Sunday, April 17, 2016

Strange Roads, a collection of acclaimed short stories by Steven Lloyd



In this weeks Author Spotlight, I met up with the amazing and brilliant author, Steven Lloyd, author of Strange Roads, a collection of acclaimed short stories in of horror, suspense, fantasy and crime. 

What is your book about?

Strange Roads is a diverse group of horror, suspense and crime stories. All are dark except “Where there be Dragons” which is a coming-of-age fantasy story about a brother and sister on the run from three schoolyard bullies. 
I’ve brought together my most acclaimed stories in one collection. Strange Roads includes: The Wooden Box, When Darkness Falls, Brothers, Where There Be Dragons, The Wallet, The Fight of the Century and an excerpt from my forthcoming novel Dogwood Summer. Also includes an introduction by John Paul Allen and interviews with the author.

What inspired you to write this book?

To be remembered. All writers want to be remembered, to leave their mark on the world. At least my family, friends and peers will remember me, if nothing else. 

Who is your favorite, and least favorite, character in the book?

Max Gains from When Darkness Falls is a little shit. Fortunately, the odds are stacked against him and he finds himself trapped in his own nightmare. My favorite? Mack Grainy from The Wooden Box stands as a hero to me. He accomplished what many of us would fail to do.   

What draws you to this genre?

I’ve always liked the dark side, even as a child when my little brother and I would sit on the couch with my father watching the old black and white horror films. From there I moved on to more modern films like Friday the 13th, Halloween, The Fog etc.   

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?

I’m working on a novel entitled Dogwood Summer. I hope to have it finished next year. Description:
When fifteen-year-old Hector McGee skipped the last day of school to go fishing with his best friend Vernon, he didn’t expect to hear a woman’s screams coming from inside the Buckmyer house. He heard a familiar voice, one he knew all too well—the raspy voice of his drunken father—dishing out brutal punishments that only he could give.

It’s the 1940’s and Hector McGee is on the run from the Buckmyer brothers seeking revenge after the disappearance of his father. Hector enlists the help of his best friend and several others as they plunge deep into the Dogwood Bottoms, seeking the mythical voodoo doctor Pepper Jones. They will go through hell to find him and the trip may very well kill them all.

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?

One thing drew me to writing. My English instructor noticed something in a story I wrote. She encouraged me to keep writing. I did. She was, in all honesty, the only teacher who believed in me. Other teachers said I could not be taught. I would fail. I was talentless. I would never become a published writer. Since then I’ve had my work published in numerous print and online magazines. Strange Roads was recommended for the Bram Stoker award for literary achievement in horror fiction in 2014.   
 No other writer has inspired me more than award winning author Bill Crider. But I didn’t know Bill Crider then, I knew his dark passenger Jack MacLane. Jack took me to places I wanted to go. His writing opened my mind to what I wanted to be in life: A writer of stories. I’ve read great books since, but nothing captivated my nineteen-year-old imagination as much as Rest in Peace, Bill’s 1990 Zebra release. The book gave me the wings I needed to take flight. And then one day he was gone. He just up and vanished. Or so I thought. In 2005 I learned that Bill had not vanished at all, but continued to write under his real name. In that same year my short story “When Darkness Falls” found a home at Naked Snake Press. While waiting on the final proofs for “When Darkness Falls”, I found Bill’s website and thought what if…
Contacting this larger-than-life writer for a blurb, terrified me. My hands trembled at the keyboard. The man who had changed my life with just one book was on the other side of that “send” icon. I walked outside to smoke, my mind racing, and my hands still trembling at the thought of clicking “send.” I rushed back to the computer and sent the email. A week went by. Two weeks. On the third week Bill replied with an enthusiastic yes! I sent off the story immediately.
This is what I got back:
"A genuinely creepy trip to the dark side. Read it at night with the lights down low, and feel the chill."
In 2012 he blessed me yet again with a blurb for my short story The Wooden Box. 

Other than your own book, what are your favorite novels?

I have no particular favorite, but if I had to choose two I’d say Post Office by Charles Bukowski, and Rest in Peace by Jack MacLane.    

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?

Concentrate on the writing and not the money and fame. Write and forget about all the other stuff. You’re time may come, but it isn’t going to be today. Hone your skills, read daily and outside your genre. Read Stephen King: A Memoir of the Craft on Writing and Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life by Nick Mamatas. This is a must for any aspiring writer!

Where can we find your book?


Where can we find out more about you?



36 comments:

  1. I love that he contacted a writing mentor to write a blurb for his book! And that he shared how nerve wracking it was. It's been awhile since I read any short stories, I'll have to look for this one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds like a really interesting collection of stories! I'm not sure I could pull it off, I can't read a lot of horror type books - I get too wrapped up in them and scared to death!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds like my kind of book! I love short stories because I never have time to finish a whole book before I get consumed by something else.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sounds kind of dark and fun! I will have to look into it after I am done with my current book!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love scary stories! Stephen King is one of my favorite authors, but I need to check out something new and I think Strange Roads might just be the perfect next read for me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is something I would love to read. I love all kinds of books, and I haven't read anything like this in a while.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love it when someone pushes through and commits to doing what they love and believe in. Well done for being recommended for the Bram Stoker award for literary achievement in horror fiction!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love short horror stories. They can become quickly addicting! This sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love learning about authors. And since I have, a thing, for dragons, I am interested in reading the "Where there be Dragons." I will have to look for this book on Amazon. Thanks for sharing your review ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love crime solving mystery type stories, but I am not much in to the whole horror genre. The “Where there be Dragons” story does sound like it would be good!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oooh love your new theme it looks so much clearer!In terms of Strange Roads I love that is a completely genere in itself and short horror stories are always a great read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ana. I thought it might make it a bit neater looking.

      Delete
  12. I like the tips he gives for aspiring writers like me- and as for the bullies... :D

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love suspense books, but never tried horror stories. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm not big on the horror/suspense genre so may pass this book over. However his new book, Dogwood Summer might be something I'd more than likely read.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sounds just like my SIL's cup of tea! I am terrified of the horror genre though, both book and film :(

    ReplyDelete
  16. Isn't it amazing how one person can shape your entire future? I bet his mentor feels great to see what he has accomplished! The book looks a little dark for me but still intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. He seems like a pretty awesome author! My husband is a huge bookworm, and is always looking for new stories to read. I'm gonna share this with him! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love to read stories like that. I will try and find this book so I can get started. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This sounds like an interesting book - and I love how the author followed his dreams.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's always a sheer bliss talking to a writer, looking at the world from his/her perspective, it's amazing. I find suspense novels thrilling. 'll definitely grab it as soon as I finish my current one

    ReplyDelete
  21. This book is my sister's kind! I'm sure she will love that. I need to tell that to her. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have to admit I'm totally intrigued by this book. Actually the one that is to come next sounds really, really good too.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I must say I never heard about him or his book but after reading your article I must say im so intrigued by his book.

    ReplyDelete
  24. suspenseful books are always a fun read, I'll have to check this book out! thanks for the review: )

    ReplyDelete
  25. He sounds like a talented author. I'm not much of a reader if I'm being honest, but I have a few friends who would be all over this. Happy i came across this.

    ReplyDelete
  26. One of my friend loves this kind of story (I personally don't really like them) :) I'll share this with him!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love his advice! Concentrate on the money and not the money! I think that has alot to do with blogging also. Thanks for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great writing advice. It's hard to separate the want to share your work with the joy of writing it. Thank you for sharing his book and insights!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love scary books, can't wait to read - thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Good advice! I've been out of reading for a bit with a couple of kids but need to jump back in :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am intrigued by this book. I would want to buy one and read it right away. I hope my library has this one already.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love horror and suspense. This sounds like a story that would grip me from the first page and I wouldn't put it down until I was done!

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is interesting. I love reading books in this kind of genre. Will check this book.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I want to thank everybody for leaving such warm comments. This is why we write. People like you make this job so meaningful. TP has greenlighted another author spotlight for me coming real soon. Thanks for a wonderful experience, TP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a pleasure to have you and I cant wait to read the fantastic article you're writing.

      Delete

Be not afraid to speak. The weary worlds and heroic adventurers wait with bated breath to hear your thoughts.