I always enjoy having authors visit Uncorked Ink, especially if they are fellow Canadians. Hailing from Nova Scotia this week’s guest is Steve Vernon, a prolific writer with a wide range of titles in his portfolio like: Devil Tree; Flash Virus; Sudden Death Overtime (hockey and vampires, of course); and Uncle Bob’s Red Flannel Bible Camp.
UI: Welcome Steve. Could you start by telling us about the place you call home?
SV: I’ve lived here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for almost forty years and I still love the place. The winters are getting a little old though – and I sometimes fantasize about someday retiring to a desert community in New Mexico – somewhere where snow is mostly mythical.
UI: You have several books on the market, which we’ll touch on shortly, but what other writing do you do?
SV: I am one of those weird dogs who does nothing but write. I am better at writing than most folks are at conversing. Some folks even think of me as anti-social but that just isn’t so – I am mostly slow at gathering my thoughts and wrapping words around my communicative impulses.
UI: Which was your first book to be published, and when did that happen?
SV: Wow – that was some time ago – maybe ten years ago when I released a little novella called Long Horn, Big Shaggy – A Tale Of Wild West Terror And Reanimated Buffalo. It was a story that I had been kicking around ever since I read a Stephen King chapter that hypothesized what might happen if he ever sat down to write a Louis Lamoure western.
UI: Do you have a third party publisher or look after this task yourself?
SV: That’s kind of complicated. I have had many publishers – primarily my local regional press Nimbus who have released seven of my books – including four ghost story collections, one true historical murder collection, one young adult novel and one children’s picture book.
Some of my earlier releases came from the small press – folks like Delirium, Cemetery Dance, Bad Moon Books, and Nocturne Press.
Back a few years ago I hooked up with Crossroad Press who helped me to release some of my earliest e-books – but these days I prefer to release my e-books independently. I enjoy the freedom and the accessibility that being my own publisher gives me. I am still working on making it pay off for me but I am confident that within a year or two the sales will begin to accumulate.
UI: Your preferred genre appears to be horror with regional (Canadian Maritimes) locations. Which one would you recommend a reader start with?
SV: That is kind of complicated as well.
I don’t really have a preferred genre, these days – however, if you wanted to read some of my ghost stories I would recommend picking up an e-copy of Haunted Harbours – Ghost Stories From Old Nova Scotia, and going from there.
If you wanted to read some of my horror work you could do a lot worse than picking up a copy of Tatterdemon – one of the nastiest novels of scarecrow horror that you have ever read. Think about Salem’s Lot – only with scarecrow demons instead of vampires – and you are somewhere near the mark. You might also want to take a look at Sudden Death Overtime – a chilling little novella of vampires and hockey – and if you think that those two concepts do not go together you just might want to think again.
Lastly I would definitely have to recommend picking up a copy of Uncle Bob’s Red Flannel Bible Camp – From Eden To The Ark – which signals a brand new direction for my writing. I am attempting to retell the stories of the Old Testament in the voice of an old school old fart storyteller – namely, Uncle Bob.
If some folks think that is somewhat sacrilegious of me, just remember, God invented giggling.
UI: Is there a book in your catalogue that you are particularly proud, or fond, of?
SV: Any of those last four mentioned would definitely fit the bill.
UI: Tell us about your writing process, Steve. Do you have a favourite place and time of day (or night)?
SV: I am a morning man. I like to get up before the birds have slipped out of their pajamas and I do my best to climb right into a manuscript and not look up until the sun peeks in.
UI: Do you have a favourite horror movie?
SV: Golly, I have got a few. Say Reanimator. Say Silver Bullet. Say Monster Squad. Say Dog Soldiers. Say Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein. Say Bela Lugosi’s Dracula.
Say them all together fast in one quick breath and you might be somewhere close to hitting on my favorite.
UI: What are you reading currently?
SV: Not enough, I am afraid.
UI: I know what you mean. There are so many great titles, both old and new, it’s hard to find the time! Well, it’s been great getting to know more about you, Steve. Below are some links where readers can “follow” you or find out more about your books.
Steve’s Blog – YOURS IN STORYTELLING
Steve on Twitter
Steve on Pinterest
Steve on Facebook
Steve’s Amazon Page
Steve’s Kobo Page