Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Author Interview with Sim Stevenz

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I'm nineteen. About the writing side of me I've been writing since I learned to read, which was about thirteen years ago. I wrote a lot of stories from the ages of six and nine, mostly fan fiction. I wrote my first novel at eleven and became a published, albeit self published, author at eighteen. I've written over twenty titles, not all published, still working on it. The other side of me, I guess, the side most people see, is my fun loving side. I love to travel, meet new people, take chances and just enjoy my family and friends.

What do you do when you are not writing?
Well, I eat, sleep, work a second job, travel, go out on the town, spend time with the people I care about, but I write a lot, so there isn't much time in the day for much else, except for weekends.

Do you have a day job as well?
Yes, I do.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
To be completely honest, I started writing as soon as I could read but I didn't finish my first novel until about thirteen. I wrote my first story at eleven but it wasn't a novel.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I decided to be honest with myself and realized I really like writing Romance with a bit of Action, Suspense and Thriller quality to it.

Where do you get your ideas?
That's hard to say. I like to think it's all in my head. I have a very rich world in my mind where all my characters live, waiting to be brought alive by my words. I draw from personal experience as well. There are some nuances in life, some as simple as the way a person counts money that may make it into my stories.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Actually, no. There have been times when I bored myself with my own stories, but I've found that once I get into a story, I just write and write until it's over. I've never found myself stuck because I tend to plan out my endings ahead of time and work towards them. Once in while I'll surprise myself.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
It depends. I've written a few stories with outlines, back stories, histories all prepared. Most of my stories however, are completely spontaneous. I let my pen, or my keyboard just guide me and see what I come up with.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I am a proponent of the classics. Some of biggest literary inspirations are people like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Daphne Du Maurier, Georgette Heyer and even Mark Twain.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
It was very hard. I didn't know anyone willing to publish my books and it took some time to discover that self publishing was free and easy. One of the downsides of self publishing is you have to do everything yourself: publicity, editing, proofing, design. It didn't bother me so much, but I really wished and still do wish that I had someone very familiar with the industry to guide me through it.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
There are many things I would change, but I think the biggest thing is if I had to do it all over again (publish my first novel again) I'd get an agent.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Well, I don't really have time to do much marketing, but wherever I go I tell people about my books. I hope to use word of mouth to spread the knowledge of my books around.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Yes and no.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I haven't decided what it's going to be but for now people can check out my latest release 'Creature Leader' on Amazon.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I like to use a combination. I'd say that everything is based on real life experiences and I use pure imagination to shake things up a bit.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I always enjoy writing the last chapter. It's where I get to create a happy ending for everyone involved, or not. It's where I as the author get to demonstrate my complete power over the subjects of my writing world. It's a very satisfying feeling.

How did you come up with the title?
The 'hero' of the story is called 'Creature Leader' and it is he who becomes the Creature Leader that will save the world from destruction. I thought how about a short title and that's what I came up with.

What project are you working on now?
Right now I'm working on a story, title withheld, that is about the surprises and irony of life. It is a love story and I'm having fun with it. I don't guarantee that it's the next title, but who knows?

Will you have a new book coming out soon?
I won't publish a new book until early in 2014. I hope to use the rest of the year to gain some publicity and a footing as an author.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I would love to go back to my hero in Creature Leader, but I wouldn't do that to him. He's happy and I think I should leave him alone.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I haven't received much criticism as an author other than from my editor and that I don't consider criticism, more like constructive instruction.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Keep at it. Don't give up. One day, whatever you dreamed for will come to. But, with a caveat, no one said hard work doesn't play into it as well.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Enjoy my work, that's all I ask.

Books by the Author

Creature Leader -

The Plague and the War took many things from Drayven Locke, but it did give him one thing: hatred for everyone and everything. A fateful night inspires questions, a search for answers, the title of Creature Leader and ultimate dominion over the planet Pax. But amidst all of this, his struggle to forgive darkens his heart. Clyne, a woman from his past haunts his presence. With her appearance comes more questions than answers. Sealen Solnen is just another victim of the Plague and the War but she becomes so much more when she meets Drayven and makes it her destiny to bring him back to life. His struggle to forgive and her struggle to be forgiven finds them both locked in a battle for his sanity....and his life.

When Darkness Falls - 3-in-1 - When darkness falls, one man rises up to fan the flames. He is the architect of revolution; his steely grey eyes focused on victory and the domination of his world. Time is running out; his enemies are legion. He faces possible betrayal by members of his own family and stands to lose the one woman he loves to another man. Drake Halifax must find a way to retrieve the Cities from Resistance control. He deposes the Arbiter of the Four Cities, but it isn't enough. It is only the beginning. He leads a Rebellion to free his people from oppressive tyranny. A way of life is being threatened. He vows there will be no dawn for evil. The sun must rise again.

When Darkness Falls: Book 1 - Follow Drake Halifax, a man disgusted with the depravity he sees in the cities. He embarks on a mission, recruiting his father, a distinguished member of the bar, and a young woman who finds the grass is greener on the other side. His mission ends with the death of the Arbiter, but the war has only begun...

When Darkness Falls: Book 2 - The fight continues. Drake Halifax is now fighting to keep an
ambitious woman's attempts to bring his campaign to a halt at bay. Unbeknownst to Drake, his mother's death will help him to begin the true battle and face the demons that are on his side.

When Darkness Falls: Book 3 - Drake Halifax's struggle to bring the cities under his control comes with many sacrifices. Buildings are burned, people are killed, raids are staged and all the while, the fires burn hotter. As Drake strives to restore freedom to a crumbling world, a young woman's heart becomes his desire. Will loyalty prevail or will revenge reap despair?

The Extralife Chronicles - The Humans want Extris for their own. The Extralife want to keep Extris for their own. An unlikely alliance forms first between Maveth Dojanne and Avith Runer, long time enemies. Then, Maveth allies with Murl Graven, the one Extralife that is the enemy of them all. She will be Queen of Earth...

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