Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Steven R. Drennon - Author interview

Steven R. Drennon was born in Lawton, OK, where he first started writing poetry at the age of 15. Since then he has collected nearly one thousand poems that he has written over the years. Those poems have recently been released as six separate volumes of poetry. He will soon be adding two anthologies which will result in all of his poetry being available to the public for the first time ever.

In addition, he has written a number of works of fiction, and he is just beginning to publish those works. Steven recently published a fantasy novel titled "Rise of the Raven". He expects to release another fantasy novel titled "Three for Avadar" in June of 2011.

He is also working on an historical fiction series involving combat search and rescue. The series will be called "Lives on the Line", and the first volume will be released in late summer of 2011.

Currently Steven lives in San Antonio, TX with his wife and two youngest children.

Author's web site

Book title:
“Rise of the Raven”

Links to purchase

Epic Fantasy

Moral or theme
Typical good vs. evil, with good triumphing in the end.

Where do you generally prefer to go when you write?
I have a desk that sits in a bay window area in my bedroom. At night, after the kids and my wife have gone to sleep, I will sit there and work for an hour or two.

How long have you been writing?
I first started writing over 35 years ago. I had several close brushes with traditional publishing, but ultimately never went that route.

How many books, and in which genre, have you written?
I have written two fantasy novels and six volumes of poetry. I will soon be releasing two suspense novellas as well as two poetry anthologies.

What inspired you to become a writer?
My grandfather on my mother’s side used to be such a wonderful storyteller. Because of him I decided that I wanted to be able to tell colorful stories that would entertain others, so I started writing them down and collecting them.

What do you most enjoy about writing?
I enjoy reading through my final draft after the last round of editing and feeling like I have accomplished something.

What steps do you take in starting a new book?
I usually come up with an idea for a story first, and then I sit down and start outlining it. I’m a strong believer in planning ahead and working from an outline. Next I identify all the major characters and try to develop a brief history and description of them. The final step before actually writing is to identify the major locations or scenes. This may include a few details regarding terrain or type of building.

Do you use a critique group or just trust your instincts?
I have a group of beta readers that I trust to give me honest feedback. Other than that, it’s pretty much all me. I used to ask friends and family to help review my work, but they were always saying positive things and never really gave me any constructive criticism, so I don’t do that anymore!

What advice would you give a new writer?
Don’t spend a lot of time promoting until you have at least three or four books out there. If someone likes your first book, they are highly likely to go look for another book you have written. If you don’t have one out there, then you lost a customer and you’ll have to try to earn that customer back. Your best promotional tool is your next book! I have six volumes of poetry that I have published, and I have found that many people who have bought one have gone back and bought two or three more. Several people have bought all six! Volume counts!

How many drafts do you usually have before deciding it's done?
I usually end of going through three drafts. I try to write everything according to my outline from start to finish. Then I read back through and modify any weak elements that I see. In fact, I sometimes leave some there during the first draft because I don’t want to get sidetracked with revisions. Then the third draft is my final round of editing and proofreading.

What would you do differently if you were just starting out today to become a writer?
I wouldn’t waste my team with sending out query letters and soliciting agents. The writer has so much more power and control today that we did even as recently as five years ago. It’s a brave new world!

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