Steven Smithen was so easy to talk with and answered a few of my questions from what he wanted to be when he grew up to hints into his new book.
- How long does it take you to write a book?
It took me about 5 months to write Book of Souls and about 2 and half months for BETA readers and editor to go over the rough draft before I went through it to finalize it. About 7-8 months from start to publish. Now, I’m about 5 months into Harvester of Souls and I’m hoping to finish the rough draft in November with a possible release end of February beginning of March.
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always written stories but I have always thought that you need a degree or had to be signed to a major publisher. I never imagined that the Indie Author world ever existed until a few years ago. When I realized that I could do everything myself I began to go over story ideas in my head but it wasn’t until last year that I was finally given the push to give it a go. I have to credit a few other indie authors who provided the encouragement.
- Where do you get your info or ideas for your books?
Early on I always read comics, fantasy books, movies, dungeons & dragons and other role-playing games like Vampire the Masquerade, and Werewolf the Apocalypse. Mythology especially the lesser known pantheons. Everyone knows the Greeks, Romans, and Norse but I am fond of the Maya, Celtic, Indian, and Native American. I am also a history buff. Studied it college and have always loved all the different ancient cultures and how they used religion to control their populations. Witchcraft in all of its forms has always intrigued me.
- How do you get inspired to write?
Movies, books, myths, games (both video and roleplaying) and locations. I recently spent a weekend in San Antonio with friends from the USAF and we went back to the Riverwalk and while on the boat tour I had an idea come to me about either a werewolf or vampire stalking along the Riverwalk.
One other instance of inspiration was while I was waiting to make a pickup for my day job (truck driver). I was parked at a truck stop and a local sheriff pulled up next to me. After a few minutes a pickup truck with camper top pulled up next to him. After a few minutes all the individuals were near the backs of the trucks. I figured that the sheriff probably picked up a dead animal and these other two guys were from animal control. Nope, I was wrong next thing I know they are pulling out a gurney and handing the sheriff a new body bag. He then transfered a body bag with what I could only assume was a body onto the gurney. Then the two parties went their own way. I thought ‘did I just see that?’ You only see that in the movies. So that will most likely make it into one of my books.
- What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read a lot. I also enjoy playing video games, watching movies, and there are a couple of TV shows I watch on Hulu and Netflix.
- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The amount of work that an Indie Author must do beyond writing, editing, and publishing. The endless self-promotion and takeovers that you should do just to get your name out there. There are times that I just want to do nothing more than write and say to hell with everything else.
- What do you think makes a good story?
Realism and relatability. I know realism in a fantasy story... but really it may be a fantasy story with paranormal/supernatural characters but what makes people connect to them is that they have often deal with the same issues that us mere mortals deal with. Family, love, loss, and crisis. Relatability is easy. We’ve all read stories where we wanted to be the MC or the love interest and when they appear to be more like us all the better.
- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Don’t laugh but early on in elementary school I wanted to be President of the United States.
- What is your most recent book you’ve read? How far have you gotten in this year’s Goodreads Reading Challenge?
I am currently reading two books. First is Darkest Before the Dawn by Michael Anderle and The Core by Peter V Brett. The most recent book I’ve finished was Magical Compass by Jaymin Eve.
As for my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I am currently sitting at 104 out of 200. A lofty goal but I read well over 200 books last year.
- When will we get to see Harvester of Souls released?
At the time of this interview I am planning on releasing it end of February beginning of March. If I can get it finished and edited before that then it could be earlier.
- Can you get us a little more on what to expect in Harvester or Souls?
Without giving too much away. The story follows Talia Callahan twin sister of Dorian. At the end of Book of Souls leaves her pack in an effort to deal with her loss and to find peace after the events her and her family recently survived. What she doesn’t know is that she is about to be thrown into the middle of someone’s vengeance against everything that she has come to love humans and supernaturals alike.
Steven L. Smithen was born in Cherry Point, NC. Growing up a military brat he has lived all over the USA ending up in Jacksonville, FL. Graduating from Baldwin Jr. Sr. High School in 1988. Joining the USAF shortly after high school and serving for 5 years. After separating from the USAF he became a commercial truck driver. Now he is living in Rochester, NH with his wife Lori.
Steven grew up with a vivid imagination reading all things fantasy. Enjoying J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, etc... When not reading he could always be found rolling dice playing Dungeons & Dragons where he got his first real taste of writing by creating the adventures for the group of adventurers that his friends would play.