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My guest today is author Steve Soderquist
Welcome Steve, let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself including where you are from.
I am originally from Florida and now reside with my fiancé Laura Ranger, who is also a fellow author, editor, and co-owner of our publishing company, Foundations, LLC.
I wrote my first published work, a paranormal horror tale called, ‘One for the Road’ seven years ago and have since published five other books varying in genre from horror to young adult, to science fiction, thriller/suspense and even a children’s short! I’ve been a professional freelance editor for five years, having first been employed with Damnation Books – Eternal Press. Close to a year ago, my fiancé and I started up our own publishing company after seeing a great need to connect readers to the authors, and give a more market-approach for promotions. At this time, we have seventeen books published by various authors and have a staff of around twelve talented folks, doing everything for us from cover art to editing and promoting as marketing managers.
Currently, I have two other novels out, one called Farm House, the other a co-written novel called Rogue with Laura Ranger.
Can you tell us about your horror novel, Farm House and how you got started.
At this time, being so close to Halloween, this would be a great time to talk about my horror novel ‘Farm House.’ It’s a tale of a young woman who is brought into the home of a kind and considerate matriarch who helps wayward teens, but this teen in particular has a past that not even Karen Foster, known as Mama K to the house, could ever conceive. 20 miles away from the next farm house, no one can the screams…
I got the idea when staying at a house much like the one in the story and with very much the setup as explained in the books! It made me think: “What would happen if one of these kids just went nuts and started hacking away at everyone else?” A book was born!
What made you decide to write books?
I have always been a fan of books, but the idea of writing never occurred to me until I was seventeen. I went into my first ‘manuscript’ green as hell and not knowing one wit how to write. After being severely burned by a writers group, (rightfully so,) I took the time to learn. Real life alas got in the way of such creativity and it was not until I was in my mid-forties that I would even try again. However, when those first of many two words were written down, THE END, I knew I wasn’t going to stop. The stories were coming in my head faster and faster and the more I wrote, the better I was getting at it. Also, I was finding there was quite the geek-streak in me when it came to all things English. I made myself a student to the point of being competent teaching. I began posting writing tips on my Facebook page, which progressed to my website and soon enough, I was holding writing seminars for those who wished to come and learn about the craft to have the opportunity to learn it in a very A + B method, without the wooden approach or the flowery add-on’s that I always found I had to fight through to even make sense out of what I was trying to learn. I have since held three of these seminars, edited over fifty books for other writers, learned all things formatting and have become proficient enough to even justify charging folks for this.
What was your inspiration for your books?
Anything can be the beginning of an idea. Something as simple as just seeing two things connect can be the start of an idea. It’s a matter then of whether or not the idea weathers the storm of creativity versus fizzling out. If it hangs around in my head long enough to become more than an ‘idea,’ then it goes to the next phase in my brain of development. By then I’m usually writing something down and seeing what clicks. By the time I am about 20 thousand words in, that’s pretty much my commitment point. I know there’s a good chance I’m going to finish it and make a book.
How do you create your characters?
Usually, my characters create themselves depending on what the story needs to move it along. How far they develop depends on how interesting he or she is and the importance he or she starts to play into the story. I like to let the story hum along by itself while i am the bystander watching and recording what I see, but still there comes a time when my own interjection is needed to move a plot along or kick it in the rump if it’s stagnating.
If you have a publisher, what has it been like working with them?
Before becoming a publisher myself, I did indeed have a publisher and it was not a good experience. My questions and emails went un-answered, mistakes were left in the final draft to print, formatting errors were all throughout the book…quite frankly, it was a nightmare. Not to mention, there was absolutely no marketing or help with getting my book out there. Thankfully, they closed their doors which allowed me to regain full rights and it first went to a competent editor, then with proper promotion, was relaunched. That book is the very one I am highlighting for this interview, ‘Farm House.’
What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?
I was a fairly new writer juggling a lot of characters. Keeping the personalities separate for them was a definite challenge. I learned a lot writing this novel and have been able to use what I’ve learned with other books I’ve written.
What is your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
I don’t strive for an amount of words as much as just words. I can go back and edit bad writing, I can’t edit NO writing.
Which writers influence you the most?
Every author I’ve read, good and bad, have influenced me. I’ve learned that I can learn just as much from a badly written book as I can from a well written novel. Most of my influences were so wide ranged it can’t be said I have even a favorite genre! Everything from Stephen King to V.C. Andrews, James Clavell, Anthony Burgess, J.K. Rawling, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Mark Twain, John Norman…many, many more.
What do you like to read?
Lastly is there snything else you would like to add?
Just that I’d like to thank you for the interview! It’s always a pleasure to meet new folks.