Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Interview with Steve DeWinter

About Steve DeWinter
If you like super-charged thrillers that merge high-tech gadgetry with ancient mythology and pit the outcast against powerful clandestine organizations, you are among friends.
My goal as a writer is to transport you to fresh and exciting worlds that not only take you on a white-knuckle ride but leave you hungry for more when you finally turn that last page and reluctantly slam shut the back cover of the book.
This is my promise to you the reader.
I will continue to satisfy your never-ending desire for more. So keep reading!
When one story ends, another begins.
You can visit his website at www.stevedw.com. Connect with Steve on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/stevedw, on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/mythmakersdw and Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/stevedewinter.

Marie: Are any of the characters in your books based off people you know?
Steve: I sure hope not! As a thriller writer, I look for worst case scenarios and push them to the limits of believability. If any of my friends behaved like the characters in my book, I would be on the phone with the FBI constantly. And I need to write. I don’t have time to be talking to the FBI every day.

Marie: Do you listen to music as you write? Why or why not?
Steve: I have a ton of motion picture soundtrack CD’s that I put on based on the scene I am writing to get me in the mood. I also listen to music with words as they don’t tend to distract me from what I am writing. As an example, if I am pounding out an action scene, Nickelback goes into the CD player. Heck, I’m listening to Donna Lewis right now. Calm and serene for a nice fireside chat like this.

Marie: What do you do when you get a 'mind block'?
Steve: I am a heavy plotter and generally know what happens next with regards to pacing and story as I write each scene. I have never really suffered from writer’s block. Sometimes, I will stall out while writing a scene. But that is not so much a block as my subconscious telling me that I am going about the scene all wrong. A change in the point-of-view character usually results in a much better scene than I had been writing previously. When I get blocked, it’s because the other character in the scene had the more active and interesting point of view for what was happening in that scene, and my brain instinctively knew it long before I did.

Marie: Time and money aside, what would you rather be doing?
Steve: If all my wants and desires were taken care of, what would I do with my time? I would lay around on the beach of a tropical island and watch three sunsets before I would end up right back in front of the computer (or iPod Touch in my case) writing more books. Confucius, China's most famous teacher, philosopher, and political theorist said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Marie: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you, and why?
Steve: Ahh. I have washed up unexpectedly on the white sandy beach of my tropical desert island from the last question. Fortunately for me, I washed up with my iPod Touch, Apple Keyboard and solar panel power system all in working order. As soon as I am rescued, I will have plenty of books ready to publish.

Marie: What is your favorite genre to write, and why?
Steve: I love writing in the thriller genre. People who operate in the shadows of government and the military are always heavily involved in the thriller genre, and I just love all that spy stuff.

Marie: Could you tell us three random things about yourself?
Steve:
1. I can hear the Magnetostriction (that high pitched hum) from older televisions when they are on, even if they are in another room from the one I am in. It has been nice to switch all the TVs in my house to flat panel displays. No more irritating whine while feeding my Netflix addiction.
2. By my senior year of high school, I was the only one who had been in the marching band all four years. That’s right. One time, at band camp…
3. My last name, DeWinter, is from the book (and subsequent Alfred Hitchcock movie) Rebecca. I had it legally changed in 1998 as it was way cooler than my, then current, last name. The downside? None of my high school classmates will know that they went to school with this great thriller writer.

Marie: How long have you been writing?
Steve: I have been writing off and on since high school, but only recently did I produce any real marketable product, i.e. a complete book. Most of my writing had been sporadic because I was only able to write in spurts. But in 2006 I was laid off and spent the next six weeks crafting a cohesive and exciting book. I finally had something I could bring to market and consider myself a serious writer with a career in fiction.

Marie: In an average week, how much time do you spend working on your writing?
Steve: I try to get in at least a couple hours per day. But that puts me at about ten hours a week when I would much rather put in ten hours per day.

Marie: What is your favorite part about being an author?
Steve: The flexibility it affords me. I can write from anywhere and with how connected we are with the internet, I can publish at any time; from anywhere.

Marie: Can you tell us anything about a current project you are working on?
Steve: My current project is a six book novelette series, titled Hired Guns, which is modeled after the U.K. television serial format. Each novelette follows the adventures of Joe and Kat, two Las Vegas private investigators, just like a television series follows recurring characters. Each episode, or book in my case, is a complete story, but since my primary format for writing is the long-form novel, I have included an overall plotline that will spread across all six novelettes. The question posed in the first book will be answered by the sixth book. I am pleased to announce that Book 1 is already available on Amazon.com.

Marie: What is the first thing you do when you get a new story idea?
Steve: I write it down in my idea log. The ideas come in waves, and if I don’t get them all down, they just might wash away with the tide, most likely never to be seen again.

Marie: How do you decide if an idea you have for a story is worth keeping?
Steve: When I am looking at what idea to pursue next, I do some pretty intense research to see if there are enough “real world” facts I can use to enhance the story. The more I find from history and cultural mythologies that fit with the story, the better chance it has of becoming my next full-time project.

Marie: What obstacles would you warn beginning authors of?
Steve: Albert Einstein said it best. “What a person thinks on his own without being stimulated by the thoughts and experiences of the other people is even in the best case rather paltry and monotonous”. After you have written something, get it in front of others. Have them read it and listen to what they have to say. While you may not use every suggestion, the ones you do use will improve your writing and your story beyond anything you could have done on your own.

Marie: Which scenes did you find the most fun to write?
Steve: The action scenes. I try to write my novels cinematically, and action scenes give me a chance to blow things up, textually of course.

Marie: What question have I not asked that I should, and what is the answer?
Steve: I expect the question I will get most often is, “Why didn’t you just wait for an agent to accept your manuscript rather than become an indie-author?” And the answer is a rather simple one. I like to have fun in what I do. And getting over a hundred rejection letters from agents (and that’s just those who took the time to respond) just wasn’t any fun. Publishing my book and doing the research for my next book is much more fun!


About Inherit The Throne
Inherit The Throne
"Just like "24", only better!" "A female Jason Bourne!" -- Textnovel Readers
Some lines should never be crossed.
Living under a new identity in the tiny Northwestern tourist town at the base of Mount Hood, Melissa thought she had finally escaped her past. That is until an assassin tries to kill her and forces her back into a treacherous shadow world she vowed never to return.
That same night an unmanned robotic SUV slams into the limousine of the Vice President of the United States and detonates with several hundred pounds of explosives. Melissa soon discovers that the attack on the Vice President and the attempt on her own life are related.
And time is running out to find out who wants her dead and why she alone holds the key to saving the President of the United States

2 comments:

Steve DeWinter said...

Thanks for having me on your blog.
Steve DW

Marie said...

Thank you for the interview! And thanks for stopping by, too.