Friday, January 27, 2012

$10 Amazon card + E-book giveaway of Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum and interview with Stephen Prosapio


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 Lincoln. 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.

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?
Dolores Claiborne.

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:
The XPI website:

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  Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Unknown said...

Hey Steve!
For the book did you have to do research on Asylums or that one in particular?
thanks for the great giveaway!!!

vadeluna07 said...

Hi Steve.
What are some of your favorite books, or what books inspire you? Do you have a favorite genre?

Pam said...

This may sound like a strange question but when you finish a book ... particularly one that will NOT have a sequel to it ... do you ever find yourself feeling sad?

I'm not a writer but I've experienced that sort of thing when I've gone on trips. For example when I went to England. It was just so exciting to me that when I returned back to my normal, boring life I literally felt depressed almost. I guess it's kind of like I crashed from a natural high and was curious if you've ever experienced that when finished with a book.

By the way, great interview! I hope your dad decides to read the next book though. :)


Julianne said...

Hi Steve,
Just wanted to say this sounds like an exciting book, how did you come up with the idea for the book?

luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

No Bull Steve said...

@Sarah - I did do some research on 19th century asylums. It's pretty sad the way people were "teated" (ie not treated) back then.

@Vadeluna - check out the rankings I did of Stephen King books!

No Bull Steve said...

@Vanilla - absolutely!!! It also happens when I read an excellent standalone novel!

@Julianne - Thank you! I can't really pinpoint one particular place the idea came from. It was a conglomeration of having watched hundreds of ghost hunting shows!

Sandy said...

Hi Steve, The book sounds amazing! Have you ever been on a Ghost hunt? If so, did you find anything?


No Bull Steve said...

@Sandy - thank you! And ironically I went on my first true paranormal investigation on the very night that my novel was released! I accompanied CPPI on their investigtion of The Star of India. It's a 19th century sailing ship and it did not disappoint. I heard an EVP within the first 20 minutes of the investigation. I heard large banging sounds that could not be explained away. I also slid on my back in the dark along the very bottom level of the ship (think sliding under a slightly elevated car) for the length of a football the dark! It was a great night!

Mary Preston said...

"Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum" looks like a great read. Are you a believer??


June M. said...

Hi! "Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum" sounds really good. There is an old asylum in Louisville Kentucky that is supposedly haunted. Have you ever considered or toured old asylums?

manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

do you have a favorite spot you like to write?

Terri M

Michelle Brack said...

Steve......I'm wondering......why did you choose an asylum as your subject matter? Just because they are typically haunted or another reason? I love reading about old asylums, but I think that's just the nurse in me that loves the history of how people used to be treated and how far we have come since then! Thank God!

Mary Kirkland said...

Loved the interview and getting to know more about the book.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Gena Robertson said...

Hi Steve! Have you had any personal experiences with ghosts or paranormal phenomena?

The book sounds great! I can't wait to read it! Thank you for the giveaway chance!

Gena Robertson

No Bull Steve said...

@ Marybell - I'm not sure I understand what you mean. A believer in the paranormal? Yes. (also a believer in the book!)

Thanks June! -- funny you mention it, I was BORN in Louisville and my publisher is in Louisville. She's talked about that place and yes, someday I want to get back there to investigate it!

Terri - typically at my desk. Although I wrote much of my first book under a tree in a park that overlooked the ocean. Sometimes writing in loud noisy places works to help focus me...and typically I need it quiet.

No Bull Steve said...

Wake - hopefully you'll read the book to see that ONLY an asylum could work for this story. It's not GHOST OF.... it's GHOSTS OF....for a reason! So much pain and human suffering, those places can't help but hold onto some of that.

Mary - spare time?!?!? you're kidding right? LOL Seriously, I am a big football fan. I also live right by the ocean and love walking on the beach.

Unknown - Yes! I don't discuss them often because I use my experiences to some extent in the book and don't want to taint the readers perspective.

In Julie's Opinion said...

Hi Steve! Your book sounds awesome and I can't wait to read it! I wonder if you watch all of the ghost hunter type shows that are on now, in particular Ghost Hunters on Syfy? Thanks so much for the giveaway:)

No Bull Steve said...

Hi Julie - thanks! I don't watch many of them right now as I dont own a TV! I did however thouroughly research all the shows prior to writing the book!

Savannah said...

Hi Steve I really enjoyed the interview. I was wondering what does it feel like to get your first book published to actually have it out there for other people to read??
Sorry if that seems weird I want to write and I'm trying to get some motivation.
Oh wait I want to change my question what finally motivated you to take that step and become an author :)?
Thanks for posting today, your books sounds amazing I can't wait to check them out!

Helen said...

Have you ever had the chance to explore a haunted place and did you ever find anything if you did?

Denise Z said...

Thank you for sharing this fun interview with us today. I love a good ghost story and look forward to finding out just what Zach's secret possession is all about and where it will lead. I like to throw out a question that I am always curious about. When you finish a book, how to you celebrate, is is a quite time or are you boogieing and shouting from he rooftops :)

dv8 said...

What inspired your interest in ghosts?

potstickers said...

Do you get writer's block?

No Bull Steve said...

@Brandon - I don't really understand the 2nd question, so I'll answer your first. It's indescribably wonderful to know other people like me (ie READERS) are able to enjoy my work. For years I thought writers were BSing when they said things like that. I gotta say it's true. Getting emails from people across the country I've never met who've not even connected with me until after they found and read my book is wonderful.

No Bull Steve said...

Helen - I have! I just answered that for a blog interview next week. Please check it out!!!

No Bull Steve said...

Denise - I've heard story of writers who write X words a day and if one book ends at X-minus 250, they go onto the next project without pause. I'm gonna call BS on that to some extent. Completing a novel is a MAJOR accomplishment whether you're published or not, whether you've got an agent or not. If you've written the equivalent of 25 or 30 short stories that all link up to one giant story, you deserve to celebrate. I do!

That said, there are many levels of "done" so I try to limit my celebrations to one per book...typically after 2 drafts.

No Bull Steve said...

Helen - NO WAIT. I answered that question above....sheesh you guys. Great questions but no repeating!

No Bull Steve said...

dv8. I think I answered that in the interview. Not sure what else to add.

Thanks all for a wonderful blog stop. I'll be back in a couple weeks for a special First Kiss post!

No Bull Steve said...

potstickers -- I've said that I suffer from laziness and watching too much television. THAT blocks writing. I don’t believe in the other kind. Writers write. It might be crap at first, but keep writing and the good stuff eventually comes out.

Lexi said...

I feel like that every time I go into a book store, just love looking at all those shelves of books...I almost get giddy.
Some people go years and years and become doctors, but I think becoming an author would be much more fun =) I am sure your Mom agrees by now right?
Your book sounds like a good read, glad you were here so I could find out about it!

RoseD said...

Steve, you said you had completed the second in the Xavier Paranormal Investigators series—the follow up to GHOSTS OF ROSEWOOD ASYLUM. What is the title and when can we expect it to be released?

No Bull Steve said...

Lexi -- I know that feeling! It wasn't until recently that I remembered how much I loved going to the library when I was a kid. Rows and rows and rows of books....all for free!!!

No Bull Steve said...

Rose - it's going to be called "The Atchison Haunting" and I'm hopeful it will be out this summer. Much of the timing of when books are released has to do with the publisher. The big publishing houses take about 18 months AFTER the book is completed and sold to get the book in bookstores. Smaller publishing houses move faster and Indie publishing can go much quicker.

I'm not exactly sure which publishing direction we're going in with the sequel as of yet. I'm getting the manuscript over to my agent next week and I guess we'll go from there.

ReneeRearden said...


I LOVE the premise behind Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum and the paranormal investigation team. What made you decide to write a series versus a stand-alone novel? If Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum started as a stand-alone book, which character's voice became the loudest and demanded another story?

msmjb65 said...

I haven't read any of your work, but this looks really interesting!
msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

No Bull Steve said...

MJB - thanks! Oddly enough, your initials are the first initials of my siblings order! LOL
Maria, Joe, Barb

Renee - ahhhh the debate of series versus stand-alone novel! Well first, I want to say that GHOSTS IS a stand-alone novel. You can read it and enjoy it and that's that. There's no cliffhangers. I HATE CLIFFHANGERS. If I pay $15 for a book or a movie it had dang well be a complete story (unless it's known in advance it's only a part like Lord of the Rings).

That said, publishers are REALLY looking more and more and serieses or something with series potential. GHOSTS came to me as the standalone idea, but with ghost hunting being a case by case type of thing, I think it lends itself well to there being other standalone cases which can come along.

Think of Gone Baby Gone. If you read the book or saw the film, you didn't get a sense that it's one book in a short series of them...that's what I like. JD Robb's "In Death" series is another example. You can read any of those in any order and enjoy them as much as another without needing to read them sequentially. It's a tough line to balance on, but it's what I strive for (at least early on in the series).

IdentitySeeker said...

Great post! Thank you for informing us about yourself and your book.

I have no idea who "Dolores Claiborne" and would love to know.

Also, what is your favourite book of all time?

Best wishes for 2012!:)

Sarah B. Setar

La pajara pinta said...

Hi Steve!
I'm sooooo looking forward to read your book. It looks awesome!
Just a basic question, When did you realize you want to be a writer ?
Keep up the great work :)

No Bull Steve said...

@Sarah - check out Stephen King's book of the same title - Delores Claiborne.

@LPP - I think there was a time a few years back where I couldn't find enough good books to read. There is, as we all know, plenty of crap and I apparently kept finding it. So I decided it was time to give it a go!

Rachel V said...

This is a new author for me but the book sounds great. I really like ghost stories and ghost hunting. Since mermaids and sirens are your mystical creature. Do you see yourself ever including either in a future book?

No Bull Steve said...

@Rachel - not at present, however my newest work in progress is about a young woman who interacts with ghosts when she surfs at a certain beach...

Jennifer Haile said...

Which authors are your biggest inspirations.

latishajean said...

Thanks for the great interview sounds like a great book! I'm always looking for new Authors to read and look forward to reading your books!

No Bull Steve said...

Thanks Jean!

Jennifer - Stephen King, JK Rowlings and Ernest Hemmingway.

DL Thomas said...

Hi Steve,

You are a new author, to me and to yourself too... :-)

I am not an aspiring author, but I do love to read.

I love paranormal reads and I am always looking for new books and authors.

I typically go for paranormal romance, but I am open to more.

You are now on my TBB and TBR lists. Hopefully I will win and won't have to buy. ;-)

I love the blurb to Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum.


No Bull Steve said...

Thanks Deb!

Lexie@BookBug said...

Do you feel like you have "made it" as an author or is that something you are continually striving for?

No Bull Steve said...

Always another book to write...

Juliana said...

How long did it take to get the work finished and published? From the moment you got the idea, started writing, finished, and looked for publishing?

Deb PelletierC said...

Happy Valentine's day.DebP

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