About Steve Bellinger:
Steve Bellinger is the author of The Chronocar for Barking Rain Press. He was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago by a single mom who worked nights for a printing company. She would bring home books and magazines to encourage her kids to read. This is how Steve discovered Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and the other masters of classic science fiction. It didn’t take long for him to get the itch to write. His stories usually involve ordinary people, and appeal to more than just sci-fi fans. Over the years he has written everything from newspaper articles, comic strips and radio drama to short stories and fan fiction. His first published short story, A Silly Millimeter can now be read for free here.
An alum of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Steve has worked in technology for over 40 years, from cable and satellite TV to computers. He worked as a free-lance webmaster for many years, having designed and built over 100 websites, including the web portal for the Chicago Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. He is also a proud Whovian (Dr. Who fan) and Trekkie (Star Trek fan). He and his wife plan to celebrate their tenth anniversary with a vow renewal ceremony Star Trek style; he will wear a dress Admiral’s uniform and she will wear a Klingon wedding dress.
Steve lives in the Lincoln Park community with his wife Donna (author of You Lost Me @ Hello, Actionable principals that move you beyond Networking) and a cat to be named later.
What inspires you to write?
Since I was a young child I have been interested in creating more than consuming. Rather than just read a book or watch a film, I would rather write a book or make a movie. Back in the 1970’s my love for radio drama led me to write, direct and produce my own original radio drama.
I am not necessarily moved to write for money. Selling my work is nice, but I have written many things for free, like some very popular fan fiction.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write “by the seat of my pants.” Before I start a story I often have the ending or climax already in mind. The challenge is to write the story that leads up to it. The only time I really take notes is when I am doing research (as I had to do for my time travel novel) or if my work is being critiqued by members of one of the writers groups I belong to. The others will often have constructive criticism and suggestions, and those I will write down for future reference.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Many of my characters are, at least loosely, based on people I have know. No so much that they would be recognizable, with one exception. In my current novel and the next one that should be out next year, the main character is based on me. So do I talk to my characters? Definitely, just as I normally talk to myself!
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t give up. I was 64 when my first novel was accepted for publication. By the same token, if you are younger, don’t wait until you’re 64 to write your book!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had considered self publication, mostly because I had hear that getting accepted by a publisher was tough. I had seen other self published books that were just terrible; spelling and grammatical errors and amateurish cover designs. I realized that a good book would need to be professionally edited and an experienced graphic artist should design the cover. This would have cost me thousands of dollars. So I thought I would try getting published traditionally. Fortunately, after a few submissions my book was accepted by a publisher. This had to major impacts. One, having a publisher willing to go to the trouble and expense to publish my book gave it credibility–it must be good. Two, professional editing, cover design, book layout and all the other things involved with publishing a book did not cost me a penny. The publisher paid for all of that. I just collect the royalties. Yes, I could make more money per book if I had self-published, but I would have to sell enough books to get back the $2,000 to $3,000 that I would have spent.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Oddly enough, I think paper is coming back. EBooks are convenient and allows for some interactivity, but many people prefer the experience of holding a book in their hands. Just a vinyl phonograph records are making a comeback, paper books will surge again.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Science Fiction, Urban Fiction, Paranormal, Comedy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.