take advantage of we peons, and they’re rarely held accountable. Every so often a Martin Shkreli or Bernie Madoff goes to jail, sure, but what about every executive involved with the financial crisis of 2008? As I type, the Sackler family seems to be buying their way out of repercussions for the opioid crisis… I guess you could say the whole book is a sick fantasy of mine. A “French Revolution” aimed at corporations (for the most part) instead of royalty.
Would you and the group (Michael, Susan, Sumner and Kristen) get along if you got the chance to meet them?
Michael, definitely. I basically stole (OK, I got permission first) my best friend’s life story and created Michael. So I know I’d like him. And Kristen is a composite of two other friends, so she’s also in the “cool to hang with” zone… I think I’d get along with the others, too, because the main antagonist—the bad guy, Josh—is based on me. At one point in the book, he wistfully imagines what it would be like to hang out with the FBI agents chasing him.
What advice would you give a writer working on their first book?
Basically, just write. To me, the most difficult part is getting everything onto the page. Once it’s there? Then you can edit, re-edit, and edit some more. You can rewrite sentences, paragraphs, or pages. The thing is: it has to be out there in order to edit, so my advice would be to get everything out of your system first, and then go in and fine tune it.
Are there any significant ways We Are 100 changed from the first draft? If yes, how so?
Thematically, no. Structurally, very much so. In conjunction with my previous answer, I like to tinker. I like toying with words, moving them around in order to (hopefully) achieve maximum impact. I think the first draft was barfed up. The final draft is what emerged after a scalpel was taken to the word salad I had in front of me.
What was your favourite scene to write in We Are 100?
The final chapter. I had it in my head when I started writing, and it was immensely gratifying to get all the way there and have it work. I thought about writing backwards—writing the ending and making the rest of the book match where I wanted it to go—but when I started typing away on the keypad, it didn’t feel right. It sort of, and I’m probably making this up in my own head, felt like cheating. If that makes any sense. So, I sat down and started writing, and when I got to the end, what I’d had in my mind the whole time actually worked, and that made me quite happy.
Do you have any plans for future books? If so, could you tell us a bit about them?
To the first question: sort of. I have an idea for a non-fiction book, because those are “easier” than works of fiction. You don’t have to invent characters or dialogue for non-fiction. To the second question: oh boy… this is probably going to make me come off like a secretive turd, but I’m not sure I want the idea out there. Not that I’m overly worried someone will steal it (although, protecting originality is important), but because I don’t like the pretentious, “I’m working on a book…” attitude. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my wife, I was writing We Are 100. I just sort of did it, and then said, “Um… so, I wrote a book…” Maybe I need a healthier ego.
What was the hardest scene to write in We Are 100?
Getting the “good guys” and the “bad guy” together was tricky. I didn’t want it to be either dragged out, and I didn’t want it to be too easy. I struggled with trying to have everyone end up in the same place feel organic and acceptable. Having a reader say, “OH COME ON!” in frustration is what I was actively aiming against. Hopefully—*fingers crossed*—I succeeded.
What key message do you want readers to take away from We Are 100?
Lol, well… I don’t think I put any thought into that. I’m not intelligent enough to put messages or life lessons into my books. If anything, I just wanted readers to have a good time. To forget their troubles, and to use the book as sort of a vacation from life.
Finally, in a sentence, how would you describe We Are 100?
If bad guys do bad things to worse people… are they really the bad guys?
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
Would you like to be in for a chance to win one of five ePubs of We Are 100?
Terms and Conditions
- Subscribe to my blog and comment ‘done’ on this post to be entered into the giveaway.
- Please only enter this giveaway if you are over the age of sixteen and consent to your email being used to send over the ePub.
- The winners will be chosen at random, with five winners.
- This giveaway will close on 16th September 2021, with the winners being contacted shortly afterwards.
- Please do not redistribute Nathan’s work if you are lucky enough to win.
I hope you enjoyed reading this interview and it inspired you to pick up We Are 100!