Steve Bridger – Interview
Today I am joined by Award winning author Steve Bridger, follow along as he reveals some of his secrets to us.
Steve first off could you tell me a little about what your writing process looks like?
Good question J.R. These are the steps I took for One Degree North my new novel that is now available on Kindle and Paperback on Amazon.com
1. Research the time, the place and real historical events, to build a contextual background for the fiction
2. Create a first plotting mind-map – a spider diagram – of a very rough plot outline, chapter by chapter – but expecting this will be scrapped or evolve as the writing process progresses.
3. Overlay each chapter with outline characters that will be introduced in each scene.
4. Write and rewrite the first paragraph to grab the reader’s attention. Involve and ‘speak’ to the reader as if it is just him/her and me talking together. The first and the last lines are crucial to grab and keep the reader’s attention so it pays to spend time on these first words.
5. Be open to inspiration that take you away from a plot outline to new and exciting territory to add new dimensions to the plot or characters. Stun and surprise your reader. Make them become part of the book as watchers or extras in the drama.
That is some great information Steve. Now From your bio I see that you spent time in the Indonesian region. How much of your current book One Degree North is drawn from personal experience?
The exotic Singapore was a lightning bolt of awakening from the cold of England to a wondrous tropical island for me as a shy child. It is true that I personally witnessed or gained first- hand accounts of many of the events captured in the book. Starting with the hotel bombing…
Steve, do you have a favorite genre?
I love American Crime Fiction written by the masters of the genre, everything from Raymond Chandler to Dashiell Hammett to Joseph Wambaugh and Elmore Leonard. I guess Elmore Leonard was a great influence on creating characters that were so bad they were brilliantly brought to life.
Steve, I too love Elmore Leonard’s work, Get Shorty was a particular favorite. Now Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write other then Elmore?
I’m currently having a masterclass of writing from Thomas Hardy. I’ve learned so much from his novels in plotting, characterization and description that I intend to take into One Degree South – the sequel.
Steve, I like to ask this question as I think it gives readers a real understanding of just how you see your characters. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would you chose to play your characters?
Freddie – Either Johnny Depp
Or Jude Law
Jannah – Salma Hayek
Or Angelina Jolie
Lee – Jet Li
Cody – John Goodman
So how important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I find that going online and searching baby names for either boys or girls provides a good starting point. For example I visited a name directory for Indonesian and Malay children for One Degree. Also a name must fit the character profile you’ve created for your key players.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
In writing terms developing skills through short stories was immensely helpful. My first business book ‘Success before Start Up’ made me believe I could progress to long form writing and One Degree is the confirmation that I could tackle of fiction project.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still breathing in and out.
That’s funny, I think we all hope for that. So Were you already a great writer before One Degree North? Have you always liked to write?
Each new sentence should be better than the last. I know what I have to do to improve my skills. For me I need to slow down each scene and explore each descriptive element and add value to the character before moving on.
Steve, what writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Find you own style and writing ‘voice’. Make it special and let your writing reflect your creative dynamic force.
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
I already work with college students and share my business experiences with them.
Are you a plotter or a pantster? (Write by the seat of your pants)
I use mind maps to sketch out the plot then after researching a topic I allow my sub-conscious to absorb the raw material before my fingers hit the computer keyboard.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I read every one. It is simply amazing to know that people have enjoyed your work. Also the worst review for ODN had captured the elements that I knew needed work – so that was a positive drawn from a negative.
What is Steve Bridger’s best marketing tip for a new author?
Create an online presence – a website – a Facebook page and try to gain reviews on Amazon as a priority.
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Proof reading – I prefer the high of creative writing rather than coming to grips with the errors!
Is there one subject Steve Bridger would never write about as an author? What is it?
No. I think everything is fair game
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
As I ‘live’ a scene as I’m writing I find them all challenging. I have a rule when writing erotica that is to involve the reader in a way that makes them connect the dots in their heads. This avoids having to be too graphic.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
My first was an e-book – Fast Track Your Business Writing Skills, the second was’ Success before start up’
So what is Steve Bridger working on now? What is your next project?
‘Supercharge Your Communication Skills – Speak – Write – Present. With Confidence’ The first draft is nearly complete with a Spring 2015 launch date.
Then the sequel to One Degree North – One Degree South.
Steve, what is your biggest disappointment, failure?
Not starting to write earlier. Not playing the piano earlier.
How has all the time you invest in other authors and groups helped in your own writing?
The LinkedIn 750 group has been a wonderfully positive experience.
Finally what will Steve Bridger’s tomb stone read?
See you on the other side
Well said, I would like to thank you for your time today. I am sure my readers will find the tidbits of wisdom from Steve Bridger as fascinating as I have. Please keep us informed of upcoming releases, and any thing else you want the world to know about.
Following are links to view and purchase Steve Bridger’s books including the non stop action tale “One Degree North”