Interview with Stefain

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Hazelwood and the St. Louis County region, in Missouri. I guess the biggest influence on my writing this gave me was the abundance of awesome bookstores and libraries. I was not a prolific reader in school; down to the fact I didn't like what they forced us to read. But once I discovered authors I was interested in, then boom! I read everything I could get my hands on.
When did you first start writing?
As a child! Seriously, though, I would write little scripts for my superhero action figures and the next day I would act them out. The writing bug really hit in 1988, when I wrote a full length book that I won't publish until it's "right". But through my teen years I was always writing short stories. Now I want to do it full time.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Maidenjade Book 1 is a series of short stories set in the fiction city of Maidenjade. Unlike a lot of other fantasy writings, this book focuses primarily on the thieves guilds and "lone wolf" thieves who make their living by stealing things. I found this concept very fresh and appealing. I co-authored this with William Kenney, a long time friend and influence. It's his world; I'm lucky enough to get to play in it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I guess the only answer I can give to this would be to have a medium to get my work out. I actually enjoy the characters and stories I write, and want to share them. I hope other people will like them also!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
By allowing me to do this profile and get my name out. It's an incredible opportunity to connect with readers who might enjoy my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Watching these characters I think of come to life and having their own "lives". The creation of the world, the events, all of it. I can sit back and watch all this grow. It's the same with music; to take an idea in your head and make it physical. It's the biggest rush.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are like friends. They take something I did and read it, thus we share a bond. I will enjoy feedback-both positive and critical-as this will help me mature as a writer. They will think of something I didn't and it will be like: 'Oh yeah! Of course!' I think of any creative endeavour as a "community" thing. We all add to it and take away what we will.
What are you working on next?
Finally finishing my first solo novel! It's taken forever but I am closing in on it. Hopefully very soon it will be published.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ooh, that's a tough one, but if I had to narrow it down, I'd say Philip K Dick, William Gibson, Henry Miller, J O'Barr, Edgar Allen Poe, and comic book writer Geoff Johns.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The thought that I might create something really cool today! Also, my wife, cats, and ferrets. But what drives me the most is that I actually get another day, so let's not waste it!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am also the guitarist,/lyricist/vocalist for a local black metal band. I also enjoy video games, my pets, and just dwelling on esoteric things. And astronomy.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was a silly thing about a kid who befriends a lost mouse. Typical 2nd grade stuff.
What is your writing process?
Ideas come to me and I fill my notebook with them, then use/discard what works and what doesn't. Sitting at the keyboard and staring at a blank monitor does not help. Sometimes the characters are there wholecloth and other times they have to be developed.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first actual, serious novel I sat down and read was 'A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess. I was 13 and it was for a speech class where the teacher allowed us to pick any book we wanted and do a report. Before that the biggest story that actually had en emotional impact on me was 'Flowers For Algernon'.
How do you approach cover design?
I trust William (Kenney) to take care of that! In addition to being an impressive author, his artwork is incredible.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
In no order:
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (Philip K Dick). Something about the way the man wrote really captures my imagination. He's a huge influence.
Neuromancer (William Gibson), When I read that book I was like "This guy is on the same wavelength as me!"
It's a favourite! His knack for making sci-fi feel very real is incredible.
It (Stephen King). It's the ultimate horror story. And I love the fact that a generation later, the kids-now adults-have to come back and face their fears.
The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien). A fantastic look at a world that might have been. The meek hero must overcome all odds and win the day. I can't think of a book I'd recommend more.
The Wind In The willows (Kenneth Grahame). Absolutely one of the finest works of imagination ever.
Published 2016-09-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Maidenjade Book 1
Series: Chronicles of Maidenjade. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 69,970. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Dark, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
The jade was cursed, that's what the people believed and it quickly grew out of favor. The city of Maidenjade relied on the stone, it was the entire reason for its existence. As those with coin left the city, only the most dangerous scavengers remained; thieves, assassins and those with nowhere else to go. The stories within this volume tell the tales of those unfortunate souls that dwell there.