10 Simple Questions with Steve Vernon (interview by Chantal Boudreau)

I’m honoured to have a fellow Nova Scotian and well-published author, Steve Vernon, with me as a guest at the Guild of Dreams. While Steve’s writings tend to venture into the darker side of things, it’s often done with a goodly dose of humour. He’s a prolific, dedicated writer and one of the hardest working wordsmiths I know. But why don’t I let him do some of the talking…

1) Who are you ?
Who am I? That’s an awfully good question. Sometimes I wonder about that. Sometimes I think that I am going to have to start scribbling my name on my pyjamas in reverse-backwards so that I know just who I’m shaving in the bathroom mirror.
The fact is – I am a storyteller and I am a writer. I am one of those weird dudes that would rather spin a yarn than breathe. I don’t socialize much – unless I am going out to an event that requires storytelling.
It’s not that I HATE socializing. It’s more that I am poorly equipped for schmoozing and small talk.
In a very real way I am a work-a-holic. My sense of identity revolves almost completely about my creativity. If I am awake – I am most likely writing – even if I am standing in a crowded room.
2) What have you written and in particular, anything relating to fantasy?
It depends on what sort of “fantasy” you are talking about. All of my books could easily fit into the realm of “dark fantasy” or quite a few fit into “urban fantasy”. I haven’t written much in the way of “High Fantasy”.
I’ve written seven regional books – including my latest release MARITIME MURDER.
I’ve just released a new Kindle e-book serial entitled FLASH VIRUS. This serial tells the story of sixteen year old Briar Gamble who finds that his town and his high school have been invaded by an army of mysterious cell-phone wielding aliens.
I believe that the closest release that I have ever written would be my novel GYPSY BLOOD – which was described by one reviewer as “a fantasy novel for readers who HATE fantasy”.
3) I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but why do you write?
You might as well ask why do I breathe?
I write to give me an excuse to climb inside my imagination and take off running in all directions.
4) Do you have a preferred genre?
I am a great fan of anything that smacks of “booga-booga”. Horror, dark fantasy, certain pieces of science fiction – I like to prowl the shadows and turn over rocks and see what ever wriggles out from beneath.
5) Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?
I keep trying to become a plotter. I am forever attempting to create an outline and to know – once and for all – what I was going to write next. But I am afraid that I am a irredeemable “pantser” – looking as far as the next word, the next sentence or the next paragraph. That’s as far as my headlights will let me see. I drive by night, and my GPS was broken a long time ago. (CB – what’s hilarious is I had a similar conversation with pantsers complaining about writing being like the inability to see ahead of you in the fog, and I pointed out didn’t have that problem because my outlines are my GPS – lol)
6) What do you like most about writing?
I like to take my characters and try and make them just as wise and wonderful and brave and adventurous and as passionate and occasionally stupid as I can possibly manage. I get an absolute thrill from twisting the knife in just the proper fashion as to create that frisson that puts a grin on the helpless reader. I love to figure out one more angle and I love to try and make the readers shriek in terror and giggle out loud at the same darned time.
7) What challenges you the most about writing?
Getting it done.
There is never enough time in the day.
8) Who or what inspires you most?
My bill collectors. They are a constant inspiration.
“Write faster,” they tell me. “Write more, right now!”
9) What are your plans for the future?
I’m currently working on completing the first six installments of my six-episode serial novel FLASH VIRUS and have got another regional YA novel in rough stages. (CB -He’s also involved in Tesseracts 17 – he might want to write that in marker on his pyjamas too.)
10) Do you have any suggestions for other writers?
Rule number one – you aren’t NEARLY as good as you think you are. (CB – I must REALLY suck then…)There is ALWAYS room for learning and growth and we are ALL just beginners in this game. Listen to your editors, never stop trying to learn your craft and finish whatever you start.

Thank you very much Steve! And I encourage you all to go and sample some of his fantastic work. You won’t regret it!

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4 comments on “10 Simple Questions with Steve Vernon (interview by Chantal Boudreau)

  1. GPS? I’ve never trusted them in driving or writing. I’ve seen GPSs that have our house across the street and down a few driveways. That’s an empty field. If I plotted, my characters might end up in that field with no where to go.

    Great interview. Thanks.

    • I have the opposite problem -if I don’t plot, I wander off into the woods, characters in tow, and never find my way back out again. In the end, totally lost, I give up, leave them there, and go home. Different strokes for different folks – different brains with different strains. So goes it.

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