Meadowvale by N. M. Rudolph
Back of the Book
The story begins with the Highfallows, a charming family of rabbits whose livelihood is farming. An army of lizards sweeps in and shatters their peace. Those left behind must figure out how to rescue lost loved ones. When Meadowvale elders realize the problem extends far beyond just themselves, the story’s scale increases exponentially. Clashing cultures, the struggle for unity, wrestling with despair, festering regret, battle, forgotten magic, and beyond: it’s all there.
While each character’s tale has its own wisdom to impart, the full story of Meadowvale will capture the hearts and minds of readers young and old.
Perfect for fans of C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and Brian Jacques’ Redwall series.
“Magical, fantastical, thrilling, and enchanting are all words which swarm the mind when reading the tale of Werbel in Meadowvale. A young rabbit taken from his family, a mother seeking revenge for her lost children, evil lizards building an army, and much, much more are hidden within these pages.”—ESTHER ROBINSON
In Conversation with N.M Rudolph
1. Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey, please?
In 2019, I published my first book, Untold Tales. It was a miserable process. KDP is a relatively streamlined system, but I had not anticipated how many tiny details I would have to address. After printing the first proof copy, I was exhausted by it all. There were a handful of errors in the formatting, but I just wanted to publish it and be done. A friend encouraged me to do the hard work of making it a quality book. I dragged myself through the final steps a few more times and finally finished the cursed thing.
After recovering from that mess, I realized I had to approach it differently if I was going to be a serious author-publisher. I started another project that became Unhinged: 36 x 36. Partially, I wanted to prove to myself that I could write and publish whatever the heck I pleased. Partially, I just wanted to practice the publishing process. It wasn’t fun—but it wasn’t torturous either. I’ve published two more books since then, and it’s starting to resemble straightforward work.
Now that I’ve accepted how tedious it all is, the process is so much smoother and more enjoyable. I’ve moved onto creating ebooks and looking toward creating audiobooks. They both feel a little daunting—but only a little. I’ve embraced learning as I go, which makes the world seem bigger and filled with more possibilities.
2. How do you decide who to dedicate your books to?
It feels like a necessary element, but I struggle with how to dedicate my books. I don’t want my dedications to be cliché or silly. I probably overthink it.
My first book was dedicated to my illustrator for being such an encouragement. The second was dedicated “to the friends who know me and love me anyway.” I meant it sincerely, but it’s still a bit broad. The third was dedicated to a man who basically took me in when my life was practically imploding. The fourth was dedicated “To those whose hearts are a little more tired than they planned to be.”
Do with that information what you will.
3. What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
Rumination is a collection of my—let’s be honest—melancholy poems. I’ve been writing forever, which includes poetry. Most of the time, my poems don’t have any connecting category besides just being what I’m experiencing that day or that season. However, there are recurring themes. A couple years ago, I decided I could clump similarly-themed poems into collections. I have a bunch of these clusters lined up, but the past year or so had felt somber. I leaned into that and worked through the collection that dealt with fear, regret, shame, and more.
4. Do you find it hard to let your characters go when you finish writing the book?
I am enormously fond of all my characters, but it’s not hard to let go of them. There’s usually the faint assumption I’ll revisit them in some kind of sequel. Mostly, however, I keep pushing forward and enjoying new characters in new stories.
5. What was your favourite read of 2021?
That’s so long ago! What was I even reading then? I think I was working through The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less. It was and continues to be an enlightening glimpse behind the curtain that we pretend is a productive life. Without getting on a soapbox right here and now, I’d recommend giving it a read-through. If nothing else, it will provide an unique perspective on how to live well. It might even empower you.
6. Who is your favourite author?
C. S. Lewis forever. I love the worlds he created as well as how much content he packed into so few words. For example, his most famous novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was only just over 38,000 words. For the rest of that series even, the maximum word count stops short of 65,000. I’m not saying that a shorter novel is necessarily better, but Lewis managed to do extraordinary things with so little space.
I also adore Brandon Sanderson. He uses a far higher word count (383,389 in The Way of Kings for example), but he also packs in so much vivid content. He manages to make each of his characters believable and relatable.
There are so many other great authors I’ve read, but none stands out so boldly as those two.
7. Was there a point in your life that a book helped you get through, and which one?
Combined with overlapping events, the absolute tyrannical disaster blast of the past few years has been trying. One particular character from Sanderson’s book The Way of Kings has been a great encouragement. Kaladin Stormblessed survived the wretched misery of being part of “bridge four,” a military troop that was supposed to die like a bunch of meatshields. Throughout these past years and even sometimes now, I’ll say to myself, “If Kaladin can survive bridge four, I can survive this.”
8. Is there anyone that you would like to mention and thank for their support of your writing?
First, I thank my wife, Elaina. You’ve probably heard the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” I say, “The way to a Nathan’s heart is through his literature,” and Elaina is deep in my heart.
I thank my father, Mark. For as long as I’ve known him, he’s been quite a personality as well as a diligent scholar. It was from him that I first learned to love reading and writing.
I also thank Brittany, a dear friend from college. She’s always been enthusiastic about me and my work and has been my top patron since the beginning of my Patreon.
9. If you had the power to give everyone in the world one book, what would it be and why?
The Bible. I know it has a funky reputation, but that’s just because many of its readers are a bit silly—if I can be so euphemistic. The Book itself is glorious and confusing. If you but read it yourself, you’ll discover a quiet magic that you never would have expected. It might even change you from the inside out for the better. Alongside all that, you’ll just delve through a great range of literature. It contains history, poetry, philosophy, some painfully boring genealogy, and even some trippy prophesy that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
10. What are you working on now?
Oof! A lot.
My novel Michael the Traveler is in its final editing stages. It’s a fascinating, trippy story about a boy who discovers his vivid dreams are really just accidental slips into different worlds. He spends the rest of his story learning from timeless beings called keepers of the resting places so that he can save the worlds from shattering apart entirely.
I’ve long been fascinated by Norse/Viking runes (also known as the Elder Futhark). Plus, the whole Viking persona has always felt cool to me. Thus, I’ve been working on a book of poetry for each of the norse runes.
Alongside that, I’ve been writing a story about a boy named Gorlock. The story starts with him entering into a military academy sort of camp. It’s a medieval-like time period with Viking influences. So far, Gorlock has just been experiencing the trials of learning how to be a warrior, but his story becomes magical and epic. You can read the first chapter of that here.
I also have a Patreon. If you know what it is, groovy. If not, it’s a site where creators can host almost any kind of content. Then, patrons can sign up—usually at different tiers—to gain access to various benefits. For the longest time, mine was just a sort of personal blog. A couple friends subscribed because they love me and believe in me. I got super bored of it, though, so I’m revamping the whole thing and turning it into an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure kind of narrative.
There are probably more that I’m not remembering at the moment.
11. Lastly, do you have any questions for your readers?
What’s your dream? What aspirations have you swept under the rug? What inspired project did you put on the shelf because someone told you it wasn’t good enough? What novel is stewing in the back of your brain? What passion or hobby did you stuff deep down in the quiet corners of your heart? What comfort zone have you wanted to escape for years? What’s your idealistic vision for your own life—or even for the world? What song moves you every time you hear it without knowing why?
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