Hello everyone! I apologize for it being so long, but school work and life have dragged me down to their depths and now, with Winter Break, I can resurface! ^_^ I hope you will all have a very happy holiday if I don’t get to tell you before that. I still have lots of stuff planned, so don’t give up on me yet.
I have a treat for you fine people today. I met Mr. Perkins a few years ago. We worked at the same elementary building, him as the guidance counselor. He was always so fun, running around to help all, energetic, and kind, but he had a wacky and witty side to him with adults I adored, always and truly a pal to all. Him and his wife are both grand educators. The district was sad to see him go, but he is doing amazing things at his new school. This book is refreshing and will make anyone giggle by the mouths of babe and still touch your heart, especially educators and those in the profession of guiding children. You will not be disappointed by these accounts in a flowing written form. So, as my holiday gift to me loyal readers, please give it up for my buddy and yours, Mr. Nathan Perkins, author of “The Chool Counselor.”
Author to Author Q and A:
- Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing?- I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri in a quiet area called Jefferson Barracks. It was a neighborhood that was developed in the late 40’s and into the 1950’s and by the time we arrived on the scene it was a quiet area that was surrounded by parks and a large national cemetery. As a homeschooled kid in a quiet neighborhood, friends and a social life was hard to come by, but in my early teens I was incorporated into a small circle of friends that liked to write. I wanted to fit in, so naturally I did what everyone else in the group did and wrote too. We wrote goofy stories about family pets getting kidnapped and brothers-turned-arch nemesis. Truthfully, some of the writing ended up being pretty good and we developed a good knack for dry wit and the well placed comma.
- Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not?- Really, a lot of my stuff was a brief satirical blurb or humorous anecdote. I have lots of practice with those. Writing stuff like that over and over helped to form any writing skill that I posses.
- What are you currently working on, writing wise?- Nothing! I am back to in school and parenting a kiddo with another on the way. Other than a paper on Educational Leadership Theory or two, I am not engaging in any creative writing exploits.
- What is your favorite character you have ever created and why?- More situations than character. I like to use the Seinfeldian style to craft every-day interactions into humorous diatribe. Being able to recognize those situations is the trick. Finding the humor in the in a glass of jelly being dropped on the floor or a mob kindergarteners chanting your name, is a good thing.
- Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later?- More the second. Write. Rinse. Repeat. Write it down and clean it up later.
- What was your path like until you found writing?- Hasn’t really changed. I am an educator and leader by vocation. I consider writing to be a part of that. More than a just a therapeutic outlet too (educators turned comedians are really in vogue now), I have more of a holistic view of it. Writing is a slice of the pizza that makes up my life’s calling.
- How is your relationship with your publishing company- Great. I self-publish. J
- Tell us about your covers.- Any book cover that I commission needs to have a humorous or tongue-in-cheek connection to the story. My novella, The Chool Counselor, is a picture of my feet during bus duty. Do a good job on your cover. Be professional. People eat with their eyes. The buy with their eyes too.
- What inspires you to write?- Life situations.. Funny observations.. a feeling like it is a part of my life’s-calling. Feeling like I am better at writing than speaking and wanting to communicate my adventures in the best way that I can.
- How do you get book reviews?- Ask people!
- What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing?- I would go with marketing. To market something, you have to fell proud of it. It’s risky. You are putting something out there for everyone to see and judge.
- If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now?- Mmm.. like 6?
- Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author?- It would have to be with someone I really liked. That person would also be very responsible, honest, committed, and much cooler than me.
- What do you do to relax?- Eat mostly. Baseball and architecture are some hobbies that I enjoy.
- If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be?- Don’t try to be so cool. Just relax and quiet down. I should probably tell myself the same thing now. Also, you can do anything. There are going to be people who say you can’t. They are wrong. Worse than being wrong, they are jerks for going out of their way and saying that you can’t. Work hard, stay diligent, find wise people to help you along the way, and it will happen.
- What advice would you have for this upcoming generation?- Obscurity isn’t a bad thing, it gives you time to hone your craft in safety and in quiet. Don’t feel above working hard. Make yourself valuable to your employer. Make life easier for your boss and your career will grow. Growing a career is like raising a baby – it takes time to nurture and there will be birth pangs. Oh, and have integrity. That career that you spent years nurturing can come down in minutes if you do bad things.
- Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life?- Darn it. I should probably say the Bible or something. Check out authors like Tim Keller, N.T. Wright, Jay Pathak, and Mike Breen. They have made that book come alive for me.
- Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of? How about one that is overrated?- Darn it. This is where I am supposed to say “War and Peace.” Honestly, I found Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Dickens really accessible for a young kid in the 1990’s. Kidnapped, Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, Christmas Carol — accessibility is a good thing. Those were the first books that I was able read front to back.. other than One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Juvenile literature has really grown in the past 10 years – its big money. I should write juvenile literature. Kids don’t really have to read the classics any more to find something of substance.
- Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing?- Alternative rock.
- If you could pick three people who are your heroes or role models, who would they be and why? – Oh come on, you know it happens. My mom, my wife, and anyone else that lives a long life of great character, faces pain, and comes out on the other end stronger. People whose lives have ended well, having finished the race. There are a lot of people who couldn’t stick with it and go out angry, hating people, and doing bad things. Then people go to their funerals and whisper things like “I’m glad so and so is dead, it needed to happen, it was about time”
- Dog or cat person?- Neither? If I have to choose, a dog.
- What do you want to eat right now?- Cheeseburger. Topped with pub cheddar.
- If you could be in any movie that has already been made, which one would it be?- I want to be Han Solo in Empire.
- What is your favorite holiday or time of year?- Fall.
- Anything else you would like to add?- Thanks for the interview!
About the Book:
What happens when a green 20-something leaves the city and takes his first job as an elementary school counselor in a rural community? Spend some time with the “Chool Counselor” and you will enjoy experiencing the hilarious daily happenings of an elementary school and the life of a school counselor. Only one question remains, who is the real teacher here?
You can get your copy on Amazon: “The Chool Counselor.”
About the Author:
Nathan Perkins is an elementary counselor in the Midwestern USA. He holds degrees from Missouri Baptist University (B.A. ’08, M.A. ’10) as well as the University of Missouri – Columbia (Ed.S, ’14). When not saving the world from Kindergartners, he enjoys time with family, friends, and traveling.