Let’s start with the basics. Who are you?
Steven L. Shrewsbury, author from Central, Illinois.
Tell us (briefly) about you…
farm kid in his forties, blue collar all the way…rumored to be Robert E. Howard reincarnated.
…and a bit about what you’ve written…
I’ve written a fantasy series about Gorias La Gaul, 700 year old warrior available from seventh star press (OVERKILL, THRALL BLOOD & STEEL and more to come); I also write historical horror novels, like HELL BILLY and modern horror tomes like STRONGER THAN DEATH, HAWG, TORMENTOR and the forthcoming Lovecraftian Western LAST MAN SCREAMING. I collaborate on a Viking series with Peter Welmerink called BEDLAM UNLEASHED and with Maurice Broaddus on BLACK SUN RISING, also forthcoming. PHILISTINE is my new release, a tale of Goliath.
…and what you’re working on right now.
Another 2 books about Gorias La Gaul, a thriller, and 2nd draft of another horror western and 3rd draft on a book about Widowmaker Absalom Abbas.
What are your earliest book-related memories?
Mom getting me talking tapes from the library of congress, listening to the BIBLE and TARZAN OF THE APES. I read my brother mak;s yellowed Howard and Wagner novels and then Harlan Ellisons STRANGE WINE. I do remember reading THE MOMEN and my mom throwing it out in 1980.
What are your three favorite books?
HOUR OF THE DRAGON by Robert E. Howard; THE GODFATHER by Mario Puzo and SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut.
How many books to do you read at any given time? What are you reading now?
A few. IRON MAN a bio of Tony Iommi; HUBRIS about Hitler; a collect of Elric tales and re-reading THE HEORES by Joe Abecrombie.
Finish this sentence; when I curl up with a book, I ___
Want to be left alone to travel into the realm of that writer’s mind.
To re-read or not to re-read that is the question.
There are some books that are so good one must re-read them. I think I re-read THE GODFATHER every few years. Stuff by Howard and Wagner also.
How likely are you to read a book that’s been recommended to you?
That depends on who recommends it. I would.
How likely are you to recommend a book (that isn’t yours)?
Very likely. I love to support other authors. I could give you a long list of great storytellers.
What do you look for in a good book?
If the writer has a good VOICE and speaks to me, not trying to impress another or make their voice ring too much. Tell me a story.
Why do you write?
I write because I have to. I dunno how else I’d let it all out. I love to tell tales.
If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
A preacher…not a pastor. I’d hate dealing with people’s problems every day, but preaching on Sundays? That’d rock.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Things come to me when I read history or hear music. A few lines in a song by Black Sabbath might inspire an entire novel. I read about an obscure event in history and I know JUST what happened out of camera range. My sons inspire me as well as a few close friends.
What has writing taught you about yourself?
That I’m no where as bright as I thought. But it also taugh tme about dark places inside that are best kept chained than on display.
How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?
My kids love it. I have a brother that enjoys it. The rest hate it and wish I’d take up basket weaving.
Are there any stereotypes about writers that you don’t think are true?
That we are all nuts? That’s true. The more authors I meet, the more I think that. I always thought I was a bit different, but there are so many that are bugf%$k crazy it is sorta shocking.
What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?
Finding their voice and not following bad advice.
Have you made any writing mistakes that seem obvious in retrospect but weren’t at the time?
A great many. I listened to bad advice many times, sometimes by selfish jerks, but ya can’t make an omelet without busting eggs.
Is there a particular project you would love to be involved with?
I’d love to write a novel of Conan, one about Wagner’s Kane…sure. I’d also like to write a book about Howard’s BRAN MAK MORN.
How do you deal with your fan base?
Whips & chains work at first. Naw, they are great folks and I deal with them like any other group of friends.
Finish this sentence; my fans would be surprised to know ___ about me.
That I’m half blind.
Anything else we should know?
Just that PHILISTINE is my greatest work so far, an epic in fantasy, a horrific ride through a realm unseen as of yet in such fiction. Trod the bloody pages of history and try to forget the images seen there…go ahead, try…