BBB: What inspired you to become an author?
SS: When I was growing up, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I lived in a small town and lead quite a sheltered life. I was the youngest of three children. All of this meant that I was quite isolated a lot of the time, and I think this had a big part to play in the fact that I loved reading. I read constantly, because the world around me was so mundane. It was a place I had no control over things, where I was small and powerless, but when I read I was empowered, I could be anywhere, any time with some of the best, most inspirational people in the world. Through reading, my mind expanded as I explored and understood the world around me – all from my bedroom.
I have always wanted to be a writer because I have always wanted to give back and help to inspire someone the way I was inspired. If I could reach out and create a world for a kid to explore and understand then I’ll have done my job. Novels gave me so much as a child, I wanted to someone out there to feel inspired and maybe a little less alone, the way I was.
SS: Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question. All I can say is it came over a number of years, bit by bit…and then all at once. Kind of like falling in love right? Sorry, had to.
It was such a long story, that I knew it would be over several novels and that it would involve me writing a lot of backstory. I was writing a lot of backstory for two of my characters – who would become the primary protagonist and antagonist – when I realized that there was so much here that it could only be told as a full novel. So what began its life as backstory which was going to be told over six or so novels instead became its own narrative. So I kind of worked backwards, I knew where these characters would be over the coming years…so I had to move them into place. I was surprised by how strong the narrative was. Of course this meant making the characters younger than I’d originally planned and it was a real challenge juxtaposing a story that was at times very dark and very adult against such young characters. A fun challenge though!
BBB: Tell us about your main character.
SS: My story takes place over a year in which time my protagonist Celes grows from a naïve eleven year to a more mature twelve year old. Celes has grown up in a time of peace, surrounded by a loving family and therefore is somewhat sheltered to begin with. He wants more for life and through his naiveté makes a somewhat faustian deal to gain magical abilities.
Celes starts off very trusting in authorities and believing life is fair and makes sense. Over the course of the novel Celes begins to understand the world isn’t quite so black and white, and reluctantly has to start making his own decisions. In this way Celes begins to understand the world, and makes his first steps from boyhood to adulthood.
I would say his weakness is that he is naïve, and too trusting at times. He cannot quite deal with his emotions and can sometimes fly off the handle when pushed too far. He doesn’t like being the centre of attention and he doesn’t like making decisions – which can make him a little slow to act. But he is brave and kind, and always willing act to what is necessary to save others.
SS: I had a little fatigue from writing fantasy, so I’ve taken a hiatus to write something completely different, a sci-fi adult novel. In it the protagonist is a washed out college dropout who has spent more time feeling sorry for himself and drinking beer than actually making something of his life – an all too common scenario. He is then thrust into a war between two factions raging across alternate universes and somehow finding he is the centre of it all. It doesn’t help that he is very hung over and is more likely to wet himself with a gun pointed at his head than actually fight back. A lot of personal growth takes place on his part!
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
SS: You can find me at stevenvs.co.uk
Or on facebook https://www.facebook.com/thekingdomlights?ref=bookmarks
Or goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8584402.Steven_V_S_