December 4, 2015
Nate Williams is found wandering alone in the woods at the age of six. Raised by a wealthy and loving family, he suffers a heart attack at the age of seventeen, triggering profound changes that allow him to unlock his full mental potential and transform into a wolf. Nate is sent to Noble College, where changing into an animal is normal and students are taught to do extraordinary things, such as alter the weather and change wood into diamond.
When a series of murders around the country threaten the secrecy of the Hidden World, Nate realizes there is more going on at Noble than meets the eye. He and his friends take it upon themselves to figure out what is going on and bring the killers to justice.
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Thanks so much for having me. It’s always a privilege to talk about my work.
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
The Hidden World is a young adult novel that follows three teenagers as they unlock their mind’s full potential and learn incredible things.
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
I’m really not sure where the inspiration for this one came from. I wrote the Before (the Prologue) a few days after I turned sixteen. Somehow the image came to me of a young boy wandering alone in the woods and being found by a father and daughter. Then I jumped forward ten years and the story just developed as I wrote. This was long before movies like Limitless or Lucy that dealt with unlocking the mind’s full potential, but I remember hearing a talk about how we only use ten percent of our minds. I thought: well, it’s impossible to know what we can do with the other ninety percent so I can just run with this.
Another significant factor is that I wrote this during three years of severe illness. During most of this time I was close to bedridden, so life wasn’t going too well. I wrote to escape from my difficulties. There are little hints throughout as to what I was going through when I wrote it, such as the side story about trying to cure Nate’s friend Baako’s sister’s cancer with the power of the mind. While I was sick, just the slightest possibility that I could change things and get better just by thinking the right way was hugely important while the doctors remained stumped and couldn’t help.
Tell us about the main character(s).
The main character is Nate Williams, and to some he might seem to be a little too perfect. The truth is that I wrote Nate as the embodiment of what I wanted to be at that time. I’ve never been very good at sports, so I made Nate very good. I’ve always, until recently, had trouble gaining weight so Nate was in very good shape. At the time I had very few friends, so Nate had tons of excellent friends. I was tired of the tortured soul storyline that is so often used in young adult fantasy, so I went the opposite route. Yes, his parents were killed when he was young, but instead of being adopted by a Dursley-like family, he’s adopted by a loving family. He may be a little arrogant, but he has a big heart and that comes out in how he treats his friends and defends his family. He may seem like the kid in school that everyone loves, because he is, but it’s important to remember that I wrote him so I could escape into a life very different from my own. People read and write to escape.
Do you have a favourite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
There are two things I love about the book. First, is the name of the series: The Age of Tolerance. The theme of tolerance is only touched on in this first book, but it will be revisited more seriously in future books. The naturals, those who have unlocked their mind’s potential, hide from the rest of the world because they believe the world will fear them and persecute them if they know what they can do. This emulates a serious problem in the world today: at times in society intelligence is shunned, but it should always be aspired to.
Secondly, there’s a chapter called Lost in the Snow. There’s nothing incredibly important about this chapter—I just love the premise. I absolutely love winter, and snow, so in this chapter it snows for days and piles at least fifteen feet high. Later on in the chapter one of the professors explains to the students that it snowed so heavily because they were all thinking about the snow. Every student at Noble has unlocked their mind’s potential and they are taught to do things like manipulate the weather with their minds. So, when it’s snowing, and they’re all focused so heavily on the snow, they make it last longer and snow harder unconsciously. I think this is a really cool concept, because it goes back to what I was saying earlier about the power of the mind—whatever you think about the most and focus your energy on will happen, whether it’s negative or positive.
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
I didn’t have any trouble writing the first draft of this book, it all came out in two months, but I had a lot of difficulty with the edits. I went through over five major edits and complete rewrites of The Hidden World over the years on my journey to get published, and I had to learn at a very young age how to cut things that I might love, but aren’t relevant. I had to be critical of my own work, appreciate the criticism of others, and learn where to draw the line. That was incredibly tough for me at first, but it was a great lesson in taking constructive criticism.
What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?
I have written four additional books to date. The second is the sequel to The Hidden World, the third is a stand-alone young adult science fiction novel, the fourth begins another fantasy series, and the fifth is an adult political thriller. Those are all in varying stages of being submitted to publishers, but right now I am about to publish Prints, a crime thriller novella, on Amazon. It will be coming out sometime in December, and I believe it is the culmination of many years of refining my writing technique and storytelling ability. Prints be available exclusively on Amazon Kindle. I won’t give too much away, but the main character Carleton Vance, wakes up in the beginning of the novel with a beautiful, dead girl in the bed beside him. Throughout the novel Carleton must piece together his fuzzy recollection of the night before to figure out who she is, and who is trying to set him up for murder.
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!
Thanks again for having me. Please check out my novel, The Hidden World, available in stores and online. And head on over to my Facebook page: Schuyler J. Ebersol, and Twitter: @schuylerebersol for more news on upcoming projects and to be notified when Prints becomes available. Thank you and happy holidays!