Interview with A. F. Stewart

When did you first start writing?
I've been writing for most of my life, poetry and stories, but I only began publishing in 2004.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy is in the creative process, getting immersed in the world-building, forming the characters, seeing my ideas take shape, in that moment where I figure out a devious plot twist or a perfect scene.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Like most writers trying to get published for the first time, I had no clue of what to do, so I did what any good writer does, I researched. And in that research I stumbled across Lulu.com (this was before Createspace), a free service to self-publish. I thought, why not, I'll test the waters, and see if people like what I write. I published a book of poetry and a book of short stories and both were reasonably well received. I published a novella after that, Chronicles of the Undead, that got great reviews and I was hooked.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are the reason I keep publishing, the reason why every writer risks rejection and criticism. Because there's nothing sweeter than a good review or a word of praise.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I'm not sure it's the first story I ever read (in fact it probably isn't), but the story that had the most profound impact on me was All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. It's the first time I realized the what power a story could have on reader, what emotional resonance words could hold. It's still one of my favourite short stories.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly I read fantasy novels, science fiction, historical fiction, mysteries and historical non-fiction.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favourite authors are many, but the top few are: Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Guy Gavriel Kay, Agatha Christie, Morgan Llywelyn, and Jane Austen.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My five favourite books are: Dune by Frank Herbert, Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay, Possession by A. S. Byatt, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (a recent addition to the top five), and 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion by Morgan Llywelyn. They all have the same qualities of exquisite storytelling and remarkable characters.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm a bit of an artist myself, so I suppose I approach cover design from a composition and colour viewpoint. I want something that catches the eye, and draws you in, while still reflecting the book's content.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on several projects at the moment. I'm putting the finishing touches on my skewed fairy tale book, Fairy Tale Fusion, which hopefully will be out in October 2013. I'm also working on the sequel to Ruined City, Whispers of Gods and Spirits, a story collection set in the same fantasy world as Ruined City (and there will be a story about what happened after the ending of that book). Plus, I have two steampunk projects I'm writing, a story collection, and my novel, the Duke's Assassin, an alternate history/steampunk/vampire tale set in Halifax Nova Scotia. And lately I've been thinking of writing a second Killers and Demons book.
Published 2013-08-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Fairy Tale Fusion
By A. F. Stewart
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 14,860. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2013. Category: Fiction
What if the characters in Fairy Tales were real? What if they lived in Fairyland, a place not too dissimilar to ours, next to Wonderland and down the street from Camelot? Follow the exploits of Detective Piper of the Fairyland Metro Police, the Fairy Tale News updates and more cracked characters taken from the world of childhood, including some very scary toys. Enter into Fairy Tale Fusion.
Twisted Shorties II
By A. F. Stewart & Pam Brittain
Series: Twisted Shorties. Price: Free! Words: 107,690. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2013. Category: Fiction
They're baaack... Yes, the writers of Gather.com have returned, melding their creative talents once again for the anthology, Twisted Shorties II. Their strange minds have crafted stories and poems that are romantic, zany, creepy, and even out of this world. So enter into a new book of fun filled fiction. Some of the authors include: A. F. Stewart, Patricia Gilliam, Tracy Fabre and Sheila Deeth.
Reflections of Poetry
By A. F. Stewart
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,290. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2013. Category: Fiction
Go through the looking glass into the world of verse and discover this eclectic collection of poetry. The poems range from musings on Celtic heritage to embracing emotional turmoil. Throw in a little moonlight, the soothing sounds of the sea, and mix well with some sci-fi and fantasy for a lyrical medley of reading enjoyment.
Gothic Cavalcade
By A. F. Stewart
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 12,450. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2012. Category: Fiction
The Masquerade Carnivale is coming to call... A woman escaping her wretched past stumbles into the strange world of a supernatural carnival. Does her fate lie there, or with the captive life she left behind? The Family wants her future. The past is pulling her back. Both race toward her revenge. The Masquerade Carnivale is beckoning... will she answer?
Twisted Shorties
By A. F. Stewart
Series: Twisted Shorties. Price: Free! Words: 38,120. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2012. Category: Fiction
From the inventive minds of the writers on Gather.com comes a book... a book of odd short stories, with fiction astonishing and intriguing, and yes even creepy. Writers such as Sheila Deeth, Barbary Chaapel, Tracy Fabre, and Douglas J. Westberg bring you tales of romance, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, whimsy and a bit of lilting poetry. Come, and take a peek inside the world of... Twisted Shorties
Passing Fancies
By A. F. Stewart
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,450. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2012. Category: Fiction
Worlds, whims, life and death. From tiny tales to gripping stories, come frolic in the land of unexpected short fiction. Take delight in the saga of werewolves, vengeful gods, and virtual reality. Thrill to accounts of murder most strange, quiver as mummies, ghosts, and demons walk. See the end of the world and the beginning of space. Stroll the pages of imagination.
Even the Paranormal Play Sports
By A. F. Stewart
Price: Free! Words: 1,680. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2011. Category: Fiction
The paranormal greets teenagers, hockey, and Canada in this humorous flash fiction story.
Existence
By A. F. Stewart
Price: Free! Words: 1,310. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2011. Category: Fiction
One mistake can change things... A flash fiction sci-fi story of time travel.
Ruined City
By A. F. Stewart
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 13,740. Language: English. Published: September 4, 2011. Category: Fiction
A curse has fallen over the magnificent city of Elowen. Uncover the secrets that haunt the streets of Elowen as twelve tales unfold the story of this blighted city. See the saga of horror, despair and hope unravel as the people of city learn to survive their tragedy. Can Elowen endure to break the curse or will to succumb to its doom?
Killers and Demons
By A. F. Stewart
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,140. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2011. Category: Fiction
Warning! Not for the faint of heart! Craving a little blood or perhaps some horrific death? Slake your gruesome thirst for vicarious thrills with five chilling stories that go inside the twisted world of serial killers and beyond to the dark, disturbing world of demons.
Once Upon a Dark and Eerie...
By A. F. Stewart
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 11,140. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2010. Category: Fiction
Snippets, sonnets and stories to make you shiver. A morbid and morose collection of tales designed to scare, dismay and leave you wondering. Open the pages into worlds of horror, dark fantasy, and satire, where things creep in shadowy corners, where they like to hear you scream. Once Upon a Dark and Eerie... will show you why you should lock your doors in the dark.