Author Interview. Steve Stred - The One That Knows No Fear (Book 45 in the Short Sharp Shock! series)
The final release in this tranche of Short Sharp Shocks! is Book 45, The One That Knows No Fear by Steve Stred. It’s available for pre-sales now and is published on 30th November. Dean and Steve recently spoke together about it.
DEMAIN PUBLISHING: Welcome to Demain Steve, for those that don’t yet know you, can you tell us a little about yourself and how / why you became a writer.
STEVE STRED: Hello! My name is Steve Stred and I’m an author who writes bleak, dark fiction. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where I’ve now been for just over 3 years. I was born in a very small town in remote British Columbia. I’ve only been focusing on my writing for the last 4 or so years after my athletic career ended. My day to day job is that of a Certified Canadian Pedorthist. What this means is that after graduating with my Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology, I did another 3 years specifically being trained to assess peoples lower body mechanics and foot mechanics so that I can assess, design and manufacture Custom Made Foot Orthotics, Custom Made Shoes and Custom Shoe Modifications. I’m married to my fantastic wife Amanda and we have a 10 year old fur kid named OJ and a 3 year old human kid named Auryn!
DP: Ah, sounds a busy life. And your Short Sharp Shocks!?
SS: The One That Knows No Fear is a dark coming of age story set in the 70s about a young kid who wants to connect with his stepdad. They find this connection watching a Daredevil stunt TV show. When the show comes to town, they go to watch it. I really love this piece.
DP: Yes, we could tell that for sure and we think that many readers will really connect with it. Who is your protagonist?
SS: This story really focuses on our young main character. This is a boy who wishes for that father figure to be in his life and because it’s not there, he attaches to this specific Daredevil, the one they call ‘The One That Knows No Fear.’ He is really an innocent kid who just wants to believe that adults are saints, which we all know is far from the truth.
DP: That’s true...did you have to do much research?
SS: Not to any extent. I did do some searching on well known stunt people from that era. Everyone knows Knievel, but who else was out there risking it. The 70s were many years before 24 hour news channels, X-Games, the internet – these were really figures who risked it without ever really being known.
DP: Yeap, they did, that’s so true. Perhaps there’s a documentary idea there...did you find any of the scenes difficult to write?
SS: One in particular. Staying spoiler free but there’s a moment where our young one experiences a moment of horrible internal pain because of his stepdad and that choked me up. Kids are kids. Having a three year old, I see already just how much he’s put his trust and love into me and my wife. So, that was a tough one.
DP: I bet, I bet. Creatively what would you say was your biggest success?
SS: Two things easily. The first is the Ladies of Horror Fiction Writer’s Grant that I was able to help develop and facilitate this past year. It’s working towards an annual thing and behind the scenes I’m already working to get the next book completed to help off set costs. The first winner, Carina Bissett, messaged me to tell me what she was doing with the cash and I was blown away. She used the money she was awarded to host a writing seminar so other women writer’s could work towards achieving their dreams. The second is through writing, releasing and reviewing books, I’ve connected with a lot of great people and been able to work hard to support them, lift them up – create a positive environment. The world of athletics can be very hard and isolating. When my time ended there, I made sure to keep focusing on building people up!
DP: Yes, and you’ve certainly been successful there – we were certainly aware of Steve Stred before we actually started communicating! What books (or authors) have influenced you?
SS: I read a lot! As of writing this I’ve read 180 books this year haha! I don’t think anything I read influences me. I think I’ve developed my own writing voice and really just work hard to refine and get better all the time. I have a really solid team behind me – David Sodergren copy-edits, Mason McDonald does 90% of my covers and my sister Jodi typically reads my stuff first to let me know if it sucks – so they all help to keep me improving. From the authors I read, I look for how the person acts in the social media world. I’ve made some outstanding friends through this journey, all of whom are themselves world class writers.
DP: Is there a book / film which you’re looking forward to seeing / reading?
SS: Right now – Andrew Pyper’s next release! Pyper is my all-time fav author and through social media I’ve had the great fortune of even connecting with him. He’s indicated a new release next year so I’m down-right giddy. Otherwise – also looking forward to what David Sodergren, Andrew Cull & JH Moncrieff have in the pipeline!
DP: Again, some great names. Finally then Steve, what does ‘horror’ mean to you?
SS: Everything. An escape. Hurt, sorrow, fear, being unnerved, turning on the lights, bawling your eyes out after the author kills a character, not seeing stuff coming, watching an idea be implemented and then executed with joy and gusto. Horror, to me, is the glue that connects me to the best people in the world.
Thank you so much for your time Steve, all the best with your Short Sharp Shocks! you certainly deserve it.
Dean M. Drinkel