I’d like to introduce you to the thirty-sixth interviewee in my ‘Meet the Author’ series. He is Steve K. Smy.
QUESTION: Hi, Steve! Welcome to Susan Finlay Writes blog site. Can you tell us a bit about your background as a writer?
ANSWER: Hi, Susan, and thanks for having me. I started writing seriously when I was about 13. Of course, I had a lot to learn, but I didn’t stop until I met my wife and got married. Then, work and family curtailed it a lot. I had brief outbreaks, during which I wrote a couple of novels. Both were handwritten and I didn’t have the money to have them type, so they’ve sat festering away since. Then I fell ill in 2010, and didn’t start to recover until 2011. Eventually, in early 2012, I finally returned to writing for real. I started an epic fantasy novel. Another bout of illness brought that to a grinding halt. Since around November 2012, though, I’ve written several short stories, which I released as free ebooks, and four novelettes. The novelettes were released as ebooks to start with but I’ve now got two in paperback and the other two are in the process. I’m currently working on another. When I turned to short stories, I also started experimenting with writing in different genres to the sci fi and fantasy I’d always written.
QUESTION: Your most recent horror/futuristic novelette, ‘Evil Under the Circle’, was self-published in April, 2013. It’s part II of your ‘G1: The Guardians’ series. Can you tell us about it and the series? What inspired you to write it? How many more do you expect to write?
ANSWER: Evil Under the Circle follows on from Shade of Evil. They’re ‘mild horror’, not the gorefests that have become so popular, or the vampire-romance type. Basically, the book concerns the discovery of an ancient evil being which was trapped and sealed underground by a group of druids who served Light. Tragically, several lives are lost before the elite team of the Guardians, G1, arrive. While they are elite, G1 aren’t prepared for the power of the being and it’s only when unexpected help arrives that they begin to make progress in containing the entity. They learn that the very existence of the Earth depends on their victory. It’s an awesome challenge.
Many years ago, I read a few books by a writer called Peter Saxon. They involved the battle of good versus evil, in a clandestine fashion, and they left a desire for more. Sadly, I can find absolutely no information about him! That left only one choice – write the stories myself. I’ve translated it from present day to a future time, when Society has almost collapsed. The Guardians are, officially, a special force under the government, theoretically controlled by the enigmatic ‘Ministry’. They are, however, very much a law unto themselves. There will be surprises in the future tales, that I promise!
AS the stories are, in essence, able to stand alone, there’s almost unlimited potential. I certainly plan several more books, though what length they’ll be I don’t know. Certainly nothing under novelette length. The beauty of such a series is that ou can return to it whenever you want to.
QUESTION: You published two science fiction novelettes in the ‘The Captain Henri Duschelle Stories’. Can you tell us about them and the series? What inspired you to write them? How many more do you expect to write?
ANSWER: I love the old simple sci fi. Pure escapism, with a mix of light technology and adventure. I’m not inclined to pursue the big social or moral issues, as some sci fi authors do, and I have no desire to write some vast opus, either. The series reflects that, with an intelligent merchant captain who can’t resist getting involved in things better suited to the authorities. This sometimes leads to clashes with ‘Fleet’, but sometimes sees Fleet making use of him. His crew is fiercely loyal and his ship is superior to just about anything else in the Human zone of Space, funded by a considerable fortune. The adventures actually first appeared in one of my short story ebooks, ‘To Sail the Dark Sea’, and was picked up a little later when it was clear that I was still stuck as far as my novel was concerned. The short story, however, doesn’t ‘attach’ to the chronology of the existing novelettes. Again, the way the stories are written, each can be read in isolation, so the potential is vast. I don’t think the good Captain Duschelle will be retiring for some considerable time yet.
QUESTION: You also wrote and published three short stories in your fantasy series, ‘The Thief’. Where can readers find those? Can you tell us about the series?
ANSWER: There’s actually five stories in the series 🙂 They can be found at the majority of online bookstores, though not Amazon because they’re free. Probably the best place to get them from is Smashwords, who provide them in just about every popular ebook format. Thief is the embodiment of the kind of fantasy that I enjoy myself, though less ‘epic’ than my ambition would demand normally. It centres on the one-time thief, Tirnam, and his friends, who rise to power in the city of Ur’gavan. The city has its own history, pre-dating the people who now live there. The stories involve the trials and tribulations of the friends, from Tirnam’s humble beginnings to their efforts to protect the city and its very mixed people from a dangerous world. I’m not sure if there’ll be any more stories, but you can never be sure of these things 😀
QUESTION: You have a very popular website/blogsite, Imagineer-ing. There, you give a brief autobiography. It’s fascinating. Have you ever considered writing and publishing your full memoir?
ANSWER: Thanks! 🙂 I actually spent ages writing that much, as I hate talking about myself like that LOL! The thought of writing a memoir makes me cower behind the sofa. It’s very difficult to believe that anybody would be interested in ordinary me, too.
QUESTION: What has your experience with self-publishing been like?
ANSWER: Generally, I’ve found it immensely rewarding. Not financially. That’s been no more than a very slow dribble, to be honest. But being able to put my scribblings out there, in the off chance that others might enjoy them, is a dream come true. The day I started my first job, it was with the firm belief that it would only last until I became a full time author. Around twenty years later, the dream still hadn’t manifested. I’d pretty much given up on it, in truth. Then the digital revolution happened, my eldest son pointed me in the direction of ebooks, and I worked up the nerve to try it, after several months of procrastination 😀 I started with a software package called Jutoh, which allows you to create ebooks in various formats. At that time, I was happy to just keep them to myself and my kids. Then I gave in to that secret desire and put one on Smashwords. Once I started, I couldn’t stop LOL! Since that first one, I’ve discovered how hard marketing can be, even for free ebooks, and how much work is involved in just about anything but writing. I now write for about a quarter as much time as I did, because I have to spend so much time on other things related to the finished articles. Still, it’s fun and I’ve ‘met’ so many very good people, from all over the world. That’s reward enough, in many ways.
QUESTION: How does it feel to be a published author? How are you dealing with marketing and advertising?
ANSWER: I get excited every time I finish another work! I’m terrible at building the suspense before a release – I just release the work and then announce it 🙂 In truth, though, I have to admit that the excitement of releasing a new ebook can’t compare with that of holding the first paperback of the same work! And that’s overwhelming. Each new book in paperback is greeted with the same trembling desire to shout it to the world the moment I hold that first copy in my hand. Somehow, at that moment, it’s no longer mine! It’s like when the kids grew up and left home 😀
QUESTION: What is your favorite or least favorite part of writing?
ANSWER: Writing, and researching, have to be my favourites, apart from releasing a new book. My least favourite is editing, revising, editing, revising… That part is so tedious, and occasionally I discover that I’ve wasted my time on something I can’t release, it’s just not what I wanted at the beginning.
QUESTION: If you could meet any book character or famous person, who would it be, and what would you do with them?
ANSWER: That’s a really tough one! Every character has flaws and character traits which I might find meant I couldn’t like them in real life. I generally know if I’ll get on with somebody within seconds of meeting them. Knowing ‘of them’ beforehand might damage that. If pushed, I guess the character would have to be Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. As for what I’d do with him, I’d just want to listen to the tales he could tell 🙂 As for famous people, I’m very definitely not a person in love with celebrity. I would much rather meet a good person who had no agenda or ulterior motives. A truly ‘real’ person!
QUESTION: Is there anyone in your life who has inspired you and/or motivated you?
ANSWER: It’ll sound corny, but an English teacher I had way back at the beginning of it all. He encouraged me to write and accepted a severe lack of the school work I was supposed to be doing, because, as he put it, I proved that I understood the use of English through what I was writing.
QUESTION: What books are you currently reading?
ANSWER: I’m reading a book for review. I won’t say what it is, I’m afraid, as it has problems which is making it very hard work. It would be wrong to name it until I write the review and provide a balanced response to it. I have very little reading time, so my old ‘I’m reading 3 (or 4 ) books’ has gone.
QUESTION: Please list any websites or social media links for yourself or your book. Thanks!
ANSWER: My primary website is my blog: http://imagineerebooks.wordpress.com (you can find a page with my published works there, and links to obtain them from).
I have a ‘fan’ page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/imagineer.ebooks
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7652487-steve-smy
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/imagineer
Amazon.com – http://amazon.com/author/steveksmy
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Steve-K-Smy/e/B00BYRGYC6
Tumblr – http://www.tumblr.com/blog/imagineer57
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