Title: Warrior of the Way
Author: Nathan Chandler
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Civil war is a curse that touches everyone, including King Tashdar of the Mulamar. When he is ordered by a powerful and mysterious stranger to send warriors toward Kanai and Kadisha to slaughter everyone, Tashdar has no choice but to obey. As the Hebari emperor’s palace is invaded, only one man escapes—a captain of the guard to whom the emperor has entrusted the safety of his remaining two children. Moments later, the emperor’s legacy is erased from the face of the earth.
More than forty years later, Pasha Nuvahli of the Sashramans tribe, greatest of the king’s warriors, is devastated when his wife is murdered and his son is kidnapped. Overcome with despair as war and a dangerous sorcerer threaten the southern tribes, Pasha soon finds himself in a crisis of faith as he ponders why Daiyu has allowed such sorrow to befall him. But after he learns of an ancient prophecy and his hidden connection to the last emperor of the south, Pasha is sent by King Juktan to seek an alliance with the five other Hebari tribes and lead them against an ancient enemy from the north. Suddenly, his life takes on a new meaning.
In this compelling story, a worried king looks to his greatest warrior to unify the south with the hope the young soldier can save his people before all is lost forever.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
A lot of my story has spiritual and mystical elements that can be sourced to monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. My book’s title was inspired by a sermon my father gave in church about how the ancient Christians in the Roman Empire referred to themselves and were known as ‘Followers of the Way’. ‘The Way’ being their description for their faith. I decided to use the ‘Warrior of the Way’ title to describe the protagonist in my story, Pasha Nuvahli. Pasha’s main struggle is reconciling his spirituality with the intense sadness, loneliness and skepticism that he feels as a result of his struggles as a warrior and the tragedies he suffers in his family.
What is your writing environment like?
I do my best to keep my writing environment extremely quiet and comfortable. If I know I’ll be hungry I usually have an abundance of snack and drink around so I don’t have to get up and leave while in mid-thought. Usually I sit in a quiet room with my notebooks and I write book chapters and notes. Later on I come back to look over my notebook and then I type it up on my laptop. I started writing this book when I was 13. I started out writing in notebooks and then on the computer. I’d sometimes go to my brother’s room when he wasn’t there and write. My room distracted me quite easily my brother’s room was very peaceful and serene and it helped me to concentrate. I get distracted easily so I have to work really hard at getting the right environment.
What are some of the best tools available today for writers?
There are a lot of really good grammar software applications that could be quite useful in writing. I never had any because I didn’t really know about them until I got older. Plus I started my book in the early 2000s when that stuff was just coming out. The best tool in my opinion is just seeing how successful writers write and learning from them. Conn Iggulden is one of my favorite authors and he’s given me some advice on writing that I believe will help me on my next book.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by this human need to examine oneself and find whatever truth that I can. The spiritual introspection of Pasha is in large part a reflection of myself and my desire to know the spiritual and the divine. I am also inspired and motivated by the desire of many like me to have greater diversity in speculative fiction especially the “Sword Play” kinds. My story presents a diverse range of characters in roles you usually wouldn’t see them in and it gives greater space for people of various ethnicity in the fantasy world. Authors like Charles Saunders who wrote Imaro also inspire me to write and tell my story. I love the written word and I love to share it with others.
Did you learn anything while writing this book?
Yes. During the writing of this book I learned from my brother who is also a writer and I learned from the writings of Conn Iggulden how to present narrative fiction. Conn Iggulden read some of my book and the advice he gave me will help me get better as I continue to write. I do know that my writing and the final draft of ‘Warrior of the Way’ is a lot better than what I was writing when I was 13. When I was 13 my writing was all over the place. I would detail too much and I had enormous story gaps and I would just write too much without saying much. I learned to be more clear and concise in my writing, something my brother helped me a lot with. The awesome thing is my brothers and my parents never discouraged me from writing at such a young age and the help my brother gave me just motivated me to get better. All in all I’ve learned how to be a better storyteller and how to keep in mind the needs of the readers when I write. Keeping the needs of the readers in mind was something I struggled with when I first started but now I believe I’ve made substantial improvements.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
My favorite quality about myself is also my least favorite. Its my favorite and least favorite because it has tremendous advantages and some significant disadvantages. I’m long-suffering. I will never give up something I like or believe in even if I might not be that good at it, even if I’ll probably fail at it. I’ll take tremendous amounts of time working on it even when I could be doing something more worthwhile. I estimate that from age 13-24 I spent hundreds of hours writing this story, hours that could have gone towards something else. This a quality that is my strength but I need to learn how to use it more wisely so I don’t overlook other things that are equally important.
Nathan Chandler received an associate’s degree in technical Spanish translation from Oklahoma State University–Oklahoma City and currently attends the University of Oklahoma, where he is majoring in international business with an emphasis in Chinese language. Nathan resides in Norman, Oklahoma, where he continues to write.