First Post – Introduction

Hello, and welcome to my very first ever blog post. Which is both terrifying and quite exciting.

What will this blog be about? Mostly, it’ll be about writing and my progress at self-publishing my first book (Crimes Against Magic) in a few months time. But it’ll also be about whatever comes to mind at the time I sit down to write the newest post.

To do something a little different for my first post, I enlisted (or forced/blackmailed, depending on your point of view)  some friends of mine to come up with some interview questions for me. Each of their names will take you to their blog, so please feel free to go there and nose around.

So, let’s get underway.

Michelle Muto

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch. He’s a smart, capable, badass and an utterly ruthless bastard. He’s also deeply flawed and went from a drunk who spent most of the time lying in a gutter, to becoming one of the most feared and respected members of the city through sheer ability and determination to get the bad-guy. I could read stories about him, and the watch in general, all day.

Most unique or unusual research you’ve ever done for a book?

There’s two things here. I contacted the fire brigade and asked them how you’d hide a fire so that it didn’t appear to be arson. I got put through to a very nice, if slightly confused, member of their fire investigations unit who (after a lot of explaining on my part) was very kind to walk me through how to do it. Basically if you want to do research, tell them you’re writing a book. You’d be surprised how many weird questions are answered without worry.

The Second was when I got to go the underground, no public allowed areas of the Imperial War Museum in London to look at some 16th century guns. That was a pretty cool day.

D.B. Reynolds

What do you consider to be the major world event of your life thus far, and why?

No hesitation at all – The births of my daughters, Keira and Faith. Both were amazing, although for very different reasons. I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared, concerned, awe inspired, utterly overwhelmed and blissfully happy all at the same time.

Keira’s birth seven years ago gave me the jolt to get serious about my writing.

What are your three (3) favorite books of all time and why?

My favourite books change on a daily basis, sometimes even more often than that. But today:

  Altered Carbon – Richard Morgan: The best Sci-fi book I’ve ever read. Probably the most violent and fun too.

  Men at Arms – Terry Pratchett: I could have picked any of the guards books for this one, but Men at Arms got me into reading Terry Practhett, so it makes the list.

  Preacher – Garth Ennis. Not a novel, but a comic book. Preacher is not the book for people easily offended. It’s about Jesse Custer, a Preacher who is merged with Genesis (the product of merging an angel and a demon) that gives him the power of the Word of God, which makes people obey him. It’s incredible, funny, moving and utterly insane.  It should also be required reading for anything even thinking about writing comics.

Hon Mentions – Usagi Yojimbo. Another comic book. This one about a Samurai Rabbit. Yes, you read that right. All of the characters are anthropomorphic animals, which replace humans in a 17th century Japan setting. It’s a fantastic book that can’t come highly recommended enough from me.

Colin F Barnes

Tell us about the kind of writing you do: what genre, length, topics etc…

I write Urban Fantasy, although I do have a Sci-fi and Epic Fantasy story floating around my head somewhere. I’ve got some ideas for short-stories too. But for the moment, full-length Urban Fantasy is where I’m happily staying.

Do you write in silence or with music? If music, what kind?

Silence normally. I switch off all of background noise when I really start writing, so if the TV/music is on and I concentrate on the writing, I exclude everything else anyway.  If I do listen to music, it’s when I’m trying to figure out a scene and need to have the mood set. So depending on the scene, it depends on the music. Mostly it’ll be things like, Foo Fighters, Black Stone Cherry or Joe Bonamassa.

Angela Addams

When did you first start writing seriously? Like with a mind to pursue publishing?

I wrote a book about four years ago called For Past Sins. That was my first attempt at seriously getting a book done for publishing. In hindsight, it wasn’t good enough and I re-started with Crimes Against Magic.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Books, anime, videogames, TV, films. All over the place, to be honest. I’ll be walking down the street and something will pop into my head, or I’ll be watching TV and I’ll see something I quite like. From there it sort of evolves inside me. Which is a slightly weird now that I think about it.

Susan Mann

What was the hardest scene to write?

In Crimes Against Magic? The first major sex scene was pretty (excuse the pun) hard work. Mostly because getting the tone right in a sex scene is actually quite difficult. Other than that, the first chapter. That went through about a dozen re-writes.

What advice would you give to aspiring and unpublished authors?

Don’t let the bastards get you down.

In all seriousness, learn to take criticism. Not nasty, unnecessary stuff, which doesn’t help at all, I mean real constructive criticism. Personally, joining a good writing group helps, and you’ll learn how to critique others too, which in turn will improve your writing dramatically. But above all, enjoy yourself. Because if you’re not enjoying writing, you’re doing it wrong.

Well that’s it for part one. Yes, part one. Originally it was going to be one long post, but it just got longer and longer. Now, part two will be posted tomorrow. So, check back then to read even more very interesting things about me. Like how I discovered Cold Fusion, or am a spy. Or you know, stuff about writing, whichever sounds more plausible.

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Posted on January 12, 2012, in Interview, Introductions., Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Hi Steve. Nice first post. Welcome to the exciting, nail-biting and death-defying world of blogging! It is unlikely to change your life, or even pay the rent, but there is a cosy group-hug type feeling when your mates drop by and say nice things about what you’ve written…

    It was good to get to know you a little better – I hadn’t realised you’d been writing for so long. You’re almost an old hand.

    My wife would agree on your selection of Vimes as favourite character… She used to like Granny Weatherwax, but has moved on. I just wandered how like Lady Sybil your wife was? 😉

    Why not post your new blog entry here, and more of the motley OWG crew can come around and hassle you…?

    http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/forum/index.php?topic=32586.new;topicseen#new

    Welcome to the Club.

    • I didn’t think about the OWG group, but I’ve posted now. Thanks for the info.

      It was a toss up between Vimes and Death, but Vimes is just so damn cool. And I wouldn’t like to say how much like Lady Sybil my wife is, but as Lady Sybil is a superb person, I’m going to say a lot. 🙂

      I’ve been writing a while, I started properly about 6 years ago and haven’t really looked back.

  2. Hey Steve – fantastic job on the blog! It’s great to know more about you. Well done.

    • Hi, Dianne,

      Thanks for popping in and saying hi, and also for the kind words. The second part is tomorrow, so you’ll learn even more about me. You might not want to, but the option is still there.

  3. Really well done Steve, fun getting to know you and seeing all the questions everyone has asked you. Loved your fav book choices, what, no Sookie Stackhouse for you? ;P JK!!!

  4. Awesome, Steve!!! Very happy to add this blog to my roll, dearie:)

  5. Welcome to blogging, Steve. I, too, am a fan of ‘Preacher,’ although I’ve never read the complete series.

    Please tell us, what is ‘Crimes Against Magic’ about?

    • Preacher gets more and more insane until the end. I really should go back and re-read it. Crimes Against Magic is my first book in a series I have planned. It’s an Urban Fantasy set in modern London with historical flashbacks to fifteenth century France. I’ll be doing a post all about it next friday.

  6. A Great interview and a fun one. I hope you’ve been checking out Ennis’ The Boys. The early ones are great fun.

    Look forward to seeing what else you come up with and welcome to the blogsphere.

    • The Boys is excellent. I’m a big fan, although I haven’t read the past few trades. Hopefully I can come up with enough interesting things to keep talking every week. 🙂

  7. Excellent post, Steve! Welcome to the world of blogging…may you have a never-ending stream of topics to keep you going 😉

  8. I loved Preacher! Great interview both of you! Welcome to the blogging world Steve.

  9. Hi Steve
    Excellent first blogpost! I’ve gotten to know ya a bit on Twitter but I feel like I now know a bit more 🙂 And don’t worry, the posts get easier. Added you to my blog 😉 Look forward to reading more from you.

  10. Welcome to the blogosphere! I love that they let you go down and check out those guns. Being a writer is the coolest job ever. 🙂

  11. Great first post and good getting to know you better. Enjoy blogging!

  12. Welcome to blogville Steve! Great first post. I love how you described one of your favourite books to be violent AND fun! 🙂 Cheers!

  13. I loved reading this Steve. Good questions and answers and congrats on your new blog! 🙂

  14. Welcome to the blogging world 🙂

  15. Excellent post and some great answers there.

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