Name B.R. Stateham
Where are you from
I hail from the central part of the United States. I call Salina, Kansas my home. Population about 47,000. Almost in the exact center of the continental US.
I am an old married man of 32 years, with three grown children and five grand children. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education, specializing in History and English. For ten years I taught both subjects at the junior high and high school levels. And who knows? Maybe someday I’ll get off my lazy back side and complete my Master’s program in History. Or not, now that I’m no longer teaching.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Hmmm . . . latest news. I’m in search for a publisher who might like to get a Roman era detective series going. The character is a cross between a Roman era Sherlock Holmes and a Jason Bourne spy. Skullduggery in the time of Augustus Caesar.
I’m also working on completing a full length novel featuring the hit man character of mine named Smitty. I’m hoping to push it to around 300 pages. So far, I’m half way there. Interestingly, I’ve discovered writing a full length novel of this guy is becoming an arduous chore. Just how many bodies have to litter the streets before it becomes too much? Apparently quite a lot.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I think I was about ten years old when I wrote my first novel. A sci-fi soap opera, as I recall. ‘Been writing ever since. I came to the conclusion a long time ago there were few writers out there who were writing the novels I wanted to read. I saw an immense void filled with readers aching to sink their teeth into the kind of genre I wanted to read myself. I therefore thought I could fill that void. Still trying to fill that void.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer
Roughly about the same time I began writing that first novel. Why not believe that? If you’re compelled to write down stories popping up in your head, you are a writer. Whether you’re published or not is inconsequential. Desirable, yes; but not required.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to read a damn good novel(s). Genre novels of all flavors and colors. Still do.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I think I do. I like sharp imagery clearly defined and complex plots. Complex plots that are believable, or conceptually close to being believable. I also try to create interesting characters. Not just card board cut outs.
As to whether I accomplish these lofty goals I leave to those who have read my work to decide.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles usually come out of the body of work. A line here, a thought there. Something that, pulled from the text, captures one’s attention.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m writing genre. I want a compelling story and interesting characters who must face difficult situations. I make no effort to write ‘Literature.’ I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on the gullible. Or pontificate some grand illusion to the hungry masses.
Just give me a good story and some vivid imagery, thank you very much, and I’ll be one happy camper.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Within the realm of believability or an acceptable level of suspended lunacy. Take your pick.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Pure imagination, baby. Pure imagination.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There have been hundreds of just plain good writers who fire up my imagination. So many to name. From classic Literature to modern day genre.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently I’m working on Jo Nesbo’s, The Snowman. I’m finding myself enjoying reading Nordic noir. Creepy stuff. Keeps you awake at night.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Dozens. But again, too many to mention, (besides, why upset a fellow writer who might NOT be mentioned)
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Writing the Smitty novel, as mentioned. Writing the next Turner Hahn/Frank Morales police-procedural novel. Mulling over an idea to write a novel featuring a new character of mine who is a lawyer who represents the souls of the recently departed.
All kinds of stuff is percolating in my noggin.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
There have been several ezines that have been gracious enough to publish some of my stories.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
‘Been doing it for fifty-five years. But if you mean writing and making a living at it . . . well . . . that would be a wonderful feeling to experience.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Maybe. Possibly. I don’t think any writer is completely satisfied with his written work. There’s ALWAYS something that could be redefined, or re-written. Always.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? The ten year old thing and wanting to read stories no one else was writing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Wish I could. But the computer which has all my writings in it popped a woozie and is not working at the moment. It’ll get fixed in the next few days. But right now I’m kinda like an alcoholic suffering withdrawal symptoms.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing a tight, compelling plot from A to Z. I start out a novel with an image or an intriguing situation. But I don’t outline the plot. I go with the flow. And yes, at times, it becomes slow work. But that’s also the fun of it for me. The series of discovering I and my characters each share in plodding through the entire story.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
To be honest, I have no ‘favorite’ authors, per se. I have dozens and dozens of authors I follow. Each have their own unique style I find enjoyable to experience. I don’t consciously make an effort to emulate anyone in their writing styles.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For the most part, I come up with an image in my head and then hire an artist to set that image on paper. It’s a collaboration between myself and the artist.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The filling out the plot from A to Z thing, as mentioned earlier.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
You always learn things if you have to do research for your novels. The writing process itself is a complex blend of art and technique. It gets better with practice. So that’s always a learning experience.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Forget every piece of writing advice you’ve ever heard or read. Find a few writers you enjoy reading, study their styles, attempt to copy that style in the beginning. But experiment. Always experiment with your own writing style. And write. Try new things. Play with new ideas. Don’t find excuses to NOT write. Don’t be embarrassed when you make silly mistakes. Do not be worried about sounding like a fool to others.
Do the above and eventually . . . eventually . . . you’ll develop your own style.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Come over and take a look at my ‘stuff.’ I promise not to bite, nor cry, no become a temperamental Troglodyte if you don’t like what you read.
But on the other hand, you just might be pleasantly surprised. You never know.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My preference is to laugh. At just about anything that is amusing.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Nope. The possibilities here are far too numerous to contemplate.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Something like, “What the Hell . . . !?”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Good question. Hmmm . . ..
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Way too many to list.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Hmmm . . . for foods; anything with meat in it (other than liver). Colors; yellows and Earth tones. Music; anything that is not old style Country/Western and/or Experimental Jazz.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If I didn’t have this habit of pissing people off, I would have remained a teacher of History until they carried my body out of the classroom.
But I . . . uh . . . have this talent of pissing off people in authority over me. Apparently it is a well defined, articulated, and rather animated talent that naturally flairs up at the most inopportune times.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? Try, In the Dark Mind of B.R. Stateham.