Interview with Steven Leith

What's the story behind your latest book?
While not exactly ripped from the Seattle headlines, the central aspects of the story are inspired by real events in and around Seattle. Reading the paper is a good place to start when writing about crime. After that it comes from tidbits of insider information on the hotel business in beautiful downtown Seattle.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like meeting the characters, getting to know them and listening to their unique story. That may sound mad, but it is true. Most of my stories start with a character or a couple of characters; this is because I come from theater and the character voice is important.
What do your fans mean to you?
Up to this point my fans were my beta readers. That is, they are the people who have read my work in various stages of development and without them I could not grow as a writer. This is just as true of anyone who reads a story and gives me feedback, so fans are an important part of the process.
What are you working on next?
I am a cross-genre writer. That means I write more than detective fiction, but I do have a new Sean story well under way. However, I usually have more than one idea in development at a time with notes and character sketches worked up.
What does cross-genre writer mean?
I enjoy reading and writing genre fiction. Genre is story telling, but I am not limited to one story. I have three novels that are high fantasy, one hard-boiled detective, one historical fiction and a science fiction novella. I am currently outlining a modern fantasy.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing in high school. I began with poetry, moved to scripts and plays, but finally settled on the novel as a format that worked for me.
You started writing scripts and plays. Would you return to that format?
I doubt it. I studied play writing and I worked in theater for over twenty years. I still love the play as process, but it is not how I want to tell stories. In many ways I learned my craft observing the living play. What I try to do now is graft elements of the living play onto the printed page.
What is your writing process?
I have to write first thing in the morning before the world interferes. I usually set myself a page limit or a time limit. In any case, about four hours is all I can do before I have to take a break. In the afternoon I do rewrites and planning for the next day, but the real heavy lifting is the morning routine. Routine is king for a writer.
Do you have any advice for writers?
Live, observe, write and repeat. We have to write from who we are and to become someone, we have to live, but to live without the introspection and observation of our life will yield no useful stories. Finally, the process of writing will develop craft and the routine of writing, like meditation, will lead to deeper understanding of the story you have to tell.
Published 2014-10-21.
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Books by This Author

The House Dick
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 101,460. Language: English. Published: October 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Sean is a house detective for a high-tone hotel in downtown Seattle. Having recently taken early retirement from the Seattle Police Department, Sean needed a job, but his easy night shift turns into trouble when the body of a felon, who Sean beat into a near coma while on the force, is found at the bottom of the hotel’s back stairs after a very private party.