Stevie Turner, Author
Margaret Millmore's Interview
1. Tell us something about your work in progress.
I’ve just finished the first draft of What Haunts Me (Ghost Killer – Book II). It continues the adventures of George, Billy, Phil and the watchers and their never ending quest to rid the world of ghosts and demons. In book 2, they come across a rather nasty 17th century demon that is in cahoots (or so they think) with a teenage boy. Instead of just haunting people, the demon, with the help of the boy are killing people and wreaking havoc. They need to find the boy and his demon and stop them before more lives are lost. I tap some very interesting San Francisco history in this book and I had a lot of fun pulling it together. Expected release is late spring or early summer under the Creativia Publishing label.
2. When did you know that you wanted to write a novel?
When I was young, my best friend and I would make up stories, I always thought it would be fun to write a book, but never really pursued it (although I did continue to write stories and jot down ideas throughout my teenage and adult years). I really didn’t take the idea seriously until about 7 years ago, when I suddenly found myself with the time to write, then I jumped in with both feet and have been doing that ever since.
3. Where did you find the inspiration for your novel ‘What Haunts Me?’
My husband had been on a business trip and he’d had a very strange dream, which he shared with me. I thought it was interesting and made a note of it, but didn’t put much more thought into it (consciously at least), because I was finishing up my novel The Dragonfly Door and that was quite consuming. However, my subconscious had taken quite a liking to the idea and 6 months later, a full blown story had developed. As with all stories, it stalled about midway through, yet again, there was my husband with another bit of inspiration, he’d read an article about a ghost tour (I can’t recall what city it was in) and I decided to see if we had one here in San Francisco, we did and I took the tour, which opened up a whole new path for my story, so much so, that I based one of my main characters (with permission) off of the owner of the tour. (http://www.sfghosthunt.com) - they’re currently closed, but it’s rumored they’ll re-open soon, I hope they do, it’s fantastic!)
4. Which book genre do you prefer to read?
My preferred reading genre is generally thriller/suspense novels (without political overtones), I also enjoy police/detective novels. Although I write in paranormal/supernatural, I rarely read it (however S. King, Dean Koontz and some others are true favorites, so I don’t exclude that genre altogether).
5. Who is your favourite author?
I can’t say that I have one. Growing up it was Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz and so many more, I try not to have favorites as a rule (unless its dessert, cheesecake wins every time).
6. Do you believe in an afterlife?
I don’t not believe in it.
7. Have you ever seen a ghost or had a paranormal experience?
I’ve experienced some odd occurrences that I can easily attribute to a ghost or the paranormal. They were strange and wonderful all at once, and certainly they help keep my imagination going.
8. Why did you choose different publishers for your books?
When I finished my first book, self-publishing wasn’t as acceptable as it is today, so I queried hundreds of publishers and was finally picked up by a great small press publisher (they originally published my first four books, Doppelganger Experiment and The Four Series, books 1-3, all of which are now available under Amazon’s digital service). That was a great experience, but by the time I got around to my novel, The Dragonfly Door, self-pub had blossomed and I decided to self-publish it. I also originally self-published What Haunts Me, however I soon discovered that I really wanted to put most of my effort and energy into developing the WHM series than I did into creating the finished publishable product, so I decided to begin the publishing query process again and was very fortunate to be picked up by Creativia.
9. Can books become best sellers without going through the agent/traditional publishing route?
Absolutely, and it’s happened quite a bit! Obviously, it isn’t the norm (yet), but it is definitely possible (do a quick online search and you’ll find several success stories).
10. Which social media do you prefer when promoting your books?
Generally I use Twitter and Facebook (fan page and my personal page). But I also use various book promoting sites to get the word out. It’s also important to connect with bloggers like yourself, what you do is as important as Twitter and FB, and I think it’s a bit more personal, so that makes it fun too.
11. When you see a link to a 5 star review on Twitter, are you tempted to check it out if it looks to be of your preferred genre?
Definitely, it only takes a few seconds to check out book recommendations through Twitter and I’ve bought quite a few books based on tweets I’ve received.
12. Did you find that the real estate business became more competitive the longer you worked there?
I began my career in the real estate field (at the bottom and worked my way up) in 1992, so I’ve seen the volatile market fluctuations up close. But in the more recent boom and bust, the “quick buck” perception/attitude was so irresistible, that just about everyone was getting in on it (which was certainly a large contributor to the bust itself). It was reminiscent of the dot.com boom in regards to the amount of competition involved.
13. You’re a native Californian. Have you ever visited Alcatraz and wondered whether Frank Morris really did make it to freedom?
Yes, I have been to Alcatraz on a few occasions, it’s a great part of San Francisco history and worth the trip. Did Frank make it to freedom, I believe he could have, if he made it to Angel Island (about 2 miles away), then he could have continued on to the mainland and disappeared forever, who’s to say, he’s never been found…
14. Do you ever wish you could have been part of the Haight-Ashbury hippie scene in the 1960’s?
Not in the least, mainly because it would mean I’d have to be much older than I am…
15. Where will you be travelling to for your holidays this year?
My husband and I love to travel, but this year we’re keeping it local (meaning the USA), we’ll be taking a trip down the coast of California and we’re discussing trips to the Pacific Northwest and some of our western national parks, but the year is young, so who knows where else we might end up.
16. Is there anywhere in the world you would love to visit, but as yet have not?
So many places…I was fortunate enough to spend some time in France and Germany (with a stop in Luxembourg and Switzerland) last year, and I’d love to go back and rent a car and drive all through Europe for several weeks.
17. Does visiting your relatives in Ireland ever cause you to consider living there permanently?
Constantly! I’ve been visiting my family in IR since I was a child, but as an adult, I’ve been able to see much more of the country, it is so beautiful and the people are truly the best. I often daydream of renting a small cottage by the sea, perhaps down in Arklow, County Wicklow just south of Dublin. Dublin is wonderful as well (and only an hour away from most parts of Wicklow by train or bus), but having lived in a big city for so long, I think I’d prefer a quiet sea-side retreat.
18. What is your most prized possession?
I would have to say my collection of books. I have autographed books by Ray Bradbury and Dean Koontz as well as Irish author, Benedict Kiely (who is my great-uncle) and Irish author Sharon Owens (she is also a relative). In addition to the autographed books, I have a large collection of fiction books (both very old and very new) as well as a variety of history and non-fiction books that I inherited from my father’s collection.
19. Do you prefer to be inside or outside?
Both…I am a huge fan of various types of architecture and I love exploring old buildings, churches, castles, homes, etc., but I love the beauty of the outside world as well, so I guess it depends on where I am and what I’m seeing…
20. What is your favourite song or piece of music?
I’m a big Motown fan, in fact, when I have writer’s block, it’s my go-to music. However, I also enjoy a variety of other music too, so I suppose I have no favorites.
Thanks to Margaret for these answers. If you are an author and would also like to be interviewed, please contact me here on my website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk with a little bit of information about yourself and your books.