Hey there, readers!
Today we have a new interview with indie author Steve Vernon. He’s got a whole bunch of books worth checking out, so click the link and have a browse.
Break the ice and tell our readers who you are and what kind of thing you write.
I’m a writer and an oral tradition storyteller. I specialize in the fine old art of booga-booga. I write horror, paranormal, dark fantasy, and ghost stories. I’ve been writing since the mid-eighties with about a dozen small press published novels and novellas, about a hundred short stories and a couple of hundred published poems – as well as seven books of regional folklore released through a Nova Scotia publisher and about fifty independently published e-books.
I like to keep busy.
How do you approach your stories; do you plan everything out before starting, or are you more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of a person?
I’m an old school hitchhiker. I need to know where I am going from and WHERE I am going to. Once I have the opening scene and have a good idea on how I want the whole thing to wind up then I am ready to get started.
Tell us about your most recent release, and why the heck our readers should give it a shot:
My most recent release would be a YA novel entitled A BLURT IN TIME: THE TALE OF A TIME TRAVELING TOILET. It is a dark and funny tale of a young fellow who journeys back about two hundred years in time to find out where he already came from – and I guarantee that it is the funniest and scariest time traveling toilet novel you will EVER read.
What’s the biggest influence on the kind of thing you write? Another writer? A TV show? Some other thing that is neither of those two things?
I’d say I lean towards the style of Manly Wade Wellman – an old-time pulpy yarn-spinner who knew how to get his hero into a jam and out of a jam.
Wow. I hate this sort of question because I love so many different movies – but I’d have to say that I will sit down and watch Peckinpah’s THE WILD BUNCH on any given day of the week.
What was your favourite book as a kid?
First horror novel I ever read was Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, and I loved it right down to the bone. I also dug Lester Dent’s DOC SAVAGE series and Edgar Rice Burrough’s TARZAN series.
What comes first for you with a story, concept or characters?
Concept comes first – for sure – but if you cannot wrap that concept around some real believable characters you might as well go drown yourself in a river full of whiskey and tears.
What are you reading/watching/playing/hiding from right now?
I am currently re-watching the entire series of BREAKING BAD. Now that is a television show that teaches you storytelling.
What made you decide to go indie, and what do you see as the benefits of indie?
My decision to go indie was prompted by the fact that I write faster than my publisher can keep up with. It seems funny to me, though. Like I said, I started writing back about forty years ago and up until maybe six years ago or so I frowned upon the notion of me EVER self-publishing my work – but now here I am and I love it. I am very happy that technology and the market-place have begun to lean in favour of indie publishing.
Who is your favourite fictional character, be it from books, TV, comics, movies or games?
Robert Parker’s SPENSER comes to mind. Also Stephen Hunter’s EARL SWAGGER series.
D’you listen to music whilst you write? The TV on in the background providing a pleasant white-noise babble? Or d’you DEMAND SILENCE WHILST YOU CREATE FROM NOTHING.
Silence. Followed by more silence. Although I did write SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME: A TALE OF WILD WEST TERROR AND REANIMATED BUFFALO while listening to a compendium of Godzilla soundtracks.
Which of your own works are you proudest of?
I’d have to say TATTERDEMON. I wrote that novel thinking about another novel that truly inspired me. I am talking about Stephen King’s SALEM’S LOT. I read SALEM’S LOT and that was the very first time in my life that I knew WHAT kind of writer I wanted to grow up to be. I was about fifteen or sixteen at the time – but I remember reading that and thinking “Wow, I want to write me a big fat doorstop horror novel.” So that was what TATTERDEMON became – a big fat doorstop horror novel, just like SALEM’S LOT, only with scarecrows, instead of vampires.
What’s you’re writing schedule like? Are you super regimented, butt-in-chair every day, tip-tapping away for hours, or an airy-fairy ‘when the muse strikes’ sort of a person?
I have a day job with varied hours – so my writing schedule is awfully unpredictable. Still, I would have to say that I do my very best writing early in the morning – long before the birds have got up out of bed. I am talking maybe five in the morning – farmer’s hours. That’s when the words grow best.
What’s your number one piece of advice for anyone reading this who is considering going the indie route?
Drink some coffee. Being an indie takes an AWFUL lot of energy.
Tell me a ‘classic’ book that you’ve not been able to get through:
CATCH-22 – don’t tell the bombardier I said that.
So what treats do you have in store for readers next?
Well, right now I am busy trying to successfully campaign a novel for Kindle Scout – that program that Amazon puts out that is kind of like American Idol for authors. The novel is called KELPIE DREAMS – and if this interview is posted before the end of February I would surely appreciate it if folks would swing over to the Kindle Scout website and nominate KELPIE DREAMS HERE.
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