Today I have the extreme pleasure of featuring best-selling author Steven James. He’s penned more than thirty books ranging from psychological thrillers to prayer collections. He has received wide critical acclaim for his work including four Storytelling World Honor awards, two Publishers Weekly starred reviews, and 2009, 2011 and 2012 Christy Awards for best suspense. I’m honored to share his thoughts on my blog.
AG: Tell me a bit about yourself, how long you’ve been writing, what types of writing you do, etc.
SJ: I’ve been writing since 1996 and focus now mostly on thrillers, but I’ve been all over the map in writing inspiration, poetry, fantasy, instructional books, prayer volumes, drama sketches and more. After starting out writing for magazines, my passion turned toward novel writing, and I don’t think at this point that there’s any turning back.
AG: Why did you decide to become a writer?
SJ: I’ve always been a storyteller at heart but never really embraced the dream of being a storyteller until I was in my late twenties. I don’t recall a specific moment, but I do remember being drawn in this direction for a long time, without knowing what it would look like to live this life, but interested in finding out. Then I recalled this story Jesus told about a master giving out talents (that is, gold pieces) to three servants. He chastised the one who didn’t put the money to work and valued those who risked all to honor their master. When I thought of that story, I realized it was true for me, not that God had given me gold, but that he had given me idea,s and I couldn’t bury them. So, I started throwing them out to the world, hoping in some way to honor the master who gave them to me.
AG: What is the one piece of writing advice you wish you’d had at the beginning of your career.
SJ: A couple come to mind: remain teachable, stay passionate, listen to where the story wants to take you, and never fall in love with your first draft.
AG: What are you currently working on? Any special projects?
SJ: I’m scouring through the seminar notes and articles I’ve written over the last fifteen years and pulling together a book on novel writing called “Story Trumps Structure.” It’s due later this summer, then I’m on to my next thriller, which I’ll be consumed with writing this fall.
AG: What do you have coming out next? What do your fans have to look forward to?
“The King” releases on July 2. Everyone is invited to our pre-release party on June 30, where we’ll have copies available.
AG: How can my readers find out more about you and your work?
Stevenjames.net or https://www.facebook.com/sjamesauthor