Today I'm happy to bring you an author interview with Steven Manchester, the author of the new book Twelve Months. To start, here's a little bit about the book:
A glorious celebration of each and every moment that we’re given here on Earth, as well as the eternal bonds that we all share, TWELVE MONTHS is a stirring testament to the power of the human spirit.
And now, here's my interview with Steven as he tells us a little more about himself, his writing process and Twelve Months:
What is your writing process like? Do you write in a certain place in your home? Do you prefer music or silence when you write?
I’m one of those writers who will write by dictating into a mini-tape recorder in the car, or jot something down in my blackberry while at my daughter’s dance rehearsal. In the end, I’m actually most comfortable putting the puzzle together in our dining room (peculiar, I know, but it’s a comfortable place for me). And I listen to music—the same CD in a loop, so that it drowns out all distractions.
Where did the inspiration for Twelve Months come from?
My wife and kids. The question was simple: What would I do—really do—if I had 12 months left to live? It took me 80,000 words to answer that.
What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
The greatest challenge for me has been time. First and foremost, I am a Dad and my children come first. After that, there are other responsibilities that need my attention. Yet, my passion to write has constantly gnawed at my soul.
To overcome the obstacle of time, I made writing a priority over watching TV and sometimes even sleeping. Once my family is taken care of and the world closes its eyes, I’m up for a few more hours each day – chasing my dreams on paper.
Twelve Months deals with the issue of having enough time to do everything we want to in life, and most importantly, having enough time to show people that we care. What are some of the things you haven't had the chance to do yet, that you want to do? What are some of the ways that you show your loved ones that you care for them?
I’ll answer the last question first because it’s most important. I would go to any means to let my family and friends know how I feel about them. As a writer, I would capture much of this in words. The things I would do mean much less to me than the people I would share the experiences with.
What made you want to become a writer?
I’d just returned home from Operation Desert Storm, and was working as a prison investigator in Massachusetts. Needless to say, there was great negativity in my life at that time. I decided to return to college to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. During one of the classes, the professor talked about police work but nothing else. I finally raised my hand and asked, “The criminal justice system is vast. What about the courts, probation, parole – corrections?” He smiled and told me to see him after class. I thought I’d done it! In his office, he explained, “There’s no written material out there on corrections or prisons, except from the slanted perspective of inmates.” He smiled again and dropped the bomb. “If you’re so smart,” he said, “why don’t you write it?” Nine months later, I dropped the first draft of 6-5; A Different Shade of Blue on his desk. From then on, I was hooked. I was a writer.
Did you have any personal epiphanies while writing Twelve Months?
Most of the book was one epiphany after the next. By living through the main character, I was able to experience the experiences that truly mean the most to me.
Do you write on a computer, or by hand?
Both—though the long-hand has become much less in the last few years.
How do you pick your character names?
This is a random process. I’ll use the names of people I care about for the likable characters, and make up the names for the less likable characters.
Who is your favorite character in Twelve Months?
Don DiMarco, the protagonist. In many ways, he’s my hero.
Quick Fire Round:
Ebook or hard copy? Hard copy
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor? Mint chocolate chip
Favorite Author? Harper Lee
Latest book you read? Chestnut Sunrise by Buck Young (in MS form, though it’s destined for greatness)
Dream vacation? Anywhere tropical with my wife
Most inspiring Quote? “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
Favorite Comfort Food? Pasta, covered in any type of seafood
I want to say a big thank you to Stephen for stopping by my blog today and doing this interview with me. I will be reviewing Twelve Months sometime in the next few months so be sure to be on the lookout for that review. If you want to learn more about Steven or his or his books, you can visit his website, http://www.stevenmanchester.com/
If you would like to purchase Twelve months, you can buy it on Amazon Here
About Steve Manchester:
Steven Manchester is the author of Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy andJacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared onNBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.