About Steve Heiman:
Steve fled the big city life at the age of ten to enjoy a healthy country upbringing in Central Oregon. After decades of dreaming about writing a book, the Covid-19 Lockdown of 2020 became his golden opportunity to actually make it happen. A lifetime resident of the Northwest, he now lives in Portland OR., and looks forward to a future life in the country with a dog and several cats while writing more zany escapades.
What inspires you to write?
I want to uplift and inspire my readers. I firmly believe we can collectively create a far better society, and that modeling that potential is part of the function of literature.
For most of my adult life I had considered writing a novel, but had never really committed to the effort. When COVID hit I was stuck at home unemployed for nearly four months and applied myself to writing. I was working on my first book, a dark dystopian story and it was absolutely depressing to write. One day on my walk I was bemoaning this fact and wondering why I didn’t write something fun and uplifting when the entire story of Jack Gripper plopped into my head. I raced home and wrote the first chapters that afternoon.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
I will be leaving off so many from this list but here we go in no particular order. Ursula K. Le Guin, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Piers Anthony, Niven, Farmer, Edger Rice Burroughs, John Howard, Bear (RIP), McCaffrey, and about a hundred others, LOL.
Tell us about your writing process.
A bit of both. I don’t follow typical writing approaches for story development. I don’t map out my plots or character arcs beforehand but simply layout the bare bones of the story then use chapter summaries to give myself a roadmap of the main elements. So I have main points I look to complete but let the characters dictate how I get there. I then address story and character arc, check for plotholes, and balance narrative and dialogue. I do spend a fair amount of time considering my characters backstories for depth and nuance. I do the same with world building. I absolutely have a few alpha and beta readers to give me feedback during the creative process.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Again, a bit of both. When not writing I am the one talking. During the actual writing process the characters are more in control. Since I am currently writing satire and occasionally making jabs at some of the tropes we have in sci-fi, sometimes that will dictate the response. I certainly found that my characters grew and became more defined and commanding in their responses.
What advice would you give other writers?
Know why you are writing, and know your genre. I think those are critical no matter what your process is. Writing is an artistic venture and as such we all have different approaches and there is no right or wrong, only what works or not. But you have to know what drives you and the genre you are writing in.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
A bit preemptively, but it is what it is. I chose self publishing knowing from my previous employment as a graphic designer that I could produce a polished professional grade book. It gave me full artistic control and it seemed many had success with it. I would say neither approach is right or wrong and that success is the measure. Most authors do not succeed financially, regardless of their publishing method. Just the truth of the matter. Writing as a career takes patience and fortitude for most anyway. Do your research before you make a decision. Join writing communities and ask the advice of other authors. Take your time.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The evolution of the digital age is forcing the industry to change so it will continue to evolve. Hopefully what comes next is an improvement.
What genres do you write?: Sci-fi comedy, fantasy, alien arrival, satire
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
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.