(When at Authors& Characters Magazine arrive for our dinner conversation/interview Nathaniel is already there. He’s wearing a pair of denim jeans, a tee shirt from the team he played for, and tennis shoes. His muscles quietly carve out their place beneath his shirt and he smells like an expensive cologne that I can’t name. For a man worth millions, he looks very comfortable in jeans and a shirt. He stands as I take my seat, and only sits again after I do. True gentlemen. I’m already impressed.)
Today, we have a special treat. We’re going to be interviewing Nathaniel Blanchard of The Alpha’s Dream. How are you Nathaniel?
N: I’m doing well. How are you?
Doing great. I’m excited about being with you here today. Your debut to the world is a little over a month away and there is a lot we want to know about you.
(Nathaniel laughs. It is a deep burst of sunlight and the smile that follows stretches his face into rows of gleaming white teeth. for a moment, I am quiet in all his black man joy.)
N: .I will answer anything you ask. Just fire away.
Great. We’ll try not to be too intrusive. So let’s begin with something easy. When did you realize that football would change your life.
N: I was in Junior high school before I picked up a football for the first time. I was bigger than all of my peers and faster and stronger. Pretty soon, I was getting attention from local high schools, then high school, and later college. It wasn’t until college that football started to feel like a possible career. I knew if I worked hard, I would be the same on a professional field as I was on that junior high field. So I kept pushing until the my stats proved it.
Wow. So It wasn’t a life dream, but an opportunity.
N: Yes, and opportunity. I knew that with playing football came a lot of other opportunities. I was financial stability, butt it was also a whole network of people who lived lives I’d only dreamed of.
Was it everything you thought it would be? You were on the highest platform and in front of millions. That had to be thrilling.
N: I was, but I wasn’t the whole picture. For every successful player I saw, I saw another who was throwing away his millions or just didn’t know what to do with their lives after playing ball.
Is that what inspired Alpha Athletics’?
N: absolutely. I saw a need among my peers for direction. We were the upper echelon with the best money managers, and agents the world had ever seen. Yet, I’m the only one of my retiring class who can still afford my lifestyle. I knew that other upcoming players would need more than just access to the best they could afford. They would need people who would tell them the hard truth. So, we have great agents, but really we look at each player individually and help them build their team with their future in mind.
Wow. That’s a big undertaking.
N: Yes, it is. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with doing something extraordinary because of the effects it will have on the community at large.
How would you say your wolf heritage contributes to your need to build community?
N:That something I’m still working out. I have a complex relationship with my wolf heritage, and I want to explore its relationship to my life as is. I just haven’t don’t much of that yet.
Fair enough. I get the impression that saving the world takes a lot of your time. So, how does that translate for your love life?
(he laughs again. This time, he brings his hand to his mouth and rocks back in his seat. He’s staring at me with a lopsided grin as he begins again.)
N:It means I have very little time for things that aren’t … fruitful.
Is Euphoria Atkins fruitful?
N: No comment.
Aww Come on, I thought we were getting close here. She obviously has some influence, because your face lit up when I mentioned her name.
N: “She does have influence, but you’ll have to read the book to know to what extent.
You’re really protective of her. Care to delve into why?
N: Some things are worthy of protecting.
(Nathaniel straightens his long legs in front of him. The smile on his face is gentler now, and I can tell he is lost in his thoughts. Despite his refusal to elaborate on his relationship with Euphoria Atkins, I know she has a special place in his head. It is written all over his face.)
Well, I’ve held you long enough. before we go, I have on more thing to ask. Give me three words that describe your story for our readers.
N: That’s a tough one. There are so many things I think the readers could take away from this book. I guess having to narrow it down now I would say… haunting, layered and sexy.
Haunting, layered, and sexy. Those are some strong words to live up too.
N: Believe me, The Alpha’s Dream lives up to that and more.
You’re not just saying that because you are in it?
N:I guess you will have to read it to find out.
I guess we will.