Today I am very happy to be interviewing Steven Neil, an English author who writes historical fiction with a twist of intrigue and mystery.
LWOTW: Welcome, Steven! Tell us, when did you write your first story?
I wrote my first story when I was seventeen. I thought I would study English Literature at university and become an author. In fact I studied Economics instead and didn’t write another story for thirty-five years. When I retired I studied English Literature at the Open University and my writing began again.
LWOTW: We’re very glad that you got back to it! What do you think of dreams, imagination, and planning?
Dreams and imagination are the creative spark for any writer but it is planning and the ability to implement a plan that takes a writer through to publication. I always thought I could only write short stories, but if you can write one 2000 word short story, you can probably write ten 2000 word short stories. Once you understand that, it is only a question of having the persistence to write, say, thirty-five linked 2000 word short stories and you have written a novel! That is the way I did it.
LWOTW: That’s an interesting way to go about it. Thanks for that. What’s the highlight of your writing career so far?
Writing and publishing my first historical fiction novel The Merest Loss in December 2017. In doing so, I achieved something I never thought I could do. It took three years of research, during which time I completed a Masters in Creative Writing.
The Merest Loss is a story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
LWOTW: It sounds wonderful. Another one for the TBR pile. What are you most busy with at the moment?
In some ways writing a novel is the easy part! It doesn’t feel like it at the time but once you embark on the process of trying to market your book, you realise how difficult it is to achieve recognition in a very crowded marketplace. However good your novel is, and however many 5* reviews you garner, you need to work at it to make sales. I’m currently busy creating my social media profile, developing my network of independent booksellers and building a programme of speaking engagements. Books don’t sell themselves on their own when you are a first-time author!
LWOTW: With luck your background in Economics will help! If you could say one thing to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Never give up. If there is a book in you, it has to come out.
And the Last Word of The Week: What’s your favourite colour?
Here is Steven’s independent author network profile, containing twitter and facebook links and buy links:
THE MEREST LOSS #HistoricalFiction #Romance
A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
Available in paperback and ebook in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.