A Peek Into Your Life-- Steve Harrison

A peek into your life, is a segment spotlighting authors, specialists, and friends who brave my countless questions day in and day out. It's the best way I can share with you all, the many people who taught me the bizarre things I know, who satisfy my thirst for knowledge and adventure, and who keep me motivated.

Steve is the author of TimeStorm. I was lucky enough to met him via social media and of course, I noticed his catchy cover on the Elsewhen Press site. I was looking for something a little different and hadn't read a time travel in awhile, so I thought I'd check it out. In a nutshell, Steve's book blew my mind. 

TimeStorm is an enthralling read full of interesting characters who push the story to places not many of us dare go. These characters live an exciting adventure where a storm at sea tosses them into a new time. The ship’s cargo of convicts breaks free causing havoc in a new world that each one reacts to differently.

It had me chuckling as these tough men found themselves lost in a world they didn't understand with women doing things they couldn't wrap their minds around. Yet this is a story of a cold brutal world offset with hope, as kind people offered their help, and a romance blossoms. A  few selfish people  sought to gain from their misfortune, but through it shined a bravery and a truth (time is a storm we can’t escape) that kept my heart racing to the very last page.

Each character brought a picture to life for me. It is so well written, at one point I was actually cheering for the bad guy (much to my horror). Somehow, in the storyline, which had me hooked, one hero emerges that catches my attention as someone... how does Karen say it? Dangerous yet in control. yeah. I enjoyed Blaney's chapters as much as the chapters that share his story through different eyes.

I loved each twist and marveled at how well it was put together. Then, when I was lost at sea wondering how he was going to pull it together, everything wrapped up nicely and left me smiling at the beauty of a masterpiece. 

How the heck did he juggle each pov so well? I can't even imagine his storyboard.

Well, enough about my thoughts on the book, let's meet the author and see if we can find out how magic works.

I enjoyed the different snapshots of each character and how they each saw the world so differently. How did you come up with so many well-written characters and unique voices? 
TimeStorm, from the moment it took shape, played in my head like a movie. I could ‘see’ the story unfold. I adapted that vision to the novel and the characters are like cameras recording the action. I cut rapidly from one to the other and each of them ‘records’ the action through the prism of their own character, hopefully giving even the minor characters an additional layer of depth.

With so many great voices, who was your favourite character to write and why? 
Undoubtedly, Rufus Redmond, the convict leader. He is one of those people who can’t let go of a grievance, even if makes things much worse for them. Deep down, I don’t believe he is a bad man, despite the things he does, and he has good reason to feel extremely angry. On the surface he is a very basic character, but he is motivated by very deep and confusing emotions. I felt equal degrees of sympathy and frustration with him. My goal was for the reader to feel for him and, indeed, all of the convicts, while also being repulsed by their actions.
(I must say, I was rooting for him at one point! It was so easy to get caught up in his mission, I did have to keep reminding myself that he was the bad guy! then again, maybe he isn't all bad, just... wrongfully-emotional??)

What song reminds you of this story?
The one song that has resonated over the years and immediately fills my head with TimeStorm every time I hear it is, Ship of Fools by World Party.

What are you currently working on?
The first of a proposed YA comedy science fiction novels about two 15 years old girls, one from Earth and the other an alien. It’s a lot of fun, but slow going as I create an entire universe!

Where do you do your best writing?
I have an attic office where I can lock myself away and spend many hours procrastinating and a small amount of time writing! It’s a nice relaxing space where I have posters and photos all over the walls to inspire me.

Do you have any novels you shelved?
I do have one shelved novel – actually I only have a few pages – which will be written one day. It’s a religious thriller set mainly in the Vatican and spans some 40 years. I have been very excited about this story for many years, but I need a few months in Rome for research, so I consider it my retirement project.

Do you over-write or under-write?
I under-write, because when I edit, my manuscript usually becomes longer. For instance, I just wrote a chapter filled with exposition and information, which in its present form would send people to sleep, but I had to get it out of my head. When I rewrite the section I will add action and dialogue and (try to) disguise the information, so that the chapter is longer, but reads shorter.

What are you most proud of?
In a writing sense, getting TimeStorm published. It was a labour of love for some 25 years and I never doubted it would be published one day (possibly posthumously!). I stuck with it and after many rewrites over the years, Elsewhen Press came along and fulfilled my dream. I look back and I’m proud of both my persistence and conviction.

Where is your favourite place to read?
Strangely enough, at work. At lunchtime I retreat to the canteen and read solidly for half an hour. It’s a wonderfully meditative way to break up the day.

What do you do for a living?
I work for the Australian postal service in a department titled, Operational Interface. If anyone knows what that means, please tell me. The job is a troubleshooting role and we go in and fix tricky problems affecting the performance of the business. I think I perform a similar function when writing fiction…

Thanks so much for the peek into your life, Steve. It was great fun having you over for a visit. While I have this most creative artist in my world, feel free to ask him questions, and stop by his blog. Be sure to check out TimeStorm.


Richard Hughes said...

What a great interview. His experience as a writer shows that persistence can pay off.

Tanya Lynne Reimer said...

Yes, that's so true, Richard.