Steven Nedelton is an accredited author writing super suspenseful hits loaded with intrigue. Included in his works are: “Crossroads,” “The Raven Affair,” “Fear!” and the new thriller novel, “Tunnel / The Lost Diary.” During the late fifties, he lived in Paris and London for three years. His familiarity with French customs and people are reflected in the “Crossroads” thriller (originally “Secrets of the house on Liberty Street”). For more info, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What initially drew you to writing?
I started reading when I was ten, I believe. I received these birthday gifts, including Tom Sawyer, then a year later, The Three Musketeers, and so on. At first, it was hard for me to concentrate, in fact, I hated reading. But then, gradually, I began to love good novels. They were fun. Zane Grey became one of my favorite writers. I still remember how I got the lunch money from my grandmother and spent it on books about cowboys and Indians. And that’s how my interest in writing started too. I had a couple of friends who were real avid readers by thirteen, and so we started inventing stories and writing them, then reading our creations to our group and correcting each other.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas for books come mostly from the Online news. And from some research. For example, I found an interesting sentence about the supernatural in a ten-year-old newspaper, and that gave me the inspiration for Crossroads. Other times, the process is quite spontaneous, though that’s pretty rare. Also, such self-generated ideas are rarely good for a full novel but they can be quite useful in writing parts of a book. The beginning of my new novel I am presently writing, Tunnel, was based on a spontaneous thought.
Who is your favorite author?
I like Harlan Coben because I like thrillers, and I liked Grisham in some of his early novels too. I cannot say that I have a favorite author, it’s more like, I have great appreciation for any author of a well-written book.
Are your characters completely fictional? Or do you base them off real people?
My characters are only partly fictional. I always use someone I knew in the past to describe my hero or heroine. The physical description might not be exact but their way of thinking, or general behavior, might be close to what I remember. I can say that a totally factious personality is very difficult to use in a book. Very few writers can come up with a completely new character and make it believable to readers.
What advice would you give young writers?
I would say that anyone interested in becoming proficient in writing needs to read a lot. A variety of books. I believe the style and a vocabulary come from reading.
Tell us about the book you’re working on.
I am presently writing a suspense novel, another thriller. A book called Tunnel. It starts with a ten-year-old boy going into an abandoned coal mine entry/tunnel to find guns soldiers stole and hid inside the storage enclosures used for mine equipment. He gets caught by an AWOL officer who looted a nearby city bank and hid the coffers with gold in there. That’s how the story starts and then turns into a thriller. The first part of the book, the description of the entry into the tunnel leading into the abandoned coal mine, was truly quite spontaneous. All the rest of the events came to me by speculating on what would be interesting to readers of crime novels. So far, I have twenty five thousand words, so, I am still able to experiment with the content.
What is the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
I think the most valuable advice was to have my books professionally edited before submitting them to a publisher. No matter how interesting the content might be, grammar and punctuation must be correct otherwise the submittal looks unprofessional.
What book was the easiest to write? Hardest?
Each book I wrote in the past five years was tough to write. It took a lot of time and new thinking. Ideas were the most difficult part, I guess. I believe that comes from trying to find the best ones and then fitting them into the general story.
When are you the most productive?
I believe I am the most productive late in the evening. Everything is quiet, naturally, and I am able to concentrate on my story. Mornings are sometimes good too.