Name Stephen Leuchtman
Where are you from:
grew up in Detroit, MI, USA, live outside of Missoula, MT, USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
I’m the single father to three wonderful children 8, 5 and 3. I’ve written and published since my teens. I do political polling and marketing for my day job. Education: University of Nevada, emphasis on Economics.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
“A Promise and the Price” the first novel in a five book series, is out 9/29 on Kindle for $5 US and equivalent worldwide.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. Call it a compulsion, or whatever, but I think the first time I got serious about it was writing poetry when I was 12. I feel the need to express these thoughts and feelings, to write about the ideas that run through my head.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I got my first poem “Twilight” published my first year at University. That’s when I started considering myself a “writer”
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I think, like all writers, I started as an avid reader. One of the books that set my imagination on fire was “The Stand” by Stephen King. The first book I wrote was a riff on the theme from that book. I had to get the idea out of my head. When I finished it, then this next concept, the one from which Promise is gleaned was next up.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I do. It is a hybrid style. I like writing in first person present, because it gives immediacy to the writing, and it keeps it moving. I want to grab the reader and give them a feeling that they have to know what happens next.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My day job is in marketing. The original title “The Neon Roadhouse” was a little too masculine, a little off-putting to my target audience. So I tested a few other titles. “A Promise and the Price” synthesizes the dream motif and that there is a cost to the promise.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. But I also believe that once the reader purchases the novel, it becomes theirs. And at that point, what they take from it is theirs’. I want it to mean something different to everyone who reads it. So at the end of the arc, I may express my own thoughts, but the way it is written, there are equally valid interpretations, and I’m reluctant to guide the reader to “what I intended.”
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Much of the book is realistic. I try to be very realistic in my writing. That said, the underlying premise could be considered somewhat fantastic. If you accept the premise, the rest of it is something that could completely happen.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think every writer has a place where their writing is influenced by their own experiences and events. That said, there is a character in the novels who is completely based on someone who I have been close to for over half my life. Aside from that, the characters are colored by me and people I’ve known, but are fictional.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
“The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, “The Wizard and the Glass” by Stephen King
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I had a mentor when I was younger. She was a professor at University.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
“The Out of Sync Child” because my five year old is on the autism spectrum, “Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, and “Industrial Magic” by Kelley Armstrong, because I loves me some urban fantasy, and she (Kelley) is a kick ass writer.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I work in a group with a number of emergent writers. It would be unfair to single one out. There are a lot of exciting emergent authors out there right now. It is a vibrant and exciting time to be putting stuff out.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on rewrites and editing for the books downstream in the series. “The Sound of Glass Breaking” is the second in the series, and it is largely backstory. It is nearly ready to go, which is good since I have it slated for January. “The Places in Between,” which is the third story, is currently getting an overhaul. I’m finishing “Smart Enough” which is a psycho killer story, and working on primary writing on “Outrunning Perdition” which is a steampunk/lost in space mashup.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have belonged to a number of writing and authors groups for nearly two decades. Mentioning one and excluding others would be unfair.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I have. Over and over again. Now, though, I think Promise is as good as it will ever be.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Reading, lots and lots of reading, and thinking that audacious thought, “I can do this.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Beginnings. I do very well with the body and the ending of stories, but I have a hell of a time deciding where to start.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite is Fyodor Dostoyevsky. His writing is so vivid and so tragic. I wanted to be him.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I conceptualize them. Laura Wright-Laroche has done one of them. She’s good. Look her up at llpix.com. She is reasonable and talented.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing. I love what I wrote. I love the characters. Come see me after “Always” (the fourth book in the Promises series, and I’ll tell you the all time worst/hardest part of writing the stories.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned how to move the pace faster.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Revise. Rewrite. Edit. First drafts are horrible. The more you work on anything the better it becomes.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Enjoy. I put my heart into this for you. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No. I have read so many, it is hard to remember the first.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m a sentimental man. I’m big and tough, but it doesn’t take a ton to make me cry. I cry every time I watch “Field of Dreams.”
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would like to meet and why?
I have to choose one? Ok, Victor Hugo. I’d love to ask him about Les Miserables. It is nearly perfect. I’d choose Dostoyevsky but language would get in the way.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Outdoors stuff. I try to ride my bike 20-30 miles per day. I love exploring with my children. We went and played in the mud last weekend. We were filthy and tired when we were done, but we had the best time.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I am a sucker for date movies. My favorite is “Wicker Park.” I watch “Major Crimes” on TV, the drama is totally compelling.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Dim sum, purple, and I’m a freak for music. I have a geek fanboy crush on Adele’s voice. I loved Amy Winehouse, that voice that you could cut glass with. I listen to Tool incessantly. And if you haven’t heard Nina Nastasia, you should. “How Will I Love You Now,” is the song I associate with one of my characters. When you read the arc, if you listen to it, you should be able to figure it out.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I am fortunate that I also do what I would have done. Analyze data for political races.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I’m working on it. Stay tuned.
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/StephenLeuchtman
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