Meet brand new author, Steven Schatz. Steve has been a cook, tour guide, manager, comic, and university professor. He hitchhiked around the country for two years, seeing how people have figured their path through life. Through it all, he has written – poems, short stories, songs, and books. Adima Rising is his first published novel. Let’s learn more about Steve, his determination in the face of rejection and his path to publication.
B.B. - Would you consider writing Adima Rising a long, hard road?
Steve: Yes and no. It started pretty easily – little vignettes and actions. Then at some point it grabs you, possesses you and when that happened, it was hard to do anything but work on it.
Editing was difficult. They say you have to kill your darlings and it’s true. I started with 175,000 words and ended up with 72,000. Everything that didn’t move the story forward had to go. However, a lot of it ended up in the richness of the characters. I had written their back stories, cut them from the book, but kept the character history with me so I truly knew what each would do and say.
B.B. - Did you feel like giving up?
Steve: When I was writing – no. I felt there were messages in the book that had to get out. In the publishing process – many, many times. I stopped counting at 100 queries, but it was probably more like 200. In all those, only one agent asked for a full copy, said it was brilliant, but needed editing and she would help me, then disappeared.
B.B. - Any lucky breaks?
Finding Absolute Love Publishing. Sarah did an amazing job editing. Caroline really knows her stuff. Every decision, from cover to naming, improved Adima Rising. When I first talked with Caroline she said this book will sell, but it will take some time for it to grow. A smaller house has the time to let that happen. A big one doesn’t. Now I’m finding how good Denise is at getting the word out.
B.B. - What is your writing process?
Steve: Writing is hard. Going from brain to page is hard. It’s hard to get started every day. Cutting and cutting and cutting is very hard. So, I make a deal with myself that I’ll write for 10 minutes a day. It usually grows to more, but that is all I must do. Every day. Little bites.
I don’t try to edit while I write. I try to get the whole thing as a single object. Then, I start chopping and changing.
B.B. - Do you follow an outline or fly by the seat of your pants?
Steve: I start writing little pieces. Then there comes a time where I sew the pieces together and let the book grow from there. Then there’s a magical time when the book takes over and I just have to listen. I know the main story before I start, but never was an outline person.
B.B. - Any suggestions for new writers?
Steve: Don’t be a writer unless you really love the process. If you do, don’t try to copy what’s popular. By the time a book comes out from a big house, it’s usually at least 2 years old, so you’ve missed that boat. Write, write, write, but write what you love, what you want to.
I tend to span genres and my books tend to be about several things. Adima Rising is fantasy, but is an alternate reality against our real world. It’s about life purpose and friendship and deciding for yourself what is sacred and important, so was a harder sell. It’s YA, but people over 60 have loved it.
Finally, be patient and persistent with selling the book. It’s been three years of trying to sell Adima Rising before it was the right time. It took honing the novel to it's absolute best along with finally identifying with the right publisher.
B.B. Here's a blurb from Adima Rising. Scroll down to enter book giveaway.
For millennia, the evil Kroledutz have fed on the essence of humans and clashed in secret with the Adima, the light weavers of the universe. Now, with the balance of power shifting toward darkness, time is running out. Guided by a timeless Native American spirit, four teenagers from a small New Mexico town discover they have one month to awaken their inner power and save the world. Rory, Tima, Billy, and James must solve four ancient challenges by the next full moon to awaken a mystical portal and become Adima. If they fail, the last threads of light will dissolve, and the universe will be lost forever. Can they put aside their fears and discover their true natures before it's too late?
One lucky person will receive a copy of Adima Rising. There are several ways to qualify. 1. Leave a comment. 2. Follow Book Blather. 3. Like my author page on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/marilee.author. Good luck!