- Website: nmrudolph.com
- Patreon: patreon.com/nmrudolph
- Instagram: @n.m.rudolph
- Facebook: facebook.com/nmrudolphauthor
- Amazon Author Link
- Twitter: twitter.com/nmrudolph
1) What inspired you to write?
It’s the deepest passion in my heart, so it’s more a matter of needing to write than being
inspired to write. I enjoy it of course, but it’s a quiet itch that never stops. Sometimes, it’s not so
quiet. The urge is always there, then, and it’s only waiting for time to do it. In that context, ideas
are constantly sparking in my brain. It could be something somebody said, an existential question
I ask myself, some movie that did a crappy job of delivering its plot such that I wanted to do
better. On and on the possibilities go.
Since there’s no lack of digital storage (at least for text), I have piled up hundreds of
different story and book ideas that are just waiting.
2) Are you a reader? What are some of your favorites?
Fantasy and science fiction are my go-to categories. I’m working through a delicious
series by Brandon Sanderson called The Stormlight Archive. It’s the fourth book, and each novel
is wonderfully long. Thus, I’ve been in this storyline for a long time now. C. S. Lewis is always a
favorite. I really enjoyed Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. I read an amazing biography called
Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas. There are too many! We’ll just start there for now.
3) What is your newest work, and what is going to happen in the future?
The newest thing in progress is my Patreon story. Today (February 2), I posted the first
chapter for patrons. It’ll be available to the public in about a week. It’s reminiscent of a choose-
your-own-adventure story but only just. I set it up so that patrons could vote on events
throughout the tale and have their choices implemented in upcoming chapters. There are a couple
other layers that higher tiers can influence. Overall, I think it’s going to be an innovative way to
experience a story.
4) Do you have advice or tips for Indie Authors?
Keep at it. The sun will rise and set. Peace will ebb and flow. You may or may not get
support. Inspiration is fickle. Despite all this, you will be more plagued in your spirit if you
continue finding excuses not to write than if you had just written and been rejected.
Also, let go of the need to be validated in your writing. If people like it, splendid. If you
can get published, awesome. If you make some money off it, glorious. However, write for
yourself first. Write just to relieve the mental pressure your brain keeps creating in the effort to
Also, work harder. Poetic license is never an excuse to be sloppy or lazy. It’s horrible
trying to find the balance between rigor and flow, but you can assume that either extreme is bad
news. Just because you’re trying to find freedom, it doesn’t mean you should abandon grammar
Also, be more vulnerable. Writing is not a safe thing. We shouldn’t write to protect our
feelings. Among many reasons, we should write simply to practice being vulnerable with
ourselves—and possibly with others. We humans like to hide from each other and ourselves.
Writing, even fiction writing, is the practice of being seen, being exposed. Let your hurts spill
into your stories. It’ll make them that much truer.
5) What influenced you as a writer?
It started with my father. He’s been a scholar my whole life, so I gleaned a love of
reading and writing from him at a very young age. It was so long ago! I was grounded one
afternoon for something I don’t remember. I had to sit in his office as he was working. I think I
was allowed to read or something like that. I know I was technically grounded, but I only
remember the calming experience that it was. He gave off this quiet, intense, studious vibe that I
love so much, and I try to channel that same aura.
The next two key influences were English teachers in high school. One of my favorite
memories from Mr. Homeyer’s class was the daily quotation. He would post some adage on a
little sideboard that we’d discuss at the beginning of every class. Usually, it would just help us
spark our brains. Sometimes, he would allow the whole class period to pass discussing it. It
fostered in me a love of depth, of searching for truth and richness.
Mr. Yonan would usually start class by giving us commonly confused words. There were
so many, but the only pair I distinctly remember was “affect” and “effect.” The man was
imaginative and passionate, but he was also rigorous. He fostered in me a love of precision and
accuracy in my writing.
There was a professor in my early college life. I’m ashamed that I don’t remember her
name! She gave the class so many creative prompts. She taught me that absolutely anything can
spark one’s writing.
Another professor, Dr. Boyer (whose name I remember only through searching old, old
documents), compounded my appreciation for crisp work. As part of his syllabus, he included a
page about the importance of quality grammar. He lists many of the common errors that writers
tend to make. He says, “If the reader’s attention is distracted by any of these things, then the
content is more difficult to see, which means that your paper fails to communicate its content,
fails to do the very thing it is designed to do.” Despite all the talk out there about the differences
between syntax and story, I believe that my syntax is part of my stories. I want to write quality
stories, so I pursue quality syntax.
There are so many other wonderful people who have helped me develop as a writer. I
wish I could list them all. With my scatterbrained memory, I wish I could remember them all!
C’est la vie. I am thankful.