October 30th, 2020

Lethbridge author’s novel wins Indie Book Award


By Woodard, Dale on June 27, 2020.

Dale Woodard

Lethbridge Herald

sports@lethbridgeherald.com

Nathan Bueckert has penned an award-winning novel.

What’s better is there’s more to come.

The Lethbridge author’s fantasy novel “Blood and Gods” has been named a winner in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Paranormal Fantasy category.

The award, named by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group, is the world’s largest book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors.

The winners and finalists were honoured Friday in an online event which was streamed live on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/NextGenerationIndieBookAwards.

“I found out about three weeks ago, I was pretty pumped,” said Bueckert. “It was actually kind of funny, I had entered my book in a number of contests and haven’t gotten anything back, but you get on an email list. So I got numerous emails from Next Generation and Indie Books awards and I didn’t even bother opening them until a week later. So a week later I found out I was a winner. I thought I was getting spammed from yet another contest, but then I found out it was a good thing I opened that email.

“I was pretty excited. I thought this now has a chance to get to my book some exposure, Because that is, by far, the biggest challenge as a writer, how do you get the word out there and how do you get yourself known as a brand new author? I was pumped just to find a publisher. That in itself was huge and to win this I thought this might actually get the exposure to maybe start making something of this more than just a hobby.”

“Blood and Gods” tells the story of Lilija, who was orphaned as an infant and adopted by the priest of Tratalja, a growing militaristic empire.

Despite being trained as an elite soldier for the city’s army, Lilija is forced to flee Tratalja, her exile bringing her into contact with a tribe of nomads, led by Ari and his wild mountain lion. Together they fight the colonizing empire and discover a power greater than any civilization.

“It’s Books 1 and 2,” said Bueckert. “I originally wrote Book 1 and self-published that. I entered it in a contest then as well and I think I made it to the quarter-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I think that was in 2013 or 2014. Now I have written Books 1 and 2 because Book 1 leaves on a cliffhanger. So I wanted to write Book 2 so it wouldn’t leave readers on a total cliffhanger. But I wrote Books 1 and 2 and combined them and started sending those around the publishers. It was about a year sending to a bunch of different publishers before (publisher) Black Rose Writing took it on.

“I’m writing Books 3 and 4 combined, continuing with the same characters, an epic battle of good versus evil kind of fantasy genre.”

Bueckert’s sister got him into reading as a youngster.

“I loved fiction,” he said. “One of my favourite people to read when I was in junior high was Gordon Korman. He’s a Canadian author who writes for young teens. He writes a lot of comedy, a lot of hilarious stories. I remember reading on the back of one of them that he wrote his first novel when he was 15. I was 15 when I read that. That totally inspired me. I thought ‘I just want to be like Gordon Korman. I want to write a book when I am 15’. So I wrote a 100-page Indiana Jones-style adventure story and submitted it as an extra project in school and got an A+. I was pretty happy with that.”

But life went on and Bueckert headed off to university to be a philosophy professor, earning his degree.

“Then I decided I didn’t want to do that and went to construction,” he said.

That career move ultimately built the next chapter of his writing career.

“I was in my 30s when I was talking to a mentor of mine and mentioned that when I was a kid I wrote a novel in junior high,” said Bueckert. “He stopped me and he said ‘What? How many junior high kids do you know who have written a book?’ I figured not too many. So he asked me ‘What are you doing building decks and fences, why aren’t you writing?’ Him saying that just kind of re-ignited it and I went home that night and started coming up with the story idea. It started that night and I started writing the story.”

As he gets to work on Books 3 and 4 of “Blood and Gods,” Bueckert still has his day job with the City of Lethbridge as a garbage truck driver and also a relief foreman for the past eight years.

Bueckert has a rough draft of the first couple of chapters of Book 3.

“I’m hoping to have Book 3 done by the end of this year and I’m really hoping to have a Book 4 done in 2021 to get it to my publisher at some point in mid 2021 or at the end of 2021. I want to get it out quicker than I did Books 1 and 2.”

For more information on “Blood and Gods” visit http://www.amazon.ca/Blood-Gods-Creators-Quatrain-Books/dp/1684333725.

A review of the book can also be found at http://www.sublimebookreview.com/bookreviews/blood-and-gods.

Follow @DWoodardHerald on Twitter

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