I love meeting authors, and every once in a while, I encounter one who has overcome obstacles that might destroy many of us. Nate Wilson is one of those young writers who inspires and astounds. His debut novel, ZERO TO HERO, is an uncompromising look at the addictions that threatened to destroy him. That he has emerged and gone on to serve as a role model for others is a joyful thing. Please welcome Nate as my featured author of the month for September. Nate and his wife at his peaceful place — the gym.
Janet Irvin: Your debut memoir is an honest, unflinching look at your life and your struggles with addiction. When did you decide to write it and why?
Nate Wilson: When I was 16 years old, I was told that my writing was good enough to make money off of, or that I had the capability to write a book. Again, when I was 19, my mom said “You know Nate, with all you’ve been through, you could write a book!” I guess when I heard that I knew I was going to someday, but I just had to wait until I was ready
J.I.: I often say that memoir, for me, is like opening a vein and bleeding secrets, which is why I rarely write nonfiction. What was the most difficult part of your writing journey?
N.W.: Talking about trauma. I held secrets in for years from the time I was 6 years old continuing into my addiction. It was really a step outside of my comfort zone to be so transparent and relive the hardest parts of my life
J.I.: Beginning authors can almost always point to a mentor, be it friend, relative, or another author, who served as inspiration. Do you have a mentor?
N.W.: I’ve had many throughout the years. Just hearing a teacher say, when I was 16, that I was good enough to write a book instilled confidence that lasted until I was 28, and finally decided to write it. I also had a business coach lay out a few basic concepts that help me put the book together.
J.I.: What is the most positive outcome of your writing?
N.W.: That it serves as therapeutic for me and other people who read it.
J.I.: From following your Facebook account, it seems you speak to many groups. Is the speaking easier or more difficult than the writing?
N.W.: Speaking is harder, but more of a rush. It’s almost like the fix that drugs gave me. I get a different type of gratification from writing. It’s more of a delayed gratification
J.I.: What does your ‘writing process’ look like on a daily basis?
N.W.: Some days I don’t have time to write, and if I don’t have time to write I am generally coming up with ideas for things to write about it. Sometimes I’ll make a Facebook video and then put it into more descriptive and creative words later.
J.I.: Can you share plans for future writing endeavors?
N.W.: I am about halfway through writing my second book, which is a little more challenging. I’m coming up with a creative idea for perspective on addiction recovery. This is harder because the idea has to make sense on all ends and has to be consistent. Telling my story was easier to write because it was well….. Just my story!
J.I.: Do you have a favorite author? When you have time to read, what kind of books do you like?
N.W.: I like the motivational and self help stuff, but also philosophy books. I’d say for motivational books I like Grant Cardone. The dude is a maniac and he gets you fired up to do something. Right now I am reading Iron John by Robert Bly, and it has me intrigued!
J.I.: I detect an eternal optimism in you. Does that come naturally or has it developed as you have followed your path in life?
N.W.: It now comes naturally, but it took a lot of practice and re-wiring in the brain. I lived a life of negativity and victimization for years in addiction and even a few years after. I learned that gratitude is a key component to sobriety and life is too short to be negative all the time.
J.I.: What would you like readers to take away from your writing?
N.W.: Inspiration and knowledge. For those who have been familiarized with addiction, I want them to be inspired and know that recovery is possible for anyone. For anyone who isn’t familiar with addiction, I hope they can have an enlightened perspective on it.
J.I.: Thank you, Nate, for sharing your wqriting and life journey with us. Now, I always ask a few fun questions, so here goes. What is your favorite peaceful spot to relax and rewind?
N.W.: Easy one! The gym!
J.I.: What is your favorite meal and who prepares it?
N.W.: Sushi. I eat at a local restaurant called Fusion Japan. If it’s home cooking, I like steak, potatoes and asparagus! And normally, I or my wife will cook.
Nate’s BIO, in his own words:
Nate was born in Colorado and grew up in Woodland Park, playing sports with a loving and supportive family. In high school, Nate discovered marijuana and within a few years was turned on to harder drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and eventually heroin. From the years of 16-21, Nate witnessed the death of countless friends, survived five suicide attempts, and bounced back from two rehabs, two felonies, almost three DUI’s and thirteen trips to county jail. Nate is now a personal trainer, health coach, and mentor in his hometown. He is opening an outpatient clinic for adolescents in Colorado Springs as well. Nate is obsessed with spreading the message of hope to those in hopeless situations and aspires to write many more books and succeed in many more business ventures. Nate’s biggest priorities, though, are his wife and his 2 kids.
Contact Info: Natewilson0223@gmail.com, Phone:719-640-0668