Name Steve Lecatsas
Where are you from Reading, Pennsylvania
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I attended business school, majoring in Hospitality Management and launched my career from there, having managed both operations and sales in both hotels and free-standing restaurants. I loved the industry and learned a lot, however, I realized that the all-consuming needs required in that field were not what I wanted for myself long-term. It was then when I began a home-based business about two and a half years ago which has allowed me to leave hospitality management and pursue other avenues. As per my family, I always have and always will be a family man. I am very close with my parents, my sister as well as wonderful aunts, uncles and cousins, all of whom I’ve been very blessed to have in my life.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Naturally, I think the most exciting “latest news” in my life is having become published. I’m actually only a week away from beginning the publication process that will end with a tentative release date of January 11th, 2016.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing only about three years ago. I’ve always engaged in good storylines for entertainment, whether it has been via literature, television or movies. I never expected to be in this position, though – on the other side, so to speak. I have a very good friend of mine who is also a writer. We share a great deal of favorite genres and specific franchises. She began bouncing some ideas off of me in regards to her own work. Her reaction to my feedback led her to question me as to why I wasn’t writing myself. I really didn’t know how to answer her at first. At that time, I hadn’t attended any workshops, let alone higher education in literature. I simply never entertained the idea, until finally I unlocked my imagination and ideas seemed to flow in from all directions. I will always credit her for the beginning of this amazing journey. Writing has proved to be even more exciting than reading or watching talented writing come to life on television or on the big screen. I quickly began enjoying being able to be the one creating these worlds that *my* characters live in and how *I* want their stories to play out. Unlocking my imagination was the best thing I ever did for myself.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Regarding my answer to your last question – after a lot of persistence from my friend, I remember sitting up and thinking to myself, “why not?” I’ll never forget that night. I was up for hours and this entire world and plot just came to me. It was that night, about three years ago, I considered myself a writer. After quickly jumping into local writing workshops and developing other storylines/projects, I then considered myself a writer with goals of publishing my work.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Certain novels/trilogies/series that I’ve read in the past and thoroughly enjoyed. I knew I was going to dive into numerous genres in the future, but, as per this series, again, it all just kind of came to me inspired by other fantasy works. As far as young adult fantasy, I’d have to say I’ve been inspired most by Lord of The Rings, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t. In fact, my goal is to change my style of writing depending on the project I’m working on. As I mentioned before, I write numerous genres including fantasy, dystopian future, crime dramas, international and domestic crime thrillers, organized crime, horror and science fiction. I think each genre, each storyline deserves a different way of being told. Not to mention, to me, it presents a new and exciting challenge. I often sit back and think to myself, “How would I enjoy reading this particular storyline?” That usually determines the style of writing for that specific piece of work.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The jury’s still out regarding the title. I do have one in mind that I really enjoy and I think will paint a general picture of what the story involves, but, again, the series is just beginning the publication process so I’m looking forward to collaborating with my publishing team.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are definitely a handful of messages and I am confident many of my readers will pick up on. Through subplots, I’ve delivered underlying “life lessons” that exist aside from the main plot. This is a medieval fantasy saga, however, there are numerous storylines that can be applied to current-day struggles we all go through. But, I can’t get into too much detail. Everyone will have to wait and see I guess.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Again, I can’t say much as of now, but I will say that some of it could be considered very realistic and, well, it does fall under the fantasy genre, so, some of it, not so much. But, that’s the fun of writing fiction.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think most authors would agree that when they write a storyline, it’s a great opportunity to express themselves and share some events that they’ve experienced in their own personal lives through certain characters and storylines. As per what I may have written in that has occurred in my life or the life of people I know, again, I can’t say too much as of now.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I admire so many authors and screenwriters for so many different reasons – styles of writing; their imaginations, their seemingly effortless abilities to kind of suck in their readers or viewers right from the get-go and also the effect they have on us in regards to certain things that are really going on in the world today. Fiction is a world where anything can happen. It’s also a world where one can touch on topics that can be loosely based on current events. It’s a very, very fun and interesting journey, both on the reader/viewer side and as a writer. As per screenwriting, Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes are definitely two of my biggest inspirations. They are both nothing short of genius. As far as literature, based on what has influenced what I personally write, I really enjoy the work of John Grisham, James Patterson, William Golding, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. As far as fantasy, I have an enormous amount of respect for J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin, authors of classics Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and A Game of Thrones – All of whose world-building, plot-building and characterization abilities I consider unrivaled. Last, and certainly not least, The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just ordered The Last Drop which is the first of a trilogy by award-winning author, Andrea Perno. I also just began reading Still Alice by New York Times Bestselling author, Lisa Genova.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are a few. To name one off of the top of my head, Andrea Perno is a very talented writer in the science fiction genre. She has just recently won an award for The Last Drop and was nominated for an award for another one of her pieces of work, Remotely Unplugged. I can’t say too much, but I will say that I am confident that she’ll be a household name in the future. She has a lot of good things going for her as a new author and she is one of my inspirations.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Ya know, people ask that often, and I never know how to answer. I literally can’t turn my imagination off most of the time which has led to my current workload of about 25 projects spanning six genres. The “mothership” however, is the series I’m launching this winter, the series I mentioned that is soon beginning its publication process and set to release January 11th. This series is “my baby”; this is where it all began. But, again, I’ve about 25 projects spanning six or seven genres, so, this is only the beginning.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The Lord, without a doubt, I have to thank for His constant guidance and support. My friend whom I spoke of earlier, as, without her, I wouldn’t be writing. And finally Beau Coup Publishing for believing in me and my work. You asked for one, but I gave you three! Ha!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. In fact, God willing, I actually began sifting through my projects and separating them in regards to what I want to write and see released as a book versus what I could see developing on the big screen and possible dabbling in screenwriting.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I am very happy with my first book and I’m even more excited about the second book. I have the entire series mapped out, naturally. Book one has done a great job with laying the ground work for the franchise and book two is almost writing itself. I’m very excited to see where book two ends and what book three brings to this franchise.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Not too much as it’s just beginning the publication process and I don’t want to get ahead of my marketing and promotion team, but it’s a medieval fantasy holy war with a lot of action, suspense and a handful of what I call those underlying “life lessons” or struggles we can apply to current day issues.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes! My biggest challenge lately is enjoying a full-night sleep without sitting up and writing down new ideas. No, but seriously, my challenge is that I have so many projects on my short list that I’ve either started or at least have outlined. As I said before, I’m kind of sifting through what I would like to see come to fruition in the form of novels or, if I try my hand at screenwriting, what I would like to see go straight to television or the big screen.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are so many, as I stated in one of my previous answers. I basically am inspired by someone’s imagination and ability to twist plots at the most unexpected moments, whether it be in the form of literature, television or a movie. I’ve found that, since I began writing, I’ve a different perspective on books, shows or movies because I have a greater respect for what I now know goes into it from a writing standpoint. There’s no way I can choose one favorite author or screenwriter; I could barely narrow down the aforementioned handful in one of my previous answers.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
There have been times I’ve had to travel to certain places to research or for inspiration to write whatever project I was working on at the time, yes. I do love to read on the beach, and when on the beach, I am typically at my most tranquil and peaceful state, so a lot of ideas can flow during that time.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ll be working closely with Beau Coup’s cover artists, for this series, at least. Above all, I love helping people, though, so if I come across anyone who would like to draw something up for me and I think it’s an appropriate fit, hey, why not partner up with that person and they can get some exposure as well.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Being that this franchise is going to be at least a trilogy, if not a series, the most challenging part was making sure the storylines flowed well from one book to another. You can map out or outline a series all you want, but even when you think you’re completely happy with the outline, one idea can kind of cause a ripple effect in the entire story. But, re-writing due do those new ideas, that can be very fun.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Going back to when you asked how and when I started, the biggest thing that I learned is that you don’t need a formal education in literature or to have attended twenty-seven workshops. Although I did begin attending writing workshops, my educational background is in business. I was my biggest hurdle at first. After jumping the hurdle, I never looked back.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Right now, where I am in my writing career, I would have to say just don’t ever stop writing. Even if you think you’re currently out of ideas and want to give yourself some time until newer ideas may come to you until your writing “flows” versus being “forced”, force yourself to just keep writing. You most likely won’t use your work that’s “forced”, but by having done so, other ideas may spin off of what you just wrote. Just keep writing.
Most importantly – to stay true to yourself and the story you’re writing; stay authentic. It’s your story, write it and own it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I just really hope that they enjoy this series that I’m launching. I know the young adult fantasy fans are always hungry for more and I’m hoping to deliver. I am confident, as a YA fantasy fan myself, that they will enjoy reading the series as much I have enjoyed writing it.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
My very first book? Ya know, I can’t say that I do. But I do remember my third grade teacher turning me on to reading. Mrs. Diamond was an advocate for literature, she made reading fun and I’ll never forget that. She ensured we had ample time in class every day to pick whatever we wanted to read. I’d have to say in regards to “first books” that inspired me to write what I write today would be the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins; Watchers by Dean Koontz; The Street Lawyer by John Grisham; I, Alex Cross by James Patterson and The Lord of The Rings series.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Not really sure how to answer this one. I’m very empathetic, to both people I know and to strangers. I have a bleeding heart, so if someone is going through a tough time, I tend to feel for them deeply. If someone is enjoying a great time, say, perhaps getting engaged or a couple expecting their first child, I’m thrilled for them. Honestly, thrilled from the bottom of my heart. So I’m very sensitive to other’s emotions. I have a hard time losing loved ones, I mean, but who doesn’t? Although this is the circle of life, regardless of how old I am, that is certainly never an easy time. I tend to hold on and it’s very hard to let go for me.
As far as laughter, I absolutely love social-awkwardness and sarcastic humor. I share this love with my sister and we enjoy a lot of the same comedies. I thoroughly enjoy witty one-liners as well.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Yes, I’d love to meet my maternal grandfather again. I was close to and loved all of my grandparents, but he and I had a very special bond. He passed after a sudden heart attack when I was only sixteen. I just wish I had more time with him; that I could thank him for all that he did for us, talk to him more about certain things in my life, in his life. I was just reaching the age where one starts to become closer to their parents and grandparents as a young adult and I feel that was very short-lived with my grandfather, too short-lived. I actually have a memoir in the works to honor him and his life. He was the patriarch of his family and the things he’s done in his life have always made me very proud. It’s a very big contributing factor as to why I’m such a family man. He instilled so much in me from a very young age and the values and morals that he’s taught me, I still carry to this day and always will.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Well this question is certainly a little unexpected and disturbing to think about! I’m very traditional. My headstone and where I’m buried aren’t really important to me; where I go after this life on earth is. But, I guess I would just want my name, DOB, DOD and that I was a loving son, grandson, brother, nephew, and cousin. Also, of course, God willing, uncle and/or father, but we’ll see what my future holds in regards to that.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I do, I have many actually. What I enjoy most is very simple and may sound cliché, but there is nothing better in the world than spending good, quality time with loved ones. I thoroughly enjoy traveling, typically anywhere where there’s a beach close by, but that’s not a deal breaker. I love experiencing other cultures. I love meeting new people. I also have a love and respect for food and cooking. Cooking, in its own right, is an art. It’s also therapeutic.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Currently I am an avid watcher of Game of Thrones, Homeland, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story and Reign, just to name a few. Just like what I write, I enjoy watching an array of genres. I’ve also caught a few episodes of Madam Secretary and enjoyed them. As per comedies, Odd Mom Out on Bravo and Veep with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I don’t like to get too involved in television as the shows are airing as it can become quite distracting. Although, whether it’s from reading or watching television, I like exposing myself to different styles of writing and different storylines. I will say, I hear Zoo is great, although I haven’t begun watching it yet because I had the very same idea years ago. I’ve gotten over my frustration that I didn’t follow through with that idea and will start catching up on Hulu or Netflix soon, I’m sure. I am not surprised that it’s based on a novel by James Patterson and that it’s successful; James Patterson is great! I also catch any documentary I can regarding WWI & WWII.
As per films, and I expect no shock to come of this, I’ve watched and will watch pretty much anything, again, as long as the storyline seems interesting. Horror has a bad reputation due to many “flops”, but, I can usually sniff out the good ones. I can always go for a great government conspiracy thriller, domestic or international. Most of all, I love seeing a television or movie adaptation of a book/series that I’ve read.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I’m really not picky with food. I love experiencing other cultures whether it be by traveling to foreign countries or by simply enjoying ethnic cuisine. When once asked if I had to pick three cuisines I couldn’t live without, I chose Greek, Italian and Mexican. However, I am also a fan of Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern, as well as many other European and Mediterranean cooking.
Colors, I’m not really sure. I enjoy blends. I enjoy art, showcasing each color in the best way. I like the combination of blue and white and also that of black with different shades of grey.
As far as music, I’m not too picky. If the lyrics send a message that means something to me or speaks to me, regardless of genre, I like it.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would most likely – which I still plan on doing in my spare time – dive into mission and humanitarian work, both domestic and abroad.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Currently I invite my friends and family to follow me on my Facebook author fan page, www.Facebook.com/SteveLecatsasWriting. They can also find me on Twitter @StavLecatsas.