the following post is something special for me due to following reasons:
- It contains my first interview ever, even it is a mini interview. There is always a first time. And I interviewed the author whom I promised that whenever I will start with interviews on the blog, he would be the first one to be interviewed.
- It is the first time that I host a giveaway.
- This post will be followed by five related posts on the next five consecutive days!
I'm so glad the indefatigable Seventh Star Press author Stephen Zimmer agreed to be my first "victim".
Hello Stephen would you be so kind as to introduce yourself?
Hi Michael! So great to be on Edi's Lighthouse for an interview! Thanks for having me aboard. I am an author, and also a filmmaker, with two active novel series, a number of short stories, a feature film and some short films. Writing-wise, I have the epic fantasy Fires in Eden series, and the epic-scale urban fantasy series The Rising Dawn Saga. I also write the Harvey and Solomon steampunk stories. I have new short stories coming out with the Seventh Star Singles line, in epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and soon, horror. 2012 should see a couple of other tales published within some quality anthologies. Film-wise, I wrote and directed the supernatural thriller Shadows Light, an indie feature, as well as the horror short film The Sirens. My latest project as a director was last year's Swordbearer, a medieval fantasy short film based upon the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant.
Can you tell my readers a bit about the series you are writing?
The Fires in Eden series is epic fantasy. It contains few modern day characters that get introduced in book one, Crown of Vengeance, who get taken back into the world of Ave. I feel this series has a nice balance between iconic fantasy elements, as it has some things like a race of Wizards and dragons, and inventive elements, such as the underground-dwelling Unguhur, the Skiantha sky steeds that many cultures of Ave ride, and the hardy Trogens, a robust, warrior race of beings whose facial appearances are fairly reminiscent of pit bulls! It is a very immersive series, for those who like layers and depth to their fantasy worlds and stories. The Rising Dawn Saga is urban fantasy, but on a true epic scale. It leans more heavily on the supernatural and paranormal than my other series does, and also blends in elements of military thrillers, science fiction, and even horror. It follows several individuals drawn into conflict by a group of power elites bringing the world under one system, through an ages-old effort called The Convergence. The Rising Dawn Saga has a decidedly dystopian flavor, as well as an apocalyptic tone. Both series are structured in character threads, with ensemble casts.
Steven and you wrote short stories. Tell us about the concept and the reasons?
I have a ton of material that I created as background for my two series. I have always wanted an outlet in which I could have some fun with parts of this background material, elements that won't make it into the novels, or are briefly mentioned in one of the books.
I wanted to give my readers some more content as well, for those that want to explore the worlds of Ave, or the world in the Rising Dawn Saga more extensively. The notion of doing some short stories as eBooks was attractive as it was something that I knew could be done, as doing short stories in print would be too costly.
Once I saw the potential of doing eBook short stories, I conceived of a pair of collections tied to each of my novel series. They would be the kinds of short stories can stand on their own, but at the same time offer much more content to fans of the series, and hopefully help tide readers over in between the novel releases.
As the other SSP authors have series of their own, I thought this concept be of interest to at least a few of them. After I presented the idea to the others, I found there was a lot of interest, and the SSP camp decided to move forward with the Seventh Star singles line.
I think readers will of either myself, Steven Shrewsbury, Michael West, or any of the other SSP authors who participate will really enjoy and appreciate these short story collections.
How do these short stories fit into the series?
They are stand alone stories, so the reader does not have to be familiar with the novels. But they are set within our respective worlds. With Steven, his stories are tales involving Gorias, the Sword and Sorcery character introduced in the novel Thrall. With Michael West, the stories are set in Harmony, an Indiana town that serves as the setting for other tales and books of his such as The Wide Game and Cinema of Shadows. With mine, the Chronicles of Ave are set, you guessed it, in Ave, the world that my Fires in Eden series takes place in. The Annals of the Rising Dawn, similarly, are set in the world where the Rising Dawn Saga takes place. As such, the stories are connected to our various worlds, places, or characters.
With respect to mine, they will sometimes portray an event, person/character, or place mentioned in the novels, and might even give some hints about things to come in the novels! Sometimes they will introduce some places that may not even make it into the novel series at all. No matter what, though, they will offer some fresh exploration of the worlds of the series.
How do you find time to write these stories and does that not hinder you to write the books?
As an epic fantasy writer, I do tend to get some good word counts during my main writing sessions, and with short stories, if I have a good grasp of the story I want to tell, I can get a rough first draft done in a couple days.
Some days I have more than one extended writing session, and sometimes I will use my second writing session of the day to do some work on the short stories. Writing the short stories does not hinder me at all. If anything, writing them helps me with the novels, as they keep my mind within the worlds of the series. The short stories make me think even more extensively about the worlds of the novels, and I can already see that this helps with the process of creating the larger works.
The short stories are also a nice outlet when I am in a phase where I am just polishing and doing tweaks on a novel manuscript, giving me a chance to be fully creative while honing a manuscript for an editor. So, ultimately, I strongly feel that doing the short stories actually helps, not hinders, the books.
Again, thank you for having me on Edi's Lighthouse! May your lighthouse guide readers through the current storms of the publishing world!
Thank you Stephen for taking time to answer my questions
Now you know a lot more about Seventh Star Press, Stephen Zimmer and the growing new single short story collection. By the way you can buy these stories right now on THE PUBLISHER'S SINGLES SITE.
GIVEAWAY TIMEStephen did not visit me with bare hands. On the contrary!
I proudly present my first hosted giveaway on this blog.
Stephen and Seventh Star Press have been so kind to give away copies of the so far eight stories from three different authors in digital format.
THREE SETS of EIGHT E-BOOKS
Each virtual set contains following stories
Each virtual set contains following stories
Goodnight by Michael WestIn this Tales from Harmony short story, a frightened child, in a rural Indiana farmhouse, attempts to fool the Angel of Death.
For the River Is Wide And The Gods Are Hungry by Michael West
In this Tales from Harmony short story, it should be the best time of Becky’s life. Her studies at Stanley University are going well, and her boyfriend, Mark, has just asked her to marry him. But when she returns to her childhood home, Becky finds she must deal once more with the events of one horribly hot summer day, a deadly past that now threatens to steal all her future happiness.
Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information on January 17th
Insurmountable by Stephen L. Shrewsbury (Legends of La Gaul)
More information on January 19th
Temples Rising by Stephen Zimmer (Rising Dawn Saga)In this short story from the Annals of the Rising Dawn collection, the reader ventures back into an ancient world when demonic entities and humans have bred a race of monstrous creatures. In league with Fallen Avatars that have taken on flesh and blood, the Raven Queen is preeminent among the human rulers involved with the building of a great temple site in Albion.
Into Glory Ride by Stephen Zimmer (Fires in Eden Series)
More information on January 16th
Land of Shadow by Stephen Zimmer (Fires in Eden Series)
More information on January 18th
Lion Heart by Stephen Zimmer (Fires in Eden Series)
More information on January 20th
1. This Giveaway is open worldwide.
2. In order to take part just send a mail including your name and your format of choice (Kindle, Nook or ePub (for Sony e-readers, iPad, iPhone etc.)) to Edi's Book Lighthouse.
You do not need to own a Kindle or an other E-Book Reader.
If you use the Firefox browser then you can read books in EPUB format with the EPUBReader add-on.
It is also possible to read Amazon e-Books on PC, MAC, IPHONE and IPAD.
Link for MAC user Link for PC user Link for IPHONE user Link for IPAD user
3. Giveaway starts with release of this post and will end at 11:59 PM CET January 22th, 2012.
4. Every valid mail gets a number. The True Random Number Generator over at Random.Org will be used for the drawing on January 23rd 2012.
5. On January 23rd 2012, I will post the winner and inform Stephen Zimmer.
6. Good luck to all who enter the contest!