Interview with Steven Mathison

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in New England. Born in Conn., raised in Providence, and attended High School in Mass. I've also lived in Maine and New Hampshire, where I now reside. I can't say that living in any of these states influenced my writing, or writing style. I would have to credit the U. S. Air Force for that.
When did you first start writing?
LOL - I was forced to learn writing skills in Naha, Okinawa in 1972. I happened to be standing in the wrong spot at the wrong time when a guy got fired and my Flight Chief fingered me to become a Desk Sergeant. The job required writing and typing - neither of which were parts of my skills set. I could shoot better than anyone around me, but I could not write, spell or type. At all. When that Flight Chief saw what I was turning out for official reports, he blew a gasket. threw a dictionary at me (literally), and assigned me 50 pages a night. Every night. I was given a test the next day. Every day. We won't go into what happened if I failed a test. About 6 months later I was an adequate typist using 4 fingers - but those $100 words were all over my reports, every one in correct context. I thoroughly enjoyed making dozens of people reach for their own dictionaries for the next year. After that ... I just had to continue improving.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My only book. I am a reader, not a writer. I remember finishing Norma Lorre Goodrich's Arthurian books and found her research fascinating, and believable. Then I started searching for Author's using her research for novels - and found zip. No, what I found was a host of characters bashing her research in order to put forth their own claims. (Things haven't worked out as well for them as they have for her through the years) Long story short, I decided I would try to write something worth reading - at least until someone credible wrote something I could use as an excuse to walk away from my hobby. Four and a half years later I had an agent (kind of) demanding to see my manuscript. She sent it off to be published as an e-book without so much as asking me if that was what I wanted. My sister (Mickee Madden) has been the real force behind my completing the book. Without her nudging me along I would probably still be playing with it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Two things. One: the established publishers wanted nothing to do with a King Arthur story, whether he was forefront or background in the story. I could imagine hearing some of them gag as they rejected my book. I can't honestly say I was very impressed with any of the established publishing houses I had contact with. Quality clearly took a back seat to dollar signs. The second reason I went indie is because of my sister, Mickee Madden. She really pushed me to finish the book, had that agent get in touch with me ... and then she did ALL of the work needed to put the manuscript on Kindle, here and Createspace. Yes, I am a lazy bugger.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Can't say that it has, yet. I hope it will, though.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Wrong guy to ask. Writing is work. Very, very hard work. The joyous part for me would be finishing it and celebrating with my buddy Jim Beam.
What do your fans mean to you?
I have none that I am aware of. Wait! Do my kids count?
What are you working on next?
Nothing at the moment
Who are your favorite authors?
The only authors I enjoy these days are Indie writers. Patrick Kampman, Evan Currie, Christopher Greyson, Elliot Kay, Glenn Bullion, Greig Beck, Sara King, John A. Heldt, Joshua Dalzelle and John Conroe are some of my favorites.Preston and Childs are probably the only mainstream guys I would consider reading.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
A sore back and a need for coffee. Is there anything else worth noting?
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
My Kindle app. Can I say that here?
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Uh, yes. It's here.
What is your writing process?
Ultimate chaos. Couldn't do it any other way. It's all in my head, and comes out in layers. I always start a chapter with a bit of dialog, then eventually flesh the chapter out. I also always start somewhere in the middle.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Nope. I'm an old guy. I do remember having to read Shakespeare aloud in class during the 6th or 7th grade, though.
How do you approach cover design?
I have to thank my sister for the cover. I did the helmet, though.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) Shogun. James Clavell nailed the Japanese culture and mindset of the period. This is the only fully complete book I've ever read. No questions left unanswered at the end. I've probably read this book 15 times and always manage to find some new little nuance in each reading. 2) The Illiad. I was probably 10 or 11 the first time I read this. Still love it. 3) Elliot Kay's "Poor Man's War" - exceptionally well written. I can absolutely relate to everything that kid goes through. 4) Michael Maclear's "The Ten Thousand Day War" clearly explained to me the reason why I spent so much time in Southeast Asia. 5) Arnald Haroldsson, by ... me. Hey, I'm pretty partial to it.
What do you read for pleasure?
Anything and everything.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use my tablet or phone.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
LOL - I can't market.
Describe your desk
Desk? I'm supposed to have a desk?
Published 2014-12-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Arnald Haroldsson
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 152,280. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
In the year 534 A.D. Arnald stumbles blindly into a plot aimed at the ultimate overthrow of his cousin, Arthur, High King of the Celts. Arnald is the least favorite of Elaine’s children and the perfect patsy for the gruesome rape and murder of his older sister.