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stevestred

1. What’s your bio? Paste here?

Steve Stred writes dark, bleak fiction and is the author of a number novels, novellas and collections. He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant. Steve has appeared alongside some of Horror’s heaviest hitters in some fantastic anthologies. Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.

2. When did you start writing horror?

I started writing stories way back in middle grades. Grade 5, 6, 7. Even before then I was writing these hockey based stories about brothers who played on the same team to win a championship. The first horror-type stuff that I tried to do would’ve been Grade 10 or 11 (1997-ish) but other than some poems I wrote back then, nothing has survived that I’m aware of.

3. What was the first thing you wrote that made you think ‘I’m a writer’?

I mean, many people say “if you write you’re a writer,” so I’ll approach this as more of a “what did I first write that I wrote to release” question. So, for me that was when I sat down to start writing ‘Invisible’ which is my first novel. I started it in 2006 or 2007. I had many stops and starts along the way, life events happening, a few moves, so it wasn’t until 2016 that I finally got it to the point of releasing it. This year marks the 5th Anniversary of it, which I’ll be doing an anniversary edition and truthfully, I’m a bit nervous to go back and see what it looks like!

4. If you could co-author a book with another author, alive or dead? Who would it be and what would it be about? 

The Forgotten Island by David Sodergren

Easy. David Sodergren. He’s been instrumental in his tutelage and aid in making me a better writer. And he’s one of the best writers out there, hands down. In fact, we have a western-horror release coming out this year.

Watch out for an upcoming interview with David Sodergren. Check out his awesome novel The Forgotten Island.

5. What does your writing routine look like? 

I do 99% of my writing at work. So, I’ll write on my two 15 minute breaks and my hour lunch, five days a week. I know my writing time is limited so I make sure to be as efficient as possible. Saying that – I typically have the entire story mapped out in my head far in advance and while I don’t physically outline or plot by writing it down, I have it plotted mentally and that allows me to get through it fairly quickly.

6. What’s the hardest thing about being an author?

I think the answers to this question are going to be very personal. Personally, I think for me and what I do, the hardest thing is the limited time. But that also means I know going in full well that I only have so much time and I try and use it and not procrastinate on anything.

7. What the best thing about being an author? 

Bringing what’s inside my head alive. Taking characters and a settings and breathing life into them and discovery what’s going to happen.

8. I know you are a prolific reader and review a metric ton of books for the mighty horror blog http://KendallReviews.com. So in your informed opinion, who are some indie authors everyone should check out?

Oh lord. Far too many to name. And I’ll absolutely forget someone and feel bad for not including them. I’ll step around this question with two politician level answers! First, I try hard to read books from authors who are newer or may not have a lot of reviews already. So, if you scroll through Kendall Reviews and see my name as the reviewer, maybe look for a synopsis that grabs you and take a chance. Second, I’d suggest people looking for a great new Indie Author, to take a look at any of your three releases. Neolithica, Witchopper and The Ash are three amazing releases and offer a real variety of plots. I really enjoyed your first two, but The Ash, wow, next level stuff, Dan. I can’t wait to see what you bring next.
I’m blushing here. Coming from you that is high praise, so thank you. (I’ll PayPal you that $50 later, okay? 😉

9. What’s the best book you read this year and why?

Wowsa, another tough question! I just had my top ten of 2020 release listed on Kendall

Mr. Cables by Ronald Malfi

Reviews (http://kendallreviews.com/team-kr-steve-stred-shares-his-favourite-books-he-read-in-2020/) so honestly, any of those books. As I mentioned in my review for your book The Ash, I was so close to putting it on that list. So, The Ash would be number eleven and the number twelve spot was Mr. Cables by Ronald Malfi!

10. What are you currently reading? 

Currently, as always, I have a bunch on the go. The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker is outstanding. I’m about 80% in and will be finishing tonight (January 8, 2021). This is a fantastic take on post-apocalypse story-telling. I’m also 25% into Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica. This book is repulsive and amazing. I’ll most likely finish it this weekend, but this one will make people need to shower. I’m 40% in The Snake from John Godey. This is actually from 1978! It is fantastic. It is a story about a deadly snake that is accidentally released in Central Park. I love it. No cell phones or internet so things spiral quickly. And I’m 50% done the anthology The One That Got Away from Kandisha Press. This is their third anthology featuring all women in horror authors and they are so well done.
Adrian J. Walker is one of my favourite authors. Everything he does is great. My favourite of his is The Last Dog on Earth

11. What’s the first horror novel you remember reading? What impression did it make on you?

My grandparents that lived down the street from us had numerous Hardy Boys novels, so for me, while not horror, I loved those books and I think it set me up for discovering true horror books. When I was nine or ten, my next door neighbour, Patti, let me borrow Christine and IT from Stephen King and I was hooked. I read everything from him. She was a fan of his work, so she had all of his releases in hardcover and I suspect she still does. She also really taught me to cherish and treasure the physical book itself. I’d take off the dust jacket, use a book mark and never crack the book wide open and effect the spine.
As for impressions – I was hooked. I loved everything about them, but by that point I was already pretty excited by the darker stuff in TV, Movies and fiction.

12. What scared you as a child?

The same three things that scare me now. Werewolves, fog and horses. Werewolves because, well they’re werewolves. Fog because of King’s The Mist and the fact that you don’t know what the hell is in there (which is also why the woods and mountains scare me) and horses because I got a good kick by one when I was really little. Have been horse-shy ever since.

13. First paragraph challenge. I’ll give you a first line of a story; you complete the first paragraph. ‘At night from the shores of Vancouver Island, the water looked black, a chopping, living oil slick of unforgiving darkness.’

The young Nuu-chah-nulth male knew he shouldn’t be there. The Matlose was rumoured to live in the area and if he was to hear the hobgoblins terrible voice there would be no surviving. He crept along the edge of the water, the dark forest a stone’s throw to his right. A branch snapped. Something huffed. The man began to run as a dark shadow burst forth from the heavy undergrowth.
I love it. I wonder if the dark shadow could be a false shock and it’s really young man’s friend playing a prank, only for them both to get caught by the real danger…

14. Where did the idea for your last book come from?

At the time of this interview, the last book of mine that came out was ‘Scott: A Wagon Buddy Tale,’ which is the sequel to ‘Wagon Buddy.’ The idea for the sequel came about some time after book one. When book one came out, I had a few people want to know what happened next, whereas I was happy to just let it end with how it ended. But, one day, a little spark of a story arrived. I was sitting on the front step with my son and it was one of those moments where the sun was dropping and he looked over and it was just so nice. The two of us in the warmth of a Summer evening and it all kind of fell into place.

15. Can you tell us something about your current ‘work in progress’? 

I currently have nineteen works in various stages of development. It’s gotten to the point that I’ve created an excel spreadsheet to track where I’m at in each one! I know it sounds insane, but it’s just the way my brain works. To specifically answer the question posed – Book Three of my Father of Lies Trilogy is in the final stages. I’m about to start my last re-writes before sending it off for editing. I’m hoping to maybe have that out by March? Maybe. It’s been a surreal journey working on this. I’ve spent almost 400 hours now on a dark web chat group as an “Associate Member” for this online cult. There are a group of them who physically meet and go through order and minutes etc and continue to work towards successfully opening the gates to ascend to the black heavens and call forth the cosmic gods of chaos. Mentally, I’m ready to put it all behind me. I’ve seen and read some things haha! But my lord these people are fascinating.
400 hours? I hope you got a t-shirt for that cult. That’s some commitment to research. 

16. What are your plans for the next year of writing and publishing?

Well, currently it looks like I’ll possible have three novels out this year (one the co-authored release with David Sodergren) and two, maybe three novellas. Which now when I write that makes me stress laugh! I have two or three stories coming out in Anthologies. And as always, I’ll continue to work all the rest of the stuff I have on the go.

17. What book of yours should people start with? 

Depending on level of brutality a reader wants, either Wagon Buddy or Ritual. Both are novellas. Wagon Buddy is about a kid who is bullied and his relationship with an imaginary friend. Ritual is the first part of the Father of Lies trilogy and follows Brad as he prepares for a very important event. Ritual is ruthless, brutal and depraved and may be a bit much for readers if they don’t enjoy that type of read. It was the first release that I ever put a trigger warning for.
I started with Ritual. Very good it is too. 

18. Have you got a newsletter/reader magnet?

No! Haha! I have a website that is really a blog. So, I typically update there and if you sign up things get blasted out. I need to at some point here but what I’m doing now seems to work for me. That site is stevestredauthor.wordpress.com

19. Where can people stalk you online like a serial killer?

As I mentioned, my website is stevestredauthor.wordpress.com
As for social media, I’m decently accurate on all three major platforms and post both book stuff and real life stuff.
Twitter: @stevestred
Instagram: @stevestred
Facebook: send me a friend request – Steve Stred

20. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’ll just finish off by saying thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it!
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