Author S.A. Check writes out of south-western PA, where he lives with his wife, who’s an E.R. nurse, and his tween daughter. He earned his degree in English and Writing from Penn State University. His novel Welcome To GreenGrass is an amalgamation of all the wonderful nuances and literary influences he has enjoyed to this point in his career from comic books to Canterbury. He is ecstatic to be able to introduce readers into a world he enjoyed every minute of crafting.
What inspires you to write?
This was the kind of book that I would lose myself in as a reader but here I constructed a world built all on my own with endless possibilities and countless tales that could spring from within the domed city. It really was a novel that I wrote as much for myself than the prospect of publishing but then you come to the point that it’s done and you say, “I wonder if anyone else would like this?”, and here I am. I’ve been creating stories my whole life. It’s there, in the brief moments that we allow fantasy to reflect into reality that as authors, we are given the privilege of building worlds to capture a reader’s imagination and attempt to hold on long enough to leave them with something more than when they started.
Tell us about your writing process.
I love the initial phases of creating and developing a project. The idea phase when you’re trying to piece together something and see if the kindle (no pun intended) takes flame. Maybe it’s a thought here or a twist there that I jot down until the novel begins to take focus. I always try to outline my novels to a certain degree and it’s the one point in the process that I let loose with pen to paper and scribble down some mad notes. Outlining by hand feels very organic and I enjoy watching it take shape. I suppose I should say I hate the revisions process, like most, and it can become tedious after the first few run throughs but as long as I know the story will be better for the effort, than I can’t really say I mind.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
It changes as the writing process progresses. At first, you have more say in the direct development of your characters and you always try to give them something to call their own, a speech quirk, a certain physical attribute, personality trait, but eventually they take shape and take a life of their own. It’s that point in the story when you can start asking yourself, okay, what would so-and-so do in this situation and their reaction stems more from the character you’ve built and maybe that surprises you but it only means you’ve done it right.
What advice would you give other writers?
Writing is something you do because you simply love to. As long as you’re enjoying the process, you’re where you want to be. Probably my favorite saying, at least as far as reaching your writing goals, is that you can’t fail if you never quit. Simple but so true. There are so many new avenues for writers to get their work out there now and so many fantastic self-published authors. Write what you’d want to read and remember that the process is slow and building a foundation takes time but each word you craft is another brick you’ve added.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have my fair share of rejection notices saved over the years and I’ve tried multiple venues to get my writing out there. When I looked at possible publishers, it was extremely important that I found someone I was comfortable with to represent my work. When I eventually signed on with Bedlam Press and Necro Publications, I was impressed with their frankness and inherent honesty in how they represented their authors. They’ve been around for twenty years, so I was impressed with their track record and the depth and quality of their books. There are so many traps and false roads with a lot of the publishing possibilities today that authors have to on guard and finding Bedlam / Necro gave me the literary home I was looking for.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s changing and it’s not about to stop. I think some of the industry is still trying to catch up with the evolution of reading and eBooks and find their place in the new markets. That’s a good thing for authors. More doors than ever before are open to writers, making it an exciting time. As long as there are people out there crafting good books, people will find a way to read them. You can self-publish, though I just read and am now fond of the term author-publish, or explore more traditional publishing, whether that’s with a large or independent press, or mix the combinations together into a hybrid of possibilities, which is growing increasingly more popular.
What genres do you write?
Science Fiction Fantasy Adventure
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print