Name: Steven Bynum
Where are you from?
I’m from a small town, Rocky Branch, Louisiana.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have a Bachelor degree in Information Systems Security. It was a total waste of money. I never was able to land a job in the computer field, so, I wound up working as a security officer. Well, I got tired of that job for various reasons and decided to make a change in my life. I started writing. It was the best decision I ever made. I’m not making a lot of money at it right now, but I sure am enjoying life doing it.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just published my first short story, Ceremony for the Boy, on Amazon. My novel, Deaders, is coming along. It has reached the 40k words mark. I consider it to be 75% done.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in High School. Mostly, it was poems about this and that. Life, however, can take you in a totally different direction. Just two years ago, 2012, I started writing again. I wanted to do something in life that I enjoy.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I finished and published my first novella January, 2013. When I finished and published the second novella March, 2013, I considered myself a writer. It’s proper, I think, for someone to consider themselves a writer if they write any kind of story whether they publish it or not. Mainly, I figured if I kept writing and publishing then I was a writer. Just a personal test I suppose.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, Becoming the Beast, is extremely personal. It deals with feelings and emotional stress I had with me for many years. It is not exactly what I would call based on a true story, but there are a few things in it that happened and are real in my life. For example, my brother does suffer from chronic mental illness and shadow people did torment him for a while until we managed to get him treatment. I suppose I wanted to show the horrors of mental illness thru the life of a werewolf. Since, I really love werewolves you see. It was a way to write about my favorite supernatural creature and make it personal.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really. I feel like my writing style is still developing and evolving.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
If you mean the title of the novel I am working on, Deaders, then, it was just an idea of what someone might call a bunch of zombies.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In, Becoming the Beast, I want people to understand how terrible chronic mental illness can be. I want them to understand how it can destroy not only someone’s life, but the life of their entire family
There’s really no message in Into Zombies Complete and Deaders. They are both just good zombie fun with a little extra thrown inside.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
In, Deaders, apart from the zombies, just about everything is realistic. I did not do a major amount of research, but I tried to use real items and places that exist in the world today.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, Deaders, is just a story solely being written for entertainment.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Dragonlance novels, especially the first six, Chronicles and Legends by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, really got me into enjoying reading. Those books took me into fantasy lands of imagination.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’m sure you’ve heard these names before, but I’ll say them again. Mike Evans, Tony Baker, David Reuben Aslin, as well as all the other indie authors I have met on Facebook that inspire me every day.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am in the process of reading, The Orphans, by Mike Evans.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes indeed. I pretty much only read indie authors now. The most recent I have read, Tony Baker, David Reuben Aslin, and Mike Evans. I fully intend to read books from Mike Clary, Ian McClellan, Ian Woodhead, Matthew Cox and more.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I will continue writing Deaders. It’s around 75% done. After that, I plan to write more short stories.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
All my friends on Facebook.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I very much hope it to come into being.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Hmm, I’m sure I would. I have learned a lot since writing Becoming the Beast and Into Zombies Complete.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I don’t like talking to people. My best mode of communication is through writing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Excerpt from Deaders:
Clump…clump…clump…clump…the zombie slowly walked across the floor. Jacob, Mary, and their teenage daughter, Sheila, were huddled in the cellar below. They were terrified. It had been a few days since the Emergency Broadcast System blared on the television, telling everyone to remain calm and stay in their homes. Like good citizens, they listened, and did what the message had said. Two days ago they had seen the first zombies strolling by their home. It was all so surreal and unimaginable. None had ever tried to get inside until now. This one was different somehow. As if it had a slight intelligence, it had smashed through a window and was now searching their home for something to eat. They wondered if it knew they were there, hiding.
Clump…clump…with every step, Sheila became more and more frightened. She had begun to whimper, and Mary was doing everything possible to keep her quiet. Jacob was searching for a weapon. If it came down to it, he would defend his family with his life. He was becoming a bit frustrated. He had not found anything yet that he considered suitable for a weapon. Certainly there must be something down here. The darkness made the search even more difficult. At long last, his hand scraped across a claw hammer. It would have to do. Taking it, he moved to the bottom of the stairs, waiting.
Mary caressed her daughter’s hair and kissed her on the forehead.
“Everything will be okay, sweetie; daddy will take care of us,” she whispered. “It can’t get down here. You’ll see. We’re safe.”
Clump…clump…the zombie stopped just on the other side of the cellar door. A long scraping sound echoed down the stairs as it slid its fingernails across the wooden surface. It scratched at the door, moaning. Jacob and Mary were becoming nervous, and Sheila started trembling in her mother’s arms. She began whimpering again, and Mary placed her hand over her daughter’s mouth.
“Shhh,” Mary whispered. “If you don’t be quiet, it will hear us. You need to control yourself, sweeheart.”
The scratching stopped abruptly, causing a heavy silence to wash over them. Their minds raced, wondering what was going on. What’s it doing? Did it leave? There they waited, frozen in place, not wanting to make a sound. Their hearts pounded. The beating seemed so loud, they wondered if it could hear the thumping in their chests. They took shallow breaths as they watched the cellar door with wide eyes. Jacob’s muscles tensed as he gripped the claw hammer tightly. He held it up at the ready.
Rap…the zombie hit the door with a fist, causing Sheila to scream aloud. The zombie snarled at the sound, and began pounding on the door. It knew there was food on the other side of the door and it would not stop until it got in. Mary could not muffle Sheila’s screams. She had become hysterical with fear. Jacob took a quick look in their direction, and moved slightly closer to the door. He prepared to defend his family with all his might.
“I’m not sure the door will hold,” Jacob shouted. “Get back as far as you can. We can’t get trapped in here. If it gets through, I’ll make an opening and the two of you run for it!”
“We will not leave you behind,” Mary sobbed. Sheila was crying as well, as she held on to her mother’s hand.
Pounding…the zombie was trying to punch its way through the door. Jacob knew it wouldn’t be long before the latch gave way. What am I going to do? He placed his back to the door in an attempt to brace it from opening. The punches from the zombie were strong and jarring. Even if he was able to keep the door shut, the wood was beginning to weaken. One way or another, the zombie would get through and devour their flesh while they are still alive.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I freaking hate dialogue. It always gives me trouble. Probably because I don’t talk a whole lot. Never have.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’m finding that to be a difficult question for some reason. I want to say all indie authors, because they put so much heart and soul into their writing.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I have not done any traveling as of yet.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Until I start making good money, I do my own covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I tend to have trouble putting what I have in my mind down on paper. It gets easier with practice.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Never give up.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. Do not let a bad review get you down. You will never be able to please everyone.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I can not express how much I appreciate their support. Writing is a lot of work and if they can take the time to write a review, it helps. Bless you all.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I do not, but Lord of the Flies and Catcher in the Rye comes to mind. Those were probably two of my earliest books to read. I’m sure I read something when I was younger, I just can’t remember it.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love to play video games, watch movies, and read.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I will pretty much watch anything if it is good. Star Wars and Star Trek are two of my loves. I’m hooked on The Walking Dead and Supernatural at the moment.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I’m not much of a food person. I eat what I can decide on at the time. If I had to pick one food, I would say fish.
Colors, hmm, black, blue, and gray.
I listen to different music, but I have to say heavy metal is my favorite.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have loved to designed video games.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My blog, if you can call it that I suppose. I Write Stuff
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/sbynumauthor
Amazon author page: http://amazon.com/author/sgbynum