PWN: Tell us a little bit about your background.
SF: I’m new to writing. I didn’t have some great hankering to be a writer from the age of twelve (at that point I still thought that I would grow up to be a marine biologist), and Changeling is the first thing that I’ve written (I feel a bit guilty admitting that, but it’s true).
What I have always been passionate about is reading. I fell in love with books at an early age, and could always be found with my head buried in one. I saw reading as a means of escape, and I read anything and everything I could get my hands on - from sci-fi to classics, Stephenson to Stephen King. I still love to read.
I live in Hertfordshire with my wife and two children, and in my spare time I coach rugby and act on the amateur stage (something that I would recommend to any aspiring authors: it’s a superb way to experience character creation).
PWN: Can you sum up the Changeling series in two sentences for readers who might not be aware of your work?
SF: It’s an adventure-horror about a teenage boy, Trey Laporte, who discovers he is a werewolf – the last hereditary werewolf - and that the world he thought of as normal is anything but. It’s written with real pace and in a style that I hope will appeal to a broad range of readers and ages.
PWN: What's been the best part of your journey so far?
SF: Getting an agent to represent your work has to be the highpoint of any new writer’s career. I’m sure that there will be other highs in the future, but as any writer knows, getting someone to represent you is so difficult that it feels like a huge landmark once you achieve it. Getting a publisher runs pretty damn close though.
PWN: Can you tell us a bit about your normal writing routine?
SF: My writing routine may not be very normal. I write best during the day (which is a little odd when you think of some of the subject matter). I like to get a jug of coffee down me, answer any emails, and then get on with the writing during the time that your mind is supposed to be at its functioning peak.
Having said that, I still find myself doing the two-step every now and again: my dream-genie will whisper in my ear at some ungodly hour, and I’ll trudge downstairs, turn my laptop on, and get it down before it disappears again. Oh, how I love it when that happens.
PWN: How important has networking with other writers both on and off line been for your career, or your sanity?
SF: When I was submitting I joined an online writers’ forum. It was extremely useful to hear the experiences of other people, and the forum was really useful with the advice that it gave me – from established and aspiring authors alike.
Writing is a very lonely pursuit, and it helps to have some kind of outlet that you can bounce ideas off, ask advice from, or just have a good whinge at. I was completely and utterly naïve about publishing, and sites like this can be both enlightening and terrifying at the same time. If you don’t want to know that truth about getting published, don’t join an on-line writers’ group.
PWN: Any hints and tips for people who want to write?
SF: Write the book that you would want to read. Too many people write stuff that they think is what the market wants. I think this is a mistake because you have to believe in what you are doing, or it just doesn’t work.
If you’re writing to entertain – so called commercial fiction (I hate that term) – remember that story is king. Fancy prose is all very lovely, and I like to read a beautifully constructed sentence as the next man, but if you want it to sing, you have to have a great story. If you want to write you have to read. And read. And then read some more.
If that's hooked your interest you can read more about Steve and his work at his official website, or pay a visit to his blog and check out his list of virtual and real life events, interview and book signings.
Steve is also featured at book review site Vulpes Libris, where he talks about monsters in life, legend and fiction...
Changeling is available now on Amazon and Changeling 2 is published by Macmillan in august and available for pre-order.
We have one signed copy of the first book to give away - for a chance to win, put your name and a question for Steve in the comments and we'll be announcing the winner at the end of the week.