Steve DeWinter Interview
First of all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview you for Black Diamond’s Book Reviews!
Could you tell me a little about yourself?
Beyond the typical things of living south of San Francisco and growing up loving to read, I also enjoy flying kites. So when people tell me to “Go fly a kite” I am never insulted.
When did you start writing and how did you get started?
I started actively writing in my early twenties. But back then it was all starts and snippets of ideas, but never finishing anything. I didn’t sit down to write a complete book until 2006 when I was laid off from a law firm. I told my wife I wouldn’t be looking for work until I had completed a novel. She was understandably nervous, but agreed. Six weeks later, the first draft was completed and after multiple re-writes, Inherit The Throne is the result.
Do you have any rituals that you use when you are writing?
I don’t have any set writing rituals per se, but I do use an iPod Touch with wireless Apple Keyboard to write with. This system is ultra portable and it enables me to get in a good eight hours of writing before needing to look for a power outlet. Others who look at my setup ask if I can even see what I am typing. Surprisingly, the Retina Display on the iPod Touch is as close to print on paper. It has such a high resolution that it is easy to read, and very easy on the eyes.
Are you reading anything right now?
Currently, I am reading The Genesis Key by James Barney. I just returned from ThrillerFest in NYC and this was one of the books I picked up while I was there. I am halfway through and loving it!
What are some of your favorite books and authors?
The Jason Bourne series, and admittedly any book from Robert Ludlum, made me want to write. James Rollins inspired me to actually sit down and live out my dream.
Has writing your own book changed the way that you read?
What changed how I read was in learning about story structure and how the plot events all progress. It’s a little like walking around in the employee area of Disneyland. The magic is gone once you know how the trick is done, but it doesn’t make you enjoy it any less.
Are you able to read when you’re writing and if so what books inspire you when you’re working on a novel?
One of the most important “tools” a writer can have to make their writing better is to keep reading, even while working on a book. Anything by Steve Berry or James Rollins always keeps me writing better.
What is a typical day in your life like?
I get up at 4:45am every morning *yawn* so that I have a couple of uninterrupted hours for writing. After that, it’s off to my regular job.
Are there other books you love or writers you admire that are from your local area?
Luckily for me, James Rollins lives only a couple hours away from me, so I get to consider him my local author that I read.
Who was your favorite character to write, and why did you like that character?
While he played a small part in Inherit The Throne, I really like Jacob. He is younger than any of the other primary characters (he’s only 17) but has so much history that I feel like I must apologize to him for the circumstances that forced him to work for the bad guys at such a young age.
Did you have to do much research when working on Inherit the Throne? If so, do you tend to write first or research first?
I get a major kick out of the research I do for any of my books. I usually start with an idea for a plot and then I start looking for little known facts to slip into the book that add to the realism and usually give a surprise twist to the story.
What’s next for you?
Melissa Stone, the kick-butt protagonist for Inherit The Throne, will be returning in another book. I am also working on my six-book novelette series, Hired Guns.
What three artists would I find in your Ipod or CD player?
Jem, The Corrs and Ke$ha. My music tastes are wide and varied and I am a sucker for the latest auto-tuned pop craze.
If I came to your home and looked in your refrigerator what would I find?
Maybe it’s better if you didn’t do that. You would be travelling a long way to find the standard milk, bread, condiments and the occasional Indian or Chinese leftovers. Warn me before you do so I can clean that juice spill on the second shelf.
What famous person do other people tell you that you most look like?
Wow! I must not look like anyone famous. I have never been compared to anyone in movies or TV. I did just have someone at a gelato shop (Italian ice cream) tell me I looked like a college roommate, but other than that, nada.
What is the one thing about yourself that others would be shocked to know?
Even though I grew up in the middle of suburbia (and I do mean the middle of normal neighborhood suburbia), I still had three chickens, six rabbits and two ducks for pets. I just wasn’t satisfied with only having dogs or cats, which of course I had along with the menagerie of “farm” animals.
Choose a book title for the story of your life.
How can the readers contact you?
I love hearing from readers. You can find me on my website at www.stevedw.com or onfacebook and twitter.