Interview with indie author Steve Stred.
Being an indie author, I love meeting other indie authors, I mean, why wouldn’t I?
I’d like to introduce you to a horror writer, Steve Stred. If you’re wondering, yes, I have read some of his work, specifically The 12 Hymns of Misery. My first thought was, I would not want to see what his nightmares are like because this dude’s stories are dark.
Anyway, Steve is a friendly guy and was kind enough to do an interview. Here’s a little about Steve.
Steve Stred is an up-and-coming dark horror author. He is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri, and Jane: the 816 Chronicles, and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery, and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all things horror, occult, supernatural, and paranormal.
He is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, son, and dog OJ.
1. Do you ever write naked? (I like to break the ice with an off the wall question.)
– Sadly no, but that’s because I do all of my writing at work and I think they would
frown at me if I was nude every lunch hour writing!
2. What places or activities inspire you the most?
– The more I write the more I find I am inspired by two things; where I grew up and
nature/the woods. I have a number of short stories that specifically reference the
small town I grew up in, and a big part of growing up where I grew up was the
proximity to the woods behind us. My childhood home is at the base of a mountain
with the woods super close. We used to run and play unsupervised through the backyard
all the time and that included a good section of the woods. There was a massive
flat rock in the middle of the backyard that we always used as a fort or a starting
point for our imaginary adventures.
3. Would your life story make an interesting book?
– I’m biased, but yes. And it already is a book! My novel Invisible is about 40%
autobiographical. I discuss some aspects of my life that were very hard to write
about. But I have done some cool stuff and think there are some who might find my
4. What genre do you write? What is it about that genre that attracts you?
– I write dark, bleak horror fiction. Very rare that I have anything close to resembling
a happy ending. I have always been drawn towards darker stuff and horror in
particular, but I can’t fully tell you why. It’s just the best and what I love!
5. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
– Both actually. I find no greater joy than writing and creating. I write for me and for
me only. I love to develop a storyline, create dark characters and put them in horrible
situations. Saying that, I find it so amazing that people like what I release. I also find
writing exhausting because you have to constantly work on developing the story,
editing, writing, deleting, rewriting. I’m an indie author so I also have to look at
doing marketing, getting the cover work set up with my amazing cover guy Mason,
getting my drafts off to my street team for beta reading, re-editing, getting it sent off
to my editor and then packaging and releasing. It’s a boatload of work so it can be
6. What authors are you friends with and how do they help you become a better writer?
– Well, that’s a different beast in the new social media world. While I would consider a
number of these folk’s friends, I haven’t met any of them in person! Through email,
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you are able to develop these amazing pseudo-friendships.
I don’t know how else to define them. Don’t get me wrong, I love our
interactions and hope to one day meet them, but right now we are fantastic online-only
friends! I would say my best online author pals are David Sodergren (author
of The Forgotten Island), JZ Foster (author of Witch Hunter, The Wicked Ones and
Mind Wreck), Justin M. Woodward (author of Tamer Animals, The Variant and
Candy), Andrew Cull (Author of Bones), Mason McDonald and Brian Bogart. They
all have made me a better author by putting out fantastic work, reading and critiquing
my work, and genuinely been fantastic humans to me. The list goes on from there
of amazing authors, and if I started naming more folks, I would end up forgetting
someone and I don’t want to do that. But that group there has been instrumental in
making me a better writer.
7. What books have you written?
– I have a few releases out now. I have my novel Invisible, my two short story
collections; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of
Black Magick (this is currently in the final stages of being re-edited) and have three
novellas out; Wagon Buddy, YURI, and Jane: the 816 Chronicles. My collection of
dark poetry Dim the Sun comes out on December 1st, 2018.
8. How many of your characters are inspired by real people?
– Well as I mentioned before, my novel Invisible is partly autobiographical. So in
that story, a number of people are fairly factual, and I discuss a number of real-life
situations. For some folks, where either I couldn’t get a hold of them or decided to
just change their name, I would refer to them by a capital letter for their name. As
for my other works, I typically don’t base characters on people, but will frequently
use friend’s names as characters. They know it’s them when they read it and I always
thought that would be cool to have a character with your name from someone you
9. What are you currently working on?
– A number of things. I’m pretty prolific at writing I guess you could say. I just
finished up a chapter for Don Gillette’s Community Experimental Novel idea, which
I think is fantastic. He invited 30 people to participate (some authors, some bloggers,
some reviewers) and each person contributes a chapter, in order. So I wrote chapter
3, after reading chapter 1 and 2. For my own work, I plan on having three full-length
novels out next year, one novella, my third batch of short stories, and hopefully,
fingers crossed, a collaboration novel with another author.
10. Do you read your book reviews? How do you take them?
– Oh 100% I read every one! I want to know what people think. If they hated it, fine,
fair enough. Not everyone will like everything out there. And if there is a constant
criticism towards something, then I can use it as a learning tool. That’s what I did
with the reviews for Left Hand Path. A lot of folks said the stories were great but the
editing was atrocious, so I had it re-edited. I don’t want to put out subpar stuff. I want
to release stuff people are excited about, that people pre-order. So reviews can help
build on that foundation. Look – I write dark, dark, bleak, awful stuff. People die,
stuff happens, and it’s not for everyone. So if someone reads it and says “1/5 stars.
The characters were great but the story was too dark.” Well, that’s a fantastic review,
but ultimately it wasn’t for them. I was an athlete for a number of years who was
constantly scrutinized and criticized so maybe it set me up well for reviews haha!
11. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will discover? – Kind of. I have a few interlocking stories and carry over characters throughout my
literary releases! Not really a secret, but if you’re not looking closely you may miss
12. Do you have anything else to add?
– Yeah, I think the last few things I would like to mention is that the world of being an
indie author is incredibly hard. I am a very, very small fish in an ocean of releases.
So if you read something of mine (whether you loved it or hated it) please leave a
review. On Amazon, on Goodreads or on Bookbub. Just tell the world why you read it
and why you liked it or didn’t! Reviews matter and make a massive impact for us all!
Thank you so much for having me, Paige!
Thank you for your time and letting us learn a thing or two about you, Steve. You’re a very interesting guy.
If you’d like to check out Steve’s books you can find them on http://www.stevestredauthor.wordpress.com
Dim the Sun – out December 1st, 2018