Interview with Steven Qualls

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
The magnificent Southwest. New Mexico, Arizona, specifically the White Mountains of Arizona. I had a very free childhood and as long as I finished whatever work needed to be done, then I was on my own. So I basically grew up along the banks of the little Colorado River, and in the caves, and along the mesas and extinct volcanoes that surrounded our town. It was kind of lonely sometimes because most of my friends parents were convinced that I was some sort of wildling and forbid them from hanging with me. But then again I did have two crows and a bobcat that would go most everywhere with me. I like to think that, that freedom and that loneliness and the connection I felt with the natural world and with God, will always be a part of my writing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the first one but I do remember finishing Tom Sawyer and then just breaking down and crying for an hour or so. I was just so sad I wasn't going to have those guys to hang around with anymore. But then my parents got me the complete collection of Mark Twain, and I found out about Twains other Sawyer books. I mean they fly across the ocean in a fancy balloon, and all kinds of cool stuff. Man I was back in Heaven.
When did you first start writing?
It had be the third or fourth grade. I lived in the basement quite a ways from my parent's and when my friends would sneak out at night, that's where we would meet. One of the things we pretended was that we were a band. For some reason they would all look to me to write the songs, and lo and behold, it came easy to me. Later it got real when a couple of those guys and I had an actual rockin band, playing- you guessed it- my songs.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing the finished product. I mean the rest of it is fun and exciting, but once you see it there complete, it's still fun and exciting, it just takes away that last little nagging anxiety that says you just might not ever find the end.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Hey, it's a good one. There was a time that I went through a period of writing in a lot of different categories, from short humor to reporting to all kinds of stories and even plays. And, of course, always songs. When the fancy Mexican leather briefcase I kept everything in went missing, suddenly all my stories turned to songs, and it stayed that way for the longest time. Until recently, one frosty morning I was driving up over the ridge. I think I was not really paying enough attention to the road conditions, and I must of had something on my mind because I was moving faster than I should have been. Just before I crested the ridge out of nowhere this giant white bird flashed in front of me, seemingly to almost crash into my windshield. I quickly slowed down, and when I came up over the ridge I hit a patch of ice and snow that was totally unexpected. I was able to keep control of the car, just barely, but it quickly crossed my mind that had I been going any faster I probably would have spun out and off the road, and who knows what. I started to think about that bird. I had never seen one like it. As far as I know we don't have Snowy Owls around here. Crows, yeah, a lot, so I thought to myself "it must've been a Snowy Crow". Then it came to me- "Snowy Crowe was a bad man". The first line of Snowy October from Crowe Morning Chronicles, I just followed it from there, and by golly, just like that I was back writing stories again.
What are you working on next?
I got a couple going right now. One is the next book from "Crowe Morning Chronicles". It's called "Rainy and November Knight". It starts out on a private island tropical paradise with all the amenities of course, The other one I'm really excited about also. It's got angels and aliens, and the devil, and a Shaman, a really cool bus and a whole lot more. If people have half as much fun reading it, as I've had writing it, then it's sure to be a hit.
What is your writing process?
I just think it through, then let it percolate. When it's ready, it pretty much just spills out onto the page.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family. Outside. My animals (who are very excited about breakfast). My guitar. My computer. My bike. The earth and the sky. My thoughts. My hopes and dreams. Past glories. Present glories. My songs. My stories.
How do you approach cover design?
It's just real intuitive for me. I just know on a real basic level. As soon as I started writing "Snowy October" I knew what I wanted on the cover, and I knew right where to get it. The picture is from one of my favorite places along the Little Colorado River, and I had to go back about 4 times before I caught it in the right light. I think it captures the main spirit of the book perfect. I'm sure not everyone will get it but that's okay too. Hopefully they'll be intrigued by the mysterious image and want to check out the book.
What do you read for pleasure?
Well when I'm in the middle of writing something, all I want to read is me. That's what gives me the most pleasure. Like when I'm recording music I don't listen to other bands or musicians in between. What gives me the most pleasure then is to hear my new stuff. When I'm between projects I like books about ancient times.
Published 2014-10-21.
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Books by This Author

Snowy October from Crowe Morning Cronicals
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 9,550. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Out of incredible darkness emerges a powerful, hugely intelligent destructive force. One man honed and sharpened on the streets, nurtured on an ancient hate, with almost mystical powers over mortal minds and only one thing on his mind - Revenge! Revenge on the whole world! Now the fate of all mankind rests with the beautiful, yet troubled October Morning. The one woman that dares stand in his way.