We write. We rant. We wrestle the magic.
Alexander Nader, like many writers, understands the ritual of manuscript rejection. Form letters from disinterested agents and indifferent publishing houses stuffed his inbox. Sometimes, they’d offer words of encouragement, other times they’d praise his concept but harp on the execution. All that changed when he pitched his debut novel, Beasts of Burdin, to J. Taylor Publishing. The manuscript netted the Tennessee native a three-book deal with the publisher and no shortage of industry buzz. How happy is Alex to finally share Ty Burdin with the world? What was he doing when he received that fateful letter from his soon-to-be publisher?
“I was in the dish room of the restaurant where I work,” says Nader. “I go running out looking for people who are going to be excited for me…I found people staring at me who wanted forks!” Sounds about right. As exciting as the moment was, at least for him, Alex hadn’t previously considered his novel as a three-part series.
“J Taylor sent me the letter saying we really love this book, how would you feel about writing two more? I said, I’m good with that [laughs]. If they [the publisher] want more, this is something I can definitely expand to make the world bigger to be more than three books” Nader’s bewilderment and excitement about realizing a long held dream is evident in his voice as we talk. He’s a mixture of Southern gentility and schoolboy skittishness. That’s a great departure from the central character for his new novel cum trilogy, the irascible (retired!) demon hunter, Ty Burdin.
“He [Ty] comes from this fascination I have with noir, kind of hard-boiled fiction,” Alex says. “I fell into it and just loved private eyes and detectives. They’re not perfect…I think too many main characters out there are perfect and beautiful and say the right things at all the right times. I didn’t want that. I wanted someone who’s kind of down on his luck, had a rough time of things. He’s [Ty] is kind of drunk and beat up. That appealed to me more. Ty definitely has a face only a mother could love.”
The reviews coming for the novel, which released on February 10, 2014, seem to back the author’s keen perceptions around the sort of main character that people (in this economy) relate to on a personal level. Burdin is every bit the whiskey-soaked antihero who simply doesn’t want to do his job anymore. He’s also the man who can’t stay out of the game while lives hang in the balance.
The version of Beast of Burdin that readers are currently in the process of devouring is far from the first try. Nader wrote and rewrote the manuscript countless times, at first without even an outline to mark the narrative’s arc. “I finally went to my wife and asked, honey, does this work?” says Alex. “She said, it could work! Okay, [time to] stop. I went back and started from the beginning pretty much. Actually made an outline and followed the outline.”
And when can readers who already gnashed their way through the first book except the follow-up? Book two is already in the editing process and in the pipeline. Don’t worry dear friends, there’s more to come from Alexander Nader. His days of selling pizza and washing dishes are definitely numbered.