Today I have an interview for you all with Steven Nedelton, author of Crossroads, Tunnel/The Lost Diary, The Raven Affair and others.
SN: Steven Nedelton
S: Welcom to Bookfever, Steven! Thanks for doing this interview with me today!
To start off... please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
SN: Thanks for this interview, Stephanie.
I was introduced to books by one of my aunts. I was ten or so and my first book (a
birthday present) was Tom Sawyer. So, I guess, Mark Twain and my aunt (not the favorite one!) were the culprits. Then, a school friend of mine started a ‘pirate book’ and so the two of us began scribbling together. We were very competitive and judgmental at it, I remember that much. That escapade did not last for too long though and soon our writing was forgotten and replaced by sports.
I got my first paranormal short story finalized and submitted to a newspaper some time in my early twenties. I recall the editor writing me a positive response. He liked it, but I don’t think it was published. Paranormal was not all that popular, he explained in his letter to me.
I began thinking about writing again back in 2002, while on a job in Arizona. I was inspired by a lengthy article in one of the papers about paranormal applications in covert work. I did a lot of Internet searching and completed my first novel in 2008. Crossroads was published in 2009 and The Raven Affair in 2010, both by a small publishing company. In 2011, after my publisher retired, I republished the two novels myself and went independent. Fear! was my next novel, quite liked by the Midwest Book Review. It received a five-star rating (like Crossroads) and the MBR Journal placed it on its five-year watch list. I received a special written recognition for that book. Tunnel/The Lost Diary and Coma Sins/The Madness of Ben Bluman followed next.
S: Which characters (from any of your books) have you enjoyed writing the most?
SN: I don’t have favorite characters, it’s more the story as a whole, the idea, that I enjoy writing about. I try to develop them all equally - the bad and the good - but occasionally the least liked one might appear to be best portrayed. For example, Sokolov in Crossroads is better described than the rest of the protagonists because he is more evil than the rest. The two priests in The Raven Affair are also well developed, although they are not the principal characters in that book.
S: Who or what was your inspiration for your latest book?
SN: My latest novel, Coma Sins/The Madness of Ben Bluman, was inspired partly by the film Shutter Island and Leonardo Di Caprio’s acting. I had never written a real ‘noir’ before and thought of that movie idea as a good starting point. I got together with another writer, Joe Parente, and we wrote a pretty good novel, according to several readers, one of them being my favorite editor and a great story teller, Valerie Byron. Of course, Coma Sins was completely different from Shutter Island.
S: What's next for you? Are you working on a new book?
SN: Not yet. My greatest obstacle right now is marketing my novels. I need to get a decent following of faithful readers before I begin writing my next book. The hardest part in the life of any writer is getting a good publisher. By that I mean someone capable of spending time seriously on book promotions. And these days, it’s next to impossible to get a big publisher. Small and medium sized companies do not promote their books—not really.
I was asked by several readers to continue with sequels for Tunnel/The Lost Diary and The Raven Affair. Both books need a continuation, so I am not sure which one will be the first ‘Part Two.’ I might end up with a completely new novel, even genre.
S: Where is your favorite place for writing?
SN: My favorite place for writing is my round table in my ‘day room’ area. But the actual ‘conception location,’ the ‘ideas area’ is my bedroom. Funny, but the best ideas come to me just before I fall asleep. I strive to remember them for the next morning's session, but I invariably fail to write them down and forget them.
S: Which author would you love to co-author a book with someday?
SN: I used to like Grisham but his stories became so ‘law’ oriented, so similar in their genre, that I am not attracted to his writing all that much anymore. I don’t really know; maybe Grisham would still be the most interesting partner, but, of course, it’d be just a dream.
S: Do you experience writer's block? If so, what do you do?
SN: I am not sure what a real ‘writer’s block’ is. It could be a temporary exhaustion from all that work or just a lack of good ideas. In my writing, my mood governs my abilities as a writer. If I am in a good mood for writing, I’ll do it—no ‘blocks.’ If I am in a bad mood, no idea will me make write. So, if in trouble with my work, I try to wait for a ‘better day.’
S: Which authors influence you the most?
SN: A variety. I like thriller writers, the good ones. But I’ve read other genres too and some of those writers influenced me, I am sure. For example, I like Fight Club author, Chuck Palahniuk, for his creativity and the style of that particular book. LeCarre, Forsyth, Hemingway were a few of my favorite authors for a while.
S: What three books would you recommend people to read?
SN: Tunnel/The Lost diary, The Raven Affair and Coma Sins/The Madness of Ben Bluman. Those are mine, of course, and they are quite good. They do compare to the best I’ve read in their genre. I would also recommend Valerie Byron's short stories and her latest novel, No Ordinary Woman, although she writes in a completely different genre. And then, Fight Club (yes, I liked its originality very much).
Before I forget it, please note that the readers can find all my books on my website www.snedelton.com The site provides blurbs on all my novels and is connected to the all the major book sellers.
Thanks again, Stephanie. My best and I hope you’ll read me too, and soon,