Interview with Steven Williams

What do your fans mean to you?
They are not my fans, they belong to Flossie Smith and Josh Miller. Over the next few years, God willing, they will be able to follow them through their active and exciting lives. There is a surprise around every corner and they confront social mores than belong to another century, defeat evil, and succeed in life.
What are you working on next?
It's 1933 and the kids are becoming teenagers. Cicero, Josh's grandfather falls in love. Flossie becomes famous because of her success as a hunter. Josh learns to fly and meets another girl besides Flossie. Isaac Miller leads his basketball team to a Sectional Championship. New characters are introduced who become very important to Josh and Flossie.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have many but my favorite without a doubt is Michener. I think he completed my liberal arts education. Second on my list is Clancey. Tom, I read just for entertainment. I know a lot of people take him seriously. If I did it would take all the fun out of it. Finally, my favorite period is the Roman Empire and only one person writes readable fiction from that period Colleen McCullough. I think she suffers a bit from her attempts to deify Julius Cesar, but if you can look by that, then she is very informative. She obviously has done her research and wants you to know it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love sports. TV offers such a wonderful variety, I could waste my life away watching football, basketball, and especially baseball. Last season I watched every pitch of the 162 game season of the Cincinnati Reds. My wife says I was obsessed. It's possible but I just love the game. Next to the Red in importance is the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. By limiting the teams I follow, I reserve the rest of my life for writing. When I was a younger man I officiated high school basketball, volleyball, and baseball. I loved it. It kept me young.
What is your writing process?
I have a general outline, but because my books are historical fiction, the calendar provides a guide. The most important thing is to keep the people in character. Change must come slow or it will not be believeable.
How do you approach cover design?
Since my books are a series there will only be one cover. We simply change the title on the cover.
What do you read for pleasure?
Historical fiction.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle Fire.
Describe your desk
Messy and its going to stay that way. My wife who is a homemaker of homemakers can hardly stand it. When I leave the house for a while I often come home to an unlittered polished red wood work station that makes me most uncomfortable. Personally I like hiding behind the stacks. I can think better that way.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Southern Indiana but it is not the geography that most influenced my writing. It was the people like my father, mother, grandfather, preacher, and some neighbors who you can come see come to life in the fictional characters in my books.
When did you first start writing?
When I was sixty six. I did it to survive. So many of my friends after their retirement died. While I expect the same thing will happen to me in short order, I wanted to avoid it as long as I could. I proved to be a quick study. A few words from my writing coach, Gloria Penwell and an agent from Texas named Terry it learned to create the 100,000 word novel. The rest is just my good looks and natural talents.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"The Coon Hunters of Stout's Creek" is a feminist's dream. Flossie a twelve year old tomboy wants to hunt her hound with the men. That is a no-no in Flat Rock Township where coon hunting is a male only sport. Her friend Josh is welcome but she is not. Flossie through her own efforts and the help of Josh and her father, Jim is allowed to hunt first with Josh and then with the Club. So powerful is her dog's performance in the local hunts, Bob, Flossie's hound is nominated to the National Hunt. Again Flossie runs into prejudice against members of her sex. This time only through the intercession of Rod and Gun magazine is she permitted to compete. The rest is history.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am too old to fuss with agents.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having a character tell a good joke or creating funny irony and then sitting back and enjoying them.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I usually get up because I am hungry. I would like to lie to you and say I am impatient to get to the keyboard. That's not true. Sometimes I write at the oddest hours. I have been known to stay away from the computer all day long and suddenly at midnight start writing until my wife wakes me up and tells me to go to bed.
Published 2013-11-18.
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