In celebration of Stephen's rerelease, Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum, he has generously offered not only a copy of his great book but also a $10 Amazon Card to one lucky commenter!! I was lucky enough to catch an interview with him, as he is on tour right now, to get inside the mind behind this great book!!
Welcome to CEWTNK Stephen!! I’m so glad you could make it!!
Nikki, thanks for having me.
So Stephen, how old were you when you first realized you wanted to write?
I was an avid reader at a very young age. I gobbled up books at the library. I remember wandering around it, gazing at the rows and rows of books. I suppose it was my first crush, reading and my first love.
I remember at about nine or ten-years old telling my mom that I’d like to write a book. She looked at me and said, “Well Steve, people go to school for years and years to learn how to write books.”
I showed her. I went to school years and years and never wrote any. People told me along the way how I’d missed my calling. Finally, I found it.
LOL…rebelled against the gift eh? Most authors have an unusual story or way that they come up with their ideas for books…Do you have one?
I do. With my first novel, Dream War, I woke up one day and there was a key on my key ring that I had NO CLUE what it was for or how it had gotten there. It got me to thinking. What if someone knew they were under surveillance and had a key to another dimension (of course almost all of my ideas involve something really kooky!)? Maybe he’d “hide” it on a neighbor’s key ring hoping to snatch it back after the heat died down. Ultimately the book transformed into something much differently, but that original idea helped get me going.
And eventually I did find out what MY key was for!
Hmm..Last time I woke trying to find a key..well..that’s for another time!! What was your biggest influence that steered you towards writing?
Well, I’d have to say reading. I honestly think that any prospective writer needs to start as a reader. Just “coming up with an idea” isn’t enough. You need to see what’s out there. What others are doing that’s working. I read sometimes and I get sooooo jealous at the way another writer turns a phrase. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
I do the same thing when I reading through interviews..Why didn’t I think to ask them that? LOL..I have to ask, what are the hardest scenes for you to write?
I’m currently reading a book about
. In the preface, the author talked about being so engrossed in the writing that he found himself somewhat shell shocked to finish writing and find himself in the 20th Century (the book was written in 1977). I could relate. When I’m in a writing zone, I often find myself mentally rehearsing the parts of the people in the scene the way an actor might. Thus intensely emotional scenes are difficult. Afterward, I’m typically exhausted. Lincoln
LOl…Good exercise!! Do you see yourself writing in another genre?
Sure. I also see myself as winning Major League Baseball’s Cy Young Award and winning the Mega Millions lottery. Time will tell I guess. The Cy Young might have to wait until the next life.
Ah…I can always see myself winning the lottery, a truly shared dream!! Has your family been supportive?
Yes. Very supportive. My dad has been bugging me for a year and a half for the next book. Of course his first comment to me after reading Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum was, “It was good. I don’t know if it was a series if I’d read more of them though.”
Gee. Thanks, Dad.
I think that’s just a dad way..Are any of your characters reflective of you?
I guess to some extent they all are, or maybe they begin as fractions of me. Bits and pieces of recollections. Then they (ideally) grow into full-fledged characters.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read. It’s shocking how much reading a writer needs to do these days. First, any writer not keeping up with their genre is bound to flounder. Next, keeping up with the goings on in the publishing industry: trends, news, technology, players etc is pretty important. And of course there is reading for pleasure.
Well, that definitely sounds like a full time job plus some! Who is your favorite book heroine?
LOL…now that is an interesting answer!! Do you have any unusual habits that revolve around writing?
You mean like writing in the nude and shouting, “Surrender Dorothy” every time I type the word “wizard”? Why, um, no. Of course not. Not like that. Honest!
I do have a ritual that works to get me in the mood/zone. I read. I set a timer for usually 23 or 34 minutes (lucky numbers of mine) and do NOTHING but write until the timer goes off. Sometimes it’s hell—pure drudgery—other times the timer goes off and I write for another hour. Regardless, when I honor those timed units, sooner or later I get into a good zone.
Hmm…I’m skeptical now…nude writing? LOL!!What is your favorite mystical creature?
Mermaids. Maybe Sirens.
Ah..The half naked alluring sea creatures JWhat were some of your biggest challenges at the beginning of your career?
Interesting question. I’m still at the beginning of my career. At least I hope I am. I think the challenge for most writers, especially early in their careers, is trying to connect with their readers—expanding their fan base.
On the writing front, my biggest challenge was not “over writing” scenes. My stuff was coming off melodramatic rather than dramatic. Sometimes less is more.
How do you feel about reader comments?
I love them. I’m a firm believer that there are no good writers, just good rewriters. I feel like one of the best things I do as a writer is incorporate feedback into my work.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep writing! Stay abreast of the tidal wave of changes happening in the publishing industry. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.
Where are your books available?
“Everywhere books are sold.” A saying which has become somewhat of a pet peeve of mine. People need to be reminded that not EVERY book is in EVERY bookstore, but they can order it. Unfortunately, it appears, that people working bookstores sometimes talk them out of ordering what they want, for what they’ve got in stock. That said. I’m online everywhere. DREAM WAR is digital only, but GHOSTS OF ROSEWOOD ASYLUM is available in all formats.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I just completed the second in the Xavier Paranormal Investigators series—the follow up to GHOSTS OF ROSEWOOD ASYLUM. After that, I’ve got a paranormal mystery series in mind. I’d also like to write part II in the DREAM WAR trilogy.
Where can we reach you and become informed of updates?
My website: www.prosapio.com
The XPI website: www.xavierparanormal.com
Thank you so much Stephen for visiting with us today!!! Now let’s take a look at Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum:Zach Kalusky, host of Sci-D TV's Xavier Paranormal Investigators, is ecstatic when he's given the opportunity to explore the most haunted site in Chicago for a Halloween Special: Rosewood Asylum, a place long made off-limits by the local government, plagued by decades of mysterious fires and unexplained events. It's Zach's dream investigation- but there's a catch: the network forces Xavier Paranormal Investigators to partner with the more dramatic-but less ethical-Demon Hunters. Now, Zach must fight for both his show's integrity and his team's loyalty while trying to protect his own secret: that he, himself, is possessed.
The book sounds absolutely amazing!! Steve will be back with me next month for my first kiss promo :) Just fill out the rafflecopter below to enter in the drawing! Here is a link to the rest of the book tour http://www.otherworldpublications.com/owp-calendar-of-events Good Luck!!
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