An Interview with James Lee Nathan III: Author of Ibrahim Unites

James Lee Nathan IIIJames Lee Nathan III (JLN3), is the self-published author of two novels and nine novellas, spanning many speculative fiction sub-genres. JLN3 is best known for his scifi erotic crime drama series Robert Manis and No Brakes, both of which are bestsellers on the leanpub author platform. His latest works, CRIME-PHYTER, and Ibrahim Unites introduce readers to his Next Level Fiction experience.

Tell us something about your book. The basics: what’s it about?

Ibrahim Unites is the final book in the ‘Are there no more Dragon Warriors?’ series, however it is a standalone offering. One does not need to have read the other books, to have a grasp of the story. It speaks to three specific things that our three main characters are dealing with. Intuition, following your gut no matter where it leads you; Hate, and how it infects all around it; Hope, the battle to inspire and motivate without being pretentious.

What drove you to write this particular book?

I wrote this speculative fiction work to speak to balance in the universe, and how balance plays a major part in our lives. First, I had to get my own life in balance and then the story unfolded in front of me. It speaks of the nature of things, and that there are no absolutes in the universe. There is a balance in all things, good and evil co-exist, but when one becomes more dominant of the other, balance must be restored. Ibrahim Unites speaks to this truth.

Ibrahim UnitesWhat’s your writing regimen? Where do you do your writing?

My writing regimen is not as diligent as I would like it to be. For a good part of the year I may not write one syllable, and then all of a sudden I cannot stop writing. It’s a flow I get in, and once it starts I ride it like a wave. Most of this wave riding is accomplished in my writing nook, which is a small area in the basement. I am surrounded on all sides by love there, and away from distractions.

Who are your greatest writing influences?

The greatest writing influences in my life have been the following authors: JRR Tolkien, Michael Crichton, LA Banks, Ian Fleming, Elmore Leonard, and Philip Margolin. Each gave me unique insights on storytelling from various walks of life, and it comes through in all of my work.

Is the book in any one particular genre? Is it a genre that’s familiar to you?

Ibrahim Unites is a speculative fiction scifi/urban fantasy offering, with many spiritual and moral twists. It came to me as a thought: ‘What happens to our religion and culture after our first contact?’ The Allundae have lived among man for over 40,000 years yet in the year 2140 they are revealed to all of mankind. Now what?

How did you come to self-publish? Did you try to get published traditionally?

Self-publishing was not my first intention. Initially, all I wanted to do was to write my first book, and as I researched publishing options, I stumbled upon a site (leanpub.com). I favorited the site and continued my research into publishing options for indie authors. A week passed and after being inundated with all kinds of offers to publish and print my books (anywhere from $350-7,000 and up) I went back to leanpub and have never thought about it twice. Self-publishing gives me the independence I desire, it allows me to get my work out to fans and new readers quicker, and I get more royalties. Eventually, I would like to try out a small press or two but for now, self-publishing is where I will stay.

Any words of advice for those looking to self-publish?

Three things to remember: Do not pay anyone to PUBLISH your work; do not pay anyone to READ YOUR WORK, and always say thank you as much as you can.

What’s next on the horizon for you as an author?

Next big thing for me over the next 18 months are two nonfiction pieces, a reprise of my bestselling erotic crime drama Robert Manis,and my last novella for awhile “Me, Jesus, and the Bodega Murders.”